Thrill Seeker – Day 2
Hope you got a good night’s sleep, because you’ve got a day of adventures ahead. Spend today in and around Manitou Springs , just west of Colorado Springs. Your whole day will have Pikes Peak and the foothills as a backdrop. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Start with a good base
Head over to Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. They live by the slow-food motto, food that’s clean, intentionally made and as locally-sourced as they can get. We recommend the Huevos Rancheros, though it may ruin you for all other Huevos in the future. #sorrynotsorry
Historic Manitou Springs
Basecamp to the foothills
We know what you’re thinking, “Historic” doesn’t sound like a Thrill Seeker’s paradise, but boy, are you in for a surprise! Manitou Springs is about the cutest little mountain town you’ve ever seen, and it makes one of the best basecamps for adventure you can imagine. Those hills are crawling with TRAILS!
The Manitou Incline is by far their most well-known hiking trail and it’s less than a mile long. Don’t let the distance fool you, you’ll gain more than 2,000 feet in elevation, meaning it’s basically straight up. That’s 500 feet taller than the tip of the Empire state building! So what makes this insane feat worth the trek? Unbelievable views and a sense that you can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Obviously.
If “world-famous” isn’t necessarily what you’re looking for in a hiking trail, check out the Manitou section of the Intemann Trail or head up to the summit of Red Mountain. Whichever trail you choose, don’t forget to turn around and appreciate the splendor below!
Local’s Tip: Elevation is a real glute-kicker so be sure to bring plenty of water and forgive yourself if those miles aren’t as easy as they are at sea level!
Time allowance: Depends on trail. Expect 3-4 hours for the Incline.
Lunch that hits the spot
At last count, there were 44 restaurants in the tiny town of Manitou Springs, and all but one are locally owned. We recommend stopping by the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce for a personalized recommendation, but our favorites are the Crystal Park Cantina, The Keg, or The Loop.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
Home of the infamous TERROR-dactyl
Where do we start!? Cave of the Winds is wall to wall adventure and excitement, and you’re going to want to do it ALL! Start by reserving a cave tour, with three awesome tours from mild to muddy, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. While you wait for your tour to depart, try your skills on the Wind Walker, a three story challenge course of ropes and beams over a 600 foot drop into Williams Canyon.
Next, book your drop into the canyon on the TERROR-dactyl. At 100 miles an hour, this giant pendulum swing is sure to get your heart pumping and release screams of joy you didn’t know were in you. Be sure to get their photo package so you can take home a video of the face you made as the swing dropped!
Finally, gear up for the Via Ferrata, Italian for Iron Road. Scale the canyon walls over this trail of cables and ladders, punctuated by an awesome zipline at the end. Bring your favorite people, because this adventure is best shared with friends. Zipline can be purchased separately, if you want all thrill and no scurry.
If you have less adventurous folks in your crew, there’s plenty of other things to keep them busy while you dangle from the cliffside. The Bat-a-pult is one of the best if you have thrill-seeker-offspring. It’s exciting but not too scary. There’s also gemstone mining, the Magic Lantern Virtual Reality Theatre, and so much more!
Local’s Tip: Check out their packages to get the most bang for your buck!
Time allowance: 1 hour – half day
The Night Life is the right life
You’ve earned some bragging rights today. How about a local brewery with killer food? Check out Cerberus on West Colorado. Their beer is totally on point and their food is even better!