Sites in Colorado Springs enroute to Philmont
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Mon, 10 Apr 1995 21:34:13 -0500
For those Scouts coming from Florida and flying into Colorado Springs,
you're landing in a good place. Here are three good places you can stay in
Fort Carson is an army base 6 miles south of Colorado Springs off I-25
and State Route 115. They have a "Scout Hotel" to stay in <an old
barracks building>. Cheap meals at the dining hall, showers. My troop
has stayed there and been very happy. Telephone 719/579-5811 for the
main base operator.
Peterson Air Force Base is a few miles east of Colorado Springs adjacent
to the airport. They have a gymnasium they have allowed Scouts to stay
in. We have stayed there in the past. The gym can get a little noisy if
there's a lot of Scouts <there usually is>. They have showers and meals
at the dining hall. Main base operator is 719/554-7321.
U.S. Air Force Academy is 10 miles north of Colorado Springs. They
provide campsites for troops to camp in. I've never stayed there because
both Peterson and Carson offered indoor facilities. We do however visit
whenever in town. The kids like touring it. They have a beautiful
campus and the chapel is a "must see".
Things to see:
PIKES PEAK: <Cog Railway=719/685-5401> takes you to the top. You can
drive up on a toll road.
An alternative to Pikes Peak is Long's Peak to the west of Denver.
They have a road you can drive to the top and it's free.
GARDEN OF THE GODS: Free admission. Great place to hike. Fantastic rock
formations. They have a fun gift shop.
CHEYANNE MOUNTAIN: There's a highway that goes up the mountain. There's
a zoo which is nice, 719/475-9555. Also there's the "Shrine of the Sun"
which is a memorial to Will Rogers. NORAD(?) is located inside the mountain and was
made famous in the movie "War Games". It is extremely hard to get
clearance these days. After 1982 they clamped down on the amount of
registered visitors. Also Seven Falls is out that way. Never been to
the falls-costs money 719/632-0752
US OLYMPIC COMPLEX: You get a free guided tour and watch a film. The
boys think it's cool. It's also free. 719/578-4618
FLYING W RANCH: If you want to enjoy a Chuck Wagon Dinner and wild west
show, this is the place. Cost some money though. 800/748-3999
SOME OTHER PLACES NEARBY
CANON CITY AREA:
ROYAL GORGE: You can pay to walk out on the highest suspension bridge in
the world. The boys love this. 719/275-7505.
BROWN'S RAFTING: Go 7 miles west of town on Route 50. This is great
whitewater rafting on the Arkansas river. Beautiful scenery. Decent
BUCKSKIN JOE: I've never been there, but we've thought about stopping
before. It is an old western town used as movie sets for several
westerns. They have shoot outs, etc. 719/275-5149.
FREE ACTIVITIES IN THE AREA
Assuming you have vehicles, they are some great drives.
TUNNEL DRIVE: Go 1 mile west of town on Route 50, take the tunnel drive
exit. This is a trip through old tunnels that used to carry an
aquaduct. Fun and free.
SKYLINE DRIVE: You will be driving on the edge of a rock stata hundreds
of feet high. The rock is similiar to the ones you see at Garden of the
Gods to the north, except bigger. Great view, and free!
PHANTOM CANYON HIGHWAY: Don't let the word highway fool you, this is a
gravel road only 1 lane in most places. Plenty of blind hairpin turns.
Make sure your horn works before starting. Follow the road to the old
gold town of Victor, then on to Cripple Creek. Let the boys wander
around town, it's a great place. You can take a steam train ride on the
Cripple Creek-Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, 719/689-2640.
Taking Route 67 north from Cripple Creek, then left 8 miles on Route 24
will take you to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. They have a
visitors center and homestead from the 1800's. 719/748-3253 Take route
24 east back to Colorado Springs, about 30 miles.
SIDE TRIP TO LA JUNTA, COLORADO & KOSHARE KIVA
KOSHARE KIVA MUSEUM: This is not only a great museum, but home to one of
the finest Scout Troops in the country, <sorry I can't remember their troop
number> the famous Koshare Indian Dancers. They usually have indian
dances on Saturday nights. Call for their schedule. You can also spend
the night in the Kiva, take breakfast next door at Otero Community
College. We have stayed here. Don't miss Bent's Fort east of town. You
are less than 3 hours from Philmont. The Koshares are GREAT!
Koshare Kiva Museum: 719/384-4411.
BENTS OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE: Completely restored adobe fort
that served the old Santa Fe Trail. I think there is a small charge, but
worth it. 719/384-2596
SIDE TRIP TO GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL MONUMENT
GREAT SAND DUNES NAT. MON.: 55 miles west of Walsenburg on Route 160,
then 15 miles north on Rt 150. Tallest sand dunes in North America. Be
there in the morning to climb and run. In the afternoon the sand is
heated up by the sun. Too hot then. Campground in park. 719/378-2312
FORT GARLAND STATE PARK: Army fort where Kit Carson served. On way to
Great Sand Dunes on Rt 160. 719/379-3512
CUMBRES & TOLTEC SCENIC RAILROAD: 30 miles south of Alamosa on Rt 285.
Narrow gauge steam train. Great scenery. Cost $$$. 719/376-5483.
There's lots of other places to see and things to do, but I hope I've at
least got you started. I have to get off the computer and do some other
things. Good luck to you. I'll be out at Philmont in August, but we're
coming out on the train, no time to tour this trip. But I sure wish I
had a few days to spend out there.
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City