At an elevation of 6,800 feet (2,072 meters), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is aptly called “America’s only mountain zoo.” Its 146 acres (59 hectares) are home to hundreds of animals, including grizzly bears, monkeys, hippos, tigers, elephants, and its renowned herd of giraffes—one of the largest in the world.
Start your day at the zoo in Colorado Springs with a chairlift Sky Ride, which takes you up the mountain and gives you a bird’s-eye view of the resident animals below. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo exhibits include Encounter Africa, the Asian Highlands, Australia Walkabout, and the African Rift Valley. The Rocky Mountain Wild area showcases local wildlife, such as lynx, porcupines, moose, and bald eagles. You can pay a little extra to feed the giraffes. There’s also a carousel that operates in the summer.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is ideal for animal lovers and families with children.
- Plan on spending two to three hours exploring the zoo.
- There are several on-site cafés and food stands for purchasing meals, snacks, and drinks. You are also welcome to bring your own food and coolers; glass and alcohol are not allowed.
- You can purchase an all-day hand stamp that grants you hop-on hop-off access to a zoo shuttle.
- The zoo is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, both of which are available to rent.
How to Get There
The zoo is located about 15 minutes southwest of Colorado Springs and about 76 miles (122 kilometers) south of Denver. From Denver, it’s best to get there via car on I-25 South; take exit 138 and follow signs for the zoo.
When to Get There
Though the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is open every day of the year, from 9am to 5pm and shorter hours on major holidays. The best time to visit is in summer, when all attractions and concessions are fully operational and you can ride the Sky Ride daily (it operates on weekends only September through April). Check the website for any planned closures before visiting.
Will Rogers Shrine
Included with your admission to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a visit to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. This monument, a 1.4-mile (2.25-kilometer) drive up the Russell Tutt Scenic Highway from the zoo entrance, provides incredible views of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region from an elevation of 8,136 feet (2,480 meters).