The Pikes Peak region is packed with can’t-miss outdoor excitement.
Once you’ve experienced the local icons of Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods Park, head out to discover even more natural treasures in the region – from extreme sports in Colorado Springs, to rapids at Royal Gorge and the gold mines of Cripple Creek.
Manitou Springs: Inclines, Zip Lines and Caves
For visitors that like a challenge, the Manitou Incline is a worthy feat. This slope used to have a cable car that traveled to the top of the foothills of Pikes Peak. Today, it’s 610 meters of vertical climb in just 1.6 kilometers!
Put your bravery to the test with the zip lines at Adventures Out West. With lengths of up to 200 meters soaring some 40 meters above the canyon floor, these zip lines will satisfy even the most extreme need for speed.
The caverns at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park are awesome for exploration. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Caving 101 tour will have you climbing and crawling through dark and sometimes muddy, undeveloped tunnels. There are also adrenaline-pumping outdoor rides
Hiking the Manitou Incline provides incredible views along the entire route.
Royal Gorge Region: Rapids, Heights, Trains and Dinosaurs
Don’t miss a chance to raft the thrilling Class II-IV rapids on the Arkansas River at Royal Gorge. Multiple outfitters offer half-day, full-day and overnight excursions through exciting rapids with fearsome names such as Sledgehammer, Wall Slammer and Boat Eater.
Meanwhile, more than 300 meters above the riverbed is the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Crossing one of the world’s highest suspension bridges might help you conquer your fear of heights! There’s also a gondola ride, a zip line and an aerial coaster ride.
For prehistoric adventure, you can walk among life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience. Take the kids through the expansive museum with interactive exhibits and full-scale dinosaur fossil casts and look a T-Rex right in the eye on the multi-story ropes course.
Traverse the narrows of the Royal Gorge deep within the granite cliffs aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. Inheriting a storied history that dates to 1879, this is Colorado's oldest and most famous streamliner – and the first and only full-service railroad dining experience.
A walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge provides stunning views.
Cripple Creek: Gold Mines, Train Ride and a Scenic Drive
There are two must-do gold mine tours in Cripple Creek and Victor. The famous Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine takes you more than 300 meters below ground into a 1890s gold mine – you will see real veins of gold and 19th-century mining equipment. Then, tour a present-day, working gold mine – this time, with modern mining machines – at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine.
The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad is awesome for family fun. Ride a century-old narrow gauge train through beautiful scenery, past tumbledown, abandoned mines and learn all about Cripple Creek’s exciting mining past when thousands of prospectors flocked to the Pikes Peak or Bust region between 1890 and 1910 to seek their fortune in the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp. “
Drive the scenic Gold Belt Byway through varied terrain and elevation, where you’ll encounter old mining structures, train tunnels, Old West-style towns, monolithic rock formations and phenomenal views of the Rocky Mountains.
Immerse yourself in mining history against a stunning Colorado backdrop in Cripple Creek.
Colorado Springs can be reached via Colorado Springs Airport (COS), which is only 19 kilometers from downtown. Fly from global locations to Denver International Airport (DEN), and grab a connecting flight or rent a car and drive just one hour south to Colorado Springs.