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. 

How to Layer for Fall Hiking in Colorado

If you are a big hiker or nature enthusiast, you know that fall is arguably the best season for hiking. The energizing nip of crisp air on your face, the colorful foliage as nature buckles down for winter – personally, it’s my favorite time of year. If you are hoping to enjoy fall hiking here in Colorado, you certainly need to know how to layer for hiking. These tips on proper layering techniques will help ensure you are prepared for the weather you might encounter on a fall hike in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

The Principles of Layering for Colorado’s Fall Weather

The first thing to know is that the term ‘layering’ doesn’t mean just wearing more and more clothes. In order to brave the elements and stay comfortable and safe, you need to wear the proper clothes in the proper order. First, the base layer serves to keep you dry when you sweat. Next, the middle layer is insulating to help retain body heat in Colorado’s colder weather. Finally, the outer layer protects against the harsher conditions you may experience on a fall hike.

We’ll start at the base layer and work our way out, so you understand what fabrics are best for each layer. We’ll also learn how to layer for the specifics of fall weather in Colorado and the hikes you are planning. As you likely know, fall in Colorado can range from warm to very cold. The weather can change quickly, and conditions can worsen with no warning. Especially if you are hiking to a higher elevation, say summiting one of the state’s many fourteeners, you will find temperatures and precipitation requiring a much different outfit than what you had on in the parking lot. It’s important to dress and pack well, as you will learn.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Wicking Base Layer 

You can think of the base layer as the clothing that touches your skin. This is more than just a t-shirt and shorts or a long-sleeved shirt and long underwear. Remember that the base layer also includes underwear (boxers, briefs, bras, and more) and socks.

The main goal of the base layer is to wick away moisture and keep your skin dry. As you know, sweat cools you down, stealing your body heat much faster than a cold breeze. In the hot summer, you may not mind a cotton shirt absorbing and holding your sweat. In the fall and winter, though, cotton is at the top of the “Absolutely Not” list. Seriously, it’s one of the most important hiking safety tips of all time.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

The Best Base Layer Materials

The best synthetic fabrics for base layers are polyester and nylon. You likely have these in your closet as your running or exercise clothes. You can go by personal preference, as long as it is ‘moisture-wicking,’ ‘dry-fit,’ or the like. Again, make sure your bras and boxers meet these criteria, too. A great natural fabric, especially for socks, is wool, as it wicks moisture and provides great heat retention. Wool is good for clothing, too, if you are in colder temperatures or hiking Colorado’s many mountains. It will keep you warm without being too heavy, but it also is more expensive than synthetic fabrics.

There are a few different options in terms of the weights of base layers, and you can decide based on the time of year and anticipated weather. No matter what you choose, your base layer should always be moisture-wicking. This layer should also fit snugly against your skin. You don’t want gaps between your skin and the material as it won’t be able to wick sweat away as effectively. A tight but comfortable base layer will keep your skin dry, which in turn will keep you warm and prevent skin irritation, like chafing and blisters.

Base Layering Tips for Colorado’s Fall Weather

Base layers are organized by weight; lightweight or ultra-lightweight for hotter weather and midweight or heavyweight for the colder months. This might mean shorts and a t-shirt in early fall when Colorado temperatures are in the 50s or 60s, and long johns and long-sleeved shirts in late fall when it’ll be in the 30s and 40s on average. Because the weather can change quickly here, especially in the mountains, I prefer to keep my base layer light and carry a heavier middle layer in my day pack.

Remember, the goal of this layer is moisture-wicking, where warmth is the job of the middle layer. That’s why lighter base layers make sense in Colorado’s fall conditions. You can always add more clothes later if the temperature drops up the mountain. The one exception to this is socks. My feet always run cold, so I highly recommend a thick wool sock for fall hikes, ones that cover your ankles! As long as your hiking boots are breathable, your feet will be happily dry and warm.

The Insulating Middle Layer

Next up, it is the job of the middle layer to retain body heat and keep you warm in colder temperatures. Where base layers tend to be stretchy and thin, you’ll recognize your middle layer pieces by their soft and puffy qualities. When shopping, you may see middle layer options listed as ‘soft shells.’ Depending on the weather, you can choose a lighter or heavier option, so it’s a good idea to have multiple middle layer pieces if you are planning on frequent fall hikes in Colorado. 

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

Middle Layer Options for Fall in Colorado

For lighter wear, you might go with a microfleece pullover or hoodie. Fleece is nice because it dries quickly and stays warm. It is also breathable so that you won’t overheat. This is a great option for the early fall in Colorado. However, if it’s windy, you will definitely need an outer shell, or you’ll find the breathability a weakness.

For the colder days, a down jacket is the best middle layer. I am partial to synthetic down, both for the animals and the water resistance. Down insulated jackets don’t hold up well when wet, but they compress better than synthetic down if you need to save space in your pack. If a softshell is all you plan on wearing, I’d recommend one with a hood, so your neck stays warm. In this case, though, you will definitely need to pack a waterproof outer shell, as the fall in Colorado sees rain or snow regularly.

The Defending Outer Layer

Once you’ve got the dry and warm inner layers set, the last part of knowing how to layer for hiking is protecting against the elements. Fall in Colorado can be all over the map in terms of weather conditions, and this outer shell is key for making sure the wind, rain, and snow don’t penetrate and leave you cold and miserable.

Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash

The Best Outer Layers for Colorado’s Fall Season

For both jackets and pants, you will want waterproof outerwear. Trust me when I say that “water-resistant” is not good enough! If you get caught in a downpour, a water-resistant layer is going to soak and leave you shivering. Also, be sure it has a hood. Rain dripping down your neck and back is truly an uncomfortable and dangerous way to spend a hike.

In addition to water- and wind-proof material, your outer layer should also be breathable. These pieces are more expensive, but if you plan on exploring Colorado’s fall hikes, this feature is a must. Breathable jackets, ones with zippers in the armpits and such, are key for longer hikes because they keep you dry while you work hard. If the inner layers are wicking away moisture, but your outer layer isn’t breathable, the moisture will condense against it and soak your middle layer. You need breathability to allow fresh air to move through and clear out the humidity. 

One final feature of a good outer layer is durability. Since this layer has to brave the elements, you want something that will stand up to a bit of a beating, especially for pants that you’ll sit on, trek through the brush, and more. If your outer layer gets torn, you’ll have leaks when it rains. And with the expensive nature of these clothes, you want to make sure to buy something that is a good investment.

