Colorado Springs Drone Rules
Please note: We are an attractions association. We do not have authority or additional information about this. Please contact the individual location directly with any questions.
Drone usage is a hot topic these days, particularly in states like Colorado, where the breathtaking mountain views, thick forests and unique geology virtually beg to be filmed by visitors and locals. Drone usage isn’t as simple as unboxing your equipment and filming with abandon. It’s complicated by laws that vary by the state, county, city and even park or neighborhood. And the purpose for which you are using the drone. And what kind of drone you are using. Clear as mud? We feel you. The fact that most laws are difficult to find online make it even harder to be a law-abiding drone user, which is very frustrating. To help, we’ve compiled some of the drone prohibitions in Colorado Springs, as well as overall laws, so you can enjoy your hobby without getting ticketed or fined. Please be advised that the following information represents a general guideline for drone usage and should not be considered legal advice.
Drone Laws in Colorado and Colorado Springs
Colorado drone laws (or recommendations), as well as those in El Paso County (which is where Colorado Springs is located) are generally formed within the FAA drone laws and guidelines (we talk about those below). Currently, none of the national parks in Colorado — or throughout the U.S. — allow drone use. Locally, in Colorado Springs, drones are prohibited in the following areas for many reasons, including the protection of wildlife, safety of others, federal regulations or otherwise. Please note, this list should not be considered complete. These are the attractions we are most frequently asked about. If an attraction does not appear on this list, it does mean you are able to fly your drone there. Please check with the individual attractions.
- Not permitted at Pikes Peak
- Not permitted at Garden of the Gods
- Not permitted at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
- Not permitted at Royal Gorge
- Not permitted at Seven Falls
Areas where you should call first:
- Colorado Springs city parks: (719) 385-5940
- El Paso County parks and open space: 719-520-7529
- Colorado state parks/Cheyenne Mountain State Park: (719) 576-2016
It is critical that you do your research before flying your drone in Colorado Springs. In our experience, calling specific locations directly, particularly in regard to parks and open spaces, is the best way to receive accurate, timely information.
So, Where Can I Fly My Drone in Colorado Springs?
With all these restrictions, you’re probably wondering if there is anywhere you can fly your drone in Colorado Springs and capture all of the beautiful scenery of the Pikes Peak region. The answer is yes. The first thing you should do is download the free B4UFLY app from the FAA. You can use it to instantly tell you if you are allowed to fly your drone in the area you are in (allow the app to use your location), or you can also plan a route in a different area. Restricted areas like military bases are outlined, as are airports and helipads. You’ll even be alerted if you need to contact the local airport. If you’re looking for great launch sites compiled by experienced unmanned aerial vehicle pilots, Colorado FPV has created an extensive list of launch locations with detailed information about line of sight, launch and recovery and tips (as always, confirm each location first, no matter what). The map is on their website or you can access it here. This is an absolutely amazing, free map that is perfect for helping you find cool places to fly your drone in Colorado Springs!
Note: Drone Usage and the FAA
In closing, let’s check out a brief breakdown of general drone usage and the FAA—the Federal Aviation Administration. Their rules do affect your drone use in Colorado Springs, even if it’s really small (anything over .55 pounds). Your drone is considered an unmanned aircraft system and is subject to regulation, hobby drones included. The most important thing you should know is that your recreational drone is required to be registered with the FAA before you fly (rule reenacted December of 2017), including as part of an aero-modeling club. It costs $5 and is a simple way to avoid fines. If your drone is being used for commercial purposes like advertising your business, you have more extensive requirements, which are outlined here. Anytime you have any questions or concerns (beyond what we are sharing today), you can find all the FAA’s info here. Colorado Springs drone rules are influenced by the FAA’s guidelines, which are found below.
Per the FAA website, your drone must (unless under an approved waiver):
- Weigh less than 55 pounds in totality
- Fly in Class G airspace
- Keep the unmanned aircraft within visual line-of-sight
- Fly at or below 400 feet
- Fly during daylight or civil twilight
- Fly at or under 100 mph
- Yield right of way to manned aircraft
- Not fly directly over people
- Not fly from a moving vehicle, unless in a sparsely populated area
We hope this helps you enjoy safe, worry-free usage of your drone in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. We want you to be able to capture all the beauty Colorado has to offer! Following the rules and restrictions outlined, you’ll get the gorgeous footage you want without any challenges. Happy flying!