Spacious open spaces and natural parks around Colorado Springs preserve some of the Colorado Front Range's most unique attractions, including the impressive red rock formations of the Garden of the Gods, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Acacia Park is a charming 3.7-acre community green space in Colorado Springs, originally donated to the city in 1871 by city founder General William Jackson Palmer, becoming the city's first public park. The delightful park offers family-friendly amenities such as day-use picnic sites, a children's playground, and a seasonal summer fountain and splash pad area. Throughout the summer months, the park's Play in the Park program lets visitors check out giant games for play, including giant Connect Four and Jenga, cornhole, bowling, bocce, and shuffleboard. Shaded areas offer a respite from the heat, providing spectacular views of the city's downtown skyline. Throughout the winter months, the park is home to a seasonal ice skating rink. The park's HUB Visitors Center is open to the public between May and September, while its reservable bandshell presents periodic public concerts and performances.
115 E Platte Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, Phone: 719-385-5940
© Dominique James/stock.adobe.com
Antlers Park is a 3.4-acre neighborhood park in Colorado Springs that dates back to the turn of the 20th century, located at the intersection of W Pikes Peak Avenue and Sierra Madre Street. The park, which is named in honor of an historic resort that stands against the park's backdrop, is best known for its location adjacent to the old Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Terminal, which now features historical locomotive exhibits and activities for families. ADA-accessible amenities include a sidewalk strolling path, a reservable picnic shelter, and a number of interpretive panels and historic markers detailing the park's cultural significance. Public parking is offered behind the hotel adjacent to the downtown campus of Pikes Peak Community College. Church services are held at the park each Sunday, followed by a community dinner event.
31 W Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, Phone: 719-385-5940
3.Austin Bluffs Open Space
Austin Bluffs Open Space has been classified as a unique space within the United States Forest Service's National Feature Inventory, spanning 584 acres throughout the Colorado Springs area. The park is one of the first open spaces preserved as part of Colorado Springs' TOPS Program, located on land once belonging to the Houck Estate. Rock formations throughout the woodland area include distinctive formations that have been dated back to the Eocene Period, including the Denver and Arapahoe Formations and the Dawson Arkose. The formations were created approximately 65 to 70 million years ago as the result of the most recent geologic period of regional uplift in Colorado. A wide variety of visitor trails are offered throughout the park, including a 10-mile hiking and biking trail that offers family-friendly hiking experiences for visitors of all ages, including four-legged friends.
Colorado Springs, CO 80918, Phone: 719-385-5940
Bancroft Park is a charming park that is conveniently located near Old Colorado City, home to the preserved 1859 Old Pioneer County Bank building, which has been used as the county's first office building, a Chinese laundry, and an antique store. Visitors can make use of the park's ADA-accessible features, including its strolling sidewalk path, its day-use picnic shelter, and its public restrooms. A reservable bandshell hosts public and private concerts and special events throughout the year, while a preserved historic log cabin home showcases the region's pioneer history. Throughout the summer months, the park hosts a weekly farmers' market series. Each Memorial Day weekend, the park is host to the Territory Days special event.
2408 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
5.Bear Creek Canon Park
Bear Creek Cañon Park is a lovely high-country park in Colorado Springs, located adjacent to the Bear Creek Regional Park and Nature Center facility. The park was established as a result of land donations by Colorado Springs founder General William Jackson Palmer, as part of a donation of 1,270 acres of land that also established nearby parks such as Monument Valley Park, Palmer Park, and Pioneer Square Park. Visitors can explore the park's trail system on foot, on mountain bikes, or on horseback, though trailgoers should note that due to the park's elevation, trails can be steep and difficult to climb. Next door at Bear Creek Regional Park and Nature Center, visitors can explore natural exhibits, play on soccer, tennis, and basketball courts, or bring their four-legged friends to a designated dog park area.
6.Bear Creek Regional Park and Nature Center
Bear Creek Regional Park and Nature Center is a lively regional park in Colorado Springs that is located on the site of a former pioneer-era residential poor farm, which cultivated gardens to provide food for area residents. Today, the park is home to a public nature center facility that offers interpretive programming, multimedia presentations, and public special events throughout the year for visitors of all ages. Guided and self-guided hikes are offered at the park throughout the year, with interpretive signs along the park's paths offering information about native flora and fauna. At the park's Bear Creek Terrace and Bear Creek East areas, visitors can make use of day-use picnic sites, sporting courts, children's playgrounds, and an archery range. A 24-acre dog park area is also offered, which includes a three-quarter-mile loop trail for hiking with four-legged friends.
