Tour the mountainside zoo to see hundreds of animals in replicas of their natural habitats. Feed giraffes and look down on the animals from a chairlift.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a large complex on the side of a mountain. Laying claim to being America’s only mountain zoo, it sits at an altitude of 6,800 feet (2,100 meters) above sea level. The 140-acre (57-hectare) site is home to more than 800 animals representing over 200 species.
Watch animals in habitats that replicate their natural environments. Go to Encounter Africa to see lions traipsing across savanna grassland and elephants showering under a waterfall. View some of the wildlife from the exhibit’s suspension-style bridge that also looks across to the city of Colorado Springs.
Observe moose, mountain lions and grizzly bears at Rocky Mountain Wild. Find orangutans, naked mole rats and gorillas at Primate World. Stroll through the indoor aviary where more than 100 birds are flying freely, including finches, parrots and budgies.
One of the highlights for many visitors is feeding the giraffes in the African Rift Valley exhibit. For a small supplementary fee you can hand-feed the animals their favorite snacks. If you are into reptiles, stop by the Scutes Family Gallery where there are more than 40 species including lizards, snakes and turtles.
Enjoy some of the zoo’s other attractions and activities. Jump aboard the Mountaineer Sky Ride, a chairlift that provides excellent views of the zoo, mountain and city. Put the children on the 20-horse carousel that dates back to the 1932 World’s Fair, then take them to My Big Backyard. This family play area in the center of the zoo features a nature-themed playground, tree house and small animals such as rabbits, turkeys and a potbellied pig.
The zoo is open all year round from morning until late afternoon, although exact times vary depending on the season. Admission charges apply, but children under the age of two get in for free.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of Colorado Springs and car parking is free. While you are in the area, consider camping overnight amid the wild scenery of Cheyenne Mountain State Park.