Home of exciting Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Will Rogers Shrine Of The Sun and fun of activities to do on Memorial Day in Colorado Springs. We've compiled some of the best things to do in Colorado Springs on this Memorial Day holiday.
The city of Colorado Springs sits at the base of the majestic Pikes Peak (14,110 feet), the mountain that has been credited with inspiring the song America the Beautiful.
Anyone with a vehicle can enjoy it via Pikes Peak Highway on Memorial Day, a 19-mile mountain road that has multiple scenic viewing areas from which you can enjoy the panoramic views.
Another option for getting to the top is to take the historic Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, operating on this route since 1891. It is the highest cog railway in the world.
The new $65 million Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center opened in June 2021. It took three years to construct and is considered to be the (literal) crown jewel of the mountain. Through gorgeous windows, you'll have panoramic views over the surrounding peaks. A new café serves the iconic donuts, too.
As you ascend, keep a sharp eye out to spot local wildlife, like yellow-bellied marmots and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
Other things to do along the way to the top include a recreation area with three lakes and the opportunity to get ranger-led tours to learn about the area's natural wonders.
A shuttle takes tourists the last three miles to the summit, where five states can be seen on a clear day, including Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, and, of course, Colorado.
On Memorial Day, just six miles northwest of Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods, a nature park with bizarrely shaped red sandstone formations and ancient cypresses. The highlights are the red sandstone rock formations that may be nearly 300 million years old.
Within the park are numerous hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding trails that wind their way through the beautiful scenery. Rock climbing is also permitted but requires registration. The park is at its most impressive in the early morning light or at twilight. If you feel like breezing through quickly, the park has a loop road that you can drive to see some of the highlights.
The visitors center is located just outside of the park in Colorado Springs, with park tours and a museum about the area. Also of interest in the area is the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, located right outside of the entrance to Garden of the Gods Park, across the street from the visitor center.
Check out the open-air Jeep and Segway tours to cover the most ground in the shortest period of time. In the visitor center, exhibits describe the life of settlers in the Galloway homestead period of the 1860s, the Chambers farm era of the 1880s, and the 1907 Palmer estate.
The visitor center has recently added a new theater show called the GEO- Trekker, which delves into the geological history of the rocks and the surrounding area.
One of the best places to visit in Colorado Springs on Memorial Day weekend, particularly for families, is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, home to a wide variety of species, with both domestic and exotic animals. A chairlift runs over the zoo and provides wonderful views of the park and its surroundings.
Various activities, including the opportunity to hand-feed giraffes, an activity that never fails to entertain children and kids-at-heart, and interactions with other popular residents are also on offer.
The impressive Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a historic monument that stands high above the zoo looking down on Colorado Springs, can only be accessed through the zoo.
North Cheyenne Cañon Park, at the edge of the foothills and the plains, is known for its diverse plant and animal life. Some of the inhabitants include black bears, mountain lions, mule deer, and a wide variety of both native and migrant birds.
Among the main features of the park are Helen Hunt Falls, the spectacular rock formations, and the Starsmore Discovery Center.
Hiking trails of varying length, ranging from less than a mile to four miles, allow visitors to access beautiful sites, including Silver Cascade Falls.
If you are planning to visit on Memorial Day to embark on one of the longer trails, or looking for additional information on the park, stop by the visitor center.
The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum is located in the old El Paso County Courthouse, which was built in 1903. Here, you'll find exhibits about the history of the town, as well as Pikes Peak and the surrounding area. The museum is set in a park with beautiful lawns, gardens, trees, a granite fountain, and outdoor sculptures.
Tens of thousands of items are contained in its extensive collection, which is particularly well known for its assortment of quilts and Van Briggle art pottery. In addition, the museum contains a large collection of regional art.
Native American items include significant pieces from the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho cultures. Also part of the museum is the Starsmore Center for Local History.
The center is the local repository for the history of the city and surrounding areas. Valuable manuscripts, old newspapers, and historical records are all available to the public during visit on Memorial Day.
The Peterson Air and Space Museum is the state's oldest museum of flight, housed in original airfield structures that were built during World War II.
It is one of the many free things to do in Colorado Springs during Memorial Day, full of interesting artifacts, an airpark, and the Medal of Honor Park. Because of its location inside an active military base, visitors should be prepared for security checks. Note that you will need to request a pass online at least one day in advance.
Airplane and history buffs will also enjoy the National Museum of WWII Aviation, which has exhibits featuring historic documents and more than 3,000 artifacts related to the war and the role of air support.
The museum's aircraft collection is extensive, including a wide variety of craft ranging from ambulance and cargo craft to bombers like a B-25, fighter planes like an F6F Hellcat, and amphibious craft like an HU16 Albatross. Collections also include several restored ground vehicles, including an airfield crash truck.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers a wide array of things to do and plenty of opportunities to appreciate Colorado's natural beauty on Memorial Day weekend. In addition to camp sites, the park has several day-use facilities, attractions, and programs.
Facilities include numerous secluded picnic areas equipped with grills, as well as a playground and restroom facilities. Camping is also available, with 51 full-service sites and 10 more rustic walk-in sites.
The park offers more than 21 miles of trails for those who want to get close to nature, and hikers often get a peek at native wildlife like turkeys, deer, and prairie dogs.
Park-run activities include Junior Ranger programs and educational nature walks, and unique experiences like the "Family Mystery Hike."
Also on site is an archery range that can be used for a small fee, and the visitor center rents GPS units that can be used for geocaching hunts within the park. The visitor center has educational exhibits, a shop, and knowledgeable staff.