What to Wear Hiking in Colorado

When you’re spending time planning a hiking vacation in Colorado, pouring yourself into the details, you’re envisioning everything goes right. You’re picturing smiles and laughter, time unplugged in nature, and memories made – whether by yourself or with your family. However, there’s a relatively easy way for things to go wrong. 

Being unprepared for Colorado’s weather patterns can not only put a wringer in your vacation – it can compromise your safety, too. We’ve put expert advice together to compile this informative overview of what to wear hiking in Colorado. You can also check out our other post on Hiking Safety in Colorado

Typical Weather

Before you can decide what to wear hiking, accommodate yourself with Colorado’s climate

  • Spring: Spring weather in the Colorado Springs area means pretty drastic temperature shifts from day to night. Highs can be anywhere in the 50s and lows in the 20s. 
  • Summer: Summer in the Colorado mountains is definitely warmer than spring. However, with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the low 50s, these significant shifts in temperature from day to night mean you’ll still need to pack more than just a t-shirt and sunblock. 
  • Fall: Highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s is just about perfect weather for hiking in Colorado, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to bring plenty of layers – just in case you are hiking later in the day than you planned. 
  • Winter: Temperatures in Colorado Springs hang out in the 40s in the day and high teens at night during the winter.
Photo by Reymark Franke on Unsplash

Layering

Wearing and bringing extra layers with you is crucial when hiking in Colorado’s mountains. At the very least, your basic hiking outfit/packed extras should contain the following:

  • Moisture-wicking base layer.
  • Moisture-wicking undergarments.
  • Insulating layer. In summer, this may be a warm fleece, depending on the weather forecast. In winter, this needs to be a heavyweight insulated synthetic or down stuffed jacket, like a “puffy.”
  • Rain jacket
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Extra socks. We prefer wool.
Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

The Problem with Cotton

There’s a phrase in the outdoor world that warns us, “Cotton kills.” While this sounds extreme and is not the case in every climate, it should definitely be kept in mind when hiking anywhere in Colorado. 

Cotton is hydrophilic, which means it loves water; the plant fibers attract moisture and hold onto it, so it dries out very slowly. It’s highly absorbent and can hold up to 27 times its weight in water. This means our bodies must work extra hard to heat ourselves along with the cotton fabric in an attempt to dry it out. This can be dangerous in climates such as Colorado’s that have major temperature shifts from day to night and storms that seem to come out of nowhere. 

Unsafe Cotton Scenarios

Imagine you’re hiking in any season – you’re working hard and exerting yourself physically, so naturally, you work up a sweat. Your hydrophilic cotton shirt is absorbing every drop of sweat your body generates as you’re hiking up and over mountains. 

Now, imagine you’re wearing that sweaty cotton shirt, and it’s getting late in the day, and the temperature is dropping fast. You’re going back down the mountain, and although the descent is brutal on your knees, your body temperature is dropping quickly because you aren’t using much energy hiking downhill. With strong winds that can decrease your body temperature in seconds, things can take a turn for the worse very quickly from here.

However, the good news is that this scenario is entirely avoidable with knowledge, good preparation, and mindful packing. When packing for your hiking trip in Colorado, it’s best to keep the phrase “cotton kills” in your mind.

What to Wear Hiking Instead of Cotton

Head to any outdoor gear store, and you’re bound to see the term “moisture-wicking” on dozens of tags. Moisture-wicking fabrics like synthetic and wool fabrics are the opposite of cotton: they are hydrophobic, meaning they resist water penetration. 

Polyester and nylon are top contenders among synthetic moisture-wicking fabrics, and wool is the leader (and my personal favorite) when it comes to natural fibers. Whether you get soaked in a downpour or sweat profusely on your hike, your moisture-wicking shirt, pants, and socks are going to dry super quickly and not leave you cold and clammy like cotton will. 

Additionally, wool is a superb natural insulator. This makes wool the leader in fabrics that transition from daytime to nighttime hiking in areas where temperatures shift dramatically, like Colorado. 

