Embarking on day trips from Colorado Springs offers an array of exciting outdoor activities, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. Just a short drive away lies an abundance of opportunities for exploration and adventure, with the majestic Rocky Mountains as your backdrop.

In this blog post, we will explore various destinations perfect for day trips from Colorado Springs. From the natural wonders of Garden of the Gods Park and Rocky Mountain National Park to historical sites like Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Manitou Springs’ Hot Springs.

We’ll also delve into adrenaline-pumping adventures such as hiking Barr Trail to Pikes Peak or whitewater rafting in Idaho Springs. Furthermore, we’ll uncover hidden gems like Paint Mines Interpretive Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park while highlighting thrilling attractions at Royal Gorge Bridge & amusement park.

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day trips from colorado springs

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Garden of the Gods Park

Looking for adventure near Colorado Springs? Look no further than Garden of the Gods Park. With hiking trails, rock climbing, and the Royal Rush Skycoaster, there’s something for everyone.

Rock Climbing for All Skill Levels

Get your adrenaline pumping with rock climbing at Garden of the Gods. No matter your level of expertise, Garden of the Gods has a climb suited for you.

Hiking Trails Galore

Go for a tranquil walk or test yourself with an arduous trek on one of the many trails winding through the park. With options for all skill levels, you’ll be sure to find the perfect path.

Royal Rush Skycoaster

For the ultimate thrill, take on the Royal Rush Skycoaster. Experience the thrill of hurtling through the sky at 50 mph and gaze upon breathtaking sights of Pikes Peak and its surroundings.

Explore the Beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas

Get ready to be mesmerized by the stunning scenery of Colorado with day trips to Rocky Mountain National Park. This park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its majestic mountains, pristine alpine lakes, and diverse wildlife. But wait, there’s more. There are several nearby attractions worth exploring too.

Wildlife Watching at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge

Just outside Denver, Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a chance to observe bison, deer, coyotes, and over 330 species of birds in their natural habitat. The refuge features various trails that allow you to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures while enjoying picturesque views.

Hiking and Exploring Eldorado Canyon State Park

If you’re looking for a less crowded alternative to the popular national park trails, consider visiting Eldorado Canyon State Park. This hidden gem boasts towering sandstone cliffs perfect for rock climbing enthusiasts, as well as scenic hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. As you explore the canyon’s rugged beauty along South Boulder Creek or hike up Rattlesnake Gulch Trail towards Continental Divide overlooks, it’ll be easy to see why this area has captured hearts since its discovery.

Uncovering Colorado’s Ancient Past at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Are you a history buff with a love for natural wonders? Then you need to check out Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Woodland Park, just a short day trip from Colorado Springs. This unique site offers a glimpse into Colorado’s prehistoric past, surrounded by stunning landscapes that will take your breath away.

Discovering Prehistoric Fossils

The monument showcases an impressive range of well-conserved plant and insect fossils from as far back as 34 million years. You can marvel at these remnants of ancient life housed within the visitor center’s exhibit hall or explore the various outdoor fossil sites scattered throughout the park.

Exploring Educational Programs and Guided Tours

  • Ranger-led Programs: Join knowledgeable rangers for guided walks, talks, and demonstrations to learn more about the area’s geology, paleontology, and history. Check their calendar of events for upcoming programs.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore over 14 miles of scenic trails that weave through meadows, forests, and geological formations. The one-mile Petrified Forest Loop takes you past massive petrified redwood stumps – a must-see.
  • Jr. Ranger Program: Young visitors can participate in this fun-filled educational program designed to engage children with hands-on activities related to fossils and nature conservation.

Embark on a journey through time as you delve into Colorado’s rich prehistory at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument – an unforgettable experience just waiting to be discovered. Don’t forget to bring your camera and capture the beauty of this unique destination.

Relaxation in Manitou Springs’ Hot Springs and Penny Arcade

Unwind during your day trip by visiting Manitou Springs’ hot springs, known for their healing properties. These mineral-rich waters offer a rejuvenating experience that can help soothe sore muscles after a long day of exploring.

