A great day trip from the Denver area is down to Colorado Springs. Our choice for the day, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
It only took us a little over an hour to get to the Zoo from the Denver area. The Zoo is located on Cheyenne Mountain, hence the name. It is set in a neighborhood in Colorado Springs with gorgeous older homes not far from the Broadmoor hotel. Located up on the side of the mountain, starting at 6,714 feet at the front admission gate to nearly 7,000 at the top, you know you’re going to get a lot of good calorie-burning walking in during your visit.
1. Buy a membership
A membership pays for itself in two visits. Additional membership perks include:
- Year-round FREE daytime admission.
- FREE admission to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.
- Discounted tickets to Boo at the Zoo in October.
2. Check website for ticket prices
If you don’t want to buy a membership, be sure to check ticket prices online. Zoo admission prices vary by season and weekday. There are three tiers – Regular, Peak, and Value.
3. Feed the Giraffes
Most of the exhibits were on the small size but allowed you to get up quite close to the animals. Although the exhibits were smaller, they were very interesting and nicely laid out. The zoo has over 90 different animals on display. The best displays being the Tigers, the Grizzlies, the Gorillas, and the absolute best-the Giraffes.
Oh, the Giraffes! At the giraffe exhibit, you are eye to eye with the beautiful animals. And you can feed them! For a reasonable $1 you get 3 crackers to feed the giraffes. Be smart and break them up so they go further.
The 17 giraffes know when you have crackers and they walk right up to you. Pick out your favorite to feed and he’ll stick out his half bluish/black tongue to pick it out of your hand. Warning! Their tongues are very rough and slobbery! But you won’t care because it’s sooooo cool and they’re sooo close. Beautiful. Just Beautiful.
I could have stood there all day and fed the giraffes $50 dollars worth of crackers. I didn’t need to see anything else. It was great. The only way this display could have been better was if they saddled the giraffes up and let us ride them. 🙂
Check out the zoo’s other feeding programs. You can feed the goats, elephants, rhinos, chickens, and budgies.
4. Pack water
As we meandered back and forth making our way up to the top of the zoo, I noticed in the map that the zoo’s elevation is 6,800 feet above sea level and gains 120 feet from the parking lot to the highest point of the zoo. There are plenty of benches to rest or catch your breath. Be sure to bring water, you’ll need it in this dry atmosphere.
5. Pack a lunch or split purchased lunches
Food and coolers are welcome in the zoo. Outdoor seating can be found at various locations with the main picnic area near the Carousel. There are four options for buying lunch, Pizza with a View, Elson’s Place, Grizzly Grill, and Rocky Mountain Barbecue Co.
Take the Zoo Shuttle (multiple stops available in the loop) to the top and work your way down. Cost: $2 – includes an all-day handstamp.
We all greatly enjoyed the zoo and look forward to future trips. The day couldn’t have been more perfect. What a great experience.