Packing for a Fall Hike in the Rockies

Now that you know the options for layering clothes, let’s talk about how to pack for day hiking in Colorado. Seasoned hikers are always carrying day packs, and it’s not just for the granola bars. 

When you start at the trailhead, you might be in your base layer and outer shell. Mid-fall in Colorado is comfortable, and you might reason that it’ll only be a few hours. But as you hike up the mountain, the weather changes. It will get colder and windier the higher you go, with less protection from surrounding trees. You may even get an unexpected shower or snow flurry. 

Before you leave, always check the weather to know what to expect. Then, pack that insulating middle layer anyway. A light fleece or down jacket won’t take up much room or add much weight, and you will be glad you have it when you need it. Wearing appropriate clothing and knowing how to layer for hiking will keep you comfortable and protected during your hike so you can enjoy mother nature, no matter what weather she brings.

What is Geocaching and Where Can I Do It?

Treasure maps and long-form expeditions to find a secret stash of goods are no longer just for youth ages 3 to 10. Geocaching can be seen as a “grown-up” version of a treasure hunt, and it will take you places you may have never been before.

Not only is it a great form of exercise and exploration, but it also reignites the kid inside of you. Today that may be precisely what we all need.

What is Geocaching?

Yes, a treasure map and exploration sounds great, but that doesn’t tell us exactly what geocaching is. It doesn’t involve digging in random spots to find a buried chest or a compass that points to your one true desire, but rather it gives you a goal to seek out, without compromising the natural integrity of the world around it. Done correctly, it can be enjoyed by hundreds for years on end without making much of an impact at all.

Geocaching is a simple concept made possible and accessible by the technology we all carry around in our pockets. With the Geocaching app, you can find hidden caches just about anywhere around the world, as there are now over 3 million recorded caches worldwide. The sport has become much more popular as a way to get outside and add a bit of flair to your regular daily walk. 

To start, download the Geocaching app, or find a local website that directs you to sites near you. Next, you need to prepare yourself for a long hike that could end up being a long day in the woods. Some geocaches are hidden in downtown, urban areas, while many of them live in more natural environments. You should pack for the unexpected, as geocaching can quickly turn into a true adventure. 

Once you’re out on the trail, you need to channel your powers of observation to spot the camouflaged spot where the geocache lives. Once you find the cache, sign the logbook and add your touch to the cache. Geocaches are most often based on the principle of “take something out, leave something of your own.” 

Getting Started Geocaching

To start, we recommend simply using your smartphone and the Geocaching app. You can buy a GPS unit that will often have geocaching features, but it isn’t fully necessary. Family-friendly geocaching tours are a great way to get started and stoke the entire family for future geocaching adventures. Geocaching for kids builds a sense of adventure and can help to develop helpful skills like navigation. 

Once you have your guidance tech figured out, you can decide on a cache to hunt down from the comfort of your couch. One of the best parts of Geocaching is that you can plan trips around the entire world from a single spot. There are limitless options of where to start as more and more caches are being put out there every day. 

Now that you have a target in mind, you can put in some more prep work. This will not only include packing your backpack for a day hike, but it will also be planning your route to get to the cache. The app will show you where the cache is, but it doesn’t offer you the best route. This means you’ll need to pay attention to the landscape and study how to get to this spot. 

Many caches will not be right off a trail. You’ll need to head off into the forest to find caches that aren’t as commonly found. Remember to take the proper precautions and stay within your experience level. 

Once you’ve found the cache, there are a couple of pieces of etiquette that you need to keep in mind:

  • Grab the cache and examine its contents away from where you found it. Spending too much time where you found it can leave traces that make it too easy for others to discover it, thus removing a lot of the fun. 
  • Sign the logbook and leave a quick note if you want!
  • Take an object (if you want to) only if you are prepared to leave something of equal or greater value. This allows the cache to continue giving to future explorers. 
  • Seal the cache tightly and place it back exactly where you found it so it can wait for the next adventurer to stumble onto it. 
Geocaching with Broadmoor Outfitters in Colorado Springs
A young woman finding a geocache in Colorado Springs

Where can I Geocache in Colorado?

190 countries across the world have geocaches, and over 3 million caches spread out amongst them. Over 22,000 of these caches are located in the state of Colorado. With that many caches out there for you, it makes geocaching a popular sport that can be enjoyed for years without repetition. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has an extensive list of where you can find caches in the state parks. They encourage visitors to come and explore the area to find the caches and ask that explorers use Leave No Trace methods to leave everything in pristine condition. 

Parks and Wildlife points out that there are potentially hundreds of more caches that have not been documented with them. Colorado Springs alone has thousands of caches on record. These hunts take you up and down the trails and mountains surrounding the beautiful city and have some of the oldest caches in the state. 

So to answer the question more directly, you can Geocache just about anywhere in Colorado. This is a state that is based on exploration and outdoor adventure. When you start Geocaching and eventually catch the bug, you can expand the sport and bring it to even more distant and remote places throughout the state. The explorations and possibilities are endless. 

Paintballing Safety Tips

Paintball is a fun and exciting team sport. It requires strategy and cooperation, and it certainly gets players physically active. However, it can also be dangerous, and that’s why it’s important to learn and follow basic safety rules. In this guide, we’ll go over the key paintball safety tips you need to know before getting on the field. Once you’ve read through this list, you’ll be ready to enjoy the best paintball Colorado Springs has to offer.

1: Always Wear Eye Protection

Safety goggles are an absolute must when paintballing. Getting hit with a paintball on your skin can be a little painful, but it won’t cause a severe injury. Especially if you are wearing padding, you’ll just end up with a little bump or red area. A paintball to the eye, however, can cause very serious injury. This is why safety goggles are the number one paintball safety tip. A full-face shield, which includes protection for your eyes and breathing holes for your nose and mouth, is even better. But either way, the primary paintball safety rule is to keep them on at all times.

If you need to adjust your eye protection, you will have to exit the field of play or go to a designated “safe zone” if there is one. Do not take your goggles off anywhere else, even if you think you are hidden. 

If you have your own goggles, be aware that the lenses need to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and you should never play with cracked or old lenses. Also, be sure only to use dedicated goggles cleaner, as other products could be corrosive to the lenses and wear them down.

