Best Lodging in Colorado Springs for Hikers

There are many great reasons to stay in Colorado Springs, but the main draw for tourists is outdoor recreation. If you’re coming into town to hike, bike, climb, or do any of the other many exciting outdoor activities in our area, you also need a place to stay. 

Websites and services like Airbnb or even Glamping Hub have made it easier to customize your experience to fit your needs. There are pros and cons to all types of lodging in Colorado Springs. So, first, identifying your personal travel needs and budget can help you narrow down the options. 

Since Colorado Springs has grown to be such a popular travel destination, you have a variety of options to choose from, including, hotels, lodges, vacation rentals, campgrounds, van rentals, cabins, and resorts. 

To help you get the best of all of the options, we’ve put together a list of our top choice for hotels, lodges, and resorts. That way, you’ll have only the top recommendations in each category to contend with, helping you get one step closer to the best experience Colorado Springs has to offer. 

Our Favorite Hotel for Hikers: Best Western Plus Peak Vista Inn & Suites

Booking a lodge or staying at a resort isn’t for everyone. That’s why we’ve included one of Trip Advisor’s Traveler recommendations as our top hotel choice for hikers. 

The Best Western is in the prime location for families and other travelers to check out local attractions like Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs. You’re also in a prime location to enjoy many of the local restaurants and shops. You’ll have easy access to main roads, hiking, tours, and more.

This hotel is pet-friendly and has lots of green space for walking your pet around when you’re at the hotel. So, consider this an optimal stop-over point for those of you who always travel with your dog. 

Like most standard hotels, you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, wi-fi, guest laundry, a pool, and a fitness center. We will say, if you’re looking for a clean and affordable place that has friendly staff and a good location, this hotel is a top contender. You’ll also be relatively close to the Broadmoor Outfitters meeting location if you stay here. 

Do not expect additional perks or services when staying in a hotel, though. Consider our recommendations below if you’re looking for a more “all-inclusive” stay in Colorado Springs. 

Top Rated Lodge in Colorado Springs: The Lodge at Flying Horse

As a 2020 TripAdvisor Traveler’s choice lodge, we felt the need to include the Lodge at Flying Horse on our list. Adventure couples especially enjoy this facility with the two private 18-hole golf courses, access to swimming pools, an athletic club and spa, and attractions within driving distance. 

As far as a lodge experience goes, this one is excellent. We will say that the drive is about 25 minutes to Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak Railway from here. So, you’ll want to make sure you have a vehicle or book a tour.

The lodge itself is picturesque, and many guests enjoy rooms with a patio and mountain views. There is on-site dining, so after a day hiking or biking on nearby trails, you can head back to the lodge to freshen up, enjoy dinner, and relax. 

The Broadmoor Resort

The Best Resort for Outdoor Families: The Broadmoor

Although our first two options offer amazing experiences, if you are looking for a gorgeous resort, wilderness experience, and you want to discover adventure, look no further than The Broadmoor. As far as places to stay in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor offers longstanding impeccable accommodations, services, and distinct amenities. 

You’ll rediscover the spirit of adventure with the unique opportunities and proximity to mountains, streams, and canyons. What’s even better is that The Broadmoor is home to countless outdoor adventure tours. 

Experience Colorado Springs like never before with once-in-a-lifetime zipline tours, guided hikes, and family-friendly adventures. When you get back to the resort, relax at the spa and enjoy the personalized luxury only The Broadmoor can provide. 

If you book any adventures with Broadmoor Outfitters, our trips leave from basecamp as a Broadmoor guest, making the adventure even more convenient. Non-hotel guests meet at the activity booth located across from Golden Bee restaurant on 6 Lake Ave. 

Rock Climbing Safety for Outdoor Climbing

No matter your skill level or knowledge base, rock climbing is an inherently dangerous sport. Yes, risk can be minimized but never eliminated. 

That’s why establishing a base of knowledge and know-how when it comes to outdoor climbing is imperative to help you have the safest outdoor climbing experience possible. 

It is better to be more prepared and well equipped to handle any situation when it comes to outdoor climbing. If you’re new to climbing, the safest way to get outside is to hire a guide or take an instructional course to teach you the ropes.

Photo by Jon Hieb on Unsplash

Dangers of outdoor rock climbing 

What’s more is that most rock climbing accidents and deaths are due to human error of some kind, not a gear failure. That means that most of the dangers involved in outdoor climbing are under our control, and we can do our due diligence to prevent them. 

Things like 

  • knowing how to use your safety gear properly, 
  • learning how to land safely when bouldering,
  • doing your safety checks,
  • being aware of climbing and weather conditions, and
  • climbing within your skill level is somewhat within your control as a climber. 

There are always natural risks, such as falling rocks, sudden weather changes (common in the mountains), or gear failure that can cause severe injury or even death. 