But isn’t wool too hot for summertime hiking?

You can purchase 100% wool hiking attire that is lightweight enough to wear while hiking in the summer in Colorado. Just look for base layers – they can be pricey but incredibly versatile and suitable for all of Colorado’s seasons.

Things to Remember

When considering what to wear while hiking in Colorado, it’s important to think past just your clothing. 

  • If you have sensitive skin, make sure you bring sunscreen to apply on all exposed skin, following the bottle’s directions. 
  • Sunglasses and hats can protect your eyes, neck, and face from the sun.
  • Bug spray will help keep the gnats at bay.
  • Colorado is home to over 27 types of ticks and 20 tick-borne diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. To prevent ticks from crawling onto your skin, opt out of the shorts, and wear long pants tucked into your socks. Even if it’s hot, your moisture-wicking pants will keep you cool enough to hike. Also, remember to learn more about Colorado tick bite prevention, dangers, and bite protocols.
  • Footwear should be closed-toed and provide adequate ankle support for optimal safety. 

Conclusion

Safety is the most important thing to consider when planning what to wear hiking in Colorado. If you’re unclear on how to hike safely, consider coming on one of our Guided Hiking Tours in Colorado Springs. We’ll make sure you’ve dressed appropriately, show you around Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, and keep you safe!

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!

Beginners Guide to Archery

Have you ever dreamt of riding horseback, firing arrows off to pin apples to the trees behind your target? 

You’re not alone in the fantasy of becoming Legolas, Robin Hood, or the Green Arrow. We all watch these movies and shows and imagine what it would be like to have the skills that these legends have developed over time. 

One wildly misleading part of these archery depictions is the lack of intense training over years and years that one needs to become a professional. There was someone training baby Legolas and giving him archery tips as he missed his target repeatedly. We all have to start somewhere. 

Archery is a great sport to get into as a beginner. There isn’t a huge initial investment, it’s easily accessible, and you don’t need a ton of gear to try it out. There are shooting ranges all around that will gladly let you explore the bow and arrow, even as a beginning archer. While the internet and other resources around you are filled with a wealth of archery tips, we’re going to dive into the best way to get started on your new journey.

So, nock your arrow, take sight, and let’s see what targets we can hit.

Broadmoor Outfitter’s Beginners Guide to Archery

Photo by Sadie Esch-Laurent on Unsplash

Bows

It can’t be said enough that archery is a simple sport at its roots. There aren’t too many moving parts, and you don’t have complicated technology. It’s a tool that people have been using for thousands of years, way before we relied on smartphones to do everything for us.

Now, you can easily Google, “What is archery?” and have your answer in an instant. Still, the bow takes time to practice, learn, and truly master. Fortunately, archery for beginners is much more simple than mastering it. 

You can’t practice archery without is the bow. This may be common knowledge, and you may be sitting there saying, “Duh, of course, you need a bow,” but there’s a little more to it. There are several styles of bow, and each has pros and cons.

So, to get you started on the right foot, here are the two basic designs of bows.

1. Recurve

A recurve bow is the simpler of the two bow styles. In essence, this bow style utilizes the curve of fiberglass, or sometimes wood, limbs to provide power to your shot. These limbs are attached to a handle that houses the arrow rest, where you will be looking while aiming.

A single bowstring attaches these two arms and curves them against their natural direction, amping up the potential force. All of this power goes into the arrow as soon as you pull back the bowstring and take aim. 

A recurve bow looks more like a traditional Robin Hood style bow and is probably what you will want to try using on your first time shooting. They aren’t complicated, they give you a good idea of how to control a bow under pressure. Plus, they are much cheaper than their counterparts.

Recurve bows are typically a relatively low draw weight that won’t make your arms shake uncontrollably while pulling back the first time. If you’re looking to do some more complex or powerful shooting, you can look towards other bow styles. 

