15 Best Things to Do in Monument, CO

Monument, CO
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Monument is a statutory town in El Paso County, Colorado, located at the foot of the Rampart Range.

As part of the vast statistical area of Colorado Springs, you'll find the best things to do in Monument, Colorado, involve also exploring its neighboring regions.

In 1872, the town of Monument was established as a station on the Rio Grande Railroad.

It was incorporated as Henry's Station on June 2, 1879, and the first town meeting was conducted on July 3, 1879, in honor of notable pioneer Henry Limbach.

Three years later, though, it was renamed Monument in honor of nearby Monument Rock and Monument Creek.

The community designated itself a sanctuary for the Second Amendment on April 1, 2019.

Monument and the surrounding region are home to many leisure facilities.

Downtown Monument has a Victorian tea house, gift shops, folk art galleries, and antique and toy stores along its wooden sidewalks, located at Second and Front Streets.

Numerous independent eateries and craft breweries, and distillery can be found in Monument in addition to the unending supply of fast-food franchises.

The town has a bustling farmers' and artisan's market in the summer on Saturday mornings.

Check out the list below for a comprehensive list of the best things to do in and around Monument, Colorado.

Enjoy Various Water Activities at Monument Lake

View of the Monument Lake.
JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Monument Lake, a 30-acre reservoir in Monument, Colorado, is located just west of the town center.

Despite its modest size, Monument Lake is easily accessible, which means it may get busy during the busiest times of the year.

It has a long history of delivering water for the Native American tribes of Arapahoe and Cheyenne and the Kiowa and Mountain Ute and Sioux Cheyenne.

The town of Monument was founded in 1865 and quickly became a commercial hub for the influx of train passengers.

The lake was utilized to gather ice for sale in the winter months.

On Monument Lake, electric troll motors are the only permitted boats.

Non-motorized boats, such as stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes, are also available to tourists.

Launching a boat from a dock is impossible since there are no ramps.

Have a Picnic at Dirty Woman Creek Park

Due to a local resident who resided in a hut along the creek's banks, this branch of Monument Creek was formerly known as Dirty Woman Gulch in 1861.

In the 1860s, troops passing through the area dubbed her the "Dirty Woman" because of her filthy appearance.

In the case of the "Dirty Woman," she wasn't exactly a model of cleanliness, so the term stuck.

This woman was a true animal lover who cared for her own flock of goats, cats, chickens, dogs, and more.

The 'Dirty Woman' also trampled the milk into butter with her bare feet.

Today, the park provides tourists with a wide variety of free recreational activities.

Playgrounds for baseball and softball can be found here, as well as a horseshoe pit and many covered picnic spots with tables and BBQ grills.

The park at Dirty Woman Creek is open seven days a week, and there is plenty of free parking available.

Go Skating at Monument Ice Rinks

The Monument Ice Rinks in Southern Colorado is the area's leading sports and entertainment venue.

Monument Ice Rinks is a two-rink facility.

In addition to hosting youth and adult hockey teams, the facility is also a go-to venue for birthday parties and other special events.

Programs for children ages three and up are provided at the rink, including hockey and skating lessons.

If you don't want to risk your life and limb on the ice, you may just hang back and watch the youngsters have a good time instead.

You may rent skates and hockey equipment on-site at Monument Ice Rinks, open year-round.

Go Trekking to the Monument Rock

It's no secret that hiking is a popular outdoor activity in Colorado.

There are plenty of possibilities for individuals who like to stay near home, even if they prefer to explore the larger parks west of Monument.

If you're looking for something a little more challenging than a simple stroll, the town of Monument has more than 30 miles of trails that range from flat and short to steep and dangerous.

For hikers of all experience levels, Monument Rock's 4.3-kilometer round trek offers wildlife viewing opportunities.

The track is best utilized for trekking and nature expeditions from April through September. Monument Rock, a stunning sandstone structure, can be seen from the summit.

This route is open to dogs, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.

Keep in mind that the path is covered in mud during the winter, making it difficult to tell where you've gone.

However, if you stick to the trodden road, you'll end up safely returning and having a fantastic time.

Tee Off at King's Deer Golf Club

King's Deer Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course that follows the game's rules.

Developed by Redstone Golf Group, the course opened its doors in 1999.

