How to Check Trail Conditions for Hiking in Colorado

Because our state can have such extreme and diverse weather, it is essential to do some research before you go hiking in Colorado. You should always be aware of weather, trail conditions, and wildlife before you leave for a hike, in part so you can pack accordingly.


There are so many stunning hiking options around the state. If you don’t know where to go, be sure to check out our Colorado Springs trail guide. Once you have a hike in mind, this article provides all the best resources for where to check Colorado trail conditions in order to be properly prepared for your hike.

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Trail Condition Resources

All Trails

This amazing community-driven resource has everything you need to ensure a great day on the trail. It is personally one of my favorites on this list because it makes it easy to find variations of trails. This is particularly helpful if you are looking for a shorter mileage or less strenuous option. You can search for accessible trails (for wheelchairs, strollers, etc), parks that allow dogs, mountain biking trails and more. Listed information about trails includes mileage, elevation, reviews, difficulty level, parking information, and pictures.

This is a great resource for figuring out the proper trail for what you want out of the hike as well as staying informed along the way. As you hike, the app shows waypoints and elevation changes and tracks your metrics. You can review the hike, save your favorites, and share helpful tips with others. The app is particularly helpful for popular trails that other users are commenting on regularly. You can read recent reviews for relevant updates on the Colorado trail conditions and also check the weather and UV index for the day.

National Park Service

If you are looking to hike a trail within a national park, you can check the National Park Service’s website for everything you need. They list trail closures, conditions, and other important safety notices regarding wildlife and weather. Trail availability can change rapidly, whether from a storm, maintenance work, or high risk of fire. It is helpful to check the park’s website for updates day-of. This way, you can plan your hike and route around any closures or potentially dangerous areas.

One other especially important factor when visiting national parks is parking and permits. Depending on the time of year, parking can fill up fast. Once you know what hiking trail you want to explore, you can find trailheads and the closest parking lots. Grab the necessary permits or parking lot reservations in order to save time on the drive-in and help your day go smoothly.

Colorado Trail Explorer

Similar to All Trails, Colorado Trail Explorer is a comprehensive resource for exploring the outdoors in Colorado. You can find routes for hiking, horseback riding, skiing, ATV riding and more. Their filtering function also includes so much more than just dog-friendly and wheelchair-accessible options. You can search for special interests like geology or mining or things you’d like to see like wildflowers or waterfalls. 

Once you’ve identified a trail, the website pulls in Google Maps for directions and Weather.gov for forecasts. My favorite feature, though, is the custom ability to see the different sections of the hike. Rather than simply listing the mileage and elevation change, you can look at it step-by-step and see how each leg of the hike will test you. They even have a measure tool that allows you to check out a custom length of the trail. This is very useful if the different sections they list are not specific enough for you. From grade to elevation to mileage, you will get a good sense of the trail’s difficulty before you even get out of the car. 

The crowdsourced trip reports allow you to get updates on trail conditions, crowding, bathroom availability, and insect presence. Once you get the app and download the trail for offline access, you can keep notes on your experiences and track your progress in real-time. There are also fun challenges like identifying wildflowers and noting scenic lookouts to keep you engaged with all the beauty of Colorado’s trails. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, this resource is a fun and informative way to stay updated on Colorado trail conditions and track all your progress hiking around the state.

Colorado Trail Foundation

The 567-mile Colorado Trail between Denver and Durango is an accomplishment of massive proportions. Efforts to build the trail started in 1974 and took over ten years. It is a unique adventure that travels through six wilderness areas, eight mountain ranges, five major river systems, and some of the best views the Rockies have to offer. All up, the trail climbs nearly 90,000 vertical feet, but you don’t have to do it all at once. The trail is divided into 28 segments plus an additional 5-segment, 80-mile trail variation called Collegiate West.

If you are looking to hike any part of the Colorado Trail, the guidebook is strongly recommended. It includes mile-by-mile trail descriptions, driving directions and access points, mileage and elevation stats, and even information on towns to resupply if you do the whole trail at once. The website is also a great resource for information on packing, finding natural water sources along the trail, and preparing for the high elevation. There is a lot of research and preparation necessary before hitting the Colorado Trail. However, with the help of the Foundation, it has been completed in full by nearly 5,000 people.

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How to Interpret Trail Conditions

It is not enough to just check on trail conditions and make sure the trail is still open. There can be some crucial information in these updates that will help you pack well and be properly prepared for your day. If there is a trail closure, you can check out All Trails or Colorado Trail Explorer to find variations or nearby trails with similar stats.

Common information about trail conditions can include obstacles and downed trees, muddy or snowy sections, and standing water. In the case of wet trails, you will want to wear waterproof hiking boots (or boot liners). Additionally, pack extra socks, and read up on some tips for hiking in mud. If you know you will encounter obstacles on your hike, hiking poles can be helpful for extra stability, and gloves will protect your hands from rough tree bark or scrapes from branches.

Other conditions may include loose soil, exposed tree roots, or damage from a mudslide or flash flood. These conditions tell you to be cautious and watch where you step. Wearing your best hiking boots with good grip will help you overcome a damaged trail.

Other Resources to Check

In addition to looking for updates on trail conditions, there are a few other things to research in order to be fully prepared for a hike. First, checking the weather reports for the day will help you pack and dress properly. You should also know about weather changes when hiking to a higher elevation or hiking between different climatic zones.

Next, be sure to check the park or county’s website for guidance on permits and parking. Some parks may require permits for backcountry hiking, in order to limit hikers and protect the landscape. Many places especially around Colorado Springs have limited parking lots and use reserved tickets to control overcrowding. Be sure to look into these aspects of your day hike as well so you do not show up unprepared and miss out on your adventure.

No matter where you go, it is always important to be aware of Leave No Trace guidelines in order to be a good steward of the land. There are plenty of resources available to learn about how best to pack out trash and get rid of waste so you can protect the trails for future generations.

Finally, I like to prepare for hikes by checking information on local wildlife and the flora of the area. I find this information heightens the experience because I am able to identify and appreciate the nature around me more. It can also be important to be aware of wildlife near hiking areas. For example, if bears have been spotted from the trail, make sure you are aware of bear safety tips and don’t go on the hike during their peak hours. You can prepare by learning what wildlife you might encounter and reading up on how to watch wildlife safely

Final Thoughts

Colorado has some of the best hiking in the country. It includes over 5,600 miles of hiking trails according to Colorado Trail Explorer. No matter what type of view or how strenuous a hike you are looking for, you can surely find an exciting and awe-inspiring hiking trail near you. If you are just getting started on your hiking journey, consider going on a Guided Hiking tour in order to become familiar with best practices and helpful techniques while on the trail. Hiking with experienced friends or a professional is the best way to start hiking and get comfortable with packing and preparing for a hike in Colorado.

Celebrating with Broadmoor – Party Ideas in Colorado Springs

Are you looking for an exciting and unique way to celebrate a birthday, promotion, or anniversary? With all the amazing outdoor venues around Colorado Springs, there are many different ways to plan a fun outdoor celebration. Looking for celebratory event ideas? Broadmoor is one of the best places to have a birthday party in Colorado Springs.

Broadmoor Outfitters has a variety of innovative and engaging guided activities that will make any celebration unique and memorable. Whether you’re planning a party for a little one or celebrating a milestone as an adult, there’s an option for you. From invigorating zipline courses to the decked-out paintball arena, the Broadmoor’s property is a well-equipped party venue in Colorado Springs.

