Colorado Springs is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. From world-class trails with breathtaking views to rare geological features, the eastern plains, foothills and mountains all full of wildlife Colorado Springs holds a wealth of opportunity waiting for you to seize. Mountain bike, hike, and trail-run at one of the numerous city parks with access to the adjacent National Forest with nearly endless options for exploration. Colorado Springs has many outdoor recreation opportunities that are both public and private, and both do-it-yourself and guided. We recommend trying both so the following is a list of top activities at some of our favorite destinations within a short drive from this great city:
1. Segway Tour of Garden of the Gods Park
Garden of the Gods Park is an incredible geological site. The natural beauty of this place is simply stunning. From incredible sandstone formations colored light orangish red, to the balancing rock this park is a sight to be seen. The park is extremely accessible with roads and trails throughout. One of the most exciting ways to explore Garden of the Gods is to do it on a Segway. These tours offered by Adventure's Out West do not require any previous experience and allow you to see the entire park from the comfort of a Segway. Pass through the amazing views of the towering chemically precipitated rocks, deposited in layers and due to stress under the layers of the earth Garden of the Gods formed.
2. Climb the Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline, also know as the Incline, is a super-popular hiking trail that rises above Manitou Springs at 8,590 ft. The Incline is considered an Extreme trail as it has a very steep grade (average of 45% - with 68% being the steepest) with 2,744 steps. It is the premiere fitness challenge for locals and visitors alike. Over 2,000 feet elevation gain over approximately .88 miles this trail is nothing to mess with. If you are acclimated to the high elevation the trail can still be quite the challenge. If you are not acclimated to the elevation you will want to take it slow and make sure to drink lots of water the 24 hours before your hike.
3. Hike Barr Trail
The most difficult hike in the Pike's Peak region with 7,800 foot elevation gain this trail is marked for advanced level use only. For the hardcore athletes, the pinnacle is the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, and for the enthusiasts closer towards the other side of the spectrum Barr Trail has a great option to spread the trip into two or three days. Barr Camp is 6 and 1/2 miles from the trailhead with facilities such as clean restrooms and indoor seating for hikers to seek refuge from harsh conditions. *It is advised to bring plenty of water, dress in layers, and be sure to bring a survival kit (always advised for any adventure further than 100 feet from the truck/camp or road). For more information on what exactly to do check out Visit Colorado Springs Barr Trail page. (start early, especially in the summertime when storms are likely).
4. Whitewater Rafting on the Arkansas River
From Browns Canyon National Monument to the many Arkansas River Headwaters State Wildlife Areas the Arkansas River is an incredible natural resource in close proximity to Colorado Springs. From the headwaters near Leadville Colorado down through Buena Vista, Salida, Canon City, Pueblo and ultimately to the eastern plains heading southeast near Lamar and ultimately leaving Colorado heading into Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri then finally into the Mississippi River. Some of the best Whitewater Rafting in the world is found along the Arkansas River near Salida and Canon City. There are numerous Whitewater rafting guides and outfitters to choose from.
5. Fly Fish Eleven Mile Canyon
Fly fishing in most tailwaters in Colorado can yield good fishing all year round (even in the dead of the winter). Eleven-mile canyon is a special place. With dramatic rock formations lining the river up to an impressive dam allowing Eleven Mile Reservoir to sit above. This Canyon yields spectacular fishing for trout. The river holds a wild population of brown trout and Rainbow trout, Cutbow trout, and Snake River cutthroat trout are stocked in the river. If you are an experienced fly fisherman make sure to us at least 5x tippet and it is advised to use Fluorocarbon as well.
6. Mountain Bike Ute Valley Park
Ute Valley Park is a scenic natural area in northwest Colorado Springs. The park offers hiking and mountain biking through geologic features and rocky-forested hogback formations hold important environmental, historical and scenic value. Ths park is an incredible place to watch the sunrise reflect off of Pikes Peak and sunsets always yield a great view of Garden of the Gods park to the South and the Front Range Rocky Mountains to the North. The park is locals favorite for running, hiking, dog walking and mountain biking.
7. Climb Blodgett Peak
Blodgett Peak is a difficult out and back hike up to the Blodgett Peak which yields fantastic views of Colorado's Eastern Plains as well as the Front Range Rocky Mountains to the north and south and glimpses of the Continental Divide to the West. Blodgett peak is proximately 2,132 feet above the trailhead which is in northwestern Colorado Springs. Arrive at the trailhead early to ensure you will get a parking spot as the parking lot is small and can fill up quickly. Be sure to bring plenty of water as this is a challenging hike with loose gravel and steep hillsides in areas. To find more recreational opportunities in Colorado check out LocaWild.
8. Wildlife Watch at Lake Pueblo State Park
Commonly referred to as "Pueblo Reservoir," Lake Pueblo State Park is a great place for outdoor recreation. Whether you want to go fishing, hunting, boating or wildlife watching this amazing lake has it all. With over 4,600 surface acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline, this lake is a mecca for wildlife watchers. From Great Blue Heron to migratory flocks of ducks and geese Lake Pueblo State Park also has hiking, picnicking, camping, paddle sports and is an exceptional place for outdoor photography. For up to date information on the Park visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife conditions page for Lake Pueblo State Park.
9. Mountain Bike Palmer Red Rock Loop Trail
This local-favorite mountain biking loop holds incredible scenery as well as challenging climbs, variance in terrain, and plenty of in-between terrain to allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds the wild mountainous terrain. You will likely see mule deer, songbirds, raptors and even a bobcat. If you are really, really, really lucky, you might see a mountain lion but don't count on it. They usually come out during the night exclusively and will not approach humans (unless for some reason they become habituated i.e. DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE) Feeding wildlife can be detrimental to wildlife and even fatal. For more information see Visit Colorado Springs Palmer Loop Trail page.
10. Fish out of a Kayak at North Catamount Reservoir
On the way up the road leading to the summit of Pikes Peak you will head by a few reservoirs. You are looking at the water supply for Colorado Springs and surround municipalities. Crystal Creek Reservoir, South Catamount Reservoir and North Catamount Reservoir. This incredible open space with 2,267 acres of land which holds recreational opportunities for fishing, human-powered boating, mountain biking, picnicking, hiking and wildlife watching. Some of the best fishing around can be found out of a kayak or another hand powered water vessel. This allows you to drop your line right along the littoral zone around the perimeter of the lake where the trout consistently are feeding on the aquatic life.
Does living close to these incredible experiences sound good to you? If so, be sure to contact Joe Clement to help you find the best Colorado Springs properties that meet your exact needs!Posted by Joe Clement on