Image by Evan Cornman from Pixabay

2: Look Where You Shoot & Do Not Hit Anyone Without Eye Protection

It is very important to make sure that you are not “firing blind.” Beginner paintballers tend to close their eyes when shooting. This is totally natural! However, you will be allowed to practice firing at a marker before the competition starts so you can get used to the feeling. 

You always need to look where your marker is aiming before you shoot. First, make sure that you are within the field of play. Then be sure that the person you are aiming at, and everyone else around, is wearing proper protective equipment. Next, check that the person you are aiming at does not have their hands up. (As you will read below, this means that they are already out and exiting the playing field.) Finally, make sure you are aiming at the person’s torso, not their face.

If anyone does not have goggles on, your marker should be pointed down at the ground! Do not shoot even if the person without eye protection is on the side and not where you are aiming. Paintball markers are not the most precise shots, and someone could easily run in front of your target at the last second. This is why if you see someone without goggles on, you need to lower your paintball marker until they exit the field of play.

3. Give a Player the Opportunity to Surrender & Be a Good Sport

One common paintball safety practice is the idea of surrendering. If a player is close to you, within twenty feet when outdoors, you should give them the chance to surrender before shooting them. Getting hit by a paintball at such close range can be quite painful, so it is sportsmanlike to announce yourself and not actually shoot the person. You can yell “Surrender” or “You’re out” to tell the person that you got them, even though you aren’t firing your marker.

On this same note, if someone has snuck up on you and lets you surrender, do it. It would be poor sportsmanship to run away and say you are still in the game because you didn’t get hit. Trust us when we say that you do not want to get hit at such close range. When someone lets you surrender, put your hands up and exit the field.

4. Do Not Shoot Anything but Your Target

If you need to practice shooting, you will have access to a practice range and targets. Otherwise, you should only shoot at other players or targets in the field of play. Do not shoot at any wildlife, passing cars, or structures outside of the playing area. 

For one thing, it may be illegal, but it is also dangerous. You could hurt someone, and the paint in paintballs can leave behind a stain. Shooting when you are not supposed to is an easy way to end your day early by getting kicked out. Be respectful of your surroundings and only shoot at designated targets.

Photo by Pengyi zhang on Unsplash

5. Always Use a Barrel Sock and the Safety

There are two features of a marker that both make for essential paintball safety tips. First, a barrel sock is exactly what it sounds like: a sock that goes over the head of your marker’s barrel. This blocks paintballs from exiting the barrel if the marker accidentally discharges. Leave the barrel sock on until play is about to begin, and put it back on the barrel immediately once you exit the field.

The second is the safety, which you toggle on or off to be able to shoot. Anytime you are not on an active playing field, your safety should be in the ‘on’ position. This will make it impossible to pull the trigger, thus preventing you from accidentally discharging the marker.

6. Exit with Your Hands Up

When you are ready to exit the playing field (because you were hit, surrendered, or just need a break), you must announce yourself. To make it clear to other players that you are leaving, you should yell “out” and raise your hands and your paintball marker above your head. 

Be sure to walk off the field of play quickly and directly. If you are looking around at other players or zigzagging through obstacles, other players might mistakenly shoot you. Keep your hands up the whole time and keep your goggles on. 

Once you are out of the playing zone, you should first turn the marker’s safety on and put the barrel sock back on. Once your marker is protected, then you can take your goggles off, relax, and watch the rest of the game.

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

7. Take Cover to Rest and Reload

The best way to avoid getting hit is to ensure you don’t spend too much time in the open. Here are a couple key paintball tips for finding good positions on the field. First, if you can see in all directions, it means you are visible in all directions. And second, just because you can’t see someone doesn’t mean they can’t see you. It just means they are better hidden than you are. 

You want to keep yourself hidden, but not overly so. After all, if you stay in one spot all day, you’ll never hit anyone. Moving among protected areas is actually safer, too, as your opponents are doing the same to find you. You should run between trees or shelters, also called bunkers, and rest only when you are in a protected spot.

When you need to reload, find a safe spot, get low, and keep your back to a wall. You may be tempted to fire a shot to make sure your marker works, but be warned that the sound will give away your position!

8. Do Not Attempt to Fix a Paintball Marker Yourself

If your marker is jammed or having an issue, do not try to make any modifications on your own. You should bring it to staff or experts to fix it for you. Attempting any maintenance can be very dangerous for you and other players.

For one thing, markers may still have a charge after the CO2 canister has been removed. The proper way to take off a CO2 canister is to fire the marker (with no paintballs in it) as you remove the tank in order to release built-up air as you go. However, if you are renting a marker for the day, this is not even something you will have to worry about. You should leave the canister alone completely and tell staff if something is wrong.

Similarly, a paintball marker that you rent will come ready with proper settings. For outdoor challenges, markers should be set to around 300 feet per second (fps). Some ranges might require a slightly lower velocity, like 285 fps. Whatever it is, do not make any modifications to the marker.

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay

9. Stretch & Drink Lots of Water

Paintballing requires a lot of physical activity. With all that running around, it’s important to stretch beforehand like you would for any other sport. Make sure you stay hydrated and listen to your body if you get too hot or tired. A paintball competition could last for a couple of hours, depending on the type of play and the number of players. Take a break when you need it so you can head back on the field strong and ready.

10: Have Fun!

Paintballing is an awesome outdoor activity to enjoy with a group of friends. With just a little preparation and practice, you can start an invigorating new sport that lasts for hours at a time. These tips will help ensure your paintball challenge is fun, safe, and injury-free. Now get out there and enjoy the game!

Group Destinations and Activities in Colorado Springs

There is an undeniable power in the shared experience. Whether you are on a scout troop guided trip, corporate retreat, or large family reunion, there are few places better catered to team building and creating lifelong memories than Colorado.

From casual escapes into nature to adrenaline-pumping activities that will push you and your crew to the edges of their comfort zone, the group activities in Colorado Springs can’t be beaten. When planning your next corporate outdoor activity or group retreat, bump the Centennial State to the top of your list.

Not yet convinced? Check out these five most popular group activities offered right here at Broadmoor Outfitters. 

