Our older son, Drew, was in Wyoming for an internship for the summer so we planned a trip to the Mountain West; Colorado, Wyoming, Utah in early July of last year. We flew out on a Wednesday evening and landed in Denver, CO, got our rental car drove to Castle Rock, CO where we had a hotel for the night.
Comfort Suites Castle Rock 4755 Castleton Way, Castle Rock, CO 80109

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

The next morning we got up and drove to Pikes Peak. Alex wasn’t with us when we went a few years ago, so we knew this was a must see for him. The last time we were there it was April so there was still tons of snow, but in July there was hardly any.

Pikes Peak
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Due to construction at the top of Pikes Peak, they would not allow everyone to drive all the way to the top. We had to stop and park at Mile 13 (I think it was) to get in a van and be driven the rest of the way up.

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Look at the winding road down below, which is part of the road you drive up to Pikes Peak.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Rob was feeling pretty rough from the altitude. I wasn’t feeling great, but thank goodness for their “World Famous Donuts” which gave us a little boost.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

This rocky area is near Glen Cove Inn, which can be found at mile marker 13. This is also where you get stopped on the way down to make sure your breaks aren’t overheating. We’ve never been told that’s an issue for us, because Rob knows how to drive up and down mountains. However we always stop here anyway.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

U.S. Air Force Academy
The last time we were in Colorado Springs, we didn’t make it over to the USAF Academy, so we made sure to do it this time.

This is the view we had as we drove in.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

The iconic chapel
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

The Protestant Chapel is located on the main floor of this gorgeous building and seat 1,200.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

On the lower level of the chapel is 4 other smaller chapels; The Catholic Chapel (top pic below) seats about 500 people. The Jewish Chapel (bottom pic on left) seats 100. The Muslim Chapel (not pictured) welcomes Muslims of all denominations. The Buddhist Chapel (bottom pic on right) is a freestanding hall within the Cadet Chapel. It measures 300 square feet and welcomes Buddhists of all denominations.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

This is Vandenberg Hall, a cadet dormitory, which contains 1,320 cadet rooms.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Falcon Stadium is out a ways from the main campus.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs
I highly recommend a stop at the Air Force Academy. You do of course go through security as you drive in, so be prepared for that. After leaving there it was off to grab lunch.

Tokyo Joe’s
7495 N. Academy Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Once we got down from the mountain we needed lunch. We ended up at Tokyo Joe’s. I really enjoyed mine. Fresh and delicious. Rob wasn’t feeling it.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is always a sight to behold. This free park covers 1,300 acres with beautiful sandstone formations, a visitor center, & hiking trails.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

After enjoying the beautiful of Garden of the Gods, we ate at Fazzoli’s and then it was off to Weidner Field to watch the Switchbacks play Colorado Spring Switchbacks Soccer. We decided to do that because we enjoy soccer, plus it was a place we could stay and watch fireworks because it was the 4th of July.
Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

Mountain West Trip:Colorado Springs

See tons more pics from our day on flickr.