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Old 05-29-2015, 11:34 PM
3 posts, read 2,017 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all.

My family (4 adults, 1 child) are visiting the CS area from Texas this summer. First time at any sort of altitude, so we want to take that into account for our brief stay. We'll be there for maybe 3 or 4 days total (starting in CS for a day or two, then heading to the Denver area and then back to CS for another day or two).

Can you recommend any natural sight seeing attractions like easy hikes or day trip picnic type places that have nice scenery? We're interested in seeing maybe some nice trees, water falls, etc. Basically, just some places that we can drive/walk to in a nice natural setting. We get to see dusty plains and cedar bushes and the like here in Texas all the time, so we'd like to switch it up a bit with something a littler greener.

Is there anything like that around your neck of the woods?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:00 AM
Location: Clay Center, KS
400 posts, read 382,622 times
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You can visit Garden of the Gods and they have nice hiking trails. For falls check out Helen Hunts falls and Seven falls (not sure if open). Check out Old Colorado and Manitou Springs but parking is difficult and Red Rock Open Space. Of course a drive up to Pikes Peak or ride the cog railway. Check the weather though since we may have rain.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:16 AM
Location: Colorado
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I wouldn't count on Red Rock Open Space being open, due to our rains this May, the trails are closed.

Garden of the Gods is just wonderful. You can choose to stay along the concrete path, or take one of the trails. Few are really tough and are appropriate for anyone adjusting to altitude. I love the Palmer trail, go to the main parking lot and walk north. Another great path is for the Siamese formation. There is a keyhole to see Pike's Peak.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:35 AM
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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - great scenery, a hike, and a good zoo and picnic spot all in one. Helen Hunt Falls - you can drive right up and it is free. Garden of the Gods - ditto. Drive up Pikes Peak highway - not free - but prepared that altitude could be an issue.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:00 AM
Status: "Goodbye fall ... hello winter" (set 18 days ago)
Location: Manitou Springs
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If you're worried about altitude sickness, drink plenty of water before and during your stay here. Aspirin can help as well.

Lots of nice picnic areas in both Garden of the Gods and North Cheyenne Canyon (where Helen Hunt Falls is) along the creek. Hopefully the weather will be nice for you - it's been a little wet around here lately ... so no worries about dust!

Red Rock Open Space is closed right now, but might be open depending on when you're arriving. It's also nice to walk around Old Colorado City and/or Manitou Springs if you want to hit up a few shops and restaurants - that sort of thing. The west end of Garden of the Gods is very near Manitou Springs. The Chamber there offers "walk-about" tours of all the different mineral springs here.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:07 PM
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Several trails are closed at this time, found this page on the city govt site.
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:34 PM
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A really cool place to go, though not in the Springs is if you take Highway 83 up towards Parker there is a place called Castlewood Canyon it is an amazing hiking spot but it's not free though very cheap. In Colorado Springs I agree with everyone else, Garden of the Gods is awesome, you can let your kid try to push the balancing boulder, though no one is ever going to push it over it's just a fun picture to take.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:26 AM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Fully agree with those who have recommended Garden of the Gods, Helen Hunt Falls, and the Zoo. South Cheyenne Canyon sits immediately beneath Helen Hunt Falls, and there are several very scenic picnic areas along the creek.

I'd also recommend the Air Force Academy. There's a short, flat trail from the Visitor's Center to the Cadet Chapel. If you're here the first three weeks of July, the Academy will be in the midst of Basic Cadet Training, meaning a lot of drill activities on the terrazzo, and almost certainly a Noon Meal Formation.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:29 AM
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Awesome! Thanks for all the suggestions.

Any advice on scenic fishing spots in the area? We considered getting a short-term license.
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Old 06-03-2015, 03:24 AM
Location: a uniquely shaped state
879 posts, read 874,075 times
Reputation: 1903
I don't live in Colorado but I have visited a few times, both in Colorado Springs and Denver (well Denver was only once).

I nth the recommendation for Garden of the Gods!!!
Manitou Springs - Cave of the Winds (touristy but cool) and the cliff dwellings (also very touristy but cool although I read it's a replica and not the real dwellings). The downtown area is cute too
Pike's peak
Palmer Park is a nice park right in the middle of the city with trails and once you hike in there you forget it's right in the middle of everything
I also agree with the Air Force Academy
Old Colorado City was fun to walk through
Cheyenne Mountain State park is neat to walk through, there is a small fee to get in, but nothing too bad and you might see some wildlife--I did!!
There are a lot of old west type museums, i haven't been to them but just for your info:
Space Foundation Discovery Center | Space Foundation (been here, it's pretty cool)
Colorado Railroad Museum (have not been here)
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Colorado Springs History, Pikes Peak Region History (have not been here)
Museums, Mining Museums | Western Museum of Mining and Industry, Colorado Springs, Colorado (have not been here)
Ghost Town Museum | Things To Do in Colorado Springs (haven't been here--this looks fairly hokey to me though)

Seriously Colorado Springs is GREAT for an outdoorsy person/family. Lots of great hikes!!

Downtown Colorado Springs is cool too but it's not that big. Nice to walk around for a bit though.

Denver Zoo is super cool, the botanical gardens are nice, downtown is fun to walk around, tons of other museums/city stuff that I didn't get around to doing. You could try to catch a ball game at Coors field. Oh and lots of good beer!! There are walking beer tours. Also if you have the time I recommend checking out Boulder, it's a great funky town and very walkable.

Have fun, I'm super jealous...I miss CO!
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