Itinerary Day 3

Chill Chaser

Day 3 Overview

You might feel like we’ve been holding out on you. You’ve spent several days in the Pikes Peak region and we haven’t even gone up Pikes Peak yet!  Never fear, there’s a method to our madness. We always recommend you spend a few days acclimating to the elevation of Colorado Springs before heading up to a whopping 14,115 feet.  There are lots of ways to get up the mountain.  We have two great options below and then a great mellow way to spend the afternoon.  Enjoy!

Breakfast

Where the locals go for joe

When it comes to breakfast, little hole-in-the-wall places are where it’s at!  Mountain Shadows, housed in an old Victorian home in Old Colorado City, is just such a place.  You’ll be elbow to elbow with locals as you enjoy the town’s best cinnamon roll and friendly banter from the waitresses.

Option 1: Pikes Peak -- America's Mountain

Drive above the clouds

When you think of a fourteen thousand foot peak, is your first thought laid back relaxation?  Well this is not your average peak.  Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain allows you to get far away from it all, in the comfort of your own car. Here, you can go at your own pace and marvel at every new curve of the road and the spectacular view it offers without ever breaking a sweat.  …read more

Stop along the way and breathe in that cool mountain air. There are many great places to pull over and enjoy this mountain, but one of our favorites is Glen Cove at mile 13.  Indulge in a piece of locally-made fudge, find a nice sunny spot, and sit back to enjoy the birdsong for a bit.

Once you’ve reached that perfect level of serenity, carry on to the top of the Peak.  After all, the view from the summit has been inspiring visitors for well over 100 years.  It was here that Katharine Lee Bates first penned the words to America the Beautiful,

Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

This IS the purple mountain and the view is the same fruited plain that spreads before you.  That’s how Pikes Peak earned the name “America’s Mountain!” So what are you waiting for?  Your next opus awaits!  

Tips

  • Save a $2 when you buy your tickets online with promo code PP2OFF.

Time

  • On-site: 2-3 hours
  • Travel: ~15 mins

Take-away

Be sure to bring a jacket, those mountain temps are much cooler!

Option 2: Pikes Peak Tour by Gray Line

Kick back and watch those views

Pikes Peak is one of the most accessible big mountains on the planet.  Most Peaks of this size would require months of training and specialty equipment, but Pikes Peak doesn’t even require four-wheel-drive.  In fact, you don’t even have to drive yourself!…read more

That’s where the folks at Pikes Peak Tour by Gray Line come in.  They’ve been shuttling folks to the top of Pikes Peak for decades and they have all the great stories to prove it.  Not only will you get a stress free ride up this glorious mountain, but your tour guide will entertain and educate you with history, anecdotes and fun facts along the way. What’s more, they know you really want to get out and enjoy that mountain air, so they make plenty of stops (and know all the best places for photos, snacks, Bigfoot sightings, you name it!) You owe it to yourself to see the world from 14,115 feet, and you might as well do it in comfort so you don’t miss anything along the way!

Tips

  • Be sure to call for reservations: 719-465-1871

Time

  • On-site: 4 hours
  • Travel: ~10min

Take-away

Two important local tips!  Be sure to grab a donut on the summit, they’re famous for their high-elevation donuts. 

Lunch

Balanced Rock Cafe

You’ve had a big day, gaining that much elevation can really take it out of you.  That’s why we’re sending you to our favorite oasis in the region. The cafe at Garden of the Gods Trading Post is just what the doctor ordered.  Refuel and relax in their beautiful dining area, and be sure to save room for dessert.  They carry Old Colorado City Creamery ice cream (the best!) and they make their own fudge with more flavors than you’ve even seen in one place! 

Garden of the Gods Trading Post

Garden of the Gods Trading Post

Relaxation and retail therapy

Located on the Southwest edge of the world famous Garden of the Gods, the Trading Post has so many different facets, it literally has something for everyone in your group to enjoy.  From the moment you step out of your car, the charm of the building itself will have you intrigued.  Originally built to resemble a Native American Pueblo in 1929, complete with original murals, the first room of the Trading Post will inspire shoppers, history lovers and dreamers alike.  …read more

 As you move through the different rooms of this expansive shop, you’ll find everything from coffee mugs and t-shirts, to handmade jewelry and locally made art — and a huge selection of it all. There’s plenty of touristy souvenir things to choose from, but there is SO much more.  Locals who are in-the-know use the Trading Post as their go-to shop for gifts, knowing they’ll find something perfect and unique for every occasion and every budget.

If shopping is not your thing, never fear, there’s lots for you to do here as well.  The history of the Trading Post is so fascinating there are whole books written about them.  Spend some time wandering through their history section and searching for murals throughout the building.  There’s a great selection of books, including the one about their history, where you can learn all sorts of interesting things about the area.  And finally, if you just need a place to kick up your feet and enjoy the Colorado sunshine, they have a beautifully landscaped back patio.  Grab a locally crafted beer or Starbucks coffee, pull a chair up by the fountain and listen to the wind in the cottonwood trees.  The Garden of the Gods Trading Post is just the oasis your chill-seeking soul has been looking for!

Tips

  • Be sure to try a sample of their fudge made in house. They make over 30 different flavors and calories don't count on vacation!

Time

  • On-site: 2-3 hours
  • Travel: ~ 10 min

Take-away

If you’re planning to take souvenirs home, stop at the Trading Post first.  They have a gigantic selection (which means they also have the best prices!)

Supper time

Dinner at Front range bbq

Bring your appetite because the award-winning Front Range Barbeque never leaves blank space on a plate. Their wings and BBQ Bloody Mary are to die for and there’s usually live, local music. We hear their desserts are also amazing, but to be honest, we’ve never ever had room to try them!