Guide to staying active over summer break

     Summer break. 100 days of no school, no homework and no exams. How do you spend your summer? What do you do on your days off work?   

     Colorado Springs is a great place to stay active over break, get outside, go for a hike or walk around the zoo. 


     Colorado Springs has many places to hike. The Incline in Manitou Springs is a great hike that is more challenging, but a good way to keep in shape over break. The hike involves walking — or running, if you’re in shape — up 2,7000 steps built into the side of the mountain.  

     If it’s your first time doing The Incline, you should note that once you reach the top, you’ll have to hike Barr Trail back to your car. 

     Staying on campus? There are two hiking trails right behind campus on the bluffs. This is a short hike that has two directions to hike to the top and is a great way to get active right outside your room.  

     Colorado Springs also has many outdoor trails for everyone and even your dogs. Pulpit Rock Park, Ute Valley Park and Red Rock Canyon Open Space are a few ideas for trails you might enjoy hiking.   

Garden of the Gods 

     Garden of the Gods is another great place to hike or just enjoy the scenic views of rock formations and Pikes Peak in the background. As a perk, this park is free for everyone to enjoy.  

     Garden of the Gods is also a great place to take pictures if your hobbies include photography. There are multiple trails to choose from, and you can even choose a different hike each day. Not only will students enjoy being outside and staying active while hiking, but you get to enjoy the great views of this hiking area.  

Rock climbing  

     Rock climbing is a common outdoor recreational activity that many students compete in. Colorado Springs has different locations including Front Range Climbing Co., Springs Climbing Center, CityROCK, Gripstone Climbing and Fitness and The Colorado Climbing Company.  

     Having a rock-climbing area in our own UCCS Recreation Center has sparked the interest for many students to learn the basics of rock climbing. Students can expand their rock-climbing experience from the recreation center to other local locations during the summer.  

Gym membership  

     An easy way to stay active is joining a gym and buying a membership for the summer if you don’t already have a pass. Especially places like 24 Hour Fitness, LifeTime Fitness or Planet Fitness are common places to join with great reviews.  

     This is a great way to stay active and fit your fitness journey into your schedule easily. Even if you have a job, you can attend the gym before or after your shifts. With a membership, you can go as little or as much as you want, making this a common way to stay active.  

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 

     Not everyone enjoys hiking, going to the gym or rock climbing, but they still want a fun activity to do in the summer. Attending the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo gets students outside and walking and having animal encounters as a bonus.  

     The zoo’s features and exhibits allow you to explore the grounds and visit all the animals in one trip. Even walking around is a great way to stay active and visiting animals is a fun way to spend your summer day. The new hippo and penguin exhibit attracts more tourists and locals to visit the zoo, and this would be a great activity to spend the day with your friends or family.  

     For more ideas on how to spend your summer outdoors in Colorado Springs, you can visit

The Incline in Manitou Springs during summer 2020. Photo by Lexi Petri.