1. Zip Lining

Number of Participants: 8 per tour, multiple tours available 

Duration: Woods Course – 3 hours, Fins Course – up to 4 hours 

Ages: All ages for the Woods Course, 10 – 80 for the Fins Course

Level: Woods Course – Easy, Fins Course – Intermediate

In the past couple of decades, zip lining has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity across the globe. It is a fun thing to do when traveling and an excellent team-building activity for large corporate getaways and scout troop guided trips alike. Zip lining is incredibly fun, very exhilarating, offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, and is accessible for just about anyone.  

The Woods Course is our more beginner-friendly option and is accessible for thrill-seekers of all ages. Lasting about three hours, this group activity will have you traveling high above the forest and canyon floor on five individual lines reaching a maximum height of 150 feet. Those brave enough will enjoy unrivaled views of waterfalls, launch off of spectacular granite rock features, and travel smoothly through the trees. 

For even more airborne adventure, give the Fins Course a try. Similar to the Woods Course, this adventure puts participants on five separate zip lines. These lines, however, are much higher (maxing out at 500 feet above the ground!) and longer (the longest measuring in at 1,800 feet), and the course also includes two rope bridges and a rappel.

For a full day, combine the two courses!

Geocaching with Broadmoor Outfitters in Colorado Springs

2. The Broadmoor Hunt

Number of Participants: 5 – 100

Duration: 2 hours

Ages: All ages

Level: Easy

For the ultimate activity for groups of all sizes, ages, and abilities, schedule a day to complete the Broadmoor Hunt. This Amazing Race style scavenger hunt traverses all over the Broadmoor property and includes over 35 unique challenges. From riddles and clues to activities and photo captures, you can break your large group into smaller teams for some friendly competition and team building.

The hunt works off of your smartphone, and each group can strategize their path to victory. From corporate retreats to family reunions, The Broadmoor Hunt is a fun and interactive way to explore and learn all about the historic Broadmoor and the surrounding area. There’s nothing like a bit of competition to bring a large team together! 

Colorado Springs Falconry at The Broadmoor
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs

3. Falconry

Number of Participants: 14 per group

Duration: 1.5 hours

Ages: 5 and older

Level: Easy

Falconry is undoubtedly one of the most unique group activities in Colorado Springs – allowing you and your group to learn about hunting with birds of prey. The lesson will start with a fair bit of education, where your group will learn all about this 4,000-year-old pastime, sport, and way of life, as the experts give a flying demonstration and you get to meet many of our captive-bred trained birds of prey. The day closes with a bang, as everyone in your group will have an opportunity to hold a trained hawk after learning proper technique.  

Those that have completed the beginner lesson can advance to an even more exhilarating experience: the opportunity to walk scenic trails with a guide as a trained Harris Hawk flies through the trees, returning to your glove on your command. Whether your group stops at the beginner lesson or takes your falconry education to the next level, it is sure to be an experience no one will soon forget. 

4. The Wild West Experience

Number of Participants: 12 per group

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

Ages: 5 and older

Level: Easy

If you have come to the mountains searching for group activities in Colorado Springs, perhaps none are more fitting than the Wild West Experience. Gain an appreciation for the skills that allowed people to survive and thrive in mountain landscapes for thousands of years. The three-part Wild West Experience is undeniably the best bang for your buck as you learn how to use a bow, air rifle, and throwing ax. 

Guides will walk your group through traditional archery skills and accompany you to a range where you will then put your skills to the test. From there, your guides will instruct your group on rifle shooting. Then, test your meddle with .22 caliber air rifles on a range with many different moving and stationary targets. Close your western skills experience with an ax-throwing session. Following more direction from an expert instructor, your group will have the opportunity to toss tomahawks into wooden targets. 

The Wild West Experience provides the perfect avenue for skills and team building, cooperation, coaching and support, and friendly competition – depending on the angle you would like to take. No matter how you slice it, though, this is one of the best group activities in Colorado Springs. 

5. Rock Climbing

Number of Participants: 12

Duration: Half day to full day 

Ages: 12 and up

Level: Easy to challenging

There is no better way to add some adventure to a large group getaway than with a day of guided rock climbing. No matter your group’s skill, fitness, or comfort level, the professional rock guides promise to deliver an unforgettable day. Push your physical and mental limits, and coach each other through enjoyable challenges in the mountains. You will learn climbing knots and belay techniques from expert guides and practice your skills on real outdoor cliff faces. 

With many picturesque climbing areas right out our front door, we have the opportunity to cater the entire day to your specific needs. Your group will coach each other up the wall and perfect your technical skills from one challenge to the next!


Group travel is an incredible way to create a shared experience and foster lasting memories with people you care about. Scheduling free time and exploring on your own is a necessity when planning these types of trips, but guided group activities and tours in Colorado Springs can add a meaningful exclamation point to an already unforgettable trip. Regardless of the group activities you choose, the Rocky Mountains will always find a way to bring people closer together.  

Colorado Springs Attractions You Don’t Want to Miss

When you’re going on vacation (or even a staycation), you want to make the most of your time. You didn’t take time off work, set up dog sitters, and play Tetris with your luggage in the back of the car to visit a bunch of attractions that you ended up not enjoying. You want to get what you came for and experience the most exciting things to do in Colorado Springs – the ones that you have to do in order to say you’ve truly been to Colorado Springs. 

But with the overwhelming number of brochures at rest stops and online advertisements begging for your attention, how do you decide which places to visit?

To explore Colorado Springs the way it deserves, you should focus on a few key elements: getting in nature, gaining knowledge about both ancient and recent history, and spending time relaxing to soak it all in. We’ve compiled a complete list of places you must visit in Colorado Springs with all of those points in mind. This guide will give you some direction in your travels as you’re looking for things to do in Colorado Springs. 

Cog Up/Bike Down Pikes Peak Adventure

If you’re looking for an exciting way to summit the second most-visited peak in the world – Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, CO – then this Broadmoor Outfitters adventure is for you. 

First, you’ll catch a ride up ‘America’s Mountain’ on the world’s highest cog railway – The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Then, you’ll ride a custom-built cruiser bicycle the whole 19.5 miles back down the mountain!

