Unplug in Colorado Springs

Just an hour’s drive south from Denver along the stunning Front Range mountains and you’ve reached your unplugged getaway, Colorado Springs. Nestled at the base of Pikes Peak, the easternmost U.S. mountain surpassing 14,000 feet of elevation, Colorado Springs is the perfect cozy base camp from which to begin all varieties of adventure and escape.

For the thrill seekers who want to get their blood pumping, look no further for an abundance of pristine Colorado climbing routes of all difficulties than in Garden of the Gods Park and exceptional whitewater rafting through the scenic Royal Gorge. Or take things a tad slower and enjoy the mountain scenery from horseback, a zipline tour, a guided fishing trip, or from one of the hundred-plus hiking and bike trails surrounding the city. Then cap off a few days’ excitement with a relaxing and restorative soak in the outdoor mineral water hot springs while the sun sets slowly behind Pikes Peak—America’s Mountain. Whichever way you choose to do it, Colorado Springs is the perfect place to unplug, unwind, and revitalize yourself in the Rocky Mountain air.

The ‘Garden’ appears on the horizon, countless bright red, hundred-foot pillars bloom from the Earth. Walking down the main path, two colossal formations on either side block the wind of the valley, and silence arises. Climbing provides an utter retreat yet demands focus: on your breath, on your body, on the myriad textures of the stone against your palms and fingers. Muscles pumping, pushing yourself as high as the mountains surrounding you, the Colorado summer breeze cooling your skin, you gaze upon the park from atop the climb, the panoramic view ‘of the Gods’.

Unplug in the Sky

With a thunderous blast from the horn, the gleaming orange train rumbles forward from the depot and the journey begins. Chugging along beside the fast-flowing river, quickly the gorge walls ascend about you, vibrant multicolor arrays of granite climbing over a thousand feet high on either side. From the open-air car, head tilted back, agape, you hear the gushing rapids below and survey the wondrous wide chasm soaring by overhead, three million years in the making.

Unplug with a View

Before you, the billowing plains from the east converge with the rising Rockies to the west. Numerous trails traverse the lush, sloping hills and valleys spanning your view, each well known to your newly met steed. Trusting your horse to follow the guide and stay the path, you are free to gaze off towards distant peaks, to observe the hawks drifting far above, to examine the bright sparks of blooming color among the vegetation passing by. Amidst the faint breeze, the slow, steady clip-clopping of hooves on crushed granite brings forth a calming, meditative state.

Unplug on the Trail

Sunlight pours through the glass-paned wall and illuminates the whirls of steam dancing along the surface of the heated indoor pool. Floating there in solitude, stretched out, relaxed, only the low hum of the submerged jets accompanies you. Outside, you venture forth, exploring the range of temperatures each cedar hot spring tub has to offer. Soaking there in the natural minerals, your tired muscles reviving from the adventures and thrills of the trip, you take in the sunset, watching as it dips behind a snow-capped mountain.

Unplug and Relax

Do More Outdoors

Get closer to the heavens with a visit to the Garden of the Gods natural landmark. This ethereally titled park features majestic red rock formations that reach to the sky. The park features more than one hundred climbing routes amid the sandstone pillars, from trad to sport to top-rope and bouldering. Experienced climbers need only acquire a free permit to hit the rocks, but for those lacking the know-how or proper gear to venture up the rocks on their own, the Front Range Climbing Company leads guided trips to all the best natural climbing spots. The park is also a great place to hike, picnic and take an adventure tour on a bike, Segway, Jeep or Trolley.

Academy Riding Stables is the place to experience tranquil horseback adventure through breathtaking mountain scenery. Embrace your inner cowboy or cowgirl with horses and rides for all ages and levels of experience. Keep it simple with a pleasant hour-long ride through Garden of the Gods or go all out on an overnight at an authentic dude ranch.

Then, leave the ground and soar above the amazing geological wonder that is the Royal Gorge on an aerial gondola ride at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, in Cañon City. Take in the view while strolling across the 1929 suspension bridge, one of the highest feats of engineering of its kind in the world. Climb aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad for a scenic trip alongside the roaring waters of the Arkansas River.

Relax and Unwind

Minutes from Garden of the Gods Park is your answer to a day of rugged outdoor adventure: SunWater Spa, located in nearby Manitou Springs. Soak away your cares and ease your tired body at this wellness sanctuary. Relax and relive the day without leaving the outdoors and the refreshing, crisp mountain air as you soak in a cedar tub filled with natural hot mineral water routed from the nearby 7 Minute Spring. Book a hot stone massage or even an entire spa day filled with healing services.

Win a Trip to Unplug in Colorado Springs Here

Visit www.visitcos.com to find your adventure.

Words and videos by Dyar Bentz.


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