45 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Phone: (719) 685-5455
Fax: (719) 685-1433
Regardless if you are a seasoned rider or a beginner whose only horse experience was reading Black Velvet, this riding center accommodates all abilities. Riders can choose from one or two hour rides, or during the winter there is also the option for a three-hour perimeter ride. All horse-strolls are guided and wander through and around he Garden of the Gods. Larger groups can arrange in advance for breakfast or dinner rides. Kids must be over eight to ride.
Dating back to 1100 CE, these well-preserved Anasazi cliff dwellings are a must visit for anyone interested in history and ancient cultures. The dwellings feature over 40 rooms, including a revered ceremonial kiva. All the tours are self-guided and require some ladder and stair climbing to enter the structures. Two on-site museums, which feature Anasazi artifacts, offer sharp insight on the how, where, when and why of this cliff-dwelling culture. Visit from June to August and witness traditional Indian dancers.
A heavy indicator that this historical center offers an authentic experience can be gauged by the simple fact that it offers sarsaparilla as a beverage. While most such attractions focus on Colorado's "Wild West" days, this center, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, underscores the state's homesteading past with renovated buildings, including a Blacksmith shop, and characters in period clothing. Lectures, military re-enactments and a live 1880s baseball game are some of its educational features.
Garden of the Gods is sprawled over 1360 acres (550 hectares). Its unique geological landscape consists of protruding rocks of deep red sandstone. These structures strike a startling contrast against the green swathes of this park. Before embarking on an exploration, a film educates visitors on the geological upheaval of this area, as well as the park's history. One can discover the hidden flora and fauna of this region through nature walks, on a bike or horseback, or by following pathways like the Siamese Twins Trail. Other activities include bird-watching and rock-climbing. One can also engage in interactive exhibits and enjoy refreshments at a café on-site. This pet-friendly venue is also a dog owner's delight.
Bring a light jacket and hike this 54-degree cavern which offers three tours. Learn about geology and history on the Discovery Tour, or go back in time on the Lantern Tour, listening to tales from the past and using only lanterns for light. The physically challenging Explorers Trip is an adventure through undeveloped passageways and chambers. Tours range from 45 minutes to four hours. Check the website for more details.
If you want to test your angling skills in Colorado's legendary trout waters, but are unsure of where to begin, this fly fishing outfitting company can help. It offers half- and full-day guided trips on private waters and the South Platte River. The guides will not only take you to the home of Larry the Lunker, but also assist in determining what fly pattern to use. Full-day trips include lunch and free use of equipment. The shop itself carries everything from flies to vests.
Since 1891, the world's highest cog railroad has been chugging tourists up Pikes Peak to its summit of 14,110 feet. The three hour and ten minute trip, which includes 30 minutes on the summit, winds through stands of pine and aspen before ascending above treeline and offering stunning views of Colorado. The air is cool on top so pack an extra jacket. Box lunches are available by request.
Earlier known as the Penrose Equestrian Center, the Norris Penrose Event Center provides recreation and other facilities to the residents and visitors to the Pikes Peak Region. The center has facilities like meeting rooms, banquet halls, a 51,000 squarefoot stadium and catering service. Events like horse shows, circus, and Hunter Jumper Competition takes place at this venue. A perfect venue for hosting business as well as social events.
City founder, General William Jackson Palmer, donated this park in 1871 giving it the dubious distinction of being Colorado Spring's first park. Located downtown, it provides a nice lunch respite for brown-bagging business people. A large band shell has live musical entertainment during the summer, and on Monday's the park hosts the ever-popular Farmers Market. Recreational options abound including horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts and playgrounds for kids. Rest rooms and public telephones are numerous.
This alpine school redefines the term of "higher" learning, and, unlike this bad pun, receives strong praise. Well-trained guides can teach you the skills and techniques needed to scale cliffs of ice, ski the back country and mountain climb. Rock climbing lessons, its most popular offering, usually take place on the rocks at Garden of the Gods and are open to all skill levels. Private lessons are given and all equipment is provided. Also popular are guided technical and non-technical Pikes Peak climbs.
If time is thin, yet you still want to experience Colorado's famed outdoors, this recreation area allows you to escape the city without having to drive two hours into the mountains. The area is bloated with 2,267 pristine acres that are complemented by the stunning backdrop of Pikes Peak. Three large lakes serve as scenic arenas for matching wits with trout. Boats are allowed, but gas engines are prohibited. Over eight miles of mountain biking trails vein the area, and plenty of picnic spots abound. Call ahead for varying dates.
Mountain Shadows Park is a neighborhood park on Flying West Ranch Road. Spread across 6.5 acres (2.63 hectares), it features trails, a volleyball court, soccer and softball field, horseshoe pits, a playground and picnic spots. It is also used for local events as well.