Colorado is home to some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding, and there are over a dozen popular skiing resorts within a two- to three-hour drive of Colorado Springs. The season lasts from November to March, and ski trips can be affordable by taking advantage of the equipment and discount tickets offered by the Academy’s Outdoor Recreation Centers.
OUTDOOR RECREATION CENTER
VANDENBERG HALL OUTDOOR RECREATION CENTER
U.S. OLYMPIC COMPLEX
1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs
The U.S. Olympic Complex is the flagship training center for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Olympic Training Center programs. USA Swimming and USA Shooting have their national headquarters on the complex as well. More than 130,000 people visit the Olympic Training Center each year. Public tours are about an hour long.
Rising to 14,110 feet, Pikes Peak provides some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. It was after visiting the summit that Katherine Lee Bates wrote the words to the song “America the Beautiful.”
The Pikes Peak Highway is a 19-mile paved and gravel journey to the top that begins in Cascade, only 15 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, on U.S. Highway 24. A round-trip excursion can easily take two to three hours. The highway is open year-round, but hours vary throughout the seasons. For the adventurous, the challenging 13-mile (one-way) Barr Trail offers the opportunity to hike to the summit.
PIKES PEAK HIGHWAY
This clear mountain stream plunges nearly 200 feet over seven separate falls. It has been called the “grandest mile of scenery” in Colorado. Adjacent to the falls is a 224-step stairway that leads to hiking trails and a panoramic overlook of Colorado Springs. At night, the falls are illuminated with spectacular light. Seven Falls is open year-round and is only five minutes from the Broadmoor hotel.
GARDEN OF THE GODS
Garden of the Gods Park is a 1,323-acre registered National Natural Landmark of both scenic splendor and recreational opportunities. The park’s dramatic views feature 300-foot sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and blue skies. Stop by the Visitor & Nature Center for information about the park, maps, guided nature walks, interactive exhibits, the Geo-Trekker theater, a gift shop and a cafe.
CAVE OF THE WINDS
Cave of the Winds, the highest cave in the world open to the public, is one of America’s most spectacular prehistoric natural wonders. The caverns started forming more than 200 million years ago. Tours of the cave are available year-round. During the summer, a spectacular laser light show is held after dark. The show uses the cliff faces as a screen to project upon. Cave of the Winds is 4 miles west of Colorado Springs on U.S. Highway 24.
PRO RODEO HALL OF FAME
The Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame highlights the sport of rodeo and the men and women who have made it a world-class sporting event. The history of the cowboy from his origin to the modern rodeo cowboy is presented in multimedia displays and exhibits. The museum also features an outdoor garden with rodeo livestock. The hall is open year-round and is off Interstate 25 at Exit 148.