Colorado Springs is an outdoor junkie's paradise. Stunning scenery, canyons, hikes, rock climbing, mesas, mountains, forests... you're right in the middle of some of the most incredible American landscapes and adventures.
Seven Falls is one of National Geographic's favorite waterfalls in the entire world. The privately-owned waterfalls have been operating as a tourist attraction since the 1800's, and was recently purchased by the The Broadmoor. efore you even reach the waterfalls, you'll notice how beautiful the region is-- the road leading to the canyon has been called "The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado"... which is saying a lot. Before you head to Seven Falls, hike to Inspiration Point and Midnight Falls to take in the stunning beauty of the Colorado landscape... then set off for the main attraction, inside a secluded canyon. The rugged canyon is still alive with lush, green plant life, and you'll pass between two majestic towers made of pink granite, known as the Pillars of Hercules, to enter the box canyon where the waterfalls lie. Each seperate step of the 181-foot-total falls has its own name: from top to bottom, they're called Bridal Veil, Feather, Hill, Hull, Ramona, Shorty, and Weimer. Once you reach the falls, you have the option to climb up the 224 stairs that lead up the cliff face right alongside the rushing water-- it's about as thrilling as a hike can get!
This rugged, dirt road is perfect for cars and mountain bikes looking to get a little off-the-beaten-path. Park at one of the pull-offs for photo ops or extra hikes, such as the trail to the Penrose-Rosemont Reservoir. However you choose to experience this incredible scenic drive, it's definitely worth exploring for the views and the wildlife you'll glimpse along the way.
History and nature combine at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. The Native American cliffside abodes are open to visit, allowing you to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. You can check out the visitor center and learn about the ancient Native Americans who built these homes into the cliff, and then walk into the dwellings themselves, or hike around the park and view the impressive buildings from various angles.
For more hiking, rock climbing, and general outdoor awesomeness, head to Red Rock Canyon Open Space. This special little plot of land, with its soaring, strikingly red rocks, open skies and hardy greenery, offers some pretty scenic views along various trails that range from easy strolls to intense hikes. Along the way, you might catch a glimpse of the past: Native Americans and gold miners called this area home for years.
It really doesn't get any better than Garden of the Gods, though. The jagged rocks rise straight up from the tree-studded ground. Some of the country's best rock-climbing can be found here, or if you didn't bring your gear, simply hike around the landscape and look for some of the more famous, named formations, like Three Graces, The Tower of Babel, Balanced Rock, and The Kissing Camels
After a long day of adventure, you can come back to Colorado Springs and enjoy relaxing at one of their breweries, restaurants, and hotels. It's the perfect getaway for nature-lovers and culture geeks alike!