Pikes Peak or Bust: A Quirky Adventure Through Colorado Springs

Nestled at the foot of one of America’s most legendary mountains, Colorado Springs is not your average alpine escape. Sure, it’s got all the eye-candy you’d expect from a place that’s had a staring contest with Pikes Peak for eons, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll find it’s got quirks that could give Portland a run for its money in the eccentric city stakes. So, buckle up, buttercup – we’re going on a wild ride through Colorado Springs, where the air is thin and the attractions are thick on the ground.

First stop: Garden of the Gods. No, it’s not a new home improvement show for deities, but a jaw-dropping park that’s like nature’s own art gallery. The towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks? Instagram doesn’t do it justice, folks. And the best part? The admission fee is a whopping zero dollars. That’s right, free ninety-nine. It’s like nature is shouting, ‘Come on in, the rocks are fine!’

But what’s that? You fancy a bit of mystery with your mountain air? Say no more. It’s time to head over to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. These ancient abodes carved into the cliffs are not just a feast for the eyes but a buffet for the brain. Who built them? The Ancestral Puebloans. Why? Well, wouldn’t you like a room with a view too? And before you ask, no, AirBnB wasn’t around then.

Let’s not forget about the pièce de résistance, Pikes Peak itself. At 14,115 feet, it’s the kind of place where you can literally look down on clouds (take that, every ex ever). Getting up there is an adventure in itself. Whether you’re chugging along in the cog railway, panting your way up the Barr Trail, or testing the limits of your rental car’s engine, reaching the summit feels like a personal high five from Mother Nature. And the donuts at the top? Let’s just say they’re the highest (in elevation) you’ll ever enjoy.

But Colorado Springs isn’t just about natural wonders. Oh no. It’s also home to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. That’s right, where America’s finest go to jump higher, run faster, and get stronger. You can take a tour, watch athletes in action, and if you’re lucky, snag a selfie with a future gold medalist to make all your friends jealous.

By the time you leave, you’ll realize that Colorado Springs is more than just a scenic stop. It’s a vibe. A place where nature, history, and athleticism blend together like a smooth, alpine cocktail. So, if you’re looking for an adventure that’s a little off the beaten path and high in elevation, pack your bags, grab your sense of wonder, and follow the call of Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak might not be busting, but it’s definitely calling.