245 Bear Creek Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, Phone: 719-520-6387
7.Blodgett Peak Open Space
Blodgett Peak Open Space is a scenic open space area in northwestern Colorado Springs, named in honor of the towering Blodgett Peak, which overlooks the park from nearby Peak National Forest. The 167-acre park is densely forested with Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and scrub oak trees, gradually sloping upward in elevation from its eastern to its western areas. Its lands were formerly part of the pioneer-era Blodgett Ranch and have now become populated by a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including formerly-endangered peregrine falcons. Unique geological features in the region include the Rampart Range, the Fountain Formation, and areas of Pierre shale and Manitou limestone. A network of trails throughout the open space ranges in difficulty from easy to moderate, offering excellent panoramic views.
3786 W Woodmen Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, Phone: 719-385-5940
8.Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Cheyenne Mountain State Park is the only Colorado state park in El Paso County, acquired by the State of Colorado in June of 2000 and opened to the public in October of 2006. The lovely 2,701-acre park is located within the shadow of its namesake Cheyenne Mountain, located on property that once belonged to the JL Ranch near Colorado Springs. It protects one of the final significant open spaces along the Colorado Front Range's southern section, home to abundant native wildlife, including black bears, elk, coyotes, cougars, golden eagles, and red-tailed hawks. More than 20 miles of hiking trails are open to walkers and cyclists, though visitors should note that dogs and horses are not permitted on the trail to preserve the park's sensitive ecological conditions. Educational exhibits are offered at the park's Trail's End Visitor Center, while challenging shooting targets are available at the park's archery range. Other amenities include a full-service seasonal campground, day-use picnic facilities, and a children's playground.
410 JL Ranch Heights Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80926
9.Ford Frick Park
Ford Frick Park is a 12.5-acre Briargate public park located adjacent to Rampart High School, named in honor of area resident Ford Frick, the Major League Baseball Commissioner between 1951 and 1965 and a co-founder of the National Baseball Hall of Fame with Stephen Clark and Alexander Cleland. The park was named in Frick's honor by the Colorado Springs City Council in 1997. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of sporting courts, including a baseball diamond and a soccer and football field. A children's play area with a full playground and swings is also offered, along with a day-use picnic shelter, seasonal restrooms, and a surrounding path that is open to dog walkers.
8025 N Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920, Phone: 719-385-5940
10.Fountain Creek Regional Park and Nature Center
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Fountain Creek Regional Park and Nature Center is a lovely 460-acre public park near the cities of Colorado Springs and Fountain, located along the banks of beautiful Fountain Creek. The linear park facility is home to a public nature center facility that is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, offering educational exhibits and interpretive programming for visitors of all ages. A creekside trail provides access to fishing areas at Willow Springs Ponds, which are stocked regularly with a variety of species. Its pond and spring areas are home to native wildlife, including red-winged blackbirds. At the 12-acre Duckwood active play area, visitors can make use of multipurpose sporting and play fields, day-use picnic shelters, and a children's playground.
2010 Duckwood Rd, Fountain, CO 80817, Phone: 719-520-7529
11.Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods has been designated as a National Natural Landmark since 1971, originally known as Red Rock Corral by early European explorers and settlers. It is believed to have been inhabited by humans since at least 1330 BC, serving as an indigenous campsite for area groups such as the Apache, Ute, Shoshone, Cheyenne, and Comanche. The park acquired its current name in 1859 from surveyors M.S. Beach and Rufus Cable, who deemed it "fit for the Gods to assemble." In 1909, the park's lands were donated to the City of Colorado Springs for the development of a public park area preserving its unique red rock formations, which were created during geologic upheaval millions of years ago. Today, the park is a popular hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and horseback riding site, attracting over two million annual visitors. Visitors can observe more than 130 native and migratory bird species or access over 15 miles of multipurpose trails, including a 1.5-mile ADA-accessible paved trail. Natural history exhibits and a periodic documentary showing are offered at the park's visitor center.
