If you’ve never heard of Green Mountain Falls in Colorado, you’re not alone! Green Mountain Falls is an adorable little town in the mountains west of Colorado Springs that’s perfect for a short weekend getaway to nature. It’s just far enough from the busy city life in Colorado Springs, but still close enough to visit some of the attractions in Colorado Springs without needing to stay there.
Green Mountain Falls makes for a good getaway any time of year. Summer offers lots of hiking in and around the town, Fall offers beautiful Aspen foliage, Winter turns this town into a cozy winter wonderland and spring brings some of Colorado’s most beautiful wildflowers! It’s also not a touristy town, so you’re not likely to run into a lot of crowds here unlike some of the bigger attractions and tourist towns across Colorado.
Green Mountain Falls Lodging
The main room the Outlook Lodge has a large eating area and a full kitchen. There’s a fire pit outside that all guests are welcome to, where you can roast s’mores or just have a hot drink by the fire. You’ll also find a common hot tub that all guests are welcome to, right outside the rooms of Little Beaver Inn
Things to do in Green Mountain Falls
The best part about Green Mountain Falls is how close everything is. You don’t need a car to get around if you’re looking to visit the shops on the main street or access some of the trails. The other perk is that there are lots of attractions within a very short drive away from Green Mountain Falls such as Cave of the Winds, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and more.
Here are some of the highlights that can be done in just one weekend here!
Green Mountain Falls Park
All of Green Mountain Falls is extremely walkable. Most hiking trails start right from the town, and you can walk from pretty much any accommodation in Green Mountain Falls to the local park. On your way to the park you’ll pass by some of the local cafes and restaurants and see some of the adorable boutique shops with handmade goods.
Green Mountain Falls park offers a serene lake with a beautiful gazebo right in the center, accessible by a bridge. The gazebo is frequently used for weddings but is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the mountain views and fresh air of Green Mountain Falls. On the other side of the bridge you’ll find a large playground if your kids are looking for something active to do!
There are lots of hiking trails in and around Green Mountain Falls, that are especially spectacular during Fall. Some of our favorites include Catamount Trailhead which goes along a creek, Thomas Trailhead, and Crystal Falls Trail which leads to the waterfall that Green Mountain Falls is famous for! The hikes range from easy to strenuous and have vary widely in length so there are lots of options to choose from!
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Make sure to arrive here early as the parking lot is very small and it fills up very quickly. It’s also best to try to go on a weekday to avoid crows!
The road is windy and gains elevation quite quickly. If you’re not used to high elevation make sure to drink lots of water to help with fighting altitude-sickness. Most people feel altitude-sickness starting at 8000′, and this road takes you all the way to 14000′!
Symptoms of altitude-sickness include headaches, vomiting, tiredness and dizziness, so if you feel any of these symptoms the best cure is to head down to lower elevation as soon as possible. It’s especially important to monitor smaller children as you’re likely to miss some of the earlier symptoms. Babies under 2 months should not be taken here to avoid complications!
All warnings aside, the drive here is incredibly worthwhile! On a good visibility day, you’ll be able to see the full mountain range, Colorado springs and any of the nearby towns. Be prepared for really cold weather at the top! It can get windy and weather conditions are always unpredictable at high elevations.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods has multiple paths in and around the park to explore. Most paths are paved and easily accessible by wheelchair or stroller, but there are also some smaller, inner paths that have stairs and rocks to climb. The park is open year round and is especially magical during the winter when the red rocks really pop from underneath layers of white snow.
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds is just a 15 minutes drive from Green Mountain Falls and has two parts to it; an outdoor adventure park and the caves you can explore!
The outdoor adventure park includes a 3-story obstacle course, a 1200-foot round-trip aerial attraction, a climbing wall, axe throwing, an adventure slide and Geronimo’s Leap. There’s a minimum height requirement to enter most of these attractions, so it’s best suited for older children. For smaller children, there’s an area for panning for gemstones and Caver’s Crawl; a hands-on simulated caving experience!
If you’re rather something with a little less adrenaline, you can go on a cave tours. These million year-old caves were discovered in 1881 and are now a fun experience for all ages. To see the caves you must book a guided tour. There are three different tour options to choose from; Discovery Tour, Lantern Tour and Caving 101 each of which lasts between 45, 90 and 2 hours, respectively.
The Discovery Tour is a family friendly tour where you walk through 15 different electrically-lit rooms. The Lantern Tour lets you explore by candlelight while listening to scary ghost stories and unexplained phenomena of the Manitou Grands, and is not permitted for children under 8. The last option is Caving 101, where your guide will take you through wet and muddy passages, teach you basic spelunking skills and tell you the interesting history and geology of the cave. This one is for ages 13 and up.