Tourism, particularly outdoor adventure, is a major driver for the economy of Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak, one of the highest summits of the Rocky Mountains, is visited by an average of 23 million tourists annually.
In fact, tourists contribute $2.25 billion to the local government’s coffers, resulting in almost $100 million in taxes each year.
But Colorado Springs is much more than conquering the Pikes Peak and crossing it off your bucket list.
There are so many fun activities to do in Colorado Springs, which is why it is one of the most visited attractions in the United States.
6 Things to Do in Colorado Springs
- Garden of the Gods – This public park was listed as a landmark back in 1971, and you can immediately see why when you visit the area. The geological formations can be traced back to the Ice Age.
- Climb Pikes Peak – The number of hours to reach the summit can range from 6 to 10 hours depending on your pace. But the trail is clear, and you can do so even without a guide.
- Balloon Ride – Ride on the giant balloon and get a unique view of the Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak.
- Cliff Dwellings – The Manitou cliff dwellings were made by the Anasazi tribe. You can see for yourself how the Native American residents used to live and marvel at their ingenuity to use the natural rock formations as a shelter against the elements.
- Gold Mine Tour – Located in Cripple Creek, Colorado, the tour allows you to descend 1,000 feet underground and explore the tunnels. You can still see the gold veins that drew in prospectors and miners from all over the world.
- Explore Cave of the Winds – This one is located still on Pikes Peak, but it’s one of the most spectacular shows in the world. Be amazed at the remarkable formations of stalactites and stalagmites. Kids will not only have fun exploring the caverns, but they will also learn a lot, too, with a guided tour by the knowledgeable staff. They also have a ghost tour, which is not for the faint of heart.
White Water Rafting Trips and Outdoor Adventures
People fly from all over the world to experience white water rafting trips and outdoor adventures. There’s something about the rapids that take your breath away.
While you will stumble upon the adrenaline junkie here and there, most of those you will encounter in white water rafting is your blue-collar and white-collar Americans who want a very different experience other than what they are used to.
The best part about white water rafting in Colorado Springs is that there’s something for everybody. While you’re exploring the great outdoors, make sure you get a restful night’s sleep and glamp the night away in a luxury tent or cabin. You can rest assured that the next day you will wake up ready for the next adventure.
Bighorn Sheep Canyon Rafting
This is perfect for parents who also want the adrenaline rush but have kids to consider. The rapids are not too crazy, so you can bring along your children with you. The guides know their way around children so you can soak in the experience without worrying too much about your kids.
It works exactly as it sounds. This rafting trip is designed for families with very young kids in tow. The whole journey stretches five miles downriver and kids as young as four years old can enjoy the experience.
But let’s face it, you want to feel the wind against your hair, as well as the occasional water slap on your face. You want to know if you have what it takes to conquer the elements, pit your strength, and wits against nature. And that’s what the Grand Rapids are all about.
The Royal Gorge features from Class III to Class V rapids, as rated on the international scale of river difficulty. Class V, is for experts, which is characterized by somewhat violent waves, complex routes, and deep holes. Don’t worry; however, you are not going to be left alone out there in the water. You will be accompanied by expert guides who know these rapids like the back of their hand.
Of course, the journey won’t always be about paddling your way out of risks. There will be lull moments where you can enjoy the scenery. And what amazing view it would be as you will find yourself underneath 1,000-foot canyons, which will give you a unique sense of perspective about how majestic nature really is.
When you take the Royal Gorge experience, the names Sledgehammer, Sunshine Falls, and Boat Eater will be imprinted in your memory. By their descriptions, you will immediately have an idea of what to expect.
Where to Raft in Colorado Springs
Echo Canyon is perhaps the largest white water river rafting company in Colorado. The best thing about this company is that it’s family-owned, that’s why a good part of its packages are designed for families. It’s never too early to introduce your kids to the beauty of rafting.
White water rafting can be experienced in other parts of the country. But what makes this a unique experience is that you are following the routes of the Native Americans and the pioneer migrants who have depended on the Colorado Mountain West and the mighty Arkansas River for their livelihood. The Arkansas River is the sixth-largest river in the whole country, but you are only going to explore a portion of it.
Echo Canyon is not just offering white water rafting. They also have a zip line that will provide you with a bird’s eye view of the mighty river below. If you want a change of pace, you can also go biking along designated paths, which are designed to give you the ultimate outdoor adventure experience.
So face your fears, commit to the adrenaline rush, and take part in these white water rafting and outdoor adventure activities the next time you visit Colorado Springs.