But rock climbers are far more likely to experience a minor injury versus a serious injury in their climbing career. These will be things like scraped knees or elbows from the rock wall or maybe a sprained ankle from landing on the edge of a crash pad. 

Most of these minor injuries tend to be reported by sport climbers, trad climbers, or boulderers. So, if you are venturing into outdoor climbing in pursuit of top-roping, your risk has already decreased because you won’t be lead climbing or bouldering.

Minimize risk when climbing outdoors with these safety tips

Severe injuries and minor injuries can be minimized with the proper knowledge and attention. Here are our top tips to improve your level of outdoor climbing safety. 

1. Climb within your ability level

It is great to get outside and push grades, but this should be done in a controlled manner. It is one thing to go out to the crag and push grades with a group of experienced climbers, and it is something else to jump from lead climbing in a gym to trad climbing a multi-pitch. 

We aren’t saying that you should never challenge yourself when climbing outdoors, but be aware of your physical boundaries and technical knowledge. 

In some cases, you may be strong enough to climb something, but you may lack the technical knowledge (i.e., how to build a trad anchor or clean a sport anchor) to do it safely. To overcome these barriers, enroll in an instructional class on anchor building, climbing technique, or climb with more experienced people. 

You can also hire a personal trainer to help you build up your climbing endurance if you’re preparing for a big climb and want to be physically prepared. 

2. Have the proper safety equipment (and know how to use it!)

You need to know the gear necessary to complete a climb safely when you head outside. This knowledge can be found on online resources like Mountain Project or guidebooks for the area you plan to climb. These resources also provide you with approach information, and if you use online platforms, they may also provide weather updates.

Knowing what you need before you go can save you a lot of time, trouble, and potentially an accident. Just having the safety gear will only get you so far, though. You need to know how to use it too!

If you’ve climbed in a gym before, you likely already know how to wear your harness and tie a few knots. But do you know how to clip draws when sport climbing to avoid back clipping or z-clipping?

Can you build a toprope anchor using your own gear?

Do you know how to place solid gear?

You need to ask yourself these types of questions when you are investing in gear and when you are heading outside to climb. There are several resources to learn how to do these things, such as articles online, videos, books, courses, and friends. 

Simply taking the time to practice these skills under the supervision of someone who already knows the ins and outs of climbing safety will help you feel more confident when climbing outdoors, and it will be much safer when you go on your own. 

Other safety gear to always use outdoors: helmets.

Helmets should ALWAYS be worn by both the climber and belayer.

3. Understand belay systems and knots

A big part of knowing how to use your safety gear is knowing how to belay correctly and tie your knots. On top of that, always do safety checks for your climber and belayer. Even if you are experienced as a climber, a safety check can save your life. We are all human, and humans make mistakes. Double-checking helps us catch those mistakes before it is too late.

Lead belaying and toprope belaying differ, so know how to do both if you plan to climb in both styles. 

There are a few ways to tie into your harness as the climber. The most common way is to use the figure-eight follow-through knot. Know how to tie this knot with proficiency and perform checks on your partner. 

Other knots should be learned and practiced for anchor building, self-rescue, and other climbing skills. 

Knowing how to tie knots is essential. Take the time to learn about anchor systems and how to clean anchors. While sport climbing tends to be less technical than trad climbing, plenty of accidents occur when cleaning anchors due to a lack of knowledge and know-how. 

4. Have experience or climb with someone who does 

If you read the above tips and were thoroughly confused, then the best tip to apply is this one: climb with someone more experienced so they can teach you best practices for outdoor climbing safety. 

You don’t necessarily need to book a guided trip with a professional or enroll in an instructional course if you have a knowledgeable friend. Still, the benefit of booking with a certified climbing guide is that they’re professionally trained. 

They’ve not only done these things themselves, but they’ve gone through classes to learn best practices and how to teach rock climbing safety to people of all skill levels.

In the end, while some risk in rock climbing is left up to nature, a lot of it is up to you. With the proper education, practice, and safety equipment, you can minimize some risks.

Not sure if you’re ready to climb outside on your own yet? Hire a guide!

Pikes Peak Railway: Cog Up, Bike Down

If you’re visiting Colorado Springs, chances are you’ve heard of Pikes Peak. It is famous for its hiking trails and downhill mountain biking, but did you know there was a railway that went to the top?

While riding to the top and back down may not seem like much of a thrill, what if we told you that Broadmoor Outfitters added a twist with their newest tour? Now, you can Cog up to the top of the famous Pikes Peak and mountain bike back down. 

Yep! You skip the grueling uphill pedal and simply can take in the views as you Cog Up Pikes Peak, but you get the adrenaline rush of biking down the mountain. 

The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway

In Colorado Springs, CO, the Cog Railway has recently reopened after being closed for reconstruction the last three years. The rebuild of the Cog Railway features all-new trains, a new track, a new depot, and a new visitor center. 