Soak in Mineral-Rich Hot Springs

  • Choose from several options: SunWater Spa or Iron Spring Geyser offer picturesque mountain views and a relaxing soak.

Manitou Springs is also home to the famous Penny Arcade, offering fun-filled gaming experiences suitable for all ages. Test your athleticism with various games ranging from classic pinball machines to modern video games.

Fun-Filled Gaming Experiences at Penny Arcade

  • Spend an afternoon playing arcade favorites: Skee-Ball, air hockey, and vintage coin-operated rides while enjoying nostalgic vibes reminiscent of yesteryear’s amusement parks.

A visit to Manitou Springs provides both relaxation and entertainment opportunities perfect for those looking to recharge during their Colorado adventure. Soak in soothing hot springs before challenging friends or family members at the iconic Penny Arcade – there’s something here for everyone.

day trips from colorado springs

Photo by Nathaniel Redmon on Unsplash  

Pikes Peak Adventures – Barr Trail & Cog Railway Ride

Get ready for an epic adventure to Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s 58 fourteeners, offering a plethora of attractions for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a hiking pro or prefer a scenic train ride, Pikes Peak has something for everyone.

Take on the Barr Trail Challenge

If you’re up for a challenge, the Barr Trail is a must-do experience. This 13-mile trail starts in Manitou Springs and takes you through picturesque landscapes as you ascend towards Pikes Peak’s summit. Be prepared for steep inclines and varying weather conditions during your journey. Don’t forget to pack snacks and plenty of water.

Scenic Train Rides via Cog Railway

If hiking isn’t your thing, consider taking the Cog Railway. This historic train departs from Manitou Springs and offers breathtaking views as it climbs up to the recently opened Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center. Enjoy panoramic vistas while learning about local history and ecology during this unique railway experience.

Whichever option you choose, visiting Pikes Peak will undoubtedly create lasting memories during your day trip from Colorado Springs. Don’t forget to snap some pics for the ‘gram.

Scenic Drives and Thrilling Experiences in Idaho Springs

Looking for a day trip that combines breathtaking views and heart-pumping activities? Idaho Springs and the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway have got you covered.

Exploring the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway

The Lariat Loop Scenic Byway is a 40-mile drive that takes you through iconic landmarks like Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Dinosaur Ridge. Take in the stunning Colorado scenery and stop at lookout points for some Insta-worthy photos. You can also hike, picnic, or just breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Whitewater Rafting Adventures in Idaho Springs

Idaho Springs, just off I-70 west of Denver, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Get your adrenaline fix with a whitewater rafting trip on Clear Creek – there are options for all skill levels. Don’t miss out on exploring historic sites like Argo Gold Mine & Mill or spotting some wildlife in nearby parks.

Outdoor Activities and Cultural Experiences in Boulder

Just north of Denver lies Boulder, a vibrant town known for its craft breweries and diverse outdoor activities. Visitors seeking an exciting getaway should consider a trip to Boulder.

Fossil Hunting Expeditions

Boulder offers fascinating opportunities for fossil enthusiasts. Visit the CU Museum of Natural History to learn about local prehistoric life and participate in guided fossil-hunting hikes. You can also explore the nearby Dinosaur Ridge, where you’ll find dinosaur tracks and other ancient fossils embedded in rock formations.

Hiking Trails Around Boulder’s Picturesque Landscapes

The area surrounding Boulder is home to numerous scenic hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Embark on a hike at the famous Chautauqua Park Trailhead, which provides access to various trails with stunning views of the Flatirons rock formations. For those seeking more challenging treks, head over to Mount Sanitas Loop Trail, offering panoramic vistas of both mountains and cityscapes.

Discover Paint Mines Interpretive Park & Great Sand Dunes National Park

Explore the colorful wonders of Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, Colorado. This unique park features stunning chromatic formations shaped by erosion over millions of years. The vibrant hues found throughout the park are due to various minerals and clays present in the soil.

Chromatic Formations at Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Wander through a maze of gullies, hoodoos, and spires while admiring the striking colors that make this destination so special.