2. Compound

A compound bow is an ingenious invention that allows the shooter to hold aim without putting too much strain on their arms and shoulders. This was accomplished by engineers in the 1970s, using cams to relieve the pressure once the string is fully drawn. The bow itself is a bit more complicated, looks much more modern and high-tech, but is perfect for anyone who goes hunting and patiently waits at a full draw for the right moment to fire. 

There are more traditional bows, like the longbow that you may imagine an elf carrying into war. There are bows specially designed to be fired from horseback and bows with all the bells and whistles for Olympic archers, but we’re talking about archery for beginners here.

One of the best archery tips we can give you is to start easy, don’t grab a bow that will be too high of draw weight. You will most likely end up not enjoying the sport because it’s too difficult to come near a target while straining to draw the bow. 

Photo by Laura Crowe on Unsplash

Arrows

While there are many styles of arrows for hunting and target practice, the best idea for starting up is to buy a cheap archery target and some target arrows that are relatively affordable. A lot of these are going to be aluminum or carbon, which are great materials for beginners. 

Learning how to re-fletch your arrows is another invaluable tool. The little feathers, called fletchings, are going to pop off over time. It’s an easy fix with the right glue and tools, and it’s worth getting to know how to do your own maintenance. This will save you money in the long run and keep you shooting for longer. 

Shooting Sequence

As this is a beginner’s guide to archery, having the gear isn’t enough. Learning how to shoot is essential.

You’ve acquired the bow and the arrows, and hopefully, you’ve found some other safety equipment such as an armguard or finger guard. Now you’re ready to shoot! The entire shooting sequence gets down to fine, delicate details when working on becoming a master.

For now, though, we’ll glance over the basics of an archery shooting sequence:

  1. Find a safe area where everyone is clear of down range, mentally prepare, and it’s time to take your stance. 
  2. With your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your bow arm towards your target. 
  3. Nock your arrow on the bowstring and place it in the arrow rest with the index feather (normally the odd colored fletching) pointed away from you. 
  4. Placing one finger above the arrow and two below, draw the bow back and bring your hand to the corner of your smile, all while keeping your elbow high. 
  5. With both eyes open, take aim down the shaft of the arrow towards your target. 
  6. Take a deep breath in, and slowly exhale.
  7. On your exhale, release.
  8. Celebrate.

Okay, maybe you won’t be celebrating the first shot, but keep at it. Learning archery is a process, and it requires a lot of patience and practice. Keep working on your form and pay attention to the little details. 

Where to Practice

Since archery can be pretty dangerous, one of the safest ways to start is with a guided introduction to archery.

When beginner archery in Colorado is done right, it is a fun family activity that everyone can master. Set up a small target range at home if you have the outdoor space. If you don’t, find the closest archery range. The range is a great place to meet fellow archers who can share archery tips and are willing to build community through the sport. 

Soon, you won’t need the beginner’s guide. Nocking an arrow and pinning five into the bullseye in a row will feel natural. Keep on practicing, and remember, we were all beginners at some point. 

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.

View from a Broadmoor Resort Room Terrace

CHOOSING ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE BROADMOOR

CHOOSING ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE BROADMOOR

Are you seeking that mesmerizing Cheyenne Mountain View or perhaps a view of the dazzling Cheyenne Lake, exclusively at The Broadmoor? Look no more!

With suites, brownstones, guest rooms, cottages, and Estate House available, there is something for everyone when choosing a room at The Broadmoor.

COTTAGES

Set out on a new adventure as you experience The Broadmoor in a new way when you choose a cottage. Cottages are available with one bedroom for a cozy romantic stay, solo business travel, or those seeking to get away and relax.

Eight bedrooms are also an option for a family get together, special event, or large families and friends enjoying all that Colorado Springs offers.

Each of these spectacular cottages features a parlor, beautiful wood floors, and a beautiful stone fireplace. Oh, do not forget the views of the exquisite Cheyenne Mountain or East Golf Course! These options will have you engulfed in the luxury of a private residence!