Image by VIT DUCKEN from Pixabay

This adventure is one of the most unique things to do in Colorado Springs. The Cog Up/Bike Down Adventure is suitable for anyone ten or older at any fitness level. Broadmoor Outfitters provides all the safety gear, including full-face helmets, high visibility vests, and gloves. The pace is set by a Broadmoor guide who will lead the way for the duration of the ride, and you’ll feel safe knowing a sweep van will follow the group to pick up anyone who ends their ride early. Remember, you’ll need to book this adventure at least two days in advance to secure your spot!

Woods Course Zipline

Ziplining is where exhilaration meets exploration! Hiking and biking are excellent ways to explore Colorado Springs, but ziplining is incredibly cool as you get a bird’s-eye view of the landscape! You’ll be 150 feet from the ground, sailing through ponderosa pine forests, gliding over the gorgeous Midnight Falls, and soaring through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains on this Broadmoor Outfitters adventure.

Image by Dragan Tomić from Pixabay

The Woods Course Zipline is suitable for beginners, but Broadmoor Outfitters also offers other, more advanced ziplining tours for people looking for a big thrill.

Explore Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods was named by Rufus Cable when he stood atop Pikes Peak, saw the glorious rock formation, and declared the area “…a fit place for the gods to assemble.” 


The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is a paradise and one of the most popular Colorado Springs attractions. You’ve got plenty of options for how to explore these 300-foot tall sandstone rock formations; there truly is something for everyone! There are activities for explorers at all fitness levels, including but not limited to hiking, rock climbing, and Jeep and Segway tours.

Photo by Jude Infantini on Unsplash

Western Museum of Mining and Industry

To bring your adventurous Colorado Springs vacation full circle, we recommend getting some historical context of the area by visiting the Western Museum of Mining & Industry. This museum offers 27 acres of exhibits, each containing over 4,000 artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries. 

As you wander the campus, you’ll also get to see the Reynolds Ranch House – an Edwardian Lake-style ranch home that is included on the State Register of Historic Properties. This isn’t an ordinary museum; exhibits are set up both indoors and outdoors and feature restored steam engines and mining equipment, as well as a fully operational Stamp Mill and Blacksmithing Demo Shop. You’ll learn about the environmental impact of mining on wildlife and local plants and see the Mine Reclamation exhibit, which shows visitors the process of turning abandoned mines into useful land.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

From 1200 B.C. to 1300 A.D, Native Americans known as Anasazi lived within natural and, eventually, constructed settlements high in the cliffs of canyon walls. In the Colorado Springs area, the ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings are located at the foot of what we now call Pikes Peak. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are open to the public for self-guided tours. 


As you wander among the rooms carved within the vertical canyon walls, it’s only natural to wonder, “How in the world did they (the Anasazi) get up here?” That mystery, along with the settlements’ astonishing beauty, makes the Manitou Cliff Dwellings a popular attraction in Colorado Springs. Check out the FAQ section of the Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum website to learn more about how to visit this architectural wonder.

Photo by Cupcake Media on Unsplash

Organic Spa at Broadmoor Resort

This luxurious partially organic Spa at Broadmoor Resort is featured in the Forbes Travel Guide. It’s certainly one of the best Colorado Springs attractions for those looking for a bit of pampering. 

This spa is the perfect way to relax after a full day of adventuring in Colorado Springs! Before your desired spa treatment, you’ll sit quietly in the Mountain View Room, overlooking the lush Broadmoor Golf Course greens. In the background, a stunning scene of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains invites you to pause, unwind, and relax. 

Overview

This breathtaking Rocky Mountains sanctuary is an inviting destination for both solo travelers and families. There are plenty of Colorado Springs tours and attractions that appeal to adventurers of all ages, history buffs, and people looking to unwind in the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Remember to make reservations for all these things to do in Colorado Springs well in advance, and most importantly: have fun!

Are Ziplines Safe for Kids?

Soaring through the air at top speeds connected to a thin wire and a harness brings worry to any parent. It seems unnatural, but as ziplines continue to become more popular, we must ask the question:

Are ziplines safe for kids? 

We understand your concerns. Ziplines are popping up all across the United States, and with them, there are the typical injuries that follow. This doesn’t immediately tell us that ziplines are unsafe, though. It gives us the ability to have the insight to find the right ziplines for kids.

Every company follows similar, but often different, rules and regulations for ziplines. This means becoming familiar with the guidelines you’ll want to look out for when choosing a place to zipline. To help you do that, we’ll break down ziplines and talk about how they work and their history.

Image by Dragan Tomić from Pixabay

A Brief History of the Zipline

Ziplines were first used to move goods across huge expanses of open air. They originated in mountain communities where moving food or supplies over a river took ages without any form of help. Stringing up a line meant an easy delivery across even the most treacherous terrain. Soon, humans also used the lines rather than face the dangerous swim ahead of them. 

Since their first uses, ziplines have come a long way. One of the largest regulators of zipline codes is the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). The ACCT certifies challenge courses and ziplines across the world with a strict code of safety regulations. 

Even with these regulations available worldwide, there are shoddy designs and backdoor businesses that you need to look out for as a parent. Zipline systems have moved from a slow crawl across a ravine to a high-speed flight across tremendous gaps in jungles. With the increased risk, there needs to be an increase in safety measures. Luckily, plenty of people are working to fill in the safety gaps and instill a culture of safety. 

Zipline Safety

According to the ACCT, the chances of a zipline breaking are one in a billion. With the proper construction, equipment, and training, a zipline course for kids will be one of the safer activities out there. There is an inherent risk in any adrenaline-seeking activity, but following the proper guidelines can ease the worried mind of parents. 

The ACCT has been taking on the most problematic part of ziplines: the lack of consistent guidelines.

The American National Standards Institute accredited ACCT’s zipline standards, moving the push for consistent regulations forward. While it is often an issue handled on a state-to-state basis, looking for a zipline built by and running on these standards is a great and easy place to start. 

Of course, the safety of sending yourself careening over a large valley at 45 miles per hour is still something to question. No matter the regulations, it can be nerve-racking. With these kinds of activities, we are fighting our human instinct to protect ourselves. To overcome that fear and self-protection, learning about the systems is the best possible way forward. 

Construction and Inspection

The ACCT accredits certain vendors to go out and build challenge courses and ziplines for any company. These vendors are certified to construct courses on-site and often are in charge of training the on-site staff. This is one of the largest factors that anyone concerned about the safety of a course should consider before strapping in and jumping blindly. 

