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69RoadRunner

Garden of the Gods Before Philmont

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We're arriving 1 day early and I'm planning on flying into Colorado Springs.  I don't think we'll have time to do anything at the AF Academy.  An adult in our troop suggested camping at Garden of the Gods and then drive to Philmont the next day rather than stay an extra day at Philmont base camp. 

I like this idea to see something different and to have a nice meal before 11 days of backpacking meals.

Anyone do this or have a similar suggestion? We won't have a lot of time, just an afternoon and evening.  I plan to rent a 12 passenger van at the airport.

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That sounds like a good plan. Garden of the Gods is a beautiful park and the drive from Colorado Springs to Philmont isn't particularly long.  

Are you planning to drive up to the top of Pikes Peak?  Did that with my son when he was about 10 and he really liked it. Amazing how warm it can be in town and then how cold it gets by the time you reach the peak...

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Great spot. A little crowded, but very pleasant. The only thing you need to explain to your boys is that GotG got it's name because one of the first USGS surveyors who saw it said, "This would be a great place for a beer garden!" Make sure your scouts are very careful with litter there. Lots of folks are watching and they are quick to judge. I'm not saying boys shouldn't be attentive everywhere, but this is a really important treasure to the folks in the community, so anything they do to respect that gets attention.

A tour of Pikes Peak is a good way to get acclimated to the altitude. Getting tickets on the cog railroad is the best way to avoid the time-consuming drive to and from the top. When I went their with family, we had to wait bumper-to-bumper coming down because of road construction (which is pretty frequent, along with elk crossing, etc ...). Not a big deal if your schedule is open, but we were planning to met-up with friends arriving on a later flight.

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The Capulin Volcano National Monument is kind of an interesting place if you're into geology at all.  It's east of Raton a bit, has some hiking and such. Not sure about camping.

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4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Taking the cogwheel up to Pike's Peak and staying in a hotel is a sound option.

I've heard the Cog Railway is closed for repairs. You might want to look into that. 

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24 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Well, crud.  I guess we can still try to check out the area.  We'll arrive on a Saturday at the end of July, so I'm sure it will be packed.

https://www.pikes-peak.com/pikes-peak-cog-railway-closed/

It's a great way to explore Pikes Peak, and I don't trust my Scouts and fellow Scouters lives in my hands to drive up Pikes Peak in a van. 🤣

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