For those that are looking for as much space as possible, choose the Broadmoor Cottages. With 450-square foot bedrooms, space will not be an issue. Relax in front of the fireplace. Invite some of your closest friends and enjoy dinner on the large patio, there are several, so take your pick.

THE ESTATE HOUSE

Should the space in the cottages not be enough then head to the Estate House, which features 12,000 square feet of luxury. Five bedrooms await your arrival. All the bedrooms include a king or two queen beds, and each has a private bath.

The Estate House is perfect for a small office getaway. Each of your attendees receives their own room, and entertainment options are incredible. The grand parlor holds 60 guests at round tables. If your office is smaller in size, do not worry, the dining room can entertain up to 16.

After your meeting or during a break, head to the back lawn or croquet lawn and take in the landscaped gardens and lush beauty surrounding you!

Please note that the Estate House is only available as a whole unit.

THE BROWNSTONES

Forget the ordinary condo or vacation home that you can enjoy during your time in Colorado Springs. Enjoy entertaining in the living room area or the formal dining room. Engage your guests on the private terrace as you feast on delicious appetizers from the gourmet kitchen.

You and your guests will love lounging on the fourth floor, relaxing by the outdoor fireplace, and taking in the spectacular views of the mountains.

Other features of the Brownstones are room for three cars, an elevator, pull-out sleeping options, and a wine cellar. The perfect place to relax!

SUITES

Individual décor will greet you upon your arrival to one of The Broadmoor’s suites.

Main and Signature suites offer king-sized beds, exquisite baths, outstanding views, and a host of amenities. Each suite is unique and offers travelers all the comforts of home. Check out some of the highlights below.

MAIN EXECUTIVE SUITES

EASTMOOR SUITES

Should you be traveling with family to beautiful Colorado Springs and The Broadmoor, Eastmoor Suites is just for you. Situated in the Broadmoor Main Complex, these suites offer guests a king-size bed, and a sofa bed that is queen-sized for the family!

Enjoy your privacy away from your travel companions when you close the parlor door and relax in your outstanding bedroom.

SOUTH TOWER SUITES

Enjoy that romantic getaway when you reserve a South Tower Suite in the Broadmoor South building complex. Take in the gorgeous lake and mountain views from your large picture windows. Snuggle up and relax by the gas fireplace or forget all your troubles as you immerse yourself in a large soaking tub.

Should you forget to turn down the lights before sinking into the bed, no worries! Just use the computerized bedside system to help you lighten the mood!

WEST EXECUTIVE SUITES

TERRACE JUNIOR SUITE

Book a Terrace Junior Suite on the Broadmoor West’s seventh floor. Enjoy a beverage on the private patio while you snap a selfie of you admiring the sunset over the Colorado Rockies.

All the Terrace Junior Suites offer king-size accommodations and marble baths!

WEST TOWER SUITES

Enjoy watching a game of golf? Then West Tower Suites is for you as they overlook the lavish, lush golf course!

Unwind nightly in the parlor as you look out the large picture windows or enjoy your morning drink as you start your day in the sitting area.

West Tower Suites offer two double beds for your enjoyment.

MAIN SIGNATURE SUITES

EDITH K. GAYLORD SUITE

Enjoy views of the lake, mountains, and other areas of The Broadmoor when you stay at the 1,800 square foot suite that calls the Lakeside Building’s top floor home. Gold and browns will soothe you as you and reminds you of the Penrose’s travels. The balcony provides outstanding views and is one of the best locations on the property.

Entertain your friends out on the terrace and relax at night in the king bedroom equipped with a fireplace.  You will enjoy intimacy at its finest!

PENROSE SUITE

In the Broadmoor’s Main building complex, you will find where Julie Penrose resided for 13 years. The private apartment comes with three-bedrooms, three-baths, a dining room, a sitting room, a fireplace, and a glass-enclosed sunroom.

