Monday, December 4, 2023

Travel with Terri: Colorado’s outdoor adventures in the Pikes Peak region

Wow, I was literally overwhelmed! There are so many activities, adventures and attractions available to pick from in the Pikes Peak Region of Colorado Springs, Colorado. I recently spent a week here and the choices of what to do and see are fabulous and endless. In this article I focus on some exciting adventures and unique ways to see this glorious outdoor wonderland!

*Adventures Out West

This place is pretty much a one stop shop with many thrills for a true Rocky Mountain experience! Adventures Out West bring the toys for you to enjoy in the gigantic playground of the Pikes Peak region.

One of the highlights of my trip was our Segway Tour through the world famous Garden of the Gods Park. This is a National Natural Landmark featuring dramatic views of 300 feet colorful sandstone rock formations. This tour is known as one of the more challenging Segway routes in the USA. We conquered hills and drop-offs and the scenery is breathtaking. Our guide gave us safety lessons and lots of fun facts about Garden of the Gods, one of which surprisingly…is that it’s a free city park!

We also enjoyed riding around the region in a new roomy, open-air 4×4 Jeep, one tour takes you all the way to the summit of Pikes Peak. This is an excellent choice for all ages.

Adventures Out West, and its trusty crew of fun loving guides, are soon to celebrate 50 years. They have been taking visitors and locals on every grand adventure you can imagine for decades. If it’s outdoor fun – they do it!

*The Broadmoor and Manitou Pikes Peak Cog Railway and Summit House

After completing an expansive restoration project, “The Cog is Back on Track” to usher in a whole new era of adventure on Pikes Peak, “America’s Mountain”…and boy is it beautiful! They have a newly renovated European style depot, shiny new trains and miles of new tracks that take visitors on an exciting journey that’s been around for over 130 years. This 9-mile journey to Pikes Peak’s 14,115-foot summit travels through multiple life zones with exceptional panoramic views. This excursion begins at the Cog Railway Depot in the foothills of historic Manitou Springs. Be aware they sell out, so book in advance!

Once you arrive at the top of Pikes Peak you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful, new state-of-the-art Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center that just opened last year. Here people of all ages and abilities can view numerous interpretive exhibits that tell the fascinating history of this mountain. And be sure to take time to eat a world-famous Pikes Peak donut and other treats while enjoying the expansive, spectacular views.

With a new summit house, new trains and miles of new tracks, the Cog Railway is ready to take Colorado visitors on an unforgettable age-old journey that has delighted visitors to the Pikes Peak region for well over a century!

*Echo Canyon River Expeditions

If you are looking for an extreme whitewater rafting trip, scenic float or a camping adventure, Echo Canyon is who I’d recommend. This is where you strap in for a wet and wild ride down the rapids of the Arkansas River. They have any equipment needed for your adventure and half-day, full-day, and multi-day, rafting trips. It’s all about crashing, splashing, teamwork, laughter and pulse-pounding fun. Our trip was absolutely the best white water rafting trip and our guides were experienced, professional and fun.

Afterwards, trust me; you will be ready to refuel! And fortunately, right there is the 8 Mile Bar and Grill at Echo Canyon. It has cold craft beers, cocktails and hot, delicious meals. Folks, this isn’t bar food. It’s all fresh and deliciously chef prepared. The menu is excellent and the patio area is an ideal place to kick back and enjoy your beverage and meal.

And…if you want more, it gets even better. Just across the street you can stay the night. Echo Canyon has some seriously cool lodging, with options ranging from luxury cabins to high class glamping, all on the edge of the scenic Royal Gorge underneath the crystal clear sky and canopy of a trillion stars. What an unforgettable memory!

All this and more is all at the foot of Pikes Peak, it’s the quintessential Rocky Mountain experience. The Pikes Peak region is truly one of America’s biggest natural playgrounds. Now I understand why the Pikes Peak Region has been such a longtime popular vacation destination for generations of Texans!

Follow Terri at Travel with Terri from Texas on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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