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Party Ideas for Kids

Small Group Party Idea: Wood Course Zip Line

This three-hour beginner zip line course is a thrilling activity perfect for adrenaline junkies of all ages. The course has five zip lines that range from 250 to 1500 feet. Riders can also reach speeds of up to 45 mph, and attain heights up to 150 feet in the air! The guided zipline activity is a great experience for a small group of friends looking to try a new experience. The zipline course can accommodate a maximum of eight participants.

On the Woods Zip Line Course, you will soar over a waterfall and enjoy stunning views of Colorado Springs. Add in the thrill of zip lining, and it’ll surely be a memorable birthday. The exciting experience covers technical guidance from professionals and beginner zip lines for participants to acclimate to the experience. This is the more beginner-friendly of Broadmoor’s two zip lines courses. So it is perfect for a low-stress, enjoyable birthday party. 

Large Group Party Idea: Outdoor Movie Screening

Give your kid a unique gift and a memorable birthday party. The 26-foot inflatable movie projector screen is perfect for an outdoor evening celebration. You can rent the outdoor movie theater and bring it anywhere as it is very portable and easy to set up. This is a great option for large groups and celebrations taking place in spacious outdoor venues near Colorado Springs. 

With the ability to project anything onto this massive screen, you can take a celebration to the next level. Share old photos at a large family reunion, enhance the visuals at a musical concert or theatrical production, or play funny videos in the background of a mixer. There are endless ways to use an inflatable movie projector! This a top-notch addition to any celebration near Colorado Springs. 

Party Ideas for Adults: Happy Hour Celebrations 

Moving on to the adults, If you are looking to celebrate a birthday or anniversary with a few drinks, there are tons of fun ways to spice up a simple cocktail hour with friends. But let’s avoid cramming a large group into a crowded bar. Instead, you can have a private birthday party in a unique outdoor venue. 

The Broadmoor has plenty of unique and thrilling opportunities for adults. You can really make your birthday celebration memorable with the addition of an archery course or the tomahawk toss challenge. If you are looking for a low-key celebration that still has elements of excitement, consider a professional demonstration with birds of prey at a falconry cocktail hour. You can do these activities at the Broadmoor property or rent the equipment to bring to your own space. 

Whether you need to plan a meet-and-greet or a birthday party with different groups of friends, these activity-based happy hour parties will give your friends something to talk about and keep the energy flowing. Broadmoor Outfitters’ happy hour party ideas are fun, stress-free, and surefire ways to please your guests.

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Outdoor Party Ideas Near Colorado Springs

If your idea of a good time involves an outdoor adventure, anywhere can be a party venue! This is especially true in Colorado Springs with its high concentration of outdoor opportunities. With so many parks, mountains, and bodies of water, you don’t have to travel far to find a great party venue in Colorado Springs. 

From drinks in the park to a group hike, there are nearly unlimited ways and places to celebrate. What’s more, Broadmoor Outfitters has guided activities around Colorado Springs for people of all ages and interests. You could bike down Pikes Peak, rock climb in Garden of the Gods, mountain bike through North Cheyenne Cañon, or stand up paddle board at Catamount Reservoir. All of these outdoor activities make for interesting and memorable celebrations, sure to bring you and your friends closer together.

One of the party venues in Colorado Springs is actually the Broadmoor Outfitters property. Located in southwest Colorado Springs, it is a spacious area with a lot of fun activities to do right on site. You can compete against your friends in a scavenger hunt, geocaching search, capture the flag, or other fun challenges. If you haven’t been, these all make for great excuses to explore the Broadmoor property. 

Party Ideas for Coworkers

Finally, Broadmoor Outfitters has a ton of fun happy hour options and team-building exercises designed for corporate retreats. Whether you are planning a celebration to reward your team for a job well done or hoping to bring your team closer with a corporate team-building challenge, The Broadmoor is a great place to unite coworkers outside the office. For a deeper dive into all of Broadmoor Outfitters’ opportunities for colleagues, be sure to check out our tips for planning a corporate event.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Colorado Springs is an amazing place with almost unlimited ways to enjoy the outdoors and try new activities. Before you stress over a house party or plan a boring night at a restaurant, check out all the amazing outdoor adventures near Colorado Springs that you could include in your birthday celebration. There is no better time than your birthday to invite your friends to learn a new skill with you, and there is no better place either. The Broadmoor is one of the best places to have a birthday party or celebration in Colorado Springs. Plus, thanks to their guided activities, you can let Broadmoor Outfitters handle all the equipment needs and just enjoy your day!

How to Transition to Outdoor Climbing

With rock climbing gyms popping up around the country, indoor climbing has become more popular than ever. Still, there is nothing like the thrill and challenge of climbing real rock faces in nature. If you are used to climbing indoors, you may be wondering how to get started climbing outdoors. 

There are a few important differences between indoor and outdoor climbing to keep in mind before you make the switch. There are more technical skills and gear requirements, but transitioning to outdoor rock climbing is a worthwhile endeavor. If you are excited to test your indoor climbing abilities on an actual rock face, let’s get started discussing how to climb outdoors.

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Differences between Indoor and Outdoor Rock Climbing

Prepare for No Defined Holds

When transitioning from indoor to outdoor rock climbing, there are a few key differences you will note right away. First, because you will be climbing on actual rock faces, there will be no specific holds for you to grab. Instead of gym walls with color-coded holds, you will have to decide for yourself where to put your hands and feet. While some climbs will have obvious solutions, others will have fewer potential hand holds. 

Before starting an outdoor climb, you should prepare your route, mentally envisioning each move, noting potential hard spots, and planning your approach. You can also refer to climbing guide books which might provide additional information on the climb’s crux, or hardest parts, and beta, which are technique suggestions.

Move Carefully on Rough Rocks

Regarding the holds themselves, depending on the type of rock, outdoor climbing tends to be less comfortable than gym climbing. Rocks can cut up your fingers and wear away at calluses, so be prepared with a first aid kit and move a little more cautiously. Especially if the weather is colder, you will likely want fingerless gloves to protect yourself from the elements.

Anticipate Harder Climb Ratings

While all the climbs use the same rating system (aside from bouldering problems), outdoor climbs will feel a lot harder. Many climbing gyms rate a bit generously, and the lack of structure outdoors is at first challenging.

Start off with beginner routes to figure out your outdoor climbing abilities. If you climb an 11a in your gym, maybe start with an 8 or 9 outdoors, and don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t meet your expectations right away.

How to Pack for an Outdoor Rock Climbing Trip

Now that you know what to expect when switching to outdoor climbing, let’s talk about how to prepare. Aside from where to go, which we will cover soon, you will need extra gear (on top of your harness and climbing shoes) and food for an outdoor rock climbing trip.

As safety is key, the first things on your list are a helmet and a first aid kit. These are two items you wouldn’t need in a climbing gym but are essential when climbing outdoors. In addition to your other essential rock climbing gear, you should add a comfortable and reliable half-dome helmet to your basic climbing kit.

Another difference will be clothes and footwear. If you have a long walk to your climbing area, you’ll want to bring hiking boots with you on the trip. When you learn how to set your own climbs, you will especially need good footwear for the scrambles to the tops of climbs. 