Mrs. Penrose displayed grace and charm, and you will find that the Penrose Suite just as elegant and does not disappoint!

WEST SIGNATURE SUITES

PENTHOUSE TERRACE SUITE

Imagine being of Broadmoor West in a two-bedroom suite with fabulous mountain views and huge windows for the morning sunshine to come through! If that is not enough, head out to your private outdoor patio! Enjoy a double queen or king bedroom, each with their private bath with marble fixtures!

Other fabulous amenities of this luxury suite include two fireplaces and the most state-of-the-art elements you could wish.

GUEST ROOMS

From the 420 square foot Classic West Tower rooms that offer incredible views of the golf course, nearby mountains, and Cheyenne Lake, to the 550 square foot Broadmoor West Premier, there is a room for everyone.

These exquisite modern rooms are spread throughout the Broadmoor West complex, Broadmoor South complex, and the Broadmoor West building complex. In these rooms, you can view the resort lake, picturesque mountains, or championship golf courses.

No matter which room you have your eyes set on, you will not be disappointed.

 

Hiking in Colorado

Why Hike The Regions of Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is between Estes Park and Grand Lake with the Continental Divide’s east and west slopes going directly through the park’s center. With more than 125 hiking trails and trailheads spread across five geographic locations and ranging in easy to extreme, there is something for everyone in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Paved trails, mountain adventures, and backcountry campsites await those seeking a day or overnight experience to one of over a hundred campsites. Many of the trails are only accessible in the summer due to hazardous weather conditions during the winter.

REGION 1

The trails found in this region is where Grand Lake is. This area is also known as the Continental Divide’s West side. Lush green expansive meadows and lots of moose are prevalent here.

Are you a lake lover? Great, put on your best pair of hiking boots and make the seven miles up Bowen Lake. As you start on an even surface, there is a gradual climb that weaves its way through a thick forest.

After experiencing the beauty of Bowen Lake, continue and head through Bowen Pass. Note that this seven-and-a-half-mile hike is also steep. When you reach your destination, you will be in the Arapaho National Forest.

Those that brought their tents and other backcountry supplies will enjoy hiking less than 14 miles across the East Inlet Trail, around Lone Pine Lake, and through a forest to reach Lake Verna. There are two sites here available for camping.

When you love to push things to the extreme, you will find the 30 miles of Continental Divide National Scenic Trail the place to be. This trail traverse’s magnificent scenery, tundra, and views of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Do not worry if you are not a thrill-seeking hiker and are looking for something more relaxing. Adams Falls is less than a half-mile and the most popular stroll that takes you thru river scenery, aspen, pine forest, and rocks of grey and black that jut out along the way.

Wildlife lovers, especially those hunting moose for some outstanding photo shots, will love Coyote Valley. Follow along the Colorado River banks as you enjoy your early morning stroll searching for the best view to snap that million-dollar picture. This one-mile hike is paved, allows strollers, and offers picnic tables for those who wish to come and eat lunch.

REGION 2

The Alpine Region is the name given to Region 2. High elevations and incredible vistas await you here.

Pack up your picnic basket and head to Lake Irene, where eight picnic tables await you and your family. This easy, one-mile trip offers up incredible rolling meadows to venture out and see. Enjoy a couple of hours or the whole day, as you also explore the nearby forest land.

Another excellent walk takes you a little over one mile. Tombstone Ridge is rated easy and comes with some incredible views.

If you have traveled to the Rocky Mountain National Park to view the Continental Divide, the 5.8-mile hike Mount Ida is for you. Break out the camera and snap some pictures of the expansive views that take your breath away. Thunderstorms are frequent on this hike, so pack a raincoat.

REGION 3

The northern part of the Rocky Mountain National Park is a wilderness paradise. Trails in Region 3 range from a charming 0.15 miles up to some intense hiking going 9.5 miles.

Alluvial Fan is the beautiful short hike that will lead you to a river and show you how the Lawn Lake Flood affected it. This easy, 20 feet elevation hike is a paradise for the lovers of water. Bring your lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic tables as you watch the kiddos splashing around in the stream nearby.

