Getting from A to B in Colorado Springs is a breeze when you travel by car. Without four wheels, it's trickier – particularly if you want to reach outlying sights like the Garden of the Gods or Pikes Peak – but public transport works well downtown, and many places are easy to reach by bike or on foot.
Road trippers can easily access the Springs from I-25, while air travelers can pick up a car on arrival at Colorado Springs Airport, located just 20 minutes east of downtown. Alternatively, Denver International Airport is just an hour and a half away. Once you reach downtown, take advantage of local buses or explore the town's walkable, bikeable blocks under your own steam.
Here are some of the best ways to get around Colorado Springs.
Like most urban hubs in Colorado, Colorado Springs is a drivers' city, and getting around is easiest by car. The city spans several exits along I-25, with helpful signage to guide you into the center. Travelers will find that GPS and Google maps are accurate and reliable, and gas stations are easy to find.
Generally, you’ll find parking at most attractions, with coin and credit card meters downtown and free and paid parking lots widely available at the big sights. During the high season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, parking can be in heavy demand in certain areas, including downtown Manitou Springs and at the small parking lots serving popular hiking trails. Arriving early in the day or coming during the week is one way to beat the crowds.
If you don't have your own wheels, fear not: rideshare apps such as Lyft and Uber can help you find a ride to destinations within the city limits (and nearby sights such as the Garden of the Gods). For day trips to the top of Pikes Peak or visiting the Royal Gorge, consider renting a car; the big chains are represented at the airport.
For downtown transport in Colorado Springs, Mountain Metro Transit runs bus services throughout the city, with real-time My Next Bus information available on Google maps. Most journeys begin at the main Downtown Terminal, at the junction of East Kiowa St and North Nevade Ave, with basic adult fares starting at $1.75 ($0.85 for seniors). Day passes cost $4 and you can also buy 20-ride ticket bundles and consecutive 31-day tickets. Bus passes can be paid for in cash on board, bought online or purchased from local King Soopers or Safeway grocery stories. For longer hauls, Colorado Springs is connected to cities across the region by Greyhound and Bustang buses.
Parking is limited in Manitou Springs, but you can park outside the center and take the handy (and free) Manitou Shuttle bus. Route 33 takes passengers to the cog railway and Barr trailhead from Memorial Park, while the summer-only Route 36 heads to downtown along Manitou Avenue from the free parking lot at Fields Park.
You’ll see bike lanes and bike routes all around downtown, with rental e-bikes available through PikeRide. See the town website for a map of routes. There are 40 PikeRide hubs around town (marked on Google maps) and bikes are available for hourly rental; just download the app and set up an account. You'll pay $1 to start then $0.15 per minute; a 24-hour pass is $10.
While Colorado Springs lacks an urban rail system, sightseers can enjoy some iconic experiences by rail in the surrounding hills. Over in Manitou Springs, the historic Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway has been shuttling visitors to the summit of Pikes Peak for 130 years. The little red train departs from Ruxton Ave in Manitou Springs several times a day. Many hikers who successfully reach the top of Pikes Peak on foot use the railway as an easy way to travel back down the mountain.
Heading south, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad offers travelers a unique way to experience the Royal Gorge and the Colorado Rockies. Trains depart up to four times daily year round from the Santa Fe depot, just off the US-50 in Cañon City. In the summer months, travelers to Cripple Creek can hop aboard the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad to learn about gold mining history and see some of the area's historic mines and rugged scenery.
Accessible transportation in Colorado Springs
When it comes to accessible travel, Colorado Springs has it covered. The town is home to the US Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Training Center, and city officials have installed or retrofitted more than 6,000 pedestrian ramps within the city limits to make the city more accessible.
Visit Colorado Springs has an online guide highlighting accessible attractions around the city, including the US Olympic & Paralympic Museum, the Broadmoor Seven Falls elevator to Eagle Nest viewpoint, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Garden of the Gods and more. There are also numerous accessible walking trails and playgrounds such as John Venezia in Briargate and Memorial Park downtown.
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