You should also check the weather for the day and bring rain gear and cold-weather gear. It takes a while to set up outdoor climbs. Therefore, you may find an indoor hour-long climbing session is more like a half-day outdoors. On this same note, prepare for your outdoor climbing trip with enough water and snacks for the day. There won’t be water fountains on the trail! If you are looking for other helpful tips, check out how to pack for a day hike

How to Set Up Top-Rope Climbing Routes Outdoors

The last key difference between indoor and outdoor rock climbing is that outdoor climbs are not usually ready for you to just start climbing. Unlike rock climbing gyms, which have fixed anchors and ropes already dropped for you, outdoor rock climbers have to prepare the protection themselves. While it can seem overwhelming at first, the skills needed to set your own top rope climbs are very attainable.

For beginners, top rope is the best introduction to the outdoor climbing world. You would need to set anchors, using nearby trees or rocks, to create a reliable place to attach your top rope. For lead climbers, you would need to learn how to use trad gear, like cams and nuts, in order to create the points along the climb where you can clip in. Both of these options require a lot of additional gear, including static and dynamic ropes and loads of carabiners. 

You should try outdoor climbing a few times with experienced friends before worrying about these pieces. But if you are still interested in learning how to set your own climbs, you’ll need to find a friend or professional guide to help you learn the knots and safety rules.

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Where to Get Started Rock Climbing Outdoors

There are multiple ways to find good outdoor rock climbing spots. Guidebooks are an excellent resource for identifying available climbs at different skill levels, and there are so many great rock climbing spots near Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods and Cheyenne Cañon Park are two locations that offer a variety of challenges. Both of these locations also include beginner-friendly climbing routes. Once you have identified somewhere to check out, be sure to get the proper rock climbing permits for Colorado Springs parks

Outdoor rock climbing is an invigorating experience that brings you closer to nature and rewards you with stunning views once you finish the climb. Transitioning from indoor to outdoor climbing requires planning, learning to create anchors, and buying additional climbing gear. Before committing, you can experience outdoor rock climbing with a skilled professional guide. Get started and enjoy some of Colorado Springs’ best climbing spots on a guided rock climbing day trip.

Where to See Wildlife Near Colorado Springs

Heading out on a hike in beautiful Colorado? Our state includes incredible wildlife, many of which live right here in Colorado Springs. With the stunning Rocky Mountains in our backyard, there are so many opportunities to spot interesting and stunning wildlife when you are out enjoying nature. 

If you are an animal lover, an amateur wildlife photographer, or just looking for some unique hiking spots, we’ve got you covered. We will get into the many species that call Colorful Colorado home, how to identify the animals you might encounter, and the very best places to see wildlife near Colorado Springs. 

Before we get into it, it is important to note that you should always give wild animals space, at least 25 yards, unless the park specifies otherwise, and at least 100 yards for predators. If you are wondering about solo hiking safety, learn best practices, including staying on designated paths and telling a friend before you go.

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American Bison

While many people confuse buffalo and bison, they are in fact not the same animal. For those of us in North America, we are most likely seeing bison. Bison have wooly sweaters with shorter hair after their shoulders and small, pointy horns that curve up like the letter ‘J.’ While they were previously near extinction, many conservation efforts, including some here in Colorado, have helped create a healthy recovery to a stable population.

If you are hoping to catch sight of these majestic beasts, there are a few different conservation areas nearby in Denver. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City is a great day trip idea for Colorado Springs residents. It is home to over 330 species, including almost all on this list. The Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve in Golden and Daniels Park near Sedalia are two other local hiking areas that are some of the best places to spot bison in Colorado. 

Black Bears

Colorado has a large black bear population living all over the state, making them some of the most prevalent wildlife near Colorado Springs. It is not advisable to search for black bears, but you should be aware that they are most populous in Rocky Mountain National Park and southern Colorado near the San Luis Valley. Black bears typically live in brush and forested areas, which allows them to forage for their omnivorous diet of berries, nuts, and grasses. As they hibernate between November and May, you are most likely to see a black bear in the summer.

Please take the time to learn about important black bear safety protocols in case you happen to see one. Black bears do not attack humans without reason, so if you see one, you can likely back away slowly and be okay. Just be careful not to get too close, get between them and their cubs, or run away as they will chase you. 

Elk

The Rocky Mountain Elk is a member of the deer family and a popular animal to see when out in nature. It is always a surreal experience to find a big male elk with its recognizable antlers just grazing next to the hiking trail. A hundred years ago, elk were nearly extinct due to the popularity of hunting them. However, they have made a great recovery, and now the state abounds with them. 

Elk mostly eat grass and find it in meadows in the winter and higher on the mountain in the summer. The absolute best place to see this wildlife near Colorado Springs is in Rocky Mountain National Park. They are iconic to the area to the point that Estes Park has an annual Elk Fest the first weekend of October. It’s free, too, so if you are looking to find elk, that’s where to go.

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Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are one of four native species in the U.S. but the only one here in Colorado. The males, also known as rams, have those iconic curly horns used for fighting. The female ewes have thinner and shorter horns that arc backward. 

These intrepid mountain climbers are often present at high elevations in the summer and lower elevation pastures in the colder months. Therefore, depending on the time of year, you may be more likely to find a native bighorn sheep in the canyons or the mountains. If you are looking to spot some of these bovines, you can check out the Bierstadt Trailhead at Guanella Pass near Georgetown, Rocky Mountain National Park up in Estes Park, and the Waterton Canyon Trail at the Denver Audubon Nature Center.

Gray Wolves

Gray wolves are native to Colorado, but sadly there are not many in the wild. The population suffered in the past century, along with other species on this list, as their prey, like elk and bison, had drastic population losses due to hunting. When the wolves had fewer food resources and turned to cattle, they were vilified by farmers and killed off in government-sponsored initiatives.

Today, the population has made a rebound thanks to being on the endangered species list. You may not find them on a hike near Colorado Springs, but you can visit with some wolves very close by at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide.

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Mountain Lions

The mountain lion is one native species that is very hard to find in nature. They tend to be difficult to spot for a number of reasons. These reasons include generally stealthy behavior and natural camouflage coloring. Mountain lions live in densely wooded areas around the foothills and hunt game such as deer and elk.

Mountain lions have many names – cougar, puma, panther, and catamount – but they are all the same species. It is not advisable to seek out a mountain lion, as attacks can happen when they feel threatened. Like other big cats, they are best left with plenty of space. 

Final Thoughts

Before you hit the road for your wildlife search, make sure you are properly prepared by reviewing how to pack for a day hike. Don’t forget to bring binoculars and extra camera batteries or a portable charging pack for your phone. If you are looking for a little extra help finding the best hiking spots near Colorado Springs, consider getting started with a guided hike.

Cycling Events Near Colorado Springs this Fall 2022

If you are looking forward to hopping on your bike this fall, you’re going to want to check out these awesome cycling events near Colorado Springs. Colorado is known for its gorgeous landscape, and the fall is the absolute best time to take advantage and explore the state’s natural beauty. 

Within a couple hours of Colorado Springs, you can find tons of fun and exciting opportunities to ride with other cycling enthusiasts. There are plenty of courses available for beginnings, youngsters, and competitive riders alike. Here are just a few of the best Colorado cycling events you can enjoy this fall in 2022. 

CU Boulder Buffalo Bicycle Classic

When: Sunday, September 11, 2022

Where: Boulder, CO

Register Here

This historical ride is celebrating its 20th year this September, and now is a great time for you to try it out. There are nine different courses for riders of all ages and abilities, ranging from 14 to 100 miles, and all riders are welcome, even those with e-bikers and trailers. The longer routes head west to the foothills of the Rockies and take you to Nederland, then up to Allenspark. If you haven’t been cycling in Boulder, it is a beautiful place!

