In Colorado Springs, beautiful mountain vistas, awesome outdoor adventures and interesting cultural experiences are available year round. The visitors center at the Garden of the Gods offers an interactive way to see a 365-day time lapse of the famous rock formations. Whether you choose to visit in the summer when the landscapes are green, in the fall when the foliage is at its prime, or in the winter when everything is under a blanket of snow, you won’t be disappointed.
Visiting Colorado is always in season, but here are our tips on when to go to Colorado Springs.
High Season: June - August
Best time for festivals
During the high season, you’ll enjoy scenic green landscapes and wildflowers during the long days of summer. You’ll also join plenty of tourists on a similar mission. Avoid the crowds at popular attractions by adventuring early in the day and late in the afternoon. The temperatures are milder and the sunlight is better for photos at those times. There are a handful of festive events to attend Memorial Day through Labor Day, so plan accordingly.
Shoulder Season: September - October
Best time for leaf peepin’
Fall is a favorite time for exploring outdoors. The weather is comfortable, the crowds are considerably less, and the scenery is stunning. Take a drive and admire the fall colors on the way to Royal Gorge Canyon or while cruising up Pikes Peak. Or take a hike to see the foliage up close. Note the timing varies slightly from year to year, especially at different elevations, so keep an eye on the fall color forecast.
Low Season: November to February
Best time for museums and indoor fun
The quietest months for tourism are usually after the holidays, in January and February. There are plenty of interesting museums and a few castles to explore to keep warm indoors, including the Pioneers Museum, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum, and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. But if you think it’s too cold to do anything outside, think again. Locals and visitors still enjoy the outdoors, even when there is snow on the ground, because of the abundant sunshine and mild temps. Most attractions in Colorado Springs are open all year – including the drive to Pikes Peak, weather permitting.
Shoulder Season: March - May
Best time to have the place to yourself
Things start to ramp up again as families arrive for spring break during various weeks in March. The warmer weather makes outdoor activities more enjoyable, and the budding flowers and green leaves give the city and scenery more charm. The crowds are less of a concern during the shoulder season.
The crowds start to thin out as the holidays wind down. But what do we do with all that leftover fruitcake? Manitou Springs has an entire festival where it’s OK to let the fruitcake fly. Competitions at the festival are judged based on distance, accuracy, speed and balance. Temperatures are usually their lowest this time of year, around 18℉ - 45℉, but this fest will surely warm you up. Hotel prices are generally at their lowest as well.
Key event: The Great Fruitcake Toss
Visitors will find plenty of museums to enjoy as a respite from the winter chill. January, February and March are generally the snowiest months of the year. A major event in February is the Cripple Creek Ice Festival, where ice carvers break out their chainsaws to make large blocks into art; it’s the perfect celebration of the season. Meanwhile, in Manitou Springs, you can get into the spirit of Carnivale and sample homemade gumbo for just 75 cents.
Key events: Cripple Creek Ice Festival, Bighorn Sheep Day, Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off & Carnivale parade
As the weather warms up to the 50s with still occasional snowstorms, families return to town to celebrate spring break and attend the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade downtown. And Taste of Pikes Peak gets underway with over 80 restaurants and vendors coming together to serve up yummy bites.
Key events: Taste of Pikes Peak, St. Patrick’s Day Festival
First Friday Art Walks resume in Old Colorado City, offering visitors an opportunity to browse the galleries and meet the artists. Pikes Peak Restaurant Week is also a great excuse to try new restaurants with fixed-price discounted menus.
Key events: Art Walks in Old Colorado City (April - December), Spring Wine Extravaganza, Pikes Peak Restaurant Week
Spring is a beautiful time, as we enjoy May flowers - though there has been an occasional blizzard. Temps are generally in the 40s - 70s, with the cheapest hotel prices about 17% less than average. Late May, the town kicks off summer early with Territory Days in Old Colorado City Memorial Day Weekend, known as Colorado’s largest street fair for more than 40 years.
Key events: Territory Days, Cañon City Music & Blossom Festival, Pikes Peak Birding & Nature Festival, MeadowGrass Music Festival
June is generally a busy month in Colorado Springs, as visitor numbers climb and hotel prices soar - an average of 53%, the highest prices all year. While local events like the Old Colorado City Farmers Market get underway, a major event comes to town: the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Racers speed their vehicles to the top as fast as they can. (The record is under eight minutes!) Spectators can grab a ticket and camping permit to get close to all the action.
Key events: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Starlight Spectacular, Top of the World Rodeo, Colorado Springs Western Street Breakfast, Woodland Music Series, Old Colorado City Farmers Market
With summer in full swing, the 4th of July Symphony in the Park draws crowds to Memorial Park, along with several other community events. July tends to be the hottest month, with the average temps around 56℉ - 86℉, so cool down and go whitewater rafting in Cañon City. Stop by the Whitewater Festival, which promises boats, bands and beer.
Key events: 4th of July Symphony in the Park, Pikes Peak Or Bust Rodeo, Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival, Rocky Mountain State Games
If auto racing up Pikes Peak Highway wasn’t enough for you in June, how about running to the top? In August, the Pikes Peak Marathon + Ascent challenges runners to go 13.1 miles to the top of Barr Trail then descend to the start. Or maybe watching donkey races at Derby Days in Cripple Creek might be more your speed.
Key events: Donkey Derby Days, Ride for the Brand, Vino & Notes Wine Festival, Hot Rod Rock & Rumble, Mountain Arts Festival, Pikes Peak Marathon, Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival, La Vida
The summer season ends with a bang when over 70 hot-air balloons launch from Memorial Park as part of the Labor Day Lift Off. Temperatures start to drop and so do the crowds. Photographers will enjoy snapping pretty scenery as the mountains turn from green to gold.
Key events: Labor Day Lift Off, Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack, Oktoberfest, Royal 50 MTB Bike Race
October temps are generally in the upper 60s and as the month winds down, there are plenty of festivities to celebrate Halloween. To warm up, you can watch teams race coffins – yes, coffins – down the mountain in Manitou Springs at the Emma Crawford Coffin Races. You gotta see it to believe it. Families will enjoy trick-or-treating and activities at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Royal Gorge Bridge.
Key events: Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival, Arts Month, Boo at the Zoo, Boo at the Bridge
While the weather is cool but not cold yet, November is a great time to take a breather and enjoy year-round attractions before the holidays. Or put on a bear suit for a 5k or 3K Bear Run through Bear Creek Regional Park. Then, get a head start on holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday in Manitou Springs, which is filled with mom and pop shops.
Key event: Bear Creek Bear Run
December tends to be one of the coldest months of the year, with temps around 18℉ - 47℉. Hotel prices are generally low as well, though the holidays draw in a crowd. Families come to explore The North Pole - Santa’s Workshop, a vintage amusement park, and see the animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Electric Safari. There are also special light displays at the Broadmoor hotel and Seven Falls, including a mega gingerbread display to get you in the holiday spirit.
Key events: Electric Safari, Holidays at the Broadmoor
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