When you think of Colorado you probably think of a great place to hit the mountain slopes in the dead of winter, but Colorado is so much more than that! Summer in Colorado is just as amazing as winter. Really, you can’t go wrong with this state, it’s a great place to visit all year around and definitely one of my favorites! We used to visit Colorado a lot when I was a kid to see family and, of course, the mountains. There were so many places I remember visiting, so we decided to recreate my childhood and take a summer road trip. Below are the super fun places that we experienced.
– Broadmoor Seven Falls –
This view can been seen from going up the mountain elevator.
Easily, one of my favorites! Seven Falls is a series of seven cascading waterfalls. With a height of 181 feet, of the South Cheyenne Creek, it’s situated in a 1250 foot wall box canyon between the towering Pillars of Hercules. The South Cheyenne Cañon road leading up to Seven Falls has been called “The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado”. The walk is like your in some fairy tale, it’s that beautiful, but you can always take a trolley if you aren’t down for a long walk. You can climb the 224 steps for lovely hiking trails at the top or try the zip-lining!
Make sure you stay until dark so you can see the falls light up!
There are also great shops and Restaurant 1858 for some fine dining. Park hours vary by season. Adults – $14, Seniors/Military – $12.50, Children $8, under two get in free. My favorite thing about Colorado is that they are so dog friendly! Dogs are allowed here on a leash! 🐶
– Garden of the Gods –
Garden of the Gods is a registered National Natural Landmark. With beautiful, towering sandstone rock formations, it’s a perfect place to hike, bike, horseback ride, rock climb or just explore! Definitely a top place to visit in Colorado Springs!
– Cave of the Winds –
Cave of the Winds is such a cool place for the whole family! Explore the natural underground wonders with three different cave tours to choose from. There are some wild rides outside with crazy amazing views. Enjoy lunch at Caver’s Cafe and pick up a souvenir in the gift shop!
How old do you think that stalactite is? Yikes!
– Red Rock Canyon Open Space –
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is just a great place to hike, rock climb, bike or horseback ride. We came here every day so Bo could go on his daily run, don’t ask me how you run here!
They also have off leash dog loops, so bring your best friend!
– Pikes Peak Cog Railway –
Take the cog train and travel up the world’s highest cog railway to Pikes Peak! Elevation 14,115 feet.
This is the only place where you can get a world famous donut and hot chocolate at this elevation!
Enjoy the views, warm up in the cafe or shop around the gift shop. You can also hike to Pikes Peak via Barr trail or climb the incline. Good luck, it’s brutal! ☺️ And remember, it can be 40 degrees cooler on the summit, so dress accordingly.
– Rainbow Falls –
Also known as Graffiti Falls by the locals, love it or hate it, it’s a cool spot to observe and take photos. 📷
– Royal Gorge –
The Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the world’s tallest suspension bridges. Built in 1929, it stretches 1270 feet across and soars 956 feet above the Arkansas River. You can walk the bridge, take a gondola ride, do some zip lining, enjoy a little train ride, or eat some yummy pizza at Café 1230. A Perfect place for families and you can even take your dog! The park is open all year around. Adults – $26, Seniors – $23, Children – $21.
The bridge is lined with flags of the US 50 states. Make sure you find your home state and snap a photo!
– Skyline Drive –
Skyline Drive, not really a place, but a one lane road that towers over Cañon City. The road was built by inmates of the nearby prison in 1908 to give residents and visitors views of the city. Catch this road either before or after your visit to the Royal Gorge. Do you dare drive it?
– White Water Rafting –
There are so many places to raft in Colorado from a mild float to a wild class VI rapids for the experts. I was interested in rafting down the Arkansas River underneath the Royal Gorge, so I put some googling to work and found American Adventure Expeditions which has a location outside of Cañon City. Considered one of the top 10 rafting runs in the country, we decided to book a full day of class III-IV rapids under the Royal Gorge!
Rafting in between towering canyon walls is truly breathtaking!
We went on the last day of the season and were the only ones signed up for a full day of rafting which means, we were the only ones at lunch and lunch was delicious! We had a burger, chips, some of the best watermelon I’ve ever had, cookies and drinks, an A+ meal! The morning float we were on the Bighorn Sheep Canyon which was a pretty mild float. After lunch, we tackled the wild rapids under the Royal Gorge. It was blast! Definitely look into white water rafting if you’re traveling to Colorado for some serious adventure!
– Mount Evans –
You can hike it, you can bike it or you can drive up the highest paved road in North America to the summit of Mount Evans. Take in the amazing mountain peak vistas and make friends with the big horn sheep and Rocky Mountain Goats :).
You can also stop by Summit Lake and Echo lake for some fishing, picnicking, hiking trails or to just unwind.
– Red Rocks Amphitheater –
Red Rocks Amphitheater is an open-aired concert venue with amazing acoustics! Check out the schedule and see who’s playing during your visit! We actually have not been to a concert here……yet! We visited on 9/11 to witness the 9/11 Stair Climb in honor of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The climb was equivalent to 110 stories, the number of floors present in the Twin Towers. It was a pretty amazing day!
Our road trip was jam packed! We mostly stayed around the Colorado Springs area this time, but we just came back from a two week road trip and added Arizona and Utah to the mix. Stay tuned for tons of national park photos!
Read Next: Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week One