Aside from how fun the courses look, this cycling event is also the largest scholarship fundraising event in Colorado. Registration and donations support local “scholars” – Colorado residents attending CU Boulder. At less than two hours driving from Colorado Springs, this cycling event is a great opportunity to challenge yourself.

Pikes Peak APEX 

When: Thursday, September 22, 2022

Where: Colorado Springs, CO

Register Here

This epic cycling event is something you do not want to miss. It is a four-day mountain biking challenge with a total of $25,000 in prize money. The course is, on average, about 30 miles and 3,000 feet elevation per day and takes you cycling through all the must-see locations near Colorado Springs. You will get to explore Gold Camp Road, Palmer Park, Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Cañon, Royal Gorge Park (including biking over the Bridge!), and so much more. It is not too challenging on technical biking abilities, though it will certainly challenge your endurance. If you have checked out the Pikes Peak Cog Up Bike Down tour, then you might have some idea of what to expect.

There are also two options for folks looking for something a little less intense. You can sign up to cycle for just one day – either Thursday or Sunday – and complete the route without worrying about the competition. This option is perfect for beginner cyclists looking to get started in more formal events as it follows USA Cycling regulations and will give you a great feel for the spirit of the competition. If you are considering signing up, don’t wait: because of permit and preservation limitations, there are only 370 slots available, so get yours today.

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Denver Century Ride 

When: Saturday, September 24, 2022

Where: Denver, CO

Register Here

This Colorado cycling event is a really unique opportunity. All of the courses are urban and take you through the streets of Denver. Not only is this a really cool way to explore the city, but also it will get you used to street cycling and show you all the ways the bike-safe streets of Denver connect. If you are considering commuting to work or cycling more in urban areas, this is a great way to get started and learn how to stay safe as a biker on the road.

The routes are 25 to 100 miles long and open to riders of all ages on all types of bikes: tandem, e-bikes, trailers, and more. The shorter routes take you through downtown, City Park, and the Denver Botanical Garden for what is surely a quaint, scenic ride. The longer rides will give you a tour through the greater Denver area, all the way down to Chatfield State Park and up to Golden. This supportive cycling event is a fun way to see Denver and get comfortable with cycling on urban roads. 

Gravel Locos 

When: Saturday, October 1, 2022

Where: Pueblo, CO

Register Here

The Gravel Locos cycling events happening on October 1 are epic. There are four race options, the shortest (La Pequeña) being a non-competitive 30-mile course and the longest (La Loca) a ridiculous 170-mile race with a 13,242-ft elevation gain. The three competitive, timed races will give you the chance to compete against some high-profile cyclists and see how you match up. 

Just an hour south of Colorado Springs, this event is a great day trip during a consistently beautiful time of year. You will enjoy a picturesque ride through Pueblo and the front range of the Rockies. One nice plus is that the ride is for a good cause: the event is supporting the Red Creek Volunteer Fire and Rescue to help them expand their firehouse.

The ‘Rad Dirt Fest

When: Saturday, October 8, 2022

Where: Trinidad, CO

Register Here

In a beautiful part of Southern Colorado, just two hours south of Colorado Springs, you can enjoy one of three invigorating cycling events. These races are wonderfully scenic, as you will bike past the Spanish Peaks, mesas, and plateaus and surely see some interesting wildlife. The roads are maintained but gravel and dirt, so it is definitely a different feel than biking on paved city streets.

The course options are The Frijole, at 38 miles, the Anteloop at 99 miles, and the longest Stubborn Delores at a killer 166-mile race with an 11,213-ft elevation gain. The longer two races will take you west from Trinidad toward the Spanish Peaks Wildlife Area and San Isabel National Forest. The races may be tough, but the views will surely make it worth it. 

Final Thoughts

There are so many fantastic cycling events near Colorado Springs, not just in the fall but year-round. If you are thinking about getting into cycling or mountain biking and are not sure where to start, you can check out a guided mountain biking tour. This will allow you to see if you like it, learn some helpful safety tips and techniques, and learn more about Colorado’s cycling community.

E-Bike Classes – What to Know

Did you know that there are different laws that apply to the various classes of electric bikes? Did you know that e-bikes are now grouped into three classes? Depending on what state you live in and what type of e-bike you have, you may have to follow one rule or another in order to avoid a citation. We’ll help you figure out your e-bike’s class and understand what important rules apply to your riding.

What’s Going on with E-Bike Classes?

When e-bikes first became popular, there were no laws governing how they could be used. What speed limit should apply? Can you ride an e-bike in designated bike-only spaces? Some states applied laws to e-bikes as if they were mopeds or other motor vehicles, enacting confusing licensing and equipment regulations that made no sense.


In 2015, California adopted a 3-Class approach to regulating e-bike use, where different laws apply based on the type of e-bike. So far 35 other states have followed suit with this standardized PeopleForBikes model law. The remaining states have laws regulating e-bikes as well, with some considering e-bikes to be motor vehicles and some regulating them as bicycles.

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A Primer on E-Bike Mechanics

Before we get into the specific classes of e-bikes, there are a couple of quick details about e-bikes you need to know. The point of an electric bicycle is that it uses a motor to turn the bike wheels so you don’t have to pedal, either as hard or at all. There are two ways that e-bikes can achieve this: pedal assistance and throttle. 

Pedal assistance means that the bike monitors the level of work you are putting in and responds in kind by providing power to the motor. This allows you to get further and go faster without as much work as a traditional bicycle. However, the motor will not turn on or stay on if you are not pedaling. 

In contrast, a throttle allows the e-bike motor to turn on even if you are not pedaling. Typically located on the handlebar, this device is similar to an electric scooter or a motorcycle. This distinction is important for the different classes of e-bikes, and you will see why below.  

What Are the Three E-Bike Classes?

The three classes of e-bikes are very straightforward, and it will not be hard for you to figure out which type of e-bike you own. You can either review these descriptions or do a quick search in your e-bike’s user manual. 

Class 1

Class 1 e-bikes provide only pedal assistance. This assistance stops once the bike has reached 20 miles per hour (mph). These are most likely to be regulated like traditional bicycles, as they have the lowest capability. Without a throttle, the user must keep pedaling in order to activate the motor and continue getting assistance. Keep in mind, though, as with all classes of e-bikes, it is possible to exceed the 20 mph limit by pedaling or when going down a hill.

Class 2

Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle-operated motor. This makes it possible to ride without pedaling at all. Similar to Class 1 e-bikes, the motor stops providing assistance at 20 mph; however, you can still pedal to achieve higher speeds.

Class 3

Similar to Class 1 e-bikes, Class 3 e-bikes provide pedal assistance. But unlike other classes, they have a pedal assistance limit of 28 mph. Depending on the state, some Class 3 e-bikes also are allowed to have a throttle (usable up to 20 mph), whereas some states ban Class 3 throttles altogether. 

If you are not sure which class your e-bike fits in, you can easily find out with a quick Google search of your e-bike brand and model or by reading over your bike’s user manual. Once you know what type of e-bike you have, you can move on to learning more about the specific rules governing your e-bike usage.

Photo by Himiway Bikes on Unsplash

What Are the Rules for the Three E-bike Classes?

