Manitou Springs Road Trip Routes


Manitou Springs, located just 6 miles west of Colorado Springs, attracts over 500,000 visitors annually. This charming town offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, historic sites, and modern attractions, making it an ideal destination for a memorable road trip. This comprehensive guide explores the best routes to and around Manitou Springs, ensuring travelers can make the most of their visit to this picturesque region of Colorado.


  • Manitou Springs is an easy day trip from Denver or Colorado Springs.
  • Key attractions include Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
  • Plan your route and timing to optimize your road trip experience.

Planning Your Manitou Springs Road Trip

Manitou Springs Road Trip Routes

  • From Denver: Take I-25 South to Exit 141, then follow Hwy 24 West for 4 miles to Manitou Avenue.
  • From Colorado Springs: Take Hwy 24 West for 4 miles to the first Manitou Avenue exit.
  • Scenic Detours: Consider driving through Garden of the Gods, exploring the Gold Belt Scenic Byway, or stopping at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Best Times to Visit

  • Summer (June-August) is the busiest season, with pleasant weather and numerous events.
  • Fall (September-November) offers stunning foliage and fewer crowds.
  • Annual events include the Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival in June and the Emma Crawford Coffin Races in October.

Attractions Along the Way

Natural Attractions

  • Garden of the Gods: This free park features stunning red sandstone formations and hiking trails.
  • Pikes Peak: Drive the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway or take the historic Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the 14,115-foot summit.
  • Manitou Incline: This challenging Rocky Mountain hike will test your fitness.

Historical Sites

  • Manitou Cliff Dwellings: Explore ancient Anasazi structures and learn about Native American history.
  • Miramont Castle Museum: Visit this Victorian-era castle for insights into the region's architecture and history.

Modern Attractions

  • Local Artisan Shops: Discover unique crafts and artwork in Manitou Springs' many boutiques.
  • Dining and Breweries: Enjoy local cuisine and brews at popular spots like the Sahara Cafe and Cliff House at Pikes Peak.

Stay & Plan

Accommodation Options

  • Hotels and Inns: The Cliff House at Pikes Peak and El Colorado Lodge offer historic charm and modern amenities.
  • Camping and RV Parks: Nearby options include Red Rocks Campground and Kelsey Campground.

Travel Essentials

  • Pack layers for varying weather conditions, comfortable shoes for hiking, and sun protection.
  • Drive cautiously on mountain roads, especially if you're unfamiliar with the conditions.


What is the most scenic route from Denver to Manitou Springs?

Take I-25 South to Exit 141, then follow Hwy 24 West through Woodland Park for stunning mountain views.

Are there any must-visit attractions in Manitou Springs?

Don’t miss Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Barr Trail, and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings for a mix of natural beauty and history.

What are some top dining options in Manitou Springs?

Try the Sahara Cafe for Middle Eastern cuisine or the Cliff House at Pikes Peak for a historic dining experience.

Are there any annual events worth planning a road trip around?

The Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival in June and the Emma Crawford Coffin Races in October are popular events.

What are some tips for first-time visitors to Manitou Springs?

Plan your route in advance, pack for varying weather conditions, and take time to explore the town’s unique shops and attractions. Fly into the Colorado Springs Airport or Denver International Airport.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.