Pikes Peak is much more than a mountain – it’s a fantastic adventure. There are over 40 fabulous things to do, all centered around the mountain. The old town of Colorado City is fab for shopping and eating but then adventure calls! There is mountain biking, hiking, four x four trips to the top of the mountain, white water rafting, museums, galleries, the Air Force Academy, golf and caving too. If you prefer culture there are some fabulous galleries and museums and The Iron Springs Melodrama Theatre. Drive over the Royal George Bridge, take the Cripple Creek Railroad, and visit the magnificent Garden of the Gods. Plan your trip well if you’re only going for the day; there is so much to see and do. If you go online you can chat with Pikes Peak Country staff and get ideas for a day’s visit.
This is a pretty far drive for a day trip but once you get here – you will be in awe! The Royal Gorge Bridge is an amusement park and nature area with the largest suspension bridge in the world. It spans the Arkansas River at a height of almost 960 feet! Walking across the bridge, even if you only go a short way, is astonishing! You need to buy an entrance ticket but this includes an aerial tram trip as well as fun rides and attractions. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a train tripe that is 24 miles long and covers the most extraordinary scenery, never ending mountain ranges, forests, rivers, and waterfalls. You can overnight if you don’t feel like driving home, there are plenty of guesthouses and family friendly Inns in the area. Kids will love walking across the bridge with flags flying from all around the world. $26 per adult, $21 per child, free under 4 years. Worth every penny! Open daily.
If you live in Colorado but have never been skiing, this is your opportunity. Some of the best skiing is in Summit County, including the resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek nearby. There is a lot more than skiing though, as the small mountain towns are filled with shops, restaurants, fun markets, cafes, galleries and specialty stores. If you want to be active you can ski or toboggan. You can sign the kids up for lessons if they’re keen or you can just build snowmen and have snow fights. There is wonderful hiking and mountain climbing too. Always sign the trails register and tell someone where you’re going! If you’re not feeling energetic and just want to buy clothes and shoes and eat cake, you can do that too! There is a bit of everything in these ski resort towns including fabulous gluwhein in front of roaring fires. You may want to check into a hotel and spend the night but you can easily enjoy a day trip to the mountains. Leave early, spend the full day and come home sleepy and maybe just a little bit sunburned.
You can visit Winter Park Resort in winter or summer and it is just as lovely in both. In winter, of course, you have snow and skiing with over 3000 acres of amazing snow runs but in summer you have walking, hiking, and mountain biking too. In winter there is usually over 29 feet of annual snowfall making the conditions for skiing just brilliant. You can buy a full day ski pass which gives you access to not only Winter Park but also to Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Ridge, the Cirque, Eagle Wind, and the Terrain Parks. In summer you can enjoy a scenic chairlift ride on the Zephyr Express as well as the GyroXtreme which is the longest alpine slide in the USA. There is golf, miniature golf, jungle gyms, swimming and more. Check out the website for information on day visitors.
This is nothing like the South Park television programme but is all about an abundance of nature, high mountain peaks, green valleys and forests, rivers, creeks, lakes and abundant wildlife. Add in a bit of fishing, a bit of history, a little bit of television license and a whole lot of fun. There are mountain passes where you can drive and be in awe of the snowcapped mountain vistas, lakes for fishing, hiking trails, wildflowers and mule deer, elk, and antelope. There are also abandoned ghost towns that are fabulous to explore, good shopping, great dining and a whole lot of relaxation. Spend an hour in hot springs, do a bit of snowboarding, take a hike, drink hot chocolate, visit museums, ride a train and more. Check out the website so you can organize your day or it can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot of beauty here, take your cameras.