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Explore the Great Outdoors of the Pikes Peak Region

By Alexea Veneracion, Communications Manager at Visit COS
August 5, 2020
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For those who enjoy outdoor adventure and activities, scenic drives, the foodie scene and wide-open spaces, this is the trip for you.

UPDATE 8/4/2020: Colorado Springs says in a press release that they have launched a certification program for local businesses that will comply with COVID protections. You can read more about Colorado Spring's response here: https://www.visitcos.com/coronavirus-colorado-springs/peak-of-safety-pledge/


As our country is on the road to recovery, travel planning has resumed. While the typical summer travel season will look different in the “new norm,” there is still plenty to see and explore while remaining safe.In Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, many businesses and attractions have started to open their doors once again.

Whether you’re ready to pack your suitcase or still in the early stages of planning your trip, our guide will ensure you have a fun-filled itinerary and are prepared with all of the info you need to be “Colo-Ready.”

Know Before You Go

Colorado is currently in a “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors” phase of recovery. It means people are still encouraged to social distance but can recreate and get outdoors responsibly.

Each county of Colorado has its own requirements and regulations, so make sure you check with individual counties before you arrive. The Pikes Peak region comprises El Paso, Fremont and Teller counties, each of which may have their own regulations. In Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, we welcome visitors and encourage them all to practice social distancing and respect guidelines of individual businesses. For example, while most municipalities don’t require face masks be worn at all times, we do ask that visitors bring masks with them and wear them 1) If a business requires it 2) If they are indoors where others are congregating and 3) If they are in more crowded outdoor areas.

The Pikes Peak region is well positioned for social distancing with plenty of activities to do outdoors, all allowing space from others. If you’re planning to spend time on the beautiful trails and open spaces, make sure to spend a few minutes learning how to Leave No Trace.

The Adventure Is You

In the Pikes Peak region, you can truly craft your own adventure. From going on a hike to whitewater rafting or sitting on a patio and enjoying a brew – there’s something for everyone.

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

Whether you’re planning a leisurely family weekend or a trip jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping adventure, you can find it in the Pikes Peak region. Check out the recommended attractions and activities below that are now open for business and explore more things to do at VisitCOS.com.

  • Summit Pikes Peak – Nothing says social distancing like heading to the top of one of the state’s 14ers. Hike, bike or drive up Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. At 14,115 feet, the top of the mountain serves breathtaking views of the region. The current Summit House is now open for business, offering summiteers hot coffee, fudge and its world-famous fresh donuts.
  • Explore Garden of the Gods Park – A National Natural Landmark, Garden of the Gods features towering sandstone rock formations framing majestic Pikes Peak. Rent an e-bike, go rock climbing or hike the many trails in the park.
  • Hit the road on a scenic drive – Colorado Springs is a hop, skip and a jump away from plenty of scenic drives. Get your camera ready, check out jaw-dropping gorges and wind your way through mountain ghost towns.
  • Visit the Royal Gorge region – Just an hour outside of Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge region is full of activities. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park offers gondolas, ziplines, the Skycoaster, Via Ferrata and suspension bridge. Afterward, you can book a ticket aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad to ride, dine and unwind.
  • Take the family on a Jeep tour – Buckle up and get a taste of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region in the open air. Adventures Out West will take you on a tour through well-known landmarks like Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Canyon and Manitou Springs while you learn about Colorado history. Colorado Jeep Tours in Cañon City offers interpretive tours of the Royal Gorge, Red Canyon and historic mining district of Cripple Creek and Victor.
  • Get your zen on with paddle yoga – Sign up for a paddleboard yoga class. Dragonfly Paddle Yoga offers dynamic, flowing yoga sequences on Monument Lake, Quail Lake and Prospect Lake while following safety precautions and social distancing.
  • Ride the rapids or relax while rafting – Experience a one-of-a-kind rafting adventure with Echo Canyon River Expeditions. With safety guidelines in place, you can enjoy an adventure ranging from extreme white water rafting to calm family floats.
  • Challenge yourself on a rock-climbing adventure – Sign up for a guided climb with Front Range Climbing Company at Garden of the Gods Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space or North Cheyenne Cañon. Learn basic rock-climbing skills or tackle a more expert route.
  • Hike to your heart’s desire – There is no shortage of hiking in the region. Check out the Trails and Open Space Coalition for recommendations of less-crowded trails. From beginner trails to trails that take you all the way up Pikes Peak, there are plenty of options for all explorers. Find additional hiking trails here.