We will go over the model laws provided by PeopleForBikes since this has been widely accepted and applies to two-thirds of states. However, these will only give you an idea of the main regulations since many states have additional laws on top of these. Therefore, regardless of where you live, double-check your state and local laws. Also keep an eye out for additional regulations for, say, biking in your neighborhood parks. 

The major issues that the e-bike regulations cover relate to access (to bike lanes, parks, etc) and usage (wearing helmets, age restrictions, etc). Some states have further restrictions on the classes of e-bikes. For example, California does not allow Class 3 e-bikes to have throttles. Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington do not allow e-bikes to have electric motors above 750 watts, effectively limiting speed. You should learn more about the restrictions in your state before investing in an e-bike of your own.

Class 1

Generally closest to traditional bicycles, Class 1 e-bikes have the fewest restrictions. They typically can be ridden wherever traditional bikes are allowed. This includes bike lanes on roads and bike paths in parks. Most states do not have regulations for Class 1 riders specifically, though people under 16 are required in many states to wear helmets while riding any class of bicycle or electric bike.

Class 2

Class 2 e-bikes are typically regulated the same as Class 1 e-bikes. However, some states have more regulations because of the addition of the throttle. This is a safety issue because the throttle can continue to power the motor without user input, making it more dangerous for riders and passersby alike. Regarding usage on mountain biking trails, for example, Class 2 e-bikes may be banned altogether from singletrack and downhill-only mountain biking trails. 

Class 3

The most highly regulated, Class 3 e-bikes are generally not allowed on bike trails or multi-use trails. This is another safety concern because of the maximum pedal assistance speed of 28 mph, which has been deemed too fast for multi-use trails in many states. Most states do allow Class 3 e-bikes to be used on roads and trails open to motorized public use (for ATVs and other off-road vehicles). 

Photo by Himiway Bikes on Unsplash

State-Specific Restrictions

Some states also restrict Class 3 e-bike riders to people over 16 years old and require all users, regardless of age, to wear helmets on these e-bikes. You should consult your state and local laws to make sure you do not unknowingly break any that apply to your class of e-bike.

You can find your state’s guidelines by searching your state government website for e-bike regulations. Keep in mind that almost every state gives local governments the authority to add restrictions if they want. So don’t forget to check the guidelines for your city or town. Finally, if you are planning an e-biking trip to a park or forest, you should look up the trail guidelines before you go. 

Rules of the Road

No matter what state you live in or what class of e-bike you have, there are certain common courtesies and best practices you should follow. First and foremost, please always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or e-bike of any class. Even if it is not a legal requirement, it is a minimal effort that can save your life in the event of a crash. 

E-bike riders should also keep in mind that speed limits and other driving laws still apply to them. If you are riding on a road, say in a residential area, there is a good chance your e-bike has the ability to exceed the posted speed limit. Despite being on an electric bicycle, it is possible to get a speeding ticket, citation, or fine, so obey the law. 

The Sidewalk Question

Bicyclists should avoid biking on sidewalks, as it is dangerous to pedestrians. Instead, use designated bike lanes where available or share the road with cars where legal. When riding an e-bike on a road, be sure to behave like a car and follow the rules of traffic. Stop at stop signs and red lights, and always give pedestrians in the crosswalk the right of way. This is especially true for e-bikes as they can go faster than traditional bicycles and therefore cause more potential injury in a collision.

Right of way is an important rule to know as an e-bike rider. What’s more, this rule applies to both the road and the trail. On multi-use trails, bicyclists must yield to hikers and people on horseback. As horses and other pack animals can get startled by the noises e-bikes make, it is important to give them space and let them pass you before continuing your ride. Finally, downhill riders should yield to uphill riders (since pedaling uphill is obviously harder).

Final Thoughts

Once you know all the state and local rules for your particular e-bike class, you can enjoy your ride, and rest assured that you will not violate any obscure laws. E-biking is a fun and effective way to commute to work, conquer a longer ride, or summit a steeper trail. If you are considering buying an e-bike and wondering if e-bikes are worth it, there are certainly many advantages to consider. You can also take a test ride on an exciting e-bike tour near Colorado Springs to learn more about the techniques and rules for riding an electric bike.

Tips for Hiking in Rain

Are you headed out for a hike and worried about the weather? It’s important to always be prepared for any conditions, so we’ve got some tips for hiking in rain. First, make sure you know how to pack for a day hike in general, and then we’ll discuss specific gear for hiking in rain and other considerations for staying safe and dry.

Image by Drew Tadd from Pixabay 

Do Your Research

First things first, always check weather reports before you head out. There is a difference between a drizzle and a thunderstorm, both in terms of comfort and safety. If there are severe weather warnings or if your hike includes a potential flashflood area like a canyon, consider postponing your trip. Either way, be sure to tell a friend about your planned whereabouts in case the weather becomes hazardous. Lastly, pack the ten essentials to be prepared for every situation.

Pack a Hot Drink

When packing for a day hike, you should always bring plenty of water and snacks. When packing for a rainy day hike, you may want to add a nice warm beverage to the mix. You can prepare a thermos ahead of time and leave it in the car for when you finish the hike. If you are backpacking for a couple of days, drink mixes like hot cocoa can be a real treat to warm you up. 

Wear the Right Rain Gear

As is best practice for every hiking trip, you should wear moisture-wicking inner layers. Dry-fit shirts and wool socks will keep you dry even when you sweat or get caught in the rain. These proper layers insulate body heat, help prevent blisters, and can be the difference between a safe rainy hike and a dangerous wet one. 

Rain Jacket

For outer layers, a waterproof rain jacket is a must. Something light that fits in a day pack is a smart choice to avoid bulk in good weather. The most important thing to note is the distinction between water-resistant and waterproof materials. A water-resistant jacket might stay dry if you spill your drink or walk through a sprinkler. However, it is not suitable for hiking in the rain. After a while, the material gets bogged down with water and can become extremely uncomfortable. To avoid being cold, wet, and miserable, a certified waterproof raincoat is an absolute necessity.

Rain Pants and Proper Footwear

Waterproof pants and hiking shoes are the two other essential pieces to stay dry on a rainy day. Waterproof boots are my go-to even on clear days. If I happen to step in a puddle or hop a small stream, my feet stay dry. The one downside with waterproof shoes is that they are not breathable. If rain does get in, it will be extremely hard to get them dry, and you will find yourself walking in puddles the rest of the day. The main concern with wet feet is blisters. When skin gets wet, it is more susceptible to breaking and forming blisters. This is why waterproof pants and shoes (that don’t have a gap at the ankle) are the best way to keep dry.

Two other helpful pieces of gear are a towel and an extra pair of socks. You may choose to leave these in the car to dry off when you return. Having a towel for wet hair and drying off wet skin is really helpful, and there is nothing as comforting as putting on warm, dry socks after a wet hike.

Photo by Andy Køgl on Unsplash

Waterproof Your Gear

Next, unless your day pack is truly waterproof, you will want to make sure the stuff inside is well protected. Your phone, cash, food, and other personal items can be kept dry by putting them in dry bags or plastic baggies. A waterproof phone case will help make sure you always have access to navigation tools and emergency services.

If you are backpacking for a couple of days, rather than just on a day hike, you will especially want to ensure your sleeping bag, clothes, and toilet paper do not get wet. One great way to keep all your gear dry at once is with garbage bags. Rather than put each item individually in small plastic bags, you can line your entire pack with a garbage bag and then pack everything like normal. As long as you secure the bag shut and get the water off before you open it, you should be able to keep your important belongings free from the rain. 

