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Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a great area for hiking and camping, with easy access to the conveniences of nearby Colorado Springs!
Colorado Springs is something of a utopia for outdoor adventure lovers. It’s home to some truly beautiful destinations, and we tried to hit the highlights on our recent trip out west.
That meant a drive to the top of Pikes Peak (yes, you can also hike it, but it takes some time to adjust to the altitude!). We also had a day of marveling at the massive red rock formations at Garden of the Gods.
In between checking out these tourist favorites, we camped at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. It’s just a short drive from downtown Colorado Springs, and has plenty of its own hiking trails to explore.
The mountain is the site of an underground Space Force station and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) site.
You can see satellites on top of the mountain, but don’t expect any tours. The facilities aren’t open to the public. But this doesn’t affect your ability to hike around on the outside of the mountain!
Here’s what to expect if you plan to hike or camp at Cheyenne Mountain.
Camping at Cheyenne Mountain State Park
To camp in the park, you’ll need to pay the park fee plus a camp site reservation fee.
You can reserve a site or a cabin up to six months in advance. The campground is open year-round!
There are more than 50 full hook-up sites spread out over four loops, plus some walk-in tent sites with water but no electricity.
If you’re hiking in, convertible bags like this Kavu Big Feller Duffel Backpack and the Kavu Little Feller Duffel Backpack would come in handy!
Be sure to make use of the bear-proof food lockers and dumpsters provided throughout the campground.
If you’re camping at the park any time from spring through fall, you can access the pay showers at the camper services building, which cost $1 for four minutes when we visited in 2022.
This building also has coin-operated laundry, and a playground outside for the kids.
Firewood was $6 a bundle at the visitor center or at various host campsites within the park. The visitor center is also the place for snacks, souvenirs, and of course, park passes.
The park is close to town, so if you forget something it’s not a long drive to a store, which is a plus.
There are lots of easy and moderate trails around the base of Cheyenne Mountain. Some of the trails are open to bicyclists and equestrians.
There’s also the extremely difficult 17-mile-round-trip Dixon trail system, which leads to the summit.
This trail passes the site of a 1957 plane crash, and ends at the old Dixon Homestead. It also connects to the Dragon’s Backbone, a difficult trail along the mountain ridge line.
For more information on the 27 miles of trails available, visit the state park website.
You can also try out the park’s archery range or disc golf course.
Have you gotten to hike Cheyenne Mountain? Let us know about your experiences in the comments!
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