Cheyenne Mountain Zoo- Animals, Giving Back, and Exercise
All that training I did paid off last weekend. I completed my race in Colorado Springs at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was a great experience. The course went through the zoo and up the mountain to William Rogers Shrine. Over the first two miles we climbed 1000 feet and it was incredible and challenging; but worth it for the views. The course was on a nice road that usually does not allow foot traffic. This is the only race that the zoo allows foot traffic to the shrine. Even though you will not be able to walk to the shrine this year you can still visit the zoo and take the gondola up to the shrine. The zoo offers breathtaking views of Colorado Springs along with Pikes Peak. A day trip to Colorado Springs to visit the zoo is a must because you can interact with animals, give back to the community, and get a workout in.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is America’s only mountainside zoo. It sits at an elevation just under 7000 feet. The enclosures use as much of the mountain landscape as they can. It is amazing seeing animals, like bears and wolves, play in natural habitats. This zoo is very interactive, meaning you can feed the giraffes, play with goats, and sit with the wallabies. It is a fun time for the whole family (minus the dogs on this one).
This is a nonprofit zoo, so your entry fee goes right back into the zoo. You also get to select which exhibit/ animal you would like your money to go toward. It is a smaller zoo, so they must budget accordingly. Within the last couple of years, they put in the “Australian Walkabout”. This is an area you can be among the wallabies. The next big add on is called “Making Waves”. This will be a great area for the penguins and hippos.
My favorite part of the zoo, other than the monkeys, is knowing that I am getting a great workout in while enjoying scenery, animals, and family. As I mentioned earlier, this zoo is on the mountain. In order to see all the exhibits, you will follow paths that lead you up the mountain. Make sure you take your fitbit because you are likely to accomplish a lot of stair goals here.
Make a day trip out of it by visiting The Garden of the Gods, climbing Manitou Incline, and visiting Pikes Peak. If throughout the day you get a little thirsty, pop into one of Colorado Springs’ twenty breweries. A couple of my favorites are Pikes Peak Brewing Company and Trinity Brewing Company. If you are in the mood for some good Texas BBQ, head on over to Rudy’s BBQ (Yes, there is one in Colorado!).
I know this is not Denver, but it makes a great day trip out of the city. So have fun, stay safe, and make memories. And give the run a try next year!