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Regional Information

Annually drawing more that 6.0 million visitors, Colorado Springs was founded by a visitor. In 1870, General William Jackson Palmer, on first seeing the region, wrote to his wife: "Could one live in constant view of these grand mountains without being elevated by them into lofty plane of thought and purpose?"

Palmer then planned the city of his dreams, one that would become a major resort community. Today, more than 125 years later, people by the millions continue to come from all over the world, drawn by the same beauty that forever changed Palmer.

The Mountain

Pikes Peak Mountain
Pikes Peak - As the majestic backdrop to Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is beautiful to behold! Pikes Peak has been an inspiration to many visitors of the area. In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates, a visiting professor at Colorado College, wrote the words to "America the Beautiful" after an inspiring wagon trip to the top of Pikes Peak. Visitors can now travel to the top by car or bike on the Pikes Peak Highway, via the highest cog railway in the world, or by hiking the Barr Trail from the base in Manitou Springs to the summit.

Pikes Peak is host to several events, including the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb or "Race to the Clouds" which runs every summer and is the second oldest car race in America (behind the Indianapolis 500). Another event, The Pikes Peak Marathon is the second-oldest foot race in America (behind the Boston Marathon). At its second running, this 28.2-mile course, which is considered to be one of the most demanding in the world, was the first U.S. Marathon open to women.

Pikes Peak north slope reservoirs capture the snowmelt and are a major watershed for the city of Colorado Springs. The Peak is the crown jewel of the Pike National Forest and is supervised by the U.S. Forest Service. The well maintained Pikes Peak highway is accessible to film and video professionals with permission from the appropriate contact of the highway operating staff. Permits are required for access to the areas off the highway, maintained by the U.S. Forest Service.

Manitou Springs

Manitou Springs
Hidden between the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, America's most famous mountain, lies the magical town of Manitou Springs. "Manitou," a Native American word for "spirit," describes this beautiful mountain community.

Nine named mineral springs throughout town are fed by the snows of Pikes Peak. Long before white men traveled here, the Ute, Cheyenne and many other natives considered this area sacred.

For more information visit the website for Manitou Springs: www.manitousprings.org/About/community.htm

 

Royal Gorge

Royal Gorge Bridge
An hour's drive further south is the breathtaking Royal Gorge region, site of the world's highest suspension bridge, and Frontier Town western theme park, a popular production site for motion picture studios.

From white water rafting to flat water float trips, the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Canon City, is world famous for scenic adventure.

Visit www.royalgorgebridge.com for more information.

 

Gold Belt Tour

Cripple Creek Mine
One of Colorado 's nationally-designated scenic byways is the Gold Belt Tour of 122 miles, which includes the towns of Cripple Creek, Victor and Canon City, site of the Royal Gorge Bridge, also relics of Colorado's gold rush days. Visitors can ride the Cripple Creek / Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, which is part of the original gold mining shuttle route.

The historic town of Cripple Creek, Colorado sits on the southwest slopes of majestic Pikes Peak in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. More than 100 years ago, this charming community attracted tens of thousands of gold-seekers to its hillsides in search of their fortunes. The gold mines are a part of Cripple Creek's colorful history, and today, visitors can choose from a variety of many rich and wonderful experiences here.

Visit www.visitcripplecreek.com for more information.