1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Memorial Park, also known as Memorial Community Park, is a 196-acre public park in Colorado Springs, accessible via South Union Boulevard. The park has been the site of the Rocky Mountains' largest balloon festival since 1977, held each year over Labor Day weekend. The YMCA-operated Memorial Park Recreation Center is open to the public, offering and indoor aquatic center, exercise equipment, and fitness and healthy living courses for visitors of all ages. An outdoor swimming pool is also open throughout the summer, with boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities also available at the park's Prospect Lake. Other amenities include sporting courts, an outdoor exercise courts, a 1.25-mile fitness trail, and an ADA-accessible playground. During the winter months, public ice skating is offered at the Mark "Pa" Sertich Ice Center.
1605 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80910, Phone: 719-385-5940
13.Monument Valley Park
Monument Valley Park is a National Register of Historic Places-listed recreational park in Colorado Springs, anchored along the banks of the picturesque Monument Creek, a tributary of nearby Fountain Creek. The two-mile-long park, which is also listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties, defines Colorado Springs' western downtown border, located near Interstate 25 and the city's Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. Its lands were originally donated by city founder General William Jackson Parker and were developed for public use between 1904 and 1907. A wide variety of beautiful public amenities are offered, including landscaped gardens, hiking and biking trails, sporting courts, children's playgrounds, and an arboretum that showcases native Colorado trees and shrubs. In the park's western recreation area, visitors can also make use of the city's first public swimming pool, open throughout the summer months. Each year, the park hosts the annual General Palmer Day in July and the mid-May Lilac Day event.
170 W Cache La Poudre St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
14.Mountain Shadows Park
Mountain Shadows Park is a 9,000-acre public park area located at the base of majestic Pikes Peak, home to attractions such as the world-renowned Garden of the Gods red rock formation area. The park features more than 500 acres of public-access multipurpose trails, open to walkers and cyclists, including the famed Manitou Incline Trail. A children's playground offers different safe play areas for older and younger children, providing spectacular views of the Colorado Springs skyline and the surrounding mountain region. A lovely walking area is also offered, along with an open field space that lets visitors frolic with their four-legged friends. A public pavilion area offers electric hookups, including charging space for cell phones. Other amenities include horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, multipurpose sporting fields, and sledding areas during the winter months.
Colorado Springs, CO 80919, Phone: 719-385-5940
15.Nancy Lewis Park
Nancy Lewis Park is a serene 8.9-acre public park located within the heart of Colorado Springs' downtown district, in the city's central northern region. Since 1997, the park has been named in honor of former city parks department director Nancy Lewis, a renowned community leader and author. The beautifully-landscaped park is home to a number of crisscrossing strolling paths, including a circular path that surrounds the park's pond. Visitors can feed the park's duck and geese populations or relax by its manmade waterfall throughout the year. Other amenities include a croquet and putting green, sand volleyball courts, a children's playground, fitness equipment areas, and a hospice tree dedication legacy wall.
Colorado Springs, CO 80907, Phone: 719-385-5940
16.North Cheyenne Canon Park
North Cheyenne Cañon Park, also known as North Cheyenne Canyon Park or Colorado College Park, is a National Register of Historic Places-listed regional park that attracts more than 450,000 annual visitors, originally donated to the city by city founder General William Jackson Palmer. The park has been referred to as "by far the grandest and most popular" cañon park in the Colorado Springs region, located approximately 4.5 miles southwest of the city's downtown district at the split point between North and South Cheyenne Cañon. Gorgeous Pierre shale and Sawatch sandstone formations line the canyon's mouth, providing beautiful overlook vista panoramas. More than 56 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails are offered throughout the park, along with a scenic vehicle drive route. Other amenities include the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center, which offers hands-on exhibits and interpretive programming.
2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, Phone: 719-385-6086
17.Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park is one of the most unique open spaces within El Paso County, named in honor of the colorful bands of clay that are showcased throughout the park, created from oxidized iron compounds and frequently used by the region's indigenous groups to create paint colors. The park, which is located near the city of Calhan, spans 750 acres and is believed to have been inhabited by humans for at least 9,000 years. Spectacular geologic formations include unique hoodoos and spires that were created through erosion, forming exposed layers of jasper and selenite clay throughout the park. Its lands remain primitive, only offering amenities such as restrooms and interpretive signs. Visitors should note that pets, horses, and bicycles are prohibited within the park to preserve its sensitive natural formations and that temperatures can climb 15 degrees higher than surrounding areas throughout the summer months due to lack of shade.