Should you decide to venture out in the winter, head up the Chasm Falls trails. The road is closed during this time, so you will need to park at the West Alluvial Fan lot. Bring the kids along, as this is a kid-friendly hike.

REGION 4

Region 4 plays host to Rocky Mountain National Parks most visited and famous trails. Here you will enjoy trails with easy access, superb views, and lakes galore.

Bear Lake Loop is an incredible fast hike that takes you past spectacular peak views to the base of Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Bear Lake Loop is an extremely popular trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Do not let the 0.6 miles fool you, though, as Bear Lake is not entirely flat, and rocks are throughout the dirt.

If you are seeking out a destination wedding location, then look no more. Bear Lake Loop can host your fabulous day, as it accommodates anywhere from 2-35.

Dream Lake is an excellent place for a family hike. As this is the most photographed lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, you will be kicking yourself if you forget the camera. Capture images of Nymph Lake and Hallett Peak, Glacier Gorge, or Flattop Mountain. If this dreamy location is not enough, hike on over to Emerald Lake, just 0.7 miles away.

REGION 5

The south side of Estes Park is considered Region 5. The iconic fourteener, Longs Peak, is located here. Impressive waterfalls and backcountry areas are also in this Wild Basin area.

Lily Lake is a one-mile trail that offers incredible views of Mount Meeker and Longs Peak. Bring your fishing pole and stop at the fishing pier to try your luck.

CONCLUSION

These are just a few of the incredible trails that one can enjoy either solo or with family in Rocky Mountain National Park. Amazing views, superb vistas, challenging, and easy hikes provide an incredible incentive to hike in this national park.

Should you need some more enticement, do not forget about Trail Ridge Road. Trails along this area bisect Rocky Mountain National Park and supply outstanding views as you go over the top of the Continental Divide.

If you need help planning any Colorado or Colorado Springs family of corporate adventures, don’t hesitate to give the experts at Broadmoor Outfitters a call.

The Broadmoor and Celebrities

Celebrities and The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor is a luxurious five-star resort nestled in Colorado Springs, CO, and has had its fair share of celebrities grace its floors. A large number even have their photos on the Wall of Fame housed in The Broadmoor West building.

Who in the line up of A-celebrities have made notable appearances, you ask? The list ranges from presidents to athletes, and movie stars, among many others.

Kevin Bacon, who enjoys his privacy, once laid his head on a pillow at The Broadmoor after receiving too much attention at the hotel he was initially staying. This epic move came during his filming of Cop Car. The resident photographer was able to talk Mr. Bacon into a photograph, and he graciously agreed.

Kevin was so impressed with the amenities and fantastic treatment while at The Broadmoor, he invited his wife to come and enjoy the resort during the last part of filming. His wife, of course, is also a well-noted celebrity in her own right, Kyra Sedgwick.

Football greats, Peyton Manning, and John Elway have also relaxed at The Broadmoor. While Manning is usually a shy guy, he does get into some shenanigans with Elway when they are together at the resort.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been spotted at The Broadmoor when he was a special guest at an event.

President George H.W. Bush has been a regular quite a few times. He has three pictures on the Wall of Fame.

One time during his Broadmoor stay, Montie Montana rode down the stairs of the main lobby on a horse. Of course, it was all a publicity stunt, but that is something you do not see every day.

One cannot talk cowboys without mentioning John Wayne. In the 1950’s while at a private party, the memorable moment was when Wayne served folks at the party shrimp. After catching a ride up to the party on a service elevator, he started munching on a waiter’s tray of shrimp. When advised not to do that, the actor responded with an OK, and that he would serve the shrimp personally.

Long before the secret service worried about security issues for the presidents they guarded, Dwight Eisenhower came to The Broadmoor and golf. During one of these visits, it was said that when a breakfast cart was taken to his room, the waiter got invited in and was able to talk freely with the former president. That would be so awesome!