Experiential Systems is another nationwide inspector of ziplines. Any safe zipline course Colorado has to offer will be looked at by the state-based inspection service. They also provide training for instructors that will further ensure the safety of any participant on a zipline. 

Before you send your child off any zipline course, ask for proof of who constructed the zipline and inspected it most recently. These inspections need to be done consistently. Ziplines are most often outdoors, which exposes them to the weather that can slowly decrease safety levels. When an inspection is done, any problem found must be fixed before the operation can resume. 

Image by patrick gantz from Pixabay

Safety Equipment

Just like riding a bike, there are easy ways to avoid most injuries that can occur while on a zipline. While most organizations will provide the proper safety equipment. Familiarize yourself with what is considered the “right” safety equipment. 

The two most essential pieces of gear on a zipline course will be your harness and your helmet. There is also the trolley and tether connected via carabiners, but most of these are in place and much less susceptible to human error. 

Most harnesses are capable of holding over 2000 pounds of weight. At Broadmoor, the weight limit is 250 pounds (with a minimum weight of 90 pounds), so there is nothing to worry about if you are wearing a harness correctly. Listen to the instructors and ensure that all of the harness straps are tightened down.

Nowadays, it’s not a bad idea to wear a helmet to the grocery store. So, naturally, you will wear a helmet while flying through the air at 45 mph. These courses are built inside of the trees where branches will grow in the way of the zipline or can fall from above you. A helmet is the best way to protect yourself. Make sure your child is wearing a helmet. Maybe not at the grocery store, but most definitely on a zipline. 

Training

The final, and arguably the most important, standard to examine when looking for a good zipline course for kids is the training every instructor has received. You can easily get this information by asking the company or camp your kid will be ziplining with. 

There are a couple of different levels of certification that you can be aware of. The ACCT does a great job of offering these trainings and training other companies in instructor training. Your guides should at the very least have a Level I or Level II Practitioner Certification. You can also keep your eye out for a Certified Challenge Course Manager or any Professional Ropes Course Association certifications. These expand beyond just a zipline but often include that Level I or II Practitioner Certification. 

So, are Ziplines Safe? 

Well, “safe” is a problematic guarantee when looking at activities with any inherent risk involved.

Can this, or really anything, be 100% safe? No.

Can we, and do we, consider every professional piece of advice there is to keep our participants as safe as possible? Yes. 


Ensure you are choosing a zipline tour that has followed proper regulations and guidelines. The strict certifications and procedures that are the industry best are the safest place to start, which is precisely what we do here at Broadmoor.

Top 5 Outdoor Tours in Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, located an hour south of Denver, CO, attracts many outdoor enthusiasts, families, and thrill-seekers to explore and play in its rugged wilderness each year. The city sits at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains and is home to some of the state’s most iconic sights, such as the Garden of the Gods. The area is ripe with opportunities for outdoor adventure. So ripe that when planning your excursion, you may be wondering which Colorado Springs outdoor tours to experience.

Luckily, there is no shortage of premium tours in the area to match its diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation. Outdoor tours are a unique way to experience wild places and activities through the eyes of a seasoned guide. Regardless of one’s experience level, partaking in a guided tour is a gratifying and fun experience. On a tour, you can expect to learn a new skill, meet new people, and gain firsthand knowledge that you will carry with you long after it ends. 

So whether you’re planning your first or thirty-first trip, check out these Top 5 Outdoor Tours in Colorado Springs, CO.

Image by Dragan Tomić from Pixabay

Guided Hiking Tours

Guided hikes are an enriching and memorable way to explore new trails beyond simply following signs, maps, or apps. Based out of Colorado Springs, Broadmoor Outfitters provides top-of-the-line guided hikes on the city’s most iconic trails. Visitors of all ages can explore Colorado Springs’s breathtaking mountains in small groups of up to 12 people.

For those who would like to learn about the Rocky Mountains’ flora and fauna while immersed in it first-hand, Broadmoor Outfitters also offers the option to have a naturalist as your guide! Tours take place daily at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm and last about 3 hours, with the opportunity to extend the hike’s duration when booking a reservation. Visitors are encouraged to let the staff know the kind of hiking they’d like to experience so that the guides can curate an itinerary aligned with each group’s wishes. This tour has something to offer for anyone looking to explore the Rockies on foot, regardless of if you’re a solo traveler or a family of four.

The Broadmoor Hunt

If a mild hike that combines problem-solving and a bit of history sounds like a blast, then look no further than the exciting and one-of-a-kind Broadmoor Hunt. The Broadmoor hunt is not your typical outdoor tour but instead a thrilling app-based scavenger hunt. During the hunt, individuals will put on their metaphorical Indiana Jones hat to learn about the historic Broadmoor Hotel while solving problems as they explore the hotel grounds and surrounding landscape.

This tour is open to individuals of all ages but is the perfect fun outing for families with children looking to stretch their minds (and imaginations). The tour runs daily from 10 am to 3 pm and lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Broadmoor Outfitters also offers a corporate version of the scavenger hunt for businesses looking to strengthen teamwork among coworkers.

https://pixabay.com/photos/pikes-peak-mountain-1269035/
Image by Beverly Lussier from Pixabay

E-Bike Tours 

If the idea of cruising down scenic roads with the wind in your hair and mountains to your left and right sounds like a dream, but steep inclines and never-ending hills sound like a nightmare, then Colorado Springs E-Bike Tours are a perfect happy medium. E-bikes are gaining popularity as a fun and accessible way to experience the thrill of conventional bike tours with ease and speed.

This tour takes attendees on a 5-mile ride through the Garden of the Gods on Trek Rail 7 E-Bikes. The 3-hour tour runs daily at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm and is open to individuals over the age of 10. As a heads-up for any mountain bikers (or purists) reading this article, you can also find epic guided mountain bike tours in Colorado Springs.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tours

Our Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tours in Colorado Springs are the perfect option for individuals looking for an aquatic adventure despite being 1,200 miles from the nearest coastline. Stand Up Paddle Boarding developed as a relaxing and fun sister sport to surfing in landlocked areas. During this 2.5 hour tour, individuals of all ages will glide atop Colorado Springs Lake as the Rocky Mountain ridgeline reflects along the water’s edge. Seasoned SUPers know that the sport can have a big learning curve, which is why joining a tour your first time is essential for learning proper technique and form.

