Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, CO

CJP_4961The Colorado Adventure: Day 6, part 2

The next stop on the list was Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We initially had the zoo on the list for the next day, but we decided to try and tack it on after the bridge and drove straight there from Royal Gorge. This did cause us to be in a slight time crunch since it was an add-on, so it was all business getting there.

If you’re new to this string, keep reading. If you’ve read about our adventure before, skip to the next picture.

Less Junk More JourneyColorado TripI must give credit where it is due. While the majority of the trip were places we knew about, the specific itinerary ideas were thanks to a YouTube channel called Less Junk, More Journey. The channel is a regular vlog about a family traveling around the country full-time in their RV. I used locations from their videos that really interested Cheryl and I, and formed a route that covered most of the state of Colorado. The route’s intention was to give us a taste of what every area had to offer so that we would know what we wanted more of. We consulted the kids to get their input and set our plans in motion.

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is located on the southern outskirts of Colorado Springs, on the side of Cheyenne Mountain… (You know, the base of the Stargate Program where MacGyver went to work after he left the Phoenix Foundation 😉 ).

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Zoo MapI was surprised to find that the zoo was basically located in a residential neighborhood. As we were driving toward it, we kept questioning Google’s directions, but eventually we rounded a corner and found a sign that told us we were going the right way.

The zoo is pretty small and compact, with limited parking. We arrived a couple hours before closing and had to park in the road. It closes at 4 pm, which was the main reason why there was a sense of a time crunch. It seemed like 4 pm was a little early for it to close, but I looked around and found that most zoos do actually close around 4 or 5 pm. Anyway, we made it with plenty of time to see everything the zoo has to offer.

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We chose to travel in a counter-clockwise direction starting with the African animals. First up were the giraffes, including their newest member; Rae! She was born only a few months before we visited. There were a good number of giraffes in the exhibit, and like most zoos, they had lettuce for sale so you could feed them. CJ thought it was neat, as long as she wasn’t the one doing the feeding.

As we moved along they had a large variety of your standard animals that you’d expect to see in a zoo; meerkats, zebras, lions, elephants, rhinos and a good number of other animals that I don’t know the names of! It was a warm day and most of the animals were trying to keep cool, or just simply relaxing.

At the end of the African exhibit were a couple of active animals, the elephants. There were two milling around outside, eating and spraying sand to help cool themselves off. The rhinos share the same area with them, but they were inside. I’ve seen elephants at other zoos, but it seemed like this was the closest I’ve been able to get to them. The skin was far more wrinkly than I had ever realised.

Next on the tour was the Australia exhibit. There were some wallabies, alligators, weird birds, and more unknown animals. They do have quite a large reptile exhibit with many snakes and lizards that looked pretty neat. I liked how the snakes rested on bright colored glass beads that helped you to see them. Most of the time you have to search all over their cases to try and see snakes at other zoos.

After CJ had her fill of giggles looking at all of the wriggling lizards and snakes, we moved on to the Asian Highlands and Rocky Mountain Wild sections. We were only able to see one Asian animal, a tiger chillin’ in the standard cat pose for the day. All of the other Asian animals were hiding in the rest areas unfortunately. We scored better animals in the Rocky Mountain section though. The bears were out and active, checking out the people on the other side of the glass. There were a couple bald eagles making a lot of noise, and then there was a massive moose people-watching.

We’d been walking a bit by this point and decided to take a short break. Basically we needed to use the bathrooms… I let the kids hold my camera when it was my turn.

The central section had a lot of common animals most of us know; chickens, frogs and toads, turkeys, turtles, goats, and miniature horses. There was also an insect/arachnid building near the bathrooms. This is where the food plaza is located with its very expensive snacks… oh, and the peacocks roaming around. Cheryl and the kids did get some ice cream, but first CJ got to ride another Carousel!

Our final stop in the zoo was the primate area. The orangutans had a new little addition to their group that had just woken up from its naps, there were a few other little monkeys playing in their holding areas, but it was the gorillas that stole our hearts. lol

Now the above primates were fun, and CJ liked them (even though one did posture up to the glass that spooked her). However, there was one gorilla that stole the show. He knew exactly what the people wanted. Thinking back on the zoo, the first comment anyone still makes, “that gorilla…”

We got our pictures of the star and began heading to the exit for your standard overpriced souvenirs and the next hotel so baby girl could get her pool on! (Maybe some sister beating as well.)

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a nice little zoo with an amazing view. There are far more creatures than I could possibly try to describe within this post. We’ll be back to the Colorado Springs area without a doubt in the future and make a return trip.

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When you make your visit to the zoo just know, CJ approves of the ice cream.

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