Glen Eyrie is a private Christian conference and retreat center located just north of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It’s run by the Navigators, and the property is not only beautiful, it’s also historic! It’s home to the castle the General William Jackson Palmer (the founder of Colorado Springs) built for his wife, “Queen”, in the 1880s. The historic castle has been converted into a bed and breakfast and conference center – you can reserve a room, have a tea time, or take a tour of the estate.
Though it’s private property, Glen Eyrie is also open to the public on a limited basis for hiking from Mondays through Thursdays (on non-holidays). They allow up to 24 non-guests at a time on the property to explore the 20 miles of trails. We went last week and hiked the Queens Canyon trail up to Dorothy Falls. Here’s a video of some of the natural beauty:
The Glen Eyrie trail map marks this trail as “difficult”. We took our three kids (ages 4 and under) on the hike and made it to the falls just fine; I would say “difficult” is a stretch unless you want to hike to the punchbowls at the top of the falls. Keep in mind they when they say “crisscross the creek” they mean “crisscross the creek”.
In all, we crossed the creek 13 times one-way. They were all pretty easy crossings, but Jeremy will have you know that he made two trips across and back at each crossing because the kids couldn’t cross on their own. It took us about 2 hours to get to the falls and back – you could go much faster without kids!
As with all hikes in the mountains, it’s a good idea to go in the morning or early afternoon to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. Note that Glen Eyrie is making a change to their hiking policy – as of June 1st, you’ll have to register online before arriving at the gate. For more information on hiking and tours, visit their website.