As far as inspirational, unavoidably beautiful outdoor adventures spots go, Colorado Springs has to be pretty hard to match. Watch the US Olympic team train, spend an afternoon at the bottom of a 1000ft gold mine or explore the incredible trails of Pike’s Peak. Sleep it off in a satisfied, energy-drained slumber and then do the same again the next day: what more could you ask for from a stunning, adventure-ridden region?
If you want a taste of how things used to be, pass on the museums and head for Buckskin Joe’s frontier town instead, where the main street descends into gunfight at regular intervals, and you can end the day with a scenic train ride through the pines. Next up, drop in on the sharp pinnacles of the Garden of the Gods, where craggy spikes pierce the skyline, or dance amongst the Manitou Cave Dwellings with the Native Americans, exploring an old and long forgotten lifestyle.
The hair-raising vertical shaft of the Mollie Kathleen gold mine is another one of the seemingly endless must sees, still tinged with gold inside and layered with impressive history. Climb the winding road to the tip of Pike’s Peak, enjoying the dusty course immortalized in cult video game Gran Turismo, or choose the cog railway and spend the ride enjoying ever more spectacular panoramas across the Colorado countryside.
Another essential local experience is the Colorado Gorge, which you can travel through on the gorge railway, over by helicopter or on the Royal Gorge Bridge. The impressive selection of wines on offer locally will keep your evenings luxurious and lightheaded, especially if you check out the stunning tasting rooms at the Holy Cross Abbey, while the striking machines at the Museum of Mining and Industry will keep technology buffs happy.
Colorado is all about the scenery, and in the Colorado Springs area it really is exceptional, the kind of place where it’s tempting to throw on a rucksack and drift off into the landscape for weeks at a time. Make the most of the dramatic scenery by heading up hills and exploring the dramatic human side of it all.
Manitou Springs is an artsie town just outside of Co. Springs and is most known for it's natual sparkling water that flows from the ground drink ready.