During our stay in Colorado Springs, along our 2-week Colorado road trip, we often found ourselves passing Cheyenne Mountain State Park on our way in and out of town until one day we finally decided to check it out. Situated next to an active archery range, Cheyenne Mountain State Park is 1600-acres and a hikers’ dream with 18 trails (some dog-friendly) totaling over 21 miles. The trails range from short and easy to long and moderate and the park also allows overnight RV stays with hookups! (In hindsight we should have stayed here the whole time in Colorado Springs!)
With another summer storm looming over us, we wearily put on our raincoats and hoped things would let up enough for us to enjoy a few hours on the trails. Luckily, the weather did just that. The trails were all cleverly named Coyote Run Trail, Little Bear Trail, Cougars Shadow Trail, and Turkey Trot Trail and filled with little bunnies running around which, much to Chewy’s dismay, didn’t stick around too long to become friends.
Along each trail are educational plaques providing information regarding the wildlife, plants and history of the park. Thankfully, this is how we learned that the park is home to the underground North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) alternate operations center, developed during the Cold War…WHAT??? Apparently because of the military boom that Colorado Springs experienced during this time, there was a need to provide television and communications services to the growing city. In order to provide those services, an “antenna farm” was constructed on the highest central point of the Cheyenne Mountains in the 1950s and is still prominent today. The plaques also had some really interesting facts and pictures of what the command center looked like with 2 to 3-foot-thick blast shield doors, huge control rooms, and armed guards patrolling what looked like an underground city.
Even though we got a little wet from the summer shower that day, the pockets of sunshine and clear skies allowed us to really enjoy our time that afternoon hiking multiple trails. Per usual, Chewy had no trouble keeping up on all of the hikes, he is such a little trooper and a true outdoorsman – just like his parents. Cheyenne Mountain State Park does not get the attention it deserves, and next time we visit Colorado in the RV we will be sure to grab a spot to enjoy waking up to those beautiful views every morning.
– Sarah & Tony