The state of Colorado is known for its many hiking and outdoor attractions. Colorado Springs in particular is surrounded by beautiful natural attractions in addition to a few man made ones. Come along with me as we explore my favorite day trips from Colorado Springs.
1. Colorado Springs to Garden of the Gods Day Trip
Garden of the Gods comes first on my list of day trips from Colorado Springs. This spectacular state park is a great place to visit when you are in the Colorado Springs area. While the Garden of the Gods can be very busy in the summer, and parking is hard to find, your time and effort are well spent visiting this natural beauty.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado – Beautiful panorama of the Garden of the Gods park
See my photos from Garden of the Gods
You should plan spending at least four hours inside The Garden of the Gods. At the minimum you must do the Perkins Central Garden Trail. Start at the North main parking lot (click for map) inside the Garden of the Gods Park and follow the crowds and signs. The Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy, 1 1/2 mile trail over a concrete foot path. This trail gives you the best views of the major areas of the park. The Garden of the Gods State Park is a great area for kids as well, with lots of rocks and crevices perfect for climbing and hiding. Our kids had a blast with their friends, exploring all the interesting rock formations in the area.
Plan Your Trip to Garden of the Gods
If you’re planning a trip to this area you can find budget hotels in the Colorado Springs area. You can also take a local Jeep tour of Garden of the Gods where you can explore a lot more of this beautiful park.
2. Colorado Springs to Pikes Peak Day Trip
Second on my list of day trips from Colorado Springs, is Pikes Peak. At 14,115 ft high, Pikes Peak is the highest peak of the Front Range of Rocky Mountains. Located about 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is one of the most visited mountains in the world.
Pikes Peak, Colorado – Tourists admiring the broad vista from Pikes Peak
See my photos from Pikes Peak
If you are driving, plan at least five hours to drive up and down Pikes Peak. This way you you will have enough time at the top and also stop at beautiful vista points along the way. Located just above the village of Manitou Springs, the entrance to Pikes Peak Highway (click for map) starts your steep climb to over 14000 feet. Be prepared with some thick jackets and some snacks with you.
Plan Your Trip to Pikes Peak
If you are in the Denver area, you can take a beautiful local tour of Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods from Denver. If you are planning a visit to Pikes Peak, you can search for budget hotels in quaint Manitou Springs.
3. Colorado Springs to The Broadmoor Hotel day trip
The Broadmoor Hotel is third on my list of day trips from Colorado Springs. Located about 5 miles southwest from Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor Hotel is one of the most famous hotel resorts in the world. The Broadmoor has been used as a movie location and its visitors have included heads of state, celebrities, professional sports stars, and businessmen. You can simply walk inside the hotel and take a look around the ritzy interior and amazing mountain vistas in the back.
The front of the Broadmoor Hotel is very impressive
See my photos from The Broadmoor Hotel
Resources for planning your trip to The Broadmoor Hotel
You should allow at least two hours to explore The Broadmoor resort property (click for map). Take your time to enjoy the beautiful views behind the main hotel building. You can also rent paddle boats and enjoy the lake.
You can stay at The Broadmoor Hotel, especially during off-season when the prices are more affordable.
4. Colorado Springs to Seven Falls Day Trip
Seven Falls comes fourth on my list of day trips from Colorado Springs. Seven Falls is a private walking path leading to a beautiful cascade of waterfalls…seven in numbers. The main path can easily be reached from The Broadmoor Hotel via a shuttle bus as parking at the trail head is very limited.
Seven Falls, Colorado – View of Seven Falls from a high viewpoint
See my photos from Seven Falls
We found that Seven Falls is best visited together with The Broadmoor Hotel since they are very close to each other, and can be easily visited together.
Plan Your Trip to Seven Falls
Seven Falls is best visited using the free parking and shuttle provided next to The Broadmoor Hotel. Simply walk from The Broadmoor Hotel to Colorado Hall (click for map) where you will find both the shuttle stop and parking area. Just be mindful that during the summer, the shuttle line can be pretty long, but the shuttle buses come very often.
5. Colorado Springs to Glen Erye Castle Day Trip
Last on my list of day trips from Colorado Springs, is the beautiful Glen Erye Castle, located right next to the Garden of the Gods State Park. Since we didn’t reserve our spots on a local tour of the Castle, we opted to simply take a look at this beautiful building and its surrounding mountains. We visited Glen Erye on our way to Garden of the Gods, which made for a beautiful day trip from Colorado Springs.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado – The beautiful Glen Eyrie castle
See my photos from Garden of the Gods
If you have more time in the Colorado Springs area, you will definitely enjoy visiting beautiful Glen Erye Castle.
Plan Your Trip to Glen Erye Castle
In order to visit Glen Erye Castle (click for map) itself, you must reserve a tour in advance. During the summer, the tours are booked in advance. The only way to see this beautiful property is to visit the nearby bookstore. When you arrive at the gated entry, simply say you are visiting the Bookstore and Cafe.
This way you can see the outside of Glen Erye even if you don’t have a tour reservation.
If you want to visit the castle itself, you can make reservations to visit Glen Erye Castle on their official website.
Visiting from Outside of the United States?
If you live abroad, before visiting Colorado Springs, or any place in the United States you must have specific travel documents. If you live in the 40 countries that are under the Visa Waiver Program, you are allowed to enter and stay into the United States up to 90 days. You would first Submit ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) which automatically checks your eligibility to travel to the United States. The other countries that are not under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a Visitor Visa (B-2) at the US Embassy in their country of residence.