Best Road Trips from Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is located at the base of Pikes Peak and home to the US Air Force Academy, US Olympic and Paralympic Museum, and The Broadmoor (the longest-running Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Resort in the World). While the city offers plenty of experiences and attractions, it is close to a number of great road trip destinations as well.
Gardens of the gods
You can’t go to Colorado Springs without exploring the Garden of the Gods. Covering over 1,300 acres and jutting into the sky, these rock formations are a sight to behold. Just a few miles from downtown Colorado Springs, it isn’t much of a road trip but is still a must-see attraction. They offer tours and hiking trails as well as rock climbing but even simply driving through yourself is a magical experience. Pair this stop with another adventure for your day but don’t pass it by.
Salida/Wet Mountain Valley
Another short distance from Colorado Springs is the Wet Mountain Valley and the town of Salida just to its north. The Wet Mountain Valley is a wide, high-elevation stretch nestled between the Wet Mountains on the east and the Sangre de Cristo Range on the west. Among many remote areas in the state, this stretch offers some of the best stargazing around with its lack of light pollution and vast, open skies. Founded in the 1800s and equally artistic and historic, the growing city of Salida sits just north of the valley and offers many of the classic experiences Colorado has to offer: adventurous outdoor excursions, rich history, and breathtaking scenery. Admire their Victorian-era architecture and see why downtown Salida is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Showcasing the state’s geographical diversity, Great Sand Dunes National Park sits less than three hours from Colorado Springs in southern Colorado and boasts North America’s tallest dunes. As the National Park Service highlights, this park hosts “a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, forests, alpine lakes, and tundra”. Be sure to plan ahead to ensure you have the proper park passes but this location offers a plethora of experiences and activities from sand sledding to swimming in Medano Creek to hiking around alpine lakes.
Taos/Santa Fe, NM
If you’re looking to venture past the state border, head south to New Mexico and visit the beautiful cities of Taos or Santa Fe to appreciate some of the best art scenes in the Southwest. Taos is less than a four-hour drive from Colorado Springs and is home to Taos Pueblo, the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multistory adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years and are a feature of the city’s vibrant artistic and historic culture. Drive another 90 minutes south and you’ll find yourself in Santa Fe, the state’s capital and an equally beautiful city. Santa Fe features a variety of events, some of which require proper timing during the year, but depending on when you visit you may be able to participate in the Santa Fe Margarita Trail, Pueblo Feast Days, the International Folk Art Market, or scoot another hour south for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.