Know Safety Protocols

There are a few important rules to keep in mind for hiking in dangerous weather conditions. First, assume everything will be slippery. Rocks, wooden steps, mossy tree roots: everything is easy to slip on when wet. Be sure to keep your eyes on the trail and tread carefully.

If you find yourself caught in a thunderstorm, seek shelter, head to lower elevation, avoid the tallest trees, and avoid open meadows. If you are with a group, you should spread out to reduce the number of injuries in the event that there is a lightening strike.

Finally, if you were planning on crossing a stream on your hike, remember that it will be larger in the rain. You should always have an established path with branches or rocks to hold onto for safety. Added water means added current, so be extra careful not to get your feet swept out from under you. Check the National Park Serivce advice for river crossings for more information.

Dry Out After a Wet Hike

If you head home after your day of hiking in the rain, you can throw your clothes right in the wash. If you’re out for a couple of days, hang everything to dry. Put your hiking shoes in the sun or near a fire (not too close!). It is easy for mold to develop in gear that does not dry properly, so dry out your boots to extend their life. 

Photo by Yann Allegre on Unsplash

Consider a Guided Hike

One great way to avoid the hassle and confusion of preparing for hiking in the rain is to book a guided hike. You can learn so much from professional hiking guides on how to prepare and navigate a rainy hike, and you’ll also benefit from someone bringing along those essential first aid supplies.

If you are feeling dispirited that the rain ruined your hiking trip, know that it is very possible to have a great time in any weather. With a little preparation and the right gear for hiking in rain, you can ensure a comfortable experience with Mother Nature’s wetter side. Be sure to check out the Colorado Springs trail guide to find your next great adventure, and enjoy your time outdoors! 

Tips for Planning a Corporate Event

Tips for Planning a Corporate Event with Broadmoor Outfitters

Corporate events are great opportunities for staff to bond and get to know one another better. If your team is struggling with poor communication or lackluster morale, planning a corporate event where colleagues can spend quality time together outside the office is a great solution to help your team feel more connected.

The Benefits of Outdoor Adventure Events

Outdoor adventures are among the best corporate events. They give employees time in nature and the fresh air to recover from the stress of work. It has been proven that spending time outdoors relaxes us and promotes positive mental health. If you know your team has been struggling with working overtime, a project gone wrong, or office conflict, an afternoon outside could be just the ticket to getting a fresh start. The benefits of holding a corporate event for your team are near endless; Let’s get started on your Broadmoor event by reviewing some corporate event ideas.

The Best Times for a Corporate Event

It is not always easy to know the best time for planning a corporate event. For some outdoor events, you might want to schedule an early spring activity, so your team can enjoy and celebrate the coming of warmer weather. If you have a big project going on, planning a corporate event or happy hour to celebrate its conclusion is a great way to show your staff you appreciate their hard work. If your team is undergoing stressful changes like a merger or new office procedures, a half-day guided event can make a huge difference in morale.

Photo by Alex Guillaume on Unsplash

Top Corporate Event Ideas

If you are planning a corporate event and need a novel alternative to boring trust falls, outdoor adventures in beautiful Colorado Springs provide infinitely more excitement and engagement. There are so many options to choose from, like zip lining, falconry, firewalks, and scavenger hunts. These activities challenge colleagues to work in new ways and create fun memories that your staff will remember for years. Let’s go through the different corporate event ideas and explain the benefits you can expect for your team.

Happy Hour Events

To start with some more relaxed corporate event ideas, these cocktail hours are perfect options for staff to hang out and chat. It’s just like inviting your team to grab drinks at a bar, but with a thrilling twist. These happy hours will surely give your employees something to talk about for weeks and build your company’s reputation for having fun social events for staff.

– Falconry

Ready to meet the stunning birds of prey cared for by The Falconry and Raptor Education Foundation? This is a cocktail hour your staff will never forget. A professional falconer introduces you to hawks, falcons, and owls at the Broadmoor’s flying field. You’ll learn about these amazing creatures and maybe even have one perch on your arm!

– Tomahawk Toss

Challenge your colleague to see who has the best aim! This fun happy hour event lets staff throw a traditional tomahawk and practice hitting the target. Your team will enjoy seeing each other in this new light and finding out who has a hidden talent!

– Archery

This archery cocktail event is a great way to get staff out of the office and trying a new skill. Instructors teach archery basics, and the portable equipment can be brought to almost any location. If you are planning a corporate event in a specific venue, this is one of the most convenient ways to spice up a happy hour.

– Outdoor Movie

With this inflatable 26-foot outdoor movie screen, you can throw a corporate event like no other. This can serve as a unique way to give a presentation or a larger-than-life alternative to a standard staff movie night.

Photo by Andre Klimke on Unsplash

Guided Adventures

Adventure-based corporate events are an amazing way to expand your team’s understanding of one another, not just as colleagues but as people and friends. Joining together on a challenging and sometimes scary (but always safe) guided adventure will build trust, cooperation, and mutual respect among team members. Sharing these unique experiences translates to better camaraderie and communication in the office. In turn, these skills can then boost productivity and get those difficult projects finished.

– Zip Lines

Zip lining is a thrilling activity in stark opposition to the confines of a desk. Between the Woods and Fins Courses, your staff can experience eight zip lines up to 1,800 feet long and heights up to 500 feet. These awesome courses, which are among the best Colorado Springs attractions, include rope bridges, hikes, and rappels. This is a unique corporate event idea with tons of adrenaline and laughs to bring your team closer together.

– Team Firewalk

The difficulties of office life will pale in comparison to the test of the firewalk! If your team needs a morale boost, overcoming a firewalk will certainly do the trick. If you are planning a corporate event and looking for something edgy and memorable, a guided firewalk with an expert trainer will leave your staff feeling empowered and connected like never before.

– Hiking

This may be one of the more standard corporate event ideas on this list. However, a guided hiking tour is still an awesome experience in Colorado Springs. Choose between a relaxed nature walk or a challenging hike to the top of Seven Falls. Either way, your team will enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, and stunning local flora and fauna.

– Mountain Biking

This half-day corporate event is perfect for teams with a need for speed. There’s no better way to shake off work stress than to hit the trail, dodging obstacles and pushing yourself to the limit. The Gold Camp and Garden of the Gods trails are some of the most picturesque rides in Colorado Springs. Your team will surely finish the day feeling mentally refreshed.

– Caving

If you are looking to unite and empower your team by overcoming struggle, a four-hour trip down into the caverns under Pikes Peak is a stellar way to do it. This guided tour abandons the beaten path in lieu of private, undeveloped sections of the cave. Your team will surely bond over this unforgettable foray into the dark and spooky depths.

– Rock Climbing

One of our favorite corporate event ideas, rock climbing, is a great way to bring people together. In this half-day adventure at one of Colorado Springs’ best climbing spots, colleagues watch each other learn new skills and overcome obstacles. The sense of camaraderie builds as teammates support one another with advice and encouragement. 

Team-Building Competitions 

Nothing brings people together like a little friendly competition. If your team needs some cohesion and communication, these activities will encourage coworkers to face and overcome these problem areas as a group.

