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Lucky 13 Things to Do this Winter Part I

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colorado springs mountains in the winter

Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region sparkles this time of year with plentiful sunshine dazzling the fresh powder on our mountain tops. Discover all the exciting winter adventures we have to offer that you can enjoy amidst mild average temperatures and intermittent crowds. Learn to ice climb on frozen waterfalls, snowshoe state parks, howl with a wolf pack, and watch masterful ice carvers create art, chisel by chisel. It’s all here this winter, right in Cheyenne Mountain Resort’s back yard. Spend the night with us while you take on our Top 13 activities by day. We’ve split the list in two, with our first 7 in one blog, and our next 8 in Part II. How many can you check off?


Explore the hidden gems of Pike National Forest million plus acres inside a heated Polaris General side-by-side off-road vehicle. Capture some of the most scenic overlooks and take turns driving these backroads with your best travel companions and with the help of “smart maps”. Even your pup is welcome! But if you don’t have your own, enjoy the company of ambassador dog Fischer, who often accompanies groups when he can. The company also has fat bikes for rent that tackle the snow with ease. Some of the most popular attractions of the Pike National Forest are Pikes Peak Mountain, Gold Camp Road, Rampart Range Road, Devil's Head Lookout, Manitou Park, and Elevenmile Canyon.


Winter is no match for these enclosed, heated Jeeps. Rock and roll your way over the vibrant formations of Red Rock Park while learning the rich history of Fremont County. Interpretive tours offer a variety of information including western history, geology, and even paleontology while traveling on some of the most scenic roads and trails in Colorado. Choose from tours that take you along the rim of the famous Royal Gorge (on a half day or full day with lunch), or explore the bright red monoliths that make up the desert floor of Red Canyon Park. Colorado Jeep Tours also can take you along the Gold Belt Tour through the late 1800’s mining districts of Cripple Creek and Victor. All tours are incredibly scenic and accommodate most ages and abilities. Well behaved pups are welcome.


Nestled in a South Cheyenne Canon, these frozen falls are quite a sight in the winter months. Grab a shuttle or take in the scenery with a short hike to the base of the falls. Ride the mountain elevator to the Eagle’s Nest overlook for a better view and warm up with a delicious meal inside Restaurant 1858. The leaves are off the trees and the sun is shining so wander amongst the pines, climb to new heights, and experience the winter wonderland that is Colorado Springs. One of our favorite spots is closed until March, but when it opens, we suggest you be the first in line to climb; make it your new year’s resolution to hike Seven Falls and experience waterfalls like you’ve never experienced them before.  


Explore Cave of the Winds Mountain Park and crawl through pitch black underground passageways during a candlelight tour of Manitou Grand Cavern’s haunted past. At a constant 54-degrees Fahrenheit, these Manitou Springs show caves can be explored through a variety of tours that range from Spelunking 101 to a spookier lantern-lit excursion. Experience true cave darkness and listen closely for a bat, or two. Prefer to stay above ground? Zip-line more than a quarter mile 80 feet above the canyon floor. Or, take an exhilarating guided-climb through spectacular mountain terrain. More on ziplining in our Lucky 13 Part II!


Get your head in the clouds by taking a helicopter tour above Cañon City, Colorado, and see the Royal Gorge Bridge from above. Royal Gorge Helicopter tours make it easy to fly when you can ride in a million dollar jet helicopter for cheap. Advertised as the most experienced helicopter tour company in the state, Royal Gorge offers six packages to its prospective fliers ranging from the shortest Bridge Run Adventure to the epic Pikes Peak Tour. Somewhere in the middle price range is the Big Horn Sheep Canyon Tour featuring the Royal Gorge and America’s highest suspension bridge and Big Horn Sheep Canyon. From a maximum height of 9,000 feet above sea level, you’d get to see incredible mountain scenes, deep carving canyons and panoramic views of several mountain ranges. You’ll cover about 40 miles in a mere 20 minutes. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are encouraged. 


Preserved under a protective, red sandstone overhang, Puebloan cliff dwellings dating back more than 800 years await the curious visitor in Manitou Springs. With permission to go inside and touch the ancient dwellings, visitors can interact with history and explore the site room by room on a self-guided tour. Mesa Verde, Colorado was the original site of the dwellings, but that area was deemed unsafe from looters at the time and so the dwellings were moved and reassembled in Manitou Springs. Builders used concrete rather than adobe to ensure the dwelling’s lasting structural integrity and visitors’ safety. Duck inside caverns and experience the site’s ancient history inside the Pueblo and Cave museums. It’s easy to have fun while learning something new at this hands-on attraction.


There’s nothing more Colorado than climbing in a saddle and discovering places like Garden of the Gods and Pike National Forest just as our ancestors did. Book a one- or two-hour tour through snow-dusted scenery with Academy Riding Stables to see the country’s #1 rated park by Trip Advisor users. Guided by real wranglers, it's a great time for the whole family. Academy Riding Stables has horses suited for experts and beginners. Check their website for more details and to make your reservation for a one or two hour ride throughout the winter.

And that’s less than half of the fun you can have this winter. Check our our next blog post for more ways to celebrate the season in Part II.