Dig deep into our local history

Bad pun totally intended, and you’ll soon see why! The Pikes Peak region was one of the first destinations in the West for leisure travel for a number of different reasons. That big beautiful mountain has been a draw since the first Europeans saw it rising out of the Eastern plains, but there’s so much more hidden at the base. We were an early destination for health and wellness travel as well, with the healing properties of Manitou Springs natural mineral springs and the warm dry air, perfect to ease the consumption of TB. The discovery of gold in 1859 sure didn’t hurt and soon “Pikes Peak or Bust” became the mantra of many. Young men, and a few brave young women, journeyed from far and wide to scratch their fortunes out of the hills of Colorado. Cripple Creek, Colorado would become one of the richest gold mining districts in the country, and with that came lots of interesting characters and even more interesting stories.

The wealth scratched out of the hills of Cripple Creek financed the two gentlemen who helped found Colorado Springs. The legacy of General Palmer and Spencer Penrose created many of our oldest attractions and protected our beautiful parks and open spaces. Our founders certainly get a lot of the press, but they’re just a small part of tapestry that makes our history so fascinating.

Everywhere you turn, our rich history continues to thrive, from the early American Indian and Spanish settlers, to the Europeans expanding west in search of their fortune. You see it in the names of our mountains and streets and the way we celebrate out heritage. There’s a restaurant in Old Colorado City named after a pair of elk Prairie Dog O’Byrne used to pull his carriage down main street of the territory capital. Or the spunky young woman, Mary Catherine Gortner who struck it rich on the gold claim in Cripple Creek where the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine stands today. These particular characters are all long gone, but character with which they shaped our region is still going strong. So dig in! And make it part of your story.

Top 6 ways to get into the local history

All History Buff adventures

Check out these top history related attractions in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.

itineraries for the History Buff

We like to think of ourselves as your personal travel agent: minus the extra cost or funny headsets. Choose from one of our pre-built itineraries for guaranteed fun.

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Tips & FAQs

Other fun facts and things you should know about enjoying the history of the Pikes Peak region.