Located just over an hour south of Denver is Colorado Springs. This beautiful area offers sunny skies and crisp mountain air all year round. Filled with outdoor activities, beautiful landscapes, and adventure this area is perfect for a weekend trip. In January Logan and I visited Colorado Springs for a weekend and celebrated our anniversary.
Here are some of the highlights and must see spots we found during our Perfect Weekend in Colorado Springs!
How to Get There
Fly into Denver (DEN) International Airport & drive a rental car 1.5 hours south to Colorado Springs. You can also fly into the Colorado Springs airport (COS), putting you right in the city. If you choose to do this you can either rent a car, or take public transportation.
Rent a Car
From Denver Airport drive 1.5 hours south down highway 25 towards Colorado Springs. During our weekend in Colorado Springs we rented a car to have the freedom and flexibility to move at our own pace.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
Downtown Colorado Springs: Downtown is buzzing with boutiques, parks, eateries, and a lively nightlife scene. Drink at the local breweries, and wine bars, then dance the night away at a club or concert! The area is a designated creative district. Walk around the city and you’ll find sculptures dotting its streets.
West Colorado Springs: This residential area is quiet and laid back. You’ll be close to nature to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking and rock climbing. West Colorado Springs is also home to both the Garden of the Gods and the Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
Manitou Springs: A great resort area to stay for the perfect weekend in Colorado Springs. Just outside of the city limits, the town is known for its incredible panoramic views of Pikes Peak. You’ll find The Manitou Cliff Dwellings, a group of reassembled ancient cliff structures and the entrance to Pike Peaks Highway here. Hike up a steep slope on the Manitou Incline Trail or shop on Manitou Avenue, home to art galleries and specialty boutiques.
Camping: Spend some quality time in the great outdoors at one of the many Colorado Springs campgrounds. You’ll find rustic walk on sites, fully equipped RV sites, and even cabins!
A new summit complex area began being built in late 2019. Construction of the summit will continue into 2020, with an estimated completion by later this year. Please be aware of your surroundings when you reach the top, as it is considered an active construction site. There are more details about the construction status here. Opening is scheduled for fall 2020.
There are four main ways to explore Pikes Peak and reach the summit:
Drive Your Car
Experience the beauty of the mountain as you ascend up the scenic Pikes Peak Highway. There is a $15 per person entry fee to access the road that winds its way up the mountain. **Currently Pikes Peak Summit is considered an active construction zone**
Private & Group Tours
If you’re short on time and want to make the most out of your weekend in Colorado Springs you can find private and group tours HERE that will take you to the summit of Pikes Peak as well.
For The Really Adventurous
Go hiking on one of the many trails in the Pikes Peak area. If you plan on hiking your way to the top – Barr Trail is the most popular route to reach the summit. No matter which method you choose you will not be disappointed with Pikes Peak – “America’s Mountain” is stunning.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a 1,474-acre city park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here, exposed layers of sedimentary rock have been turned upward at the base of Pikes Peak. Deep canyons filled with gorgeous colored rocks in gold, salmon and other colors.
The Red Rock Canyon Open Space Park was privately owned until 2003, when it was bought by the City of Colorado Springs as open space. The land was divided into five separate tracts, and each track has specific restrictions as to how it can be utilized.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is located along Highway 24.
3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
This striking park in Colorado Springs is DRONE and DOG FRIENDLY!! Other activities in the park include a campground, hiking trails, horse trails, a bike park, mountain bike trails, a large fenced in dog park, and more!
- Download printable trail map
- Contemplative Trail
- Sand Canyon Trail
- Mesa/Greenlee Trail loop
- Roundup Trail
- Upper and Lower dog loops (off-leash dog areas)
- Quarry Trail
- Hogback Trail/Lion Loop
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park is Colorado’s BEST KEPT SECRET. Just under an hour drive east of Colorado Springs will take you to Colorado’s most unique open space. The Paint Mines are given their name for their beautiful, bright colorful clays. The clay was once collected by American Indians to make paint in various colors.
The bright rainbow colored bands get their colors from oxidized iron compounds. The Paint Mines Interpretive Park contains evidence of human life from as far back as 9,000 years ago! The parks geological formations are spires and hoodoos, formed through various erosive actions. Creating gullies and layers of colored clay you see along the hike.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Landmark of 1,300 acres of stunning red sandstone formations. The park is free to enter, making this a budget friendly activity! Make sure to bring your camera, you’re going to want pictures for this stunner of a park.
You won’t want to miss this gem during your weekend in Colorado Springs! There are 15 miles of hiking trails spread throughout the Garden of the Gods Park. The park is family friendly with difficulty levels that vary from easy, paved paths to scrambling. There are trails for all everybody. Stop at the Visitor Center and pick up a free trail map. While you’re there you can ask a volunteer what trails they suggest for your skill level.
Length: ½ mile – 4 miles depending on trail
Duration: 20 minutes – 4 hours depending on trail
Trail Difficulty: easy to moderate depending on trail
Scenery: gorgeous views of the unique rock formations found in Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain
Recommended for: Hikers, Dogs, Horses, Mountain Biking
The park is open year round May 1 – Oct 31 5am – 11pm
Nov 1 – Apr 30 5am – 9pm