This particular railway was built back in June of 1891 as the highest rack railway in the world at the time. Now, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway remains the world’s highest and longest cog railroad, and it is the highest railroad in the entire Northern Hemisphere. 

There are only two cog railways in the United States, and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of the most unique railway experiences you can have in the world. 

Cog Up and Bike Down Pikes Peak

Not only is riding the railway up an exhilarating and unique experience but biking down the mountain will be one for your bucket list. While it may be tempting to try and book a ride up the mountain with your bike, the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway does not allow bicycles on board due to a limited amount of space. 

The only way to combine the railway experience with downhill mountain biking is to book with Broadmoor Outfitters. 

You will enjoy the 5.5-hour ride to the top of Pikes Peak. Then you will have a chance to check out the newly constructed Summit House at the top. We give you plenty of time to enjoy the view before the next stage of your adventure starts. 

Biking down the mountain takes you on a 19.5 miles journey. While that is a daunting distance at an exhilarating incline, we provide safety gear and safety information to help minimize risk on the descent. We provide full-face helmets, biking gloves, high visibility vests, and GT 29” cruisers. 

The bike down Pikes Peak is a supported ride. You will have a guide to lead you down the mountain and a van that is available to take any rider back down in case they choose to leave the ride early. 

The Pikes Peak Railway Cog Up, Bike Down tour is one of our most challenging tours and does require a fair level of fitness. Most biking abilities will be able to do the ride. However, we do require some biking experience to ensure you can navigate the terrain and control your bike. 

Please consult a physician before booking your Cog Up, Bike Down tour with Broadmoor Outfitters and ask them about your fitness for a high-altitude biking adventure.

Join our Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Tour – Top Overall Experiences in the World

Colorado is a wonderland of unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and doing the Fins Course Scenic Zipline Tour is one of them you need to add to your bucket list. 

While we construct all of our tours as top-of-the-line, first-class activities, the people have spoken for us! 

Our Fins Course Scenic Zipline Tour was recently voted to be one of the top 10 overall world experiences on Tripadvisor for 2021. The Traveler’s Choice experiences are chosen by other travelers worldwide that love adventure trips like white water rafting, hang gliding, or zip-lining. 

There are three categories in the Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best, including United States, World, and Regions. 

“Such a breathtaking experience! The views were amazing, the bridges were a rush, and the ziplines? Well worth the price alone!”

Experience one of the top zipline courses in the world with heights up to 500 ft, two rope bridges, five zip lines (250-1800 ft long), and a 180 ft assisted rappel. With so much adventure jam-packed into one zipline course, it is no wonder that the Fins Course is an extreme adventure seeker’s delight. 

While we have other zipline courses, The Fins Course has steeper drops, added exposure, and includes high altitude zip lining. This course isn’t for the faint of heart, but the good news is that we do also have a milder option, our Woods Course. Some travelers like to combine both the Woods Course with the Fins Course to build up to the adventure with our Combo Course.

Ziplining is an activity that the whole family can enjoy, and the Fins Course takes you on a breathtaking tour, immersing you in nature as you zip through Seven Falls canyon in Colorado. The scenic surroundings make the experience far more memorable, and the adrenaline boost helps a bit too. 

“A must do on a Colorado Springs trip! The course was awesome with some of the most beautiful views of the mountains and Colorado Springs. The guides were knowledgeable about the area and had great tips, recommendations, and jokes! 100% recommend adding this to your trip to Colorado Springs! This was an amazing time!”

You’ll spend 3-4 hours on the Fins Course, and it does start much like our Woods Course with two warm-up zips before you have a chance to experience the cliff condition zips that increase with length. Per the name “Fins Course,” our course takes you through one of Colorado’s most breathtaking areas of Seven Falls Canyon and Colorado Springs to land you near the “fins.” The fin formation of the rocks is where our course gets its name.

The gradual build-up to the cliff-style zips prepares most adventure seekers enough to truly enjoy the views of the canyon. Once you’ve made your way across the foot rope bridges and all five ziplines, the adventure is just beginning. The Fins Course has a unique finish as you rappel 180 feet to reach the canyon floor.

The Fins Course is genuinely a zipline people from all over the world can enjoy. Come and see for yourself why we were voted into the top 10 Tripadvisor tours worldwide! 

“For the last few years, ziplining is how I spend my birthday. The zipline at Seven Falls surpassed the other ziplines I have been on by far. A breathtaking experience. The bridges and last two zips definitely got my adrenaline going. Beautiful views, a wonderful experience.”

“Wow!! I’ve ziplined many places and this has some of the best views, highest dropoffs, and most extreme platform locations I’ve seen. Super safe with double redundancy on the trolley, and a shielded cable makes for a very quiet and smooth ride. Great enthusiasm and energy among the guides, too! Can’t wait to go again.”