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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Beginners Guide to Stand Up Paddleboarding

Beginners Guide to Stand Up Paddleboarding

If you’ve ever watched people gracefully paddling on water and wondered how to stand up paddleboard, you’ve come to the right place. Stand up paddleboarding is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s easy for beginners to learn. Check out our stand up paddleboarding tips below, and when you’re ready to join us, book your spot in our Stand Up Paddleboard Tour in Colorado Springs.

What Is Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddleboarding involves standing on a paddleboard, which is not unlike a surfboard, and using a paddle to propel yourself across the water. Unlike surfing, however, these boards are wide and stable, so it’s easier to stay upright. Beginner paddleboards are usually 10’6” long and 31” wide. They are easy to maneuver and don’t require as much balance as you might think. Plus, the benefits of learning how to stand up paddleboard are totally worth the potential of falling off in front of your kids.

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There are plenty of benefits to this fun watersport. First, stand up paddleboarding is an excellent full-body workout, using core muscles for balance and paddling. Second, it’s a great way to enjoy the beauty that Colorado Springs has to offer. You can paddleboard on a river, ocean, or – as we do here – a lake. Since you are standing, you can easily take in the sights while relaxing on the water. Finally, it’s a fun social activity for friends and families. This is an excellent adventure for older kids to tackle alone, and little ones can stand on a board with a parent.

Gear Needed for Stand Up Paddleboarding

Your Paddleboard 

There are three required pieces of equipment for learning how to stand up paddleboard, and we provide them all on our tours. The first is a paddleboard, and we use only high-quality and reliable boards. These solid boards with slip-proof coating are ideal stand up paddleboards for beginners to learn on. All boards come with a velcro leash to secure around your ankle. This prevents the board from drifting away if (and when) you tackle a tumble into the water. 

The Paddle 

The second is a paddle, and our lightweight paddles are comfortable to use. The paddles are adjustable and should be nine or ten inches taller than you. One simple trick for sizing your paddle is to raise your hand straight up above your head and put the paddle handle in your palm. When you can comfortably grip the paddle from this position, that’s the perfect height for you. It’s easy to learn how to use the paddle to navigate through the water, and our Stand Up Paddleboarding Tour in Colorado Springs covers this and other techniques. 

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

The third piece of gear is a personal flotation device (PFD), which is essential while paddleboarding. A PFD allows you to stay safe while paddleboarding over deeper waters, and it also makes it easier to remount the paddleboard from the water. PFDs come in multiple sizes for adults and children, so be sure to get one that fits snugly without being restrictive. 

Finally, let’s talk about clothing. If it’s cold, you may want a wet suit or rash guard. You can also wear water shoes to keep your feet warm while paddleboarding. Make sure to pick shoes that will stay on (flip flops are sure to get lost) and won’t slip on wet surfaces. In warmer weather, don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen before hitting the water.

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Stand Up Paddleboarding Tips and Techniques 

When you first get on the water, you’ll do so from a kneeling position. Having your center of gravity a little lower keeps you more balanced and prevents falling in shallow waters. You can stay kneeling or sitting the whole time, but then you wouldn’t be stand up paddleboarding. What’s the fun in that? So the first thing you need to learn about how to stand up paddleboard is, well, standing up!

Standing Up on Your Paddleboard

The key to standing up on a paddleboard is to go slowly from kneeling, to squatting, to standing. When you stand from a kneeling position on solid ground, you move all your body weight to one foot and then the other. If you tried this on a paddleboard, you would tip over and end up in the water. This is an easy enough mistake to make, but it’s also avoidable if you know the proper technique!

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To maintain your balance, first move into a low squat to keep your center of gravity closer to the paddleboard. It’s easiest to put down your paddle first – across the paddleboard in front of you. Then, place a hand (or both) on the board while you move into a squat. Place your foot in the same place your knee just left to ensure balance and stability in your stance. 

Once you’ve made it to a low squat, you can stand straight up. Don’t forget to bring the paddle with you! Now standing, make sure your feet are hip-width apart with your toes facing forward. Keep your knees bent and engage your core for balance. This is especially important while paddling, which is next on the list.

How to Paddle a Stand Up Paddleboard

First, let’s go over the proper technique for holding a paddle. If the paddle is to the right of your board, your left hand should be on top, holding the T-grip in your fist. Place your right hand a few feet down the shaft. To keep the paddleboard moving straight, switch sides every few strokes. When you do this, also change your hand positions so the opposite hand is always on top. 

The Forward Stroke 

Let’s start moving with a forward stroke. Both of your arms should be fully extended, with your top arm parallel to the board and your bottom arm at a forty-five-degree angle. The angle of the paddle blade should point away from you. Bury the whole blade in the water to get maximum power with each stroke. Be sure to pull your paddle back as far as you can; try to get your body past the paddle before you take it out of the water for the next stroke.

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Reverse Stroke 

Once you’ve got the forward stroke down, you can also do a reverse stroke. As the name implies, it’s just the forward stroke backward with the paddle starting next to or slightly behind you. Make sure to bend your knees and engage your core! Doing so provides stability and power as well as protecting your back from injury in this twisted position. You’ll most often use the reverse stroke for stopping or slowing down.

The Sweep Stroke – For Turning 

The last aspect to paddling a stand up paddleboard for beginners is the sweep stroke. This stroke allows you to turn quickly, even when your board is standing still. Start by placing the paddle near the nose of your board with the blade perpendicular to the paddleboard. Then, using your legs and hips for power, sweep the paddle in a semicircle backward towards the tail of your board. This motion will cause you to turn away from the paddle. If you do a reverse stroke, starting at the tail and sweeping toward the nose, you will turn toward the paddle. 

This technique gives you a couple of options for turning in the water. If you want to turn to the right, for example, you can do a sweep stroke on the left side of the board or a reverse sweep on the right.

How to Get Back on a Stand Up Paddleboard from the Water

The last of our stand up paddleboard tips, especially important for beginners, is how to get back onto a board after you’ve fallen in the water. The first step is to locate your paddle and place it across the nose of your paddleboard. If it has drifted too far away, you’ll need to get back on your stand up paddleboard first (since you’re connected via leash) and paddle with your hands to retrieve it.

Join an intro to paddleboarding class today!