Throughout its existence, King's Deer Golf Club has gained a reputation for its excellent course conditions, courteous staff, and peaceful setting with vistas of Pikes Peak and the Front Range.

Golfers of all abilities will experience an adrenalin rush as they conquer the challenges on the four sets of tees provided by the course.

Additionally, its lush fairways and undulating greens evoke the atmosphere of a Scottish links course, ensuring that your round of golf is one to remember.

Celebrate Bluegrass Music at Pickin' on the Divide

Many music festivals might be a bit overpowering because of the sheer volume of people and sweat.

To many, standing in long lines for porta-potties just doesn't sound like fun.

The Picking on the Divide Bluegrass Festival, on the other hand, is a refreshing change.

This family-friendly music festival, which has grown in popularity since its start, maintains the same intimate feel it has had since its inception.

These elements come together during the annual Pickin' on the Divide Bluegrass Festival, known for its music, cuisine, and exhibitors.

Limbach Park serves as the site for this year's festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday.

This small-scale event is an excellent opportunity to get some sun while hanging out with your friends and family.

There are plenty of kid-friendly activities such as face painting and an outdoor playground close by, making this a fantastic opportunity for the whole family to relax and unwind at the same time.

Taste 3 Hundred Days Distilling's Moonshine

3 Hundred Days Distilling offers a traditional Colorado moonshine that has been handmade for over three hundred days.

Traditional Colorado moonshiners used sugar as a fermentation medium to create a distinctive spirit known as "sugar moon."

Its moonshine is made from the same ingredients and infused with natural flavorings to evoke a time when quality and tradition were more important than anything else.

These small-batch recipes are made by hand for three hundred days, combining old-fashioned methods with modern technology.

With its rich taste and approachable strength, the distillery's Western-style moonshine is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Inside its shop, you will find a non-working Thompson submachine gun hanging over the mirror-backed bar, and a modest 1940s-era still sits higher yet above that in the 3 Hundred Days of Shine tasting area.

Discolored newspaper clippings adorn the distillery's walls, telling tales of infamous Colorado bandits linked to illegal moonshine operations.

Grab Fresh Produce from Monument Hill Farmers Market

The year 2009 marked the beginning of the Monument Hill Farmer's Market's first year of operation.

It has a seasonal open-air market and indoor market during the winter months.

Since its first season, this market has grown to be the largest and most successful in the town.

If you come to Monument on a Saturday afternoon, you can expect to catch this market in the middle of town.

There is abundant fresh produce in addition to a wide variety of high-quality handcrafted goods.

Feel free to bring home candles and essential oils from local vendors!

More than 70 merchants participate each season.

Chill at Pikes Peak Brewing Co.'s Tasting Room

Pikes Peak Brewing Company is a must-stop for visitors visiting Monument, Colorado, despite the state's mountainous and rural landscape.

The Monument Tasting Room opened in May 2011 and has an extensive range of beers brewed on-site, as well as a limited yet enticing assortment of food and wine.

It has the most incredible dog- and family-friendly beer garden in the Tri-Lakes area, as well as a welcoming tasting room.

Pikes Peak's beers range from fruit-infused IPAs to dark stouts, and unlike many pubs where it's impossible to hold a conversation because it's so noisy, the environment here is typically lovely and low-key.

When it comes to food trucks and seasonal and rotating beers, there's nearly always something to entice even the most discerning palates at the taproom of this brewery.

Buy Souvenirs from Blueink Studios

Blueink Studios is a homegrown stationery business in Monument.

It sells personal use and gift-giving stationery goods, such as storage boxes, notepads, clipboards, embossed foil seals, binders, and its distinctive scalloped edge color-coordinated tissue.

Tissues made by us are currently branded in 28 countries and available in over 150 variations, ranging from ultra-modern to timelessly classic.

Despite its small size, the business boasts 100 years of combined expertise in the stationery sector.

Whether you're looking for something fun, whimsical, gorgeous, inspiring, or antique, you're sure to find it here!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the History of Mining at Western Museum of Mining & Industry

Exterior and name sign of Western Museum of Mining & Industry.
Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com

When you visit the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado Springs, located 10 minutes away from Monument, you'll immediately learn that mining is much more than excavating massive holes or finding beautiful diamonds.