Tour guides will teach attendees foundational skills, such as paddle strokes, footwork, self-rescue, and how to get on the paddleboard (which is more challenging than one might think). Tours run daily in groups of 8 at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. The tour is open to all ages, but individuals who love sports that involve balance and coordination and being on the water will likely enjoy this tour the most.

Image by Gero Birkenmaier from Pixabay

Fins Course Zip Line Tour

Last but certainly not least,  Fins Course Zip Line Tour is the perfect option for adventurous souls looking to experience Colorado Springs from the sky. You will zip through the crisp blue Colorado sky, surrounded by high peaks, and soar over Seven Falls Canyon as the waterfall roars below. This tour is not for the faint of heart. The Fins Course Zip Line consists of a staggering five zip lines, 250 to 1800 ft long that reach heights of 500ft, two rope bridges, and a 180 ft assisted rappel.

Due to its technical nature, this tour is rated intermediate to advanced and is only open for individuals aged 10-80. Tours run hourly each day from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and last a total of 3-4 hours. So if you’ve ever looked up at the sky and wondered what the mountains looked like from the perspective of the birds flying overhead, this tour is your chance to finally find out. 

This list only covers the Top 5 Outdoor Tours in Colorado Springs, so make sure to check out all of the other outdoor tour offerings in Colorado Springs to find the experience that is right for you.

Safety Tips for Hiking in Colorado

We’ve all heard horror stories about accidents happening in the wilderness. Most of us are familiar with the novel and film “Into the Wild,” which recounts Christopher McCandless’s beautifully tragic and fatal story that takes place in the depths of the Alaskan wilderness. We’re painfully aware of notable accidents because they make for great television. However, the reality is, these tragedies are actually few and far between; there are exponentially more “successful” outings than tragic ones. The key to avoiding accidents altogether, and mitigating risks when they occur (because nature is nature, after all), is being prepared and knowledgeable before hiking in Colorado

These safety tips will cover important points you need to remember when exploring Colorado. So read on, and they’ll prepare you so that your stress is minimized and fun is maximized.

Image by Jonáš Sanislo from Pixabay

Share Your Plan

Planning and communicating that plan are both key components of hiking safety. You should never head out for hiking in Colorado (or anywhere!) without first telling someone. Whether you’re planning to hike for only one hour, overnight, or a couple of weeks, let someone know the ins and outs of your trip. For example, tell the person when you’ll be leaving and returning, where your car will be parked, and which trail(s) you’re planning to be on. Furthermore, let that person know if you change your route or any aspect of your plan. That way, if you get lost and need to be found, people will know where to look.

Be Prepared For Bad Weather

Two words: no cotton. Even if there’s no rain in the forecast, weather can change fast in Colorado. If you’re hiking during the day and get sweaty and are still in the wilderness when temps drop at night, you don’t want to be stuck in a wet, cold cotton shirt. From head to toe (or hat to socks), all of your hiking clothing should be made out of a moisture-wicking fabric such as wool or any synthetic fabric blend that’s marketed as quick dry. Bring a raincoat, an extra shirt in case of a sudden temperature drop or rainstorm, and an extra pair of moisture-wicking socks. Wear good-fitting, broken-in hiking boots that provide ankle support. Lather on the sunscreen even if it’s cloudy. 

Look over the National Lightning Safety Institute’s resource on lightning safety protocols. Better yet, print it out to have with you in case you need it.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

Bring Water and Snacks 

A good rule of thumb is to bring one liter of water for every hour you plan to be hiking. This is a great standard, and it’s also wise to pack a trustworthy water filtration system such as a Katadyn or Life straw, in case you are in the wilderness longer than you planned.  Bring snacks, too, as hiking burns a lot of calories. High-calorie foods like peanut butter, candy bars, granola, beef jerky, and trail mix are all great and easy options. Don’t just toss your food wrappers on the ground, however. Follow all Leave No Trace practices out of respect for nature, wildlife, and future generations of hikers to come. 

Keep it Realistic

We know how thrilling it can be to push ourselves and have new experiences, but staying safe, smart, and within our personal limits is the number one hiking tip we can offer. Plan your trip according to your experience. For example, if you’ve never been camping overnight, it’s probably not a good idea to head out on a week-long camping trip in the backcountry. If you’re not experienced at reading maps, stick to a well-marked trail, or even stay in cell phone range so you can use your phone’s GPS in case you get turned around. Finally, unless you’re in great shape, don’t embark on a ten-mile hiking trip as your first adventure.

If you would feel more comfortable hiking with a professional wilderness guide who knows the lay of the land, then stick to these Colorado Springs hiking tours for beginners.

Image by Inna Sherman from Pixabay

Stay Updated

Know what’s going on in the area you’re planning to hike. There will often be signs at the more popular trailheads informing hikers of recent wildlife sightings and how to behave if you encounter a bear, mountain lion, or coyote. Don’t worry – these animals are usually more afraid of you than you are of them! Check out Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s page on handling conflict with wildlife to stay safe and prepared.

In addition to staying updated about the wildlife, also acquaint yourself with general trail rules and alerts. For example, a gust of wind can make a simple campfire spread out of control during exceptionally dry periods. If you plan on having a campfire, use this comprehensive, up-to-date list of current fire bans in Colorado counties to avoid any fines, or worse, wildfires.

Our best recommendation is to visit the park website that manages the trail you’ll be hiking before heading out. There, you’ll learn about current trail conditions and potential hazards.

Bring a First Aid Kit

It’s wise to have an intentionally stocked first aid kit when you head out on any length of hiking trip. The American Hiking Society is a great resource for hiking tips, including how to stock your first aid kit. Depending on how much time you plan to spend hiking, you may also consider taking a Wilderness First Aid course, where you’ll learn how to handle accidents such as broken bones and allergic reactions. 

Bringing it Together

Hiking is a great way to get exercise, spend quality time with family, and enjoy Colorado’s stunning scenery. It’s important to do so safely, however. Even though accidents are rare and mostly avoidable, the chances of them occurring increase dramatically if you’re unprepared. So, use these hiking safety tips while you’re hiking in Colorado to stay safe and stress-free. Remember to tell someone your plans, prepare for bad weather, stay hydrated, learn about Colorado’s wildlife, and pack a first aid kit. If you’re prepared, you’ll have nothing to worry about!