Building challenges invite staff to work together to design and build. The first event features building bridges to withstand the Atomic Pulverizer (Battle of the Bridges). The second allows teams to build small houses that other teams later try to destroy (Domestic Demolition). Out of the Park requires team problem solving, as groups must decipher clues and collect the materials needed to build a water-powered rocket that can reach up to 200 feet in the air! Similarly, Firequest stresses the importance of collaboration, as teams must find all the materials necessary to build a small fire. These challenges force teams to work on communication skills, negotiation, compromise, and trust in one another.

Your staff could also compete against each other in a two-hour paintball challenge or a scavenger hunt. These events span the Broadmoor property and promote healthy competition via a live leaderboard. A more in-depth competition called The Amazing Race combines brain teasers, physical games, and problem-solving. Here, teams work together to acquire clues and race to find checkpoints around the city. A woodsier version, the Cheyenne Canyon Quest, requires teams to navigate a woods course that traverses the gorgeous Cheyenne Canyon using orienteering, communication, and leadership skills. 

These unique challenges create friends and enemies of coworkers, all in the name of good fun. While staff may think it’s just a random competition, your team will actually be learning important skills, taking turns leading and listening, compromising and collaborating. If they don’t, they’ll fail the challenge and face defeat by another team. 

Why Outdoors?

Similar activities could easily be set up indoors, so why work on getting your team outdoors? Well, in short, practicing team-building skills in beautiful Colorado Springs is a much more rejuvenating and memorable activity! Why put your team in a plain hotel conference room when you could utilize the beautiful backdrop of nature that’s all around us? At the end of the day, your staff will go back to work with new skills and fun memories to recall over the water cooler.

Planning a Corporate Event Activity for Your Staff

The key to choosing the best corporate event is to understand your team’s passions and abilities. You can do a poll to gauge staff interest in building challenges, athletic adventures, or happy hour entertainment. Then, consider the team’s areas for improvement to ensure the corporate event activity is also a fun way to develop and cultivate important team-building skills. For example, if your staff tends to work individually, a building challenge will force all hands on deck. Or, if you have new members on board, an engaging cocktail hour can help them make new office friends.

These corporate event ideas are all unique opportunities to help teams cooperate and bond through shared experiences. Each one is designed to be a rewarding experience in itself and also to facilitate team building, communication, and mutual respect. Whether you choose a relaxing, guided nature hike or a full-blown battle, your staff will surely benefit from the time outdoors and come away feeling refreshed and closer together.

Zip Lining Colorado Springs – How to Do It

How to Get Started Zip Lining Colorado Springs

Beginning as a way to transport goods and materials across rough terrain and rivers, ziplines quickly became a safer alternative for the workers, too. Nowadays, the sport has become more and more popular, with zip lines popping up in tourist areas all over the world. Zip lining is a great summer activity, a way to see awesome views of the surrounding area, and a thrilling ride for those looking for a rush of adrenaline.

What Is Zip Lining?

In zip lining, riders sit in a harness and hang under a long cable that starts higher on a slope and ends somewhere in the distance. You are connected to the cable via a pulley, whose wheels coast seamlessly along the cable, allowing you to fly through the air at awesome speeds, upwards of 40 miles per hour. 

Ziplines are often set up in forests or jungles, high in the trees. You may also find a zipline across a river or canyon or going down a mountain. In addition to a harness, zipliners must wear helmets. It is also suggested to wear pants and gloves to protect yourself from scratches by rogue branches. 

Image by AaronHM from Pixabay 

Why You Should Try Zip Lining

If you’re not already thrilled at the opportunity to fly through the air, there are plenty of other reasons to try ziplining. First, it’s a great way to experience nature. Ziplines often start at great heights – Broadmoor’s highest point is more than 500 feet in the air. You’ll get amazing views of the Front Range as you soar over the trees on this upside-down roller coaster. 


Next, zip lines immerse you in nature. These courses, which are among the best Colorado Springs attractions, include rope bridges, hikes, and rappels. While you’re on the zip line, you’ll get views of the forest canopy like you’ve never seen before. Colorado Springs has some amazing wildlife and scenery, and these zipline courses are unique and thrilling ways to experience that nature.

Is Zip Lining Safe?

All outdoor and adventure activities come with some risks, but zip lines in the United States are certified by an agency that notes a one-in-a-billion chance of one breaking. When properly constructed and run by trained professionals, ziplines are one of the safest ways for adrenaline seekers to get that rush.


The Broadmoor’s ziplines also have a minimum weight requirement of ninety pounds to make sure that riders can properly wear their safety equipment. All this is to say that a zipline course is an awesome family-friendly activity, and you can rest assured that ziplines are safe for kids.

Image by sebastian del val from Pixabay 

Zipline Courses in Colorado Springs

Now that you’re convinced to try it, let’s discuss the best zip line courses Colorado Springs has to offer. Between the Woods and Fins Courses, the Broadmoor property has eight zip lines of up to 1,800 feet in length and heights up to 500 feet.

The Woods Course

The first and more beginner-friendly course offered at Broadmoor for zip lining Colorado Springs, the Woods Course, travels over Midnight Falls and includes 5 zip lines ranging from 250 to 1500 feet long. The tallest starts 150 ft high in the air, and you’ll reach speeds upwards of 45 miles per hour. 

This thrilling course starts with two shorter zip lines to allow riders to get used to the experience. After a short walk, the third zip line takes you over a beautiful granite canyon and creek 150 feet down below. The fourth zip line leads riders to the top of Seven Falls, and the final 1,500-foot ride brings you back to the hiking trail. 

The Fins Course

If you want something a little more blood-pumping, the Fins Course is the way to go. This extreme ziplining adventure takes you to high altitudes, steep drops, and an experience in the Front Range like you’ve never had before. 

This half-day adventure has 5 zip lines of 250 to 1800 feet long and heights up to 500 feet. The course also involves two rope bridges, and a 180-foot assisted rappel. This awesome journey is definitely not for those who fear heights!

The course has two introductory zip lines, just like the Woods Course, before the third zipline takes you to Seven Falls Canyon and its rock fins. You’ll walk across two rope bridges and enjoy views of Colorado Springs before the fourth zipline takes you over the canyon to the south side of Mt. Cutler. Being 500 feet above the canyon road provides stunning view and an experience you’ll never forget. Finally, the last zip line leads back to the canyon, where you will rappel 180 feet down to the canyon floor.

The Combo Course

If you can’t choose between these awesome options, you’ll be relieved to know that you don’t have to! The Broadmoor’s combo course allows you to experience both the best zip lines in Colorado Springs. 

This four-hour day starts with the Woods Course, including the introductory zip lines and the awesome Midnight and Seven Falls rides, then all of the Fins Course, from the rope bridges to the thrilling ziplines to the assisted rappel. All in all, this exciting course has 8 zip lines and a 25-minute hike between the two courses. This great half-day adventure introduces you to the world of ziplining and provides other unique experiences in nature.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

When Is the Best Time to Go Ziplining In Colorado Springs?

If you are wondering when you can go zip lining here in Colorado Springs, Broadmoor’s courses are open year-round. While it is fun to go zip lining anytime, there are definitely better months and some weather tips to keep in mind. Summer is the best time for zip lining Colorado Springs. With the sunny, hot weather, the relief of wind and fast speeds will feel great. Spring and fall are also beautiful times to enjoy the weather from a zip line, and don’t forget about the gorgeous foliage you’ll see.