Learn about the rocks you eat (yes, eat!), try with gold panning like the pioneers of old, play with hands-on displays, dress up as a miner, and witness how families lived in the 1890s.

A 10-stamp ore mill is among the mining machinery on display.

A tower at Western Museum of Mining & Industry.
Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com

You may also take a stroll around the museum's 27 acres of equipment and instructional displays, which are open to the public.

To get the ore to the stamp mill, miners used various methods, including timbering, drilling, blasting, mucking, and hauling.

Numerous historical relics from the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado demonstrate how mining has shaped daily life in the United States and Colorado over time.

A rusty vehicle at Western Museum of Mining & Industry.
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Cycle through Spruce Mountain Open Space Trail

View of the Spruce Mountain Open Space Trail.
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Spruce Mountain near Larkspur, Colorado, 11 minutes away from Monument, is ideal for excursions.

Located about 45 minutes from Denver, Spruce Mountain is a soaring mountain peak.

This hiking track follows the mountain's outside edge, allowing you to have a stunning 360-degree perspective of the surrounding landscape.

Direction sign to the Spruce Mountain Open Space Trail.
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Pikes Peak, Eagle Mountain, and the undulating hills of Greenland and Larkspur may be seen from Spruce Mountain.

All of the senses are stimulated by this path system, which includes the fresh air, singing birds, bear scat, tickling grass, the wind blowing your hair, and the sun warming your bones.

You'd be amazed at how much shade there is on most trails in Denver, but that's because they're so close.

Nevertheless, sunscreen is a must on Spruce Mountain due to the increased exposure.

The open space of Spruce Mountain Trail.
Xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a Spiritual Retreat at Benet Hill Monastery – 14 mins

People of all faiths are invited to come to the Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery for retreats, seminars, and workshops, all in a peaceful, spiritual, and friendly rural setting.

Overnight guests and day groups may all find a place to stay in this monastery, located 14 minutes from Monument.

Several unique prayer spots and interconnected contemplative routes across the property are ideal for peaceful study and contemplation.

Be sure to stop by the Sisters of Benet Hill's gift shop, stocked with various products the sisters manufactured themselves.

Other than books, it also has many religious presents, including holy medals and cards for any occasion.

Tour the United States Air Force Academy

Exterior of the triangular Air Force Academy chapel.
Underawesternsky / Shutterstock.com

Another free activity many tourists to Colorado include on their itinerary is a trip to the nearby United States Air Force Academy, 15 minutes drive from Monument.

It's a good idea to first visit the welcome center, which provides visitors with an explanation of the facility's history and layout and the attractions and activities that are offered.

The Air Force Academy is also an educational institution as a military base.

A plane statue in front of Air Force Academy chapel.
John Hoffman / Shutterstock.com

Much of the Academy is structured up like other Air Force bases, notably the 10th Air Base Wing.

However, the superintendent, commandant, dean of faculty, and cadet wing are set up like a university.

If you intend on wandering about the public portions of the school, make sure to pick up a map and keep a lookout for military planes since they are typical sightings throughout the day.

Interior view of the Air Force Academy chapel.
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Take Photographs in Garden of the Gods

Beautiful landscape at Garden of the Gods.
Oleg Kovtun Hydrobio / Shutterstock.com

Visitors of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, located 26 minutes from Monument, flock to see the natural wonders of Colorado.

Visualize 300-foot-tall sandstone rock formations rising against a backdrop of Pikes Peak's snow-covered peaks and deep blue sky.

With all-new interactive displays, this world-class Visitor & Nature Center and Museum is the most popular destination in the area.

Sunset view from Garden of the Gods.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

The Geo-Trekker theatrical experience explains how the red rocks ended up there. Dining in our glass-enclosed café or on our patio overlooking Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods is an experience you won't forget.

The Garden of the Gods is open to the public and is free to enter.

The views are terrific during sunrise and sunset, when light reflects off the rock and creates stunning contrasts between the shaded sections and lighted ones.

Huge balanced rocks at Garden of the Gods.
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Final Thoughts

Monument is more than just a pit stop on the way from Colorado Springs to Denver; it's a destination unto itself.

As one of the most desirable locations to call home in the state, the community ensures residents' and visitors' safety and well-being while also providing access to the area's natural attractions and urban amenities.