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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Hiking the Barr Trail

3 Colorado Springs Area Hikes Worth the Adventure

Pike’s Peak and the Colorado Springs beauty brings outdoor enthusiasts to the area daily and ever since the 1880s. Hiking trails are routed all around this remarkable city and are available year-round.

Whether it is a moderate, difficult, or easy trail you are seeking, these three Colorado Springs area hikes are worth the adventure. 

Lace-up your best pair of hiking boots and set off on in search of refreshing air and exercise.

Barr Trail

Extreme adventures looking for a 26.2 roundtrip trail will be in heaven when looking for a path that will take them to Pikes Peak. Barr Trail starts at Manitou Springs, located less than ten miles of Colorado Springs, and will have you up at the top of Pikes Peak when completed.

This trail is on the difficult side. Be prepared for some intense hiking, as Barr Trail is an advanced trail, or plan to stay overnight at Barr Camp. The amount of time to reach Pikes Peak summit is around six to ten hours. Remember to take into consideration temperature, weather changes, and altitude.

Some crucial areas along Barr Trail include mile 9, and open shelter area for hikers to build a campfire, and mile 13, Pikes Peak Summit.

Fido is welcome on this trail if he stays on his leash. Bicycles are also able to travel here. Hiking is not available year-round, just from April to October. There is also a fee to park at the Barr Trail parking lot.

Rainbow Gulch Trail

While in the Manitou Springs area and looking for an easy trail, consider Rainbow Gulch Trail. Start at Rampart Range Road close to Woodland Park and end at Rampart Reservoir, a 400-acre recreation area that lies in the Pike National Forest. At less than three miles long, every skill level will enjoy this delightful hike.

Bird lovers will be in heaven, walking along this trail. Do not forget your camera! Nature and scenery are fabulous, and you will want to capture the beauty.

The Intemann Trail

At less than five miles, 4.81 to be exact, Intemann Trail is excellent for hikers of all levels. The trail connects Manitou Springs to Section 16 and Bear Creek Regional Park. It is also a way to get from Manitou Springs to Colorado Springs. Of course, the trek is completed solely by trails.

During your hike, be amazed at views of the Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, and Red Rock Open Space. Hiking is permitted all year. What an incredible way to see the leaves change, the snowfall, spring flowers, and so much more.

Bicycles, horses, and dogs on a leash are frequent visitors of the Intemann Trail, so keep an eye out for them.

Conclusion

When searching for endless outdoor recreation and adventure near Colorado Springs, consider trying your hand at one of these three hiking trails.

There are many more hiking trails in the Colorado Springs area if these amazing trails do not satisfy your wanderlust. One to note is Heizer Trail, a moderate-difficult trail that will take you across Cascade Mountains Summit.

Contact Broadmoor Outfitters if you have any questions or need any local planning advice.