For more adventure, venture further south to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park. Here you’ll find North America’s tallest sand dune – Star Dune – standing at an impressive 750 feet tall.

Visiting the Tallest Sand Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park

Challenge yourself with a hike up these massive dunes or simply enjoy their beauty from afar as you marvel at this incredible natural wonder nestled within Colorado’s diverse landscape.

Both Paint Mines Interpretive Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park offer unforgettable experiences filled with awe-inspiring sights and outdoor adventures. Gather your things and prepare for a remarkable journey from Colorado Springs.

Royal Gorge Bridge & Adventure-Filled Attractions

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Head to Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Colorado Springs. For the daring, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park offers an exciting opportunity to take in the stunning sights of Pikes Peak Region with thrilling rides.

Walk Across the Famous Royal Gorge Bridge

One of the main attractions at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is the Royal Gorge Bridge. This awe-inspiring bridge spans 1,260 feet and stands 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Walking across this famous bridge offers breathtaking panoramas that are sure to leave you speechless.

Experience Heart-Pounding Rides

If you’re looking for even more excitement, don’t miss out on the various exciting rides at Royal Gorge amusement park. Experience a heart-pounding freefall from 100 feet in height on the Royal Rush Skycoaster or soar through stunning landscapes on North America’s highest zipline – Cloudscraper Zip Line by Windwalker Expeditions. If heights aren’t your thing, take a leisurely ride aboard the scenic Royal Gorge Railroad for an unforgettable journey through this beautiful region.

Explore Hiking Trails and Learn About History

Aside from these exhilarating activities, visitors can also explore several hiking trails around Royal Gorge Park or learn about its rich history at informative exhibits located throughout the area. From the thrilling activities to its historical exhibits, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park has something for everyone seeking an unforgettable adventure.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Royal Gorge Bridge & Park today and get ready for an adventure-filled day.

FAQs in Relation to Day Trips From Colorado Springs

Best Day Trips from Colorado Springs: Explore the Natural Wonders

Discover the stunning Garden of the Gods Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

Soak in the Manitou Springs’ Hot Springs and Penny Arcade, or take the Pikes Peak Adventures (Barr Trail & Cog Railway Ride).

Experience the outdoor activities in Boulder, Paint Mines Interpretive Park & Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Royal Gorge Bridge & Adventure-Filled Attractions.

Distance from Colorado Springs to Each Destination

Garden of the Gods is 6 miles away; Rocky Mountain National Park is 130 miles; Florissant Fossil Beds are 34 miles; Manitou Springs is 7 miles; Pikes Peak Barr Trailhead is 12 miles; Idaho Springs is around 100 miles; Boulder’s Eldorado Canyon State Park is about 95 miles. Paint Mines Interpretive park lies at a distance of approximately an hour’s drive while Great Sand Dunes National park takes nearly three hours to reach. Lastly, Royal Gorge Bridge stands at a distance of almost an hour’s drive south.

Attractions and Activities Near Each Destination

Rock climbing in Garden of the Gods, wildlife refuge at Rocky Mountain National Park, guided tours at Florissant Fossil Beds, Manitou hot springs, Cog Railway ride to Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center, Lariat Loop Scenic Byway exploration in Idaho springs, Eldorado Canyon State Park in Boulder, and Royal Gorge amusement park.

Transportation Options to Get to These Destinations

Personal vehicles, car rentals, guided tours with shuttle services like Gray Line Tours, public buses from Mountain Metro Transit, and train rides such as the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Special Discounts for Visiting Certain Destinations from Colorado Springs

Check official websites or local tour operators like Adventures Out West for current promotions and discounted rates on various activities and experiences.


Looking for adventure? Check out Garden of the Gods Park for rock climbing, hiking, and the Royal Rush Skycoaster, or visit Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument for prehistoric fossils and educational programs.

Wildlife lovers can’t miss Rocky Mountain National Park and Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, while Eldorado Canyon State Park offers hiking and exploration opportunities. Need to relax? Soak in mineral-rich hot springs at Manitou Springs’ Hot Springs or play games at Penny Arcade.