Remember that you can always join us for guided hiking in Colorado Springs and enjoy all the knowledge and experience that our team has to offer!

How to Hike With Kids

The trail is where many of us have formed strong bonds and a loving connection with our friends or family. But sharing this space with your children or any group of youth means getting over the mental roadblock of figuring out how to hike with kids. First things first, take a deep breath. Kids can be as stressful, intimidating, and overwhelming as they are cute, fun, or adventurous. Doing this right will end up relieving your own personal stress and create an activity for the kids to tug at your sleeve to do over and over again. 

Before you head out on the trail, take a moment to remember what it was like to be a kid. Everything was exciting, full of mystery and adventure. You were figuring things out for the first time and making mistakes along the way. Try to apply that mindset to the trail now. Hiking with kids won’t be about putting lots of miles under your boots, but it will be about exploring the outdoors and your imagination. 

Now that you’re ready, let’s jump into some more kid-friendly hiking tips that will help you and the youth you are with foster a growing love for the outdoors. And remember, you can always join us for family friendly hiking tours in Colorado Springs for a stress-free adventure.

Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

The Basics

No matter your age, you need your basic comforts to have a good time doing anything. Watching a movie while soaking wet, cold, and hungry will make you hate that movie forever. In order to not do the same for hiking, take care of the basics.

Weather

First off, don’t pick a cold and rainy day to be the first time you go hiking with kids. Not only does it make most adults turn into grumpy children, but it also has the potential to make hiking unsafe. Pay attention to the weather forecast. If it is going to rain, bring rain gear. Remember layers for cold days, and perhaps plan on a lake-side hike if it’s hot.

Clothes

Most weather can be appropriately managed with the right clothing and gear. So, once again, planning ahead is key to make sure you bring proper clothing and layers. Pack a bag full of extra socks and a couple of other layers that will help the kids stay warm and dry. As soon as anyone starts to mention that they are cold or wet, offer some extra clothes to get them comfortable as soon as possible.

Food

Never start a hike on an empty stomach. It would be like going on a road trip without any gas in the car. It won’t work, so don’t expect it to. Have some quick and healthy snacks in the car to fuel everyone up before you even hit the trailhead. 

Kids are so incredibly influenced by food. It can be used as a reward, fuel, or quick break in the day when you need to slow everything down. Also, as all adults learn, hunger can seriously influence our mood. If you notice anyone starting to get a bit grumpy, break out a snack, and it’s guaranteed to bring some positivity back. 

I like to follow a general rule that the kids you’re with are at or below your own level. If you are hungry, they’re hungrier. Cold? They’re colder. If your feet aren’t dry, their boots are puddles. Take care of the basics before they become a problem because that’s when moods start to turn sour.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Create Fun

The idea of hiking in Colorado appeals to almost any outdoor enthusiast you can find. There are tons of trails that bring you into a wide variety of terrain and challenges, all the while surrounded by beautiful mountains. But the idea of appreciating nature’s beauty isn’t always at the forefront of a ten-year-old’s mind. To make hiking memorable and enjoyable for younger kids, you need to create fun – perhaps the most important aspect of how to hike with kids.

Terrain

One of the first things you can do to make hiking with kids fun is to choose the right trail. Chances are good that a long flat walkway will bore almost any kid out there. On the other hand, a trail that snakes through the forest and follows a river to a massive waterfall opens up the possibility of exploration and naturally finding fun within the landscape. The forest can be a playground where trees become jungle gyms and creeks become waterslides. You just need to find the right trail.

Encourage Imagination

Don’t be afraid to let your kids run a little wild. Their imagination can take them into worlds where they explore the trees looking for Narnia or digging for buried treasure. Just remember to also teach your kids about proper hiking safety and the rules of the trail.

Not every child has the natural spark of imagination, so you may need to encourage this with different activities. Building a fort is a great way to bring fun into the hike. Or you take the time to see how large of a teepee you can build. The hike becomes an adventure and a challenge when you include a little imagination. Forests are also natural spaces for massive treasure hunts that will bring the excitement of both competition and exploration to everyone involved.

Bring Friends

We all want to be our kids’ best friends, but it isn’t always the case. Kids want to hang out with other kids their own age. Turning a hiking trip into a group activity will make your kids want to come back and do it more often.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Be Intentional

Going out into the forest and having fun while hiking with kids will take a little planning. However, being intentional with the hike will go a long way with the kids you go hiking with. Ten minutes of forethought can completely change the experience you have out on the trail.

It’s Not Hiking

The word “hiking” can get a bad rap with some kids. It sounds difficult and often unpleasant. You may not even need to label the hike. You can get the kids in the car and head off to the woods. Call it an exploration, an adventure, or anything that may have appealed to you as a small child. If you make it sound like work, it will end up being more work for you.

Goals

Very simple goals allow for kids to feel successful during a hike or afterward. Little things like “I want to see a fish” or bigger things like “I want to make it to the top of a mountain” can give kids something to look forward to or challenge themselves on. 

Remember that goals are going to change for every child. For some kids, making it a mile down the trail will be a huge accomplishment. Others may just want to swim in a river or find the biggest, slimiest, scariest bug that they have ever seen. Tailor the goals to each kid and work with them on finding out what they want to accomplish.

Responsibilities

It may sound ridiculous, but kids love having responsibilities. Of course, this excludes when it’s taking out the trash, cleaning their room, or doing dishes. But on the trail, responsibilities can give kids a sense of ownership and control over what they’re doing. 

If your kids are a bit older, you can trust them to carry important pieces of gear or lead the way with a map and compass. For the younger kids, you can have them keep an eye out for any interesting detours, hold the dog’s leash, or be in charge of finding the coolest lunch rock that anyone has ever eaten lunch on.

End on a High Note

After you get done hiking, always end on a high note. Entice your kids with the thought of ice cream in town, a movie back at home, or any reward that gets them excited. Discover other family friendly activities in Colorado Springs that you can let your kids choose from and create their own vacation fun. 

Hiking with kids is one of the most fun things you can do outside. They will naturally push you to see the world differently. No matter what you do, enjoy yourself, and the kids will often follow your lead. Smile, laugh, and become a kid again. Even if you aren’t an avid outdoors person, look for family friendly hiking tours that will take you all on a fun hike. You can pick up some hiking tips and learn the basics of how to hike with kids for your future adventures.