While The Broadmoor may feel like too classy of a joint for an adventure family (like ourselves), I am here to tell you that it is a family friendly, adventure lover’s dream resort! In addition to legendary Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury, dining, and hospitality you would expect from The Broadmoor, there is also enough of the outdoorsy Colorado vibe to make us feel at home. If you are considering a getaway to The Broadmoor, this adventure-filled itinerary will keep your family active, fulfilled, and exhausted in the best way! Our itinerary included summitting an iconic 14,000 foot mountain by train on the historic Pikes Peak Cog Railway, hiking the beautiful Seven Falls, learning from expert falconers at the Falconry Academy, swimming in the infinity pool with thrilling water slides, eating s’mores by the fire, and even bowling!
Thank you to The Broadmoor Hotel for hosting us, all opinions are my own.
Nestled into base of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado, The Broadmoor is located 10 miles from the Colorado Springs Airport and 90 miles from Denver International Airport. While you are at the base of the mountains in Colorado, you will feel more like you’ve been transported to Lake Como, Italy. The architecture, lakefront views, luxury, food, and ambiance have the touch of European vacation.
While we parents could have been content exploring the grounds, eating delicious food, and reminiscing about Europe the entire trip, we have an active 4 and 6 year old who crave adventure and exploring (i.e. do not sit still). Here was our 3 day itinerary at The Broadmoor, fit for an adventurous family!
THE BROADMOOR MANITOU AND PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY
The only thing more adventurous than taking a cog railway up the top of Pikes Peak, is hiking to the 14,115 feet summit. Since most of us aren’t ready to take that on that challenge with our kids, this is the next best thing! Plus, for the train lovers out there, this is even better because you get to marvel at the engineering and history behind this train. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the highest railway in the world, with portions (like the Sun of a Gun Hill) with a 25% incline. The average incline is 12% taking you 9 miles from the brand-new depot to the top of “America’s Mountain,” which feels like the top of the world.
The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway has been closed for past three years and just opened back up in May 2021. In addition to the renovations at the depot, they’ve refurbished existing trains and purchased three brand new shiny trains from Switzerland. The Visitor’s Center at the summit of Pike’s Peak is also brand new and should have it’s grand opening by the end of June 2021.
My little train lovers enjoyed the experience! It took one hour to get to the top and about an hour and 15 minutes to get down. We were able to spend about 40 minutes at the summit taking photos and trying to stay warm before it started to snow. Be sure to dress for wind and weather at 14,000 feet!
SEVEN FALLS HIKE
There are many hiking trails to be found around The Broadmoor, but Seven Falls is definitely the most popular choice. I was initially worried that I would be turned off by the commercialization since it has trams, gift shops, stairs, an elevator, and luxuries that I typically don’t expect (or want) on a hike. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this excursion and we had a blast! While it does have all of those amenities that I mentioned, there is a lot of solitude and nature to be found on the trails just beyond the falls. I would think of this outing in two parts. There is the “attraction” at the beginning, which is itself is breathtaking, but is more commercialized. Then, there is the hike at the top of the falls if you are looking for more of a nature experience.
You can choose to make this hike as easy or challenging as you would like (or not a hike at all if you just want to ride the tram to the falls and back). But I assume I’m talking to adventure families here, so let me tell you what we did. We hiked a total of 4.5 miles with approximately 1500 feet gain—walked 0.5 miles from the park entrance to the waterfalls, climbed the first set of stairs to view the falls, rode the elevator down, climbed up the main waterfall stairs, hiked 2 miles roundtrip to Inspiration Point, took small side trail hike to Midnight Falls, and then walked back to the gate.
While this hike is open to the public and you do not need to be a Broadmoor guest to experience this, there are a few perks you receive by being a guest. As a guest you can ride a shuttle directly from the hotel, as opposed to lining up for the public offsite shuttle. The public shuttle runs from the Norris Penrose event center. You also get free access to the tram ride within the gated boundaries if you would like a ride from the gate to the base of the falls (shaves off 0.5 miles of walking one way). As a guest, you can purchase your tickets at The Broadmoor before arriving so you don’t need to wait in (the long) line at the ticket booth and instead can start hiking as soon as you arrive!
FALCONRY AT THE BROADMOOR
As adventure enthusiasts, we also love learning about the wildlife we see on the trails. The Falconry experience was a unique way to get up close and personal to beautiful birds of prey, plus learn about the incredible sport of Falconry. We were guided by a professional falconer through the mews (birdhouses) to see falcons, hawks, and owls. We then rode up to the grounds of the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge to watch the Peregrine Falcon and the Lanner Falcon put on a show on a short nature walk. It was fascinating to see how these intelligent birds are trained and fun to have them fly right over our heads (without flinching, which was hard!).
SWIMMING AND SLIDING AT THE BROADMOOR
When I mentioned to the kids that we would be taking a weekend getaway to The Broadmoor Hotel, their first question was about the pool. We had to be sure to squeeze in a trip to the pool at least once per day so it could classify as a true vacation. The Broadmoor has two pools—one indoor pool with an outdoor lap pool, and one outdoor infinity pool with waterslides.
We spent our time at the outdoor pool because it was shallower (zero entry pool with the deepest end at 3 feet and 6 inches), and because it was nice weather for us to enjoy the sun and slides. You need to be 44” to ride the waterslides so Emerson enjoyed the windy slide and Mom and Dad enjoyed both slides.
S’MORES AT THE BROADMOOR
Since we would normally be camping during the summer weekends, we indulged in some campfire s’mores outside of our lakeside dinner at Ristorante del Lago. The s’mores kit included all of the s’mores fixings, including the sticks! Besides hitting the spot for dessert, it was also a fun way to meet other families near the campfire.
BOWLING AT THE BROADMOOR
Yes, The Broadmoor has a bowling alley on-site! This was the kids’ first time bowling and we all had a blast. There are 6 lanes of fun, with optional bumpers for the kids. This was an awesome way to “pre-funk” before we headed to an al fresco dinner on the golf course at The Grille. You can also opt to stay at the bowling alley restaurant, Play, and keep the fun going through dinner as well. Be sure to make reservations in advance for bowling!
MORE ADVENTUROUS ACTIVITIES AT THE BROADMOOR
We weren’t able to squeeze all of the outdoor adventures into one trip and hope to get the chance to try these activities one day as a family and as our kids get a little older:
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