LODGING

Colorado Springs offers a variety of lodging options from luxury hotels to camping, glamping, cabins and more.

Luxury hotel stays

  • Cheyenne Mountain, A Dolce Resort – Experience a luxury, lakeside stay with mountain views, fine dining and spa services.
  • Garden of the Gods Resort and Club – Relax and focus on your wellness at a world-class resort with views overlooking Garden of the Gods Park.
  • Glen Eyrie Castle – Stay the night in a castle situated in the rolling foothills. It’s rich, spiritual history and modern comfort will provide you with a safe haven during your stay.

Alternative stays

  • Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort – If you’re planning a trip full of biking and activity, the Bicycle Resort is your base camp for adventure. Located on a designated bike route connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, it’s in close proximity to countless miles of biking trails at the base of Pikes Peak and less than a mile from Garden of the Gods Park.
  • SCP Hotel – Known for its holistic hospitality, SCP stands for “Soul, Community, Planet.” Its hand-crafted venues feature reclaimed wood, living green walls, exposed brick and hand-painted murals, which unite earth-friendly and socially responsible practices. It’s the perfect place to stay for those who value personal wellness, social good and the environment.
  • Timber Lodge Cabins – If you’re looking for a truly Colorado environment, the Timber Lodge is a great option. The charming A-frame cabins are located on the far west side of Colorado Springs, on the border of historic Manitou Springs and only a mile from Old Colorado City. It’s walking distance from the hiking trails of Garden of the Gods Park and Red Rock Open Space.

FOOD & DRINK

The Pikes Peak region is known for its vast array of food and drink options. Dive into Instagrammable plates and local brews.

  • Bars/breweries
    • The Bench – Enjoy burgers, brews and sports at this charming downtown sports bar.
    • Colorado Mountain Brewery – From starters like fried pickles and brewery pretzels to burgers, pizzas and wraps, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Wash it down with one of the brewery’s flagship beers.
    • Phantom Canyon Brewery – Named after the majestic Phantom Canyon, the brewery offers flagship beers and guest beers along with a full dining menu. The rooftop showcases sweeping views of the city and Rocky Mountains.
  • Home-style restaurants
    • Coquette’s Bistro – Coquette’s is a 100% gluten-free restaurant serving up food, baked goods and cocktails. Located in a cozy corner of downtown Colorado Springs, the spot is convenient for enjoying the city’s atmosphere.
    • Mason Jar – Dive into traditional American specialties like the legendary Chicken Fried Steak and comfort food that never goes out of style.
  • Elevated dining
    • Joseph’s Fine Dining – With 25 years working in many five-star hotels and restaurants, Joseph Freyre’s concept mixes the world of old table side flambé cooking with nouveau cuisine. Experience dishes from escargots to sea scallops and lamb leg steak.
    • The Warehouse – Chef James Africano prepares dishes using only the freshest ingredients and local, in-season products. Try unique plates like pan-seared lamb liver and rabbit carbonara.
  • Cultural cuisine
    • Edelweiss – This authentic German restaurant serves up everything from weinerschnitzels and jagerschnitzels to bratwurst, strudels and sauerbraten.
    • La Casa Fiesta – This family-owned Mexican restaurant is a Monument staple. Enjoy traditional Mexican food with a New Mexican flare.

Whether you’re from Colorado or traveling from afar, Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region is an area ripe for exploration. With so many options for exploring outdoors, it’s the perfect trip to start planning now. Get “Colo-Ready” and pack your bags!


Budget Travel is working with tourism boards around the USA to highlight destinations that are ready for tourists and can provide safe, socially distant activity.

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