A few months ago, Jordan and I took a trip with my parents to Colorado Springs. We weren’t there for very long but we fit in just about everything that we wanted to do. If you have a couple days to spend in Colorado Springs, try to visit these hot spots!
The Manitou Incline is a massive staircase that is one mile in length but gains 2,000 feet in altitude! This was a CHALLENGE. Jordan I made it to the top in a few hours but I had to stop a few times. This climb had my heart pounding and my legs feeling like noodles. And the thing that blew my mind…THERE WAS A GUY CLIMBING IT WHILE CARRYING HIS BIKE! WHAT! There is an easier trail that breaks off from the incline about half way up, so if you feel like you can’t make it…don’t worry!
Once you make it to the top you will find the survivors cracking open beers, taking pictures, and taking in the breathtaking (literally. in order to get this view my breath was taken away from me by the incline) view. The good thing is you don’t take the stairs down, you take the trail. This trail meets up with the break away point at the mid-way point, so if you’re hiking with a group there is a good chance you can meet back up on the trail.
Things I would suggest if you attempt the Incline
- Bring plenty of water. We went in May and it wasn’t that hot but we were sweating a bunch and ran out of water half way through. There isn’t anywhere to fill up your bottles at the top, either, which is what we were hoping.
- Take frequent breaks if you need. There is no point in exerting yourself to the point of exhaustion! There are plenty of areas that you can step off the trail and catch your breath.
- Wear comfortable shoes. This climb is going to take a toll on you and you don’t want to be thinking about your feet the whole time.
- There’s a false top. You will see what you think is the top and you will be so excited to get close to it, only to realize you have more to go once you reach it.
- Enjoy the view. As you’re climbing, remember to take a chance to look down at your progress. It’s beautiful.
After the hike, we had a beer and lunch at Manitou Brewing Company, which was a great way to sit and relax after that activity.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings was an interesting, fun stop that we made. It shows the architecture of the ancient Anasazi Indians, as well as some old relics. The dwellings originally were located in McElmo Canyon and were brought to Manitou Springs in 1907.
The museum serves to protect and preserve the stonework and artifacts of the Southwestern Indians. The three story pueblo structure demonstrates the architecture of the Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, who are descendants of the Cliff Dwelling Indians belonging to the Anasazi cultural line. Up until 1984, there was a family of Native American dancers who lived in the dwellings and would entertain tourists.
Visiting the dwellings was a nice way to learn more about the culture surrounding Colorado Springs and I would recommend stopping to take a look!
Seven Falls is located less than a mile from The Broadmoor Resort, and showcases one of Colorado Springs most captivating natural wonders. It was raining while we were there, which explains the beautiful ponchos that we were wearing, but the hike up to the falls was still gorgeous. There is a tram that drives up and down the mountain, but we decided to get some extra exercise.
Once you reach the falls, you are surrounded by cliffs in the naturally made box canyon. The water cascades down 181 feet, falling from granite to granite in seven distinct leaps. We decided to climb the 224 steps next to the falls to get a look from above. If we had more time, I would have loved to try the zip-lining tour!
After taking it all in, we stopped for lunch at Restaurant 1858, located near the Seven Falls. They had just about anything you could have wanted, from hamburgers to burritos and salads. Everything that we chose was delicious and a great way to end our hike!
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods was by far my favorite site. There were so many areas to explore and climb; everywhere had an amazing view. We saw a group rock climbing, which looked awesome and probably had the best views. They run jeep and Segway tours, mountain biking, hikes, and host a variety of special events like 5ks and bike races! They also have a visitor’s center and museum, which is free, but we didn’t end up making it to visit.
Colorado Springs was a smaller city but definitely had a lot to do. We tried to cram as much as we could into our short time and I know this is trip I will always remember.
Until Next Post,