29950 Paint Mine Rd, Calhan, CO 80808, Phone: 719-520-7529
Palmer Park has been named as the best urban park in the Rocky Mountains area by Elevation Outdoors Magazine, located several miles northeast of Colorado Springs' downtown district along Maizeland Road. The park's lands originally belonged to area pioneer Matt France and were known as Austin Bluffs after their purchase by sheepherder Henry Austin. In 1902, the park's lands were donated to the city by city founder General William Jackson Palmer. Today, they have become the largest park inside the city's metropolitan region, clocking in at 730 acres in size. Unique geological formations such as hoodoos and spires are showcased, along with scenic overlook views of nearby Pikes Peak. More than 25 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails are offered, along with sporting fields, children's playgrounds, horse stables, and a dog park area. Other attractions include a botanical reserve for the cultivation of yucca plants.
3344-3376 Paseo Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80909
19.Red Rock Canyon Open Space
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Red Rock Canyon Open Space stretches 1,474 acres throughout Colorado Springs' western region, located adjacent to Manitou Springs and accessible via United States Route 24. The park's lands were originally acquired by the City of Colorado Springs in 2003 for development as a public recreational site, preserving a unique series of hogback ridges and eroded canyons that are formed from the same sandstone rock formation area as the nearby Garden of the Gods park. Reclaimed industrial sites, including quarries and a gold refining mill, have been transformed into a wide variety of public hiking, biking, and jogging trails, which range in difficulty from easy to moderately strenuous and provide spectacular views of the park's geologic formations. Rock climbing is permitted within the park, which connects to the nearby Intemann Trail and the Section 16 Conservation Area. Other amenities include a day-use picnic pavilion, an off-leash dog area, and dirt trails for horseback riding and dog walking.
3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, Phone: 719-385-5940
20.Ute Valley Park
Ute Valley Park is a lovely open space park in northern Colorado Springs, showcasing spectacular native wildlife and unique rocky-forested hogback geological formations. It serves as a fantastic destination in the Colorado Springs area for hiking, mountain biking, and dog walking, offering a trail system of accessible destination-level trails that range in difficulty from easy to moderately strenuous. Visitors can park at the park's trailhead at its Vindicator Drive parking lot and access a number of main and connector trail routes, including a route offering spectacular views of nearby Pikes Peak. Natural scenery includes a wetland areas and a scrub-oak-lined sandstone canyon formation. Amenities such as public restrooms are offered, though visitors should note that many of the park's trails are not clearly marked.
1705 Vindicator Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, Phone: 719-385-5940
20 Best Best Colorado Springs Parks
- Acacia Park, Photo: weedezign/stock.adobe.com
- Antlers Park, Photo: Dominique James/stock.adobe.com
- Austin Bluffs Open Space, Photo: blackday/stock.adobe.com
- Bancroft Park, Photo: ant/stock.adobe.com
- Bear Creek Canon Park, Photo: Andrejs/stock.adobe.com
- Bear Creek Regional Park and Nature Center, Photo: William/stock.adobe.com
- Blodgett Peak Open Space, Photo: martahlushyk1/stock.adobe.com
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Photo: Igor/stock.adobe.com
- Ford Frick Park, Photo: hemvala40/stock.adobe.com
- Fountain Creek Regional Park and Nature Center, Photo: Robert Hainer/stock.adobe.com
- Garden of the Gods, Photo: Tupungato/stock.adobe.com
- Memorial Park, Photo: arinahabich/stock.adobe.com
- Monument Valley Park, Photo: Gary/stock.adobe.com
- Mountain Shadows Park, Photo: Brian/stock.adobe.com
- Nancy Lewis Park, Photo: ant/stock.adobe.com
- North Cheyenne Canon Park, Photo: SergeyCash/stock.adobe.com
- Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Photo: Elliot/stock.adobe.com
- Palmer Park, Photo: Jennifer/stock.adobe.com
- Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Photo: Faina Gurevich/stock.adobe.com
- Ute Valley Park, Photo: cbdusty/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: jzehnder/stock.adobe.com