Wanting to visit Colorado Springs, we stayed at Cheyenne Mountain State Park just 7 miles away from downtown. This was our first experience trying to lock-down a campsite before a major holiday weekend, and boy did we learn a thing or two about planning! Just about every campground near Colorado Springs was booked solid for the Fourth of July. We considered boondocking in the national forest nearby, however the hot temperatures made us inclined to stay connected to the electric grid in order to run our A.C. continuously. We counted ourselves lucky in being able to snag a reservation for a few nights here just before the holiday weekend and it looks like we got the last open spot as the park was completely full during our stay. In the future we’ll try to make sure we do some advance planning around summer holidays.
We stayed in the Swift Puma campground, right next to the campground host. The campsites in this area don’t offer much privacy (hello, neighbors!) but do give you great views of the city and valley below. We spent the first evening knocking back beers and watching the sunset from our roof-deck. Man, are we glad we built that thing!
This was our first stay with a FHU site and geeze, was it nice! The campsite was 100% level too which was a nice change of pace for us and did make our lives feel pretty cushy during the stay here. Though everything in the park was super clean and well maintained, one big drawback was the pet restrictions. While we were allowed to bring your pets into the park, the restrictions are similar to those of a National Park in that we couldn’t take our dog (or cats, for that matter) with us on the trails, essentially confining them to your campsite and paved roads. Fortunately, there was a decently long stretch of road for us to get in some longer walks with the pup.
We enjoyed the number of mountain biking trails that, though on the shorter side, definitely still proved challenging due the rocky terrain, narrow tracks, and frequent climbs. All of the trails are pretty scenic and you can hike or run along the mountain bike paths as well.
Our initial plan was to spend most of the time biking to downtown Colorado Springs since google maps reported a straightforward, 7-mile ride into downtown. However, due to some intense thunderstorms, we stayed closer to home for most of the stay. On the one night that we ventured into downtown, we ended up taking an Uber from the state park. (“Hey, could you pick us up at the Ranger Station??”) The excursion proved a nice change of pace and we had a GREAT meal (accompanied by equally great beers) at The Rabbit Hole – an underground (literally) restaurant with the atmosphere of a speakeasy. Definitely check this place out if you ever travel through the area!
The rest of our time was spent alternately hiking and mountain biking when the sun chose to shine, and huddling indoors to get work done / watch our favorite 1980’s t.v. show when it rained. A bit of bad luck did strike during our stay in that all of the mountain biking and walking on the steep slopes in the park triggered a bout of Achilles tendonitis for me, that I’m, ugh, still recovering from.