In 1918, when The Broadmoor had its soft opening, the first celebrity to grace the halls was John D. Rockefeller. His stay was cut short due to some paint fumes that he did not enjoy.

Even royalty from across the pond has laid their head on the pillows at The Broadmoor. While attending a Wounded Warrior Project event, Prince Harry made an appearance.

What exactly has these famous folks returning for multiple stays? The answer is simple, luxury, elegance, and charm. A few perks that they find at The Broadmoor include marble fountain carved by Italian and European artisans, amazing Cheyenne Mountain views, and award-winning golf courses.

Do not forget that the accommodations are stellar, with high thread count linens and bathrooms fit for a queen.

Celebrities that venture to The Broadmoor enjoy hydrotherapy that gives the feel of experiencing a cascading waterfall, excellent dining at one of the 18 restaurants, browsing the specialty stores, or completing laps at the swimming pool. All of this is so outstanding it is no wonder that they enjoy relaxing at this university-style campus resort.

If the outstanding, friendly, charming, attentive staff is not enough, then the lavish, lush lawns, incredibly manicured walkways, and killer views of Cheyenne Lake will lure you and the celebrities.

Mountain Biking in Colorado Springs

The 4 Reasons Why Mountain Biking Is the One of The Best Heart Health Way To Exercise

How Mountain Biking Can Boost Your Health

The Colorado wilderness boasts some of the most beautiful sights in North America, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Each year, thousands take to the mountains of Colorado Springs to enjoy exhilarating biking and exquisite views, but what makes it such a popular past time for residents and tourists? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of mountain biking and how you can incorporate this exciting outdoor activity into your exercise regime. 

Why Choose Colorado Springs Mountain Biking Tours

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, nearly 40 million people mountain bike all over the U.S. on any given year, making it one of the most popular activities for outdoor recreation. 

There are many reasons why so many find mountain biking to be the perfect past time. For one, mountain biking can lend way to some truly exquisite views. But for many, it’s the thrill of the ride and the subsequent health benefits that render mountain biking the ideal activity for outdoor fun.

Here are a few health benefits associated with mountain biking:

A healthier heart

Regular exercise, such as mountain biking, can improve your health in more ways than one. This type of physical activity has been proven to improve cardiovascular health, as mountain biking calls for the use of large muscle groups that require higher levels of oxygen to operate. By working your heart steadily on a regular basis through mountain biking, you may be able to improve your heart’s fitness by 3-7%. One study by the British Medical Association even showed a 50% decrease in risk for coronary heart disease for those who biked 20 miles or more per week. This significant boost in heart health is enough for many to pick up mountain biking as a form of exercise. 

Elevated mood

Not only is mountain biking an excellent form of exercise, but it also has the power to do wonders for your mental health. Mountain biking is demanding on the body, which in turn releases endorphins. These feel-good hormones are responsible for the decrease in stress you may feel as you navigate the mountains on bike. You may even find mountain biking to be a good source of meditation, which can further elevate your mood and pave the way for creativity. 

Whole-body workout

Ideal for building muscle and stamina, mountain biking targets a broad range of muscles, rendering it an effective whole-body workout. This non-load bearing form of exercise is easy on joints, which reduces your risk of injury. From arms and upper body to abdominal and core muscles, mountain biking’s effects on the body are just one of its many overall benefits.  

Better sleep

There’s nothing like a thrilling day of mountain biking to tire you out. Did you know this type of exercise makes for a better, more restful sleep? The current pandemic has caused millions to experience feelings of anxiety and in some cases, insomnia. Athletic activities like mountain biking that stimulate the body and mind may be just what you’ve been looking for to help you achieve better sleep.

Are you ready for your next mountain biking adventure? At Broadmoor Outfitters, our mountain biking tours are designed to help you make the most of your time in Colorado Springs. Call us to schedule your Colorado Springs mountain biking tour today!