If you choose to go zip lining in the winter or colder weather, be aware of the temperature drops. On top of the mountains, it will be colder and windier. And with the ziplines propelling you to speeds greater than 40 miles per hour, you will want warm clothes and wind protection. Gloves and face protection are necessary for certain conditions to prevent frostbite. The only other risk is storms or lightning, which might result in closed courses until the bad weather passes.

Final Thoughts

Zip lining is an invigorating way to experience nature and see the stunning vistas of Colorado’s Front Range. This family-friendly activity is accessible from downtown, where you’ll have access to some of the best ziplines in Colorado. Simply make a reservation, dress well, and you’ll be all set. At Broadmoor, we include all the gear and instruction from trained guides. So all you need to do is show up and you’re sure to have a memorable time zip lining Colorado Springs – Enjoy!

Colorado Springs Trail Guide – Best Hiking Trails in Colorado Springs

The city and area surrounding Colorado Springs have gorgeous scenery and ample ways to enjoy the great outdoors, perhaps one of the best parts of Colorful Colorado. Whether you are looking for a quick walk or a long, tiring trek, there are plenty of hiking trails in Colorado Springs at every difficulty level. And for those just getting started, be sure to check out our guided hiking tours.

If you are looking for the absolute best trails in Colorado Springs, we have an in-depth review of our top 5 favorite hikes near Colorado Springs. You’ll also see them on this list along with many other excellent options for hikers of all abilities. This list is organized roughly by difficulty level, as determined based on reviews from fellow hikers, length, and elevation gain. So if you are wondering where to hike in Colorado Springs, look no further. 

Easy Hikes

Memorial Park Prospect Lake Loop Trail

Parking: 280 S Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910 (Tons of parking available in the park along Memorial Dr)

Elevation Gain: 26 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 1.3 miles

Highlights:

  • Paved loop, very accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, etc.
  • Great views of mountains and scenic lake
  • Beach area and playground

Palmer Park Cheyenne and Grandview Trail Loop

Parking: Palmer Park Trail Cave Outlook, 3120 N Chelton Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Elevation Gain: 183 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 1.8 miles

Highlights:

  • So much to see here including a botanical reserve, horse stables, canyons, ravines, bluffs, and more
  • Tons of wildlife: Palmer Park is popular among birdwatchers

Stratton Open Space The Chutes, Laveta, and Chamberlain Trail Loop

Parking: North Cheyenne Cañon Park & Stratton Open Space Trailhead, N Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 (on the right, just past the Starsmore Visitors Center)

Elevation Gain: 705 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 3.8 miles miles

Highlights:

  • Most popular hiking trail in Stratton Open Space
  • Excellent wildflowers and wildlife
  • Beautiful views of the Gold Camp Reservoirs

Garden of the Gods The Palmer, Buckskin-Charley, Niobrara, and Bretag Trail Loop

Parking: 3105 Gateway Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Elevation Gain: 449 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 4.0 miles

Highlights:

  • Gorgeous views of the National Natural Landmark that is Garden of the Gods
  • Combines four popular trails around the park
  • Access to horseback riding, rock climbing, and biking trails
  • A Top 5 Pick! Learn More.

Ute Valley Park Ute Valley Park Trail

Parking: Ute Valley Trail Head, Ute Vly Trl, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Elevation Gain: 488 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 4.3 miles

Highlights: 

  • Excellent views of Pikes Peak
  • Plenty of side trails to explore
Photo by Bailey Galindo on Unsplash

Moderate Hikes

North Cheyenne Cañon Park Mount Buckhorn Peak

Parking: Upper Gold Camp parking lot, 4415 Gold Camp Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Elevation Gain: 859 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 3.9 miles

Highlights:

  • Beautiful views along the way 
  • Boulders to climb at the summit (the tallest offers panoramic views)
  • A Top 5 Pick! Learn More.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park Seven Bridges Trail

Parking: Seven Bridges Trailhead, N Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 (right before Helen Hunt Falls)

Elevation Gain: 912 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 3.5 miles

Highlights:

  • Very popular trail due to its history and uniqueness
  • Meanders alongside a creek and crosses over via seven charming bridges
  • Close to Helen Hunt Falls and Silver Cascade Falls

Pike National Forest The Crags Trail

Parking: Crags/Devil’s Playground Trailhead, 615 Teller Co Rd 62, Divide, CO 80814

Elevation Gain: 820 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 4.8 miles

Highlights:

  • Awesome views of unique geological features
  • Well marked trail
  • Challenging, but a good introduction for beginner hikers
  • A Top 5 Pick! Learn More.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park Mount Muscoco Trail

Parking: Mount Cutler and Muscoco Trailhead, N Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 (on the left, 1.5 miles past Starsmore Visitors Center)

Elevation Gain: 1,292 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 4.0 miles

Highlights:

  • Includes a fun scramble at the summit
  • Outstanding views of the surrounding mountains
  • Well marked and well maintained
  • A Top 5 Pick! Learn More.

North Slope Recreation Area North Catamount Reservoir Trail

Parking: Pikes Peak Toll Rd, Woodland Park, CO 80863 (just past the Crystal Reservoir Visitors Center)

Elevation Gain: 262 feet 

Round Trip Mileage: 2.7 miles

Highlights:

  • Short but steep (15% grade around the 1.5-mile marker), so you’ll get a good workout
  • Beautiful views of meadows and wildflowers along the way
Photo by Jonathan Chaves on Unsplash

Hard Hikes

Red Rock Canyon Open Space Sand Canyon, Mesa, Greenlee, Red Rock Canyon Loop

Parking: 3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Elevation Gain: 882 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 5.4 miles

Highlights:

  • Varied terrain and interesting geology
  • Lots of sun as shade is limited
  • Good views without too difficult an elevation gain

Pike National Forest The Incline Trail

Parking: Barr Trailhead, 98 Hydro St, Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Elevation Gain: 1,978 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 4.0 miles

Highlights:

  • The most popular trail in the Pike National Forest
  • All the elevation is in the first mile – at the hardest point, it’s an extremely challenging 61% grade!

North Slope Recreation Area Limber Pine, Mule Deer, Mackinaw, and Ridge Trails Loop

Parking: Catamount Recreation Area, 3168 Co Rd 28, Woodland Park, CO 80863

Elevation Gain: 1,036 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 8.4 miles

Highlights:

  • Challenging trek around the North Catamount Reservoir with a bunch of elevation changes
  • At times follows the water, and at other times, you’ll be in the forest

North Cheyenne Cañon Park Columbine Trail

Parking: Starsmore Discovery Center, 2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Elevation Gain: 1,607 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 7.6 miles

Highlights:

  • Great views of the surrounding mountains
  • Plenty of wildlife (don’t forget to check out the Starsmore Discovery Center at the trailhead
  • Gradually inclining slope, no huge scrambles
  • A Top 5 Pick! Learn More.

Pike National Forest The DeCaLiBron: Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross Trail

Parking: Kite Lake Trailhead, Co Rd 8, Alma, CO 80420

Elevation Gain: 3,136 feet

Round Trip Mileage: 7.0 miles

Highlights:

  • Ability to summit three 14-ers, the highest being Mount Lincoln at 14,295’ (Note that Mount Bross is private property and illegal to summit)
  • Real right of passage for serious Colorado hikers

Final Thoughts

Before you hit one of these awesome hiking trails in Colorado Springs, be sure that you are well prepared for your trip. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and other essentials that we cover in how to pack for a day hike. Happy trails!