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8 Ways to Find Refreshing Big Moments in Colorado Springs
The temperature at the 14,115’ summit of Pikes Peak is 30 degrees cooler than at the base. Escape the summer heat with a ride on The Broadmoor Cog Railway or navigate the hairpin turns up the scenic Pikes Peak Highway. Either way, you’re rewarded at the top with stunning 360-degree vistas. The only thing hot up here are the freshly made high-altitude donuts that you can find only at the Pikes Peak Summit House.
Take a 45- minute Discovery Tour through the enchanting Cave of the Winds where the temperature is a comfortable 54 degrees year-round and especially refreshing during the summer months. Learn about the fascinating history of how the caves were discovered and the many unique geological formations, millions of years in the making. Before or after your tour, you can let the wind blow through your hair while navigating the Wind Walker Challenge Course perched on the edge of the canyon or screaming wildly while zooming through the canyon at 100 mpg on the one-of-a kind Terry-dactyl swing.
This gorgeous waterfall cascades down a shaded box canyon at the end of what is known as “The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado.” Hop on the open-air shuttle and wind your way up the canyon lined with Pikes Peak granite and pine forest. You can reach the top of the falls using a grand staircase kept cool by the mist of the adjacent falls. You can also ride an elevator carved into the mountain to reach amazing heights and get a birds-eye view of this beautiful natural attraction.
Nothing beats the thrill of a whitewater excursion down the Arkansas River with one of our many experienced rafting outfitters. You’ll get all the gear and training you need for an exciting and splashy ride through the Royal Gorge. These class II to class IV rapids will get your heart pumping as you work your way through the rapids under the watchful eye of an experienced and knowledgeable guide.
As you drive up the Pikes Peak Highway (toll road), take the time to stop off at Crystal Reservoir for an amazing view of Pikes Peak along the shores of this pristine water feature. You can fish and hike or bike around the reservoir or just get yourself psyched up for the drive ahead of you as you wind your way to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Just an hour from Colorado Springs, you’ll find respite from the heat as you descend underground into the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, the only 1,000-foot vertical shaft gold mine tour in the U.S. Experience the “Old West” as it was for hard rock gold miners in Cripple Creek, known as “The World’s Greatest Gold Camp.” You’ll also get to ride an air-powered man-trip train and see gold veins in their natural state.
In Divide, Colorado, less than an hour from Colorado Springs, is the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center, an oasis for rescued wolves that cannot be returned to the wild. Each wolf has a large, natural, shaded enclosure on a beautiful mountain property adjacent to Pike National Forest. On the tour, you’ll learn not only each wolf’s history but also how wolves are an important part of our ecosystem, worthy of our conservation efforts. At the end of the tour, your guide will lead you and the pack in a group howl that will send chills running up and down your spine.
For a fun, scenic and shaded hike, head up to Seven Bridge Trail that starts just beyond Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canyon. You’ll start on a wide, flat trail that used to be the rail bed for the trains that brought down gold from Cripple Creek. Then you’ll divert into the pine forest for a shaded hike that includes a total of seven bridges that cross back and forth over Cheyenne Creek.
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