Red Rock Canyon#9 in Best Things To Do in Colorado Springs
Arizona and Utah aren't the only states that boast rust-colored rocks – Colorado has them, too. And you don't have to stray too far from Colorado Springs to get a good look at them from a hiking or biking trail. Sitting about 4 miles northwest of downtown along Highway 24 (right before you reach Manitou Springs), Red Rock Canyon has contributed to the area's scenic landscape since 7000 B.C. In the 1800s, the desert landscape was used to refine the ore that came from the gold mines in nearby Cripple Creek. During the 20th century, Red Rock Canyon was owned by the Bock family, who had plans to transform the land into a vacation haven, complete with a resort hotel and a golf course. In 2003, the city of Colorado Springs purchased the land and used its striking red cliffs to punctuate miles of new hiking and biking trails.
Recent visitors claimed Red Rock Canyon is a must for outdoorsy travelers, as is wearing comfortable walking shoes and bringing a camera. The park also features an open-air pavilion that can accommodate live entertainment and evening movie screenings.
Between May 1 and Oct. 31, you can enter Red Rock Canyon between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.; during the rest of the year, the park closes at 9 p.m. Admission to the Red Rock Canyon is free. To learn more, visit the city's website.
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