The Murder Mystery Train in Royal Gorge, Colorado

Looking for a unique experience when visiting the Colorado Springs area, consider taking a ride on the Royal Gorge Railroad. Located about an hour outside of Colorado Springs in Canon City, there are a variety of train rides available. We did the Murder Mystery Train several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. In addition to the food and entertainment, the scenery during the train ride is absolutely stunning. The mysteries change on a regular basis, so even if you’ve done it before, you can enjoy a different experience if you happen to do it again.

View from the Train
One of the Actors at a Table
The Mystery Begins as Dinner Options are Considered

We have done a variety of murder mystery dinners over the years, including one in a mansion in Manchester, England, with varying degrees of enjoyment. The train ride definitely makes this one very different and the food and views would have been good enough on their own. The actors walk amongst the tables providing clues and answering questions as each table tries to solve the mystery. We didn’t find the mystery particularly difficult to solve, but that didn’t detract from our enjoyment.

Could She be the Murderer?
Getting Ready to Board
Interactive Entertainment


Seven Falls and the 1858 Restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Seven Falls and the 1858 Restaurant.  All opinions are our own.

The View from the Front of the Restaurant

We were invited to come to Seven Falls and to have dinner at the 1858 Restaurant, which are both operated by The Broadmoor. There are many beautiful places to see when visiting Colorado Springs and Seven Falls should definitely be one of the top sites on your list. Not only are the falls themselves beautiful, but the entire canyon that creates the backdrop for the waterfalls is truly gorgeous. Having lunch or dinner at the 1858 Restaurant, which sits at the base of the waterfalls, is a perfect way to end a day of hiking around the park and climbing the stairs along the falls.

Seven Falls from Eagles Nest
Views of the Canyon
Seeing the Waterfalls Up Close
1858 Restaurant
Gorgeous Scenery

During the summer months, to get to Seven Falls you catch a free shuttle from the Norris Penrose Event Center, which takes about 15 minutes to drop you off at the entrance. Once inside and having purchased your ticket, you can either walk the .8 of a mile to the base of the falls or for an extra $2, you can catch a tram. As long as you are relatively fit, we would recommend just walking up to the falls and enjoying the beautiful scenery. At the base of the falls, you will find a souvenir shop, restrooms, as well as the 1858 Restaurant. There are two ways to see the falls. One is to climb the stairs or take the elevator to the Eagles Nest, which is a platform with wonderful views of the cascading falls and also has a gift shop. The other is to climb the 224 steps that will take you up close and personal to the series of falls that make up Seven Falls.

Walking the Road to the Waterfalls
One of the Trams
You Don’t Want to Miss These Views
Climbing the Stairs Next to the Waterfalls
Amazing Waterfalls

In addition to viewing the falls, there are also a couple of hiking trails, one that is about a half hour round trip and the other is about an hour round trip. The longer trail will take you to Inspiration Point where you will be rewarded with wonderful views of Colorado Springs and the plains beyond. The other will take you to Midnight Falls, which is another small waterfall. If you are truly adventurous, you can also zip-line inside of the park where you can soar high above the canyon below. Having zip-lined several times in the past, we decided not to do so on our visit to the park.

Hiking Trail
People Getting Ready to Zip-Line
Steep Climb to the Top
Beginning of the Trail
Looking Down from the Stairs

After visiting the Eagles Nest as well as climbing the 224 steps that took us to the top of the waterfalls, our legs were quite exhausted. Especially if you are not acclimated to the altitude of Colorado Springs, give yourself plenty of time to scale the steep steps and take time to stop and rest. We were definitely ready for dinner after climbing and hiking inside of the park. The 1858 Restaurant offers a fine dining experience in a casual atmosphere with reasonable prices. We had the Chicken and Dumplings as well as a Rocky Mountain Trout with Chile Verde Sauce. We also had spicy Wild Boar Green Chili and a side of Macaroni and Cheese. Everything that we ate was absolutely delicious and the service was friendly and attentive. We would recommend to anyone to visit the restaurant even if they didn’t want to climb the steps to the top of the waterfalls.

Trout with Chile Verde
Inside of the Restaurant
Chicken and Dumplings
Front of the Restaurant
Macaroni and Cheese

Seven Falls should definitely be on the agenda of anyone visiting Colorado Springs and we truly enjoyed our time in the park and at the restaurant. It is a great way to see some of the best scenery in the area without having to spend hours hiking our driving miles outside of the city.

Eagles Nest from Below
Restaurant Bar
View of the Falls
Wild Boar Green Chili
Looking Down at One of the Seven Waterfalls
Starting Our Climb
Natural Beauty


The Hike That Wasn’t

Pine Trees and Boulders
Pine Trees and Boulders

After a couple of weeks with snowy weather in Colorado, we finally had a gorgeous weekend with warm temperatures.  We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go hiking in Castlewood Canyon State Park.  Our thought was that hiking in the canyon would be better than trying to get up into the mountains, which are still covered in snow.  Unfortunately, it seemed that just about every other person had the same thought as we did and the park was absolutely packed with families, small children, and dogs.  When we go hiking, we usually prefer to go someplace where we can get away from people and truly get ourselves lost in nature, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen on this hike.

The Start of the Hike
The Start of the Hike
Boulders Against a Beautiful Blue Sky
Boulders Against a Beautiful Blue Sky
Rugged Cliff
Rugged Cliff

Disappointed, but still wanting to get a hike in, we jumped onto the trail along with a lot of other people.  As we continued hiking along the trail, we did get some separation from other people, so we were starting to enjoy the hike a little more.  After hiking for about thirty minutes, we came to a section of the trail that was under water due to run-off from the snow melting.  It was a bottleneck of people trying to hop across rocks with small children and dogs, which wasn’t particularly smart by some of them considering how strong the current was.

Open Prairie as We Neared the Canyon Area
Open Prairie as We Neared the Canyon Area
Hillside Covered in Snow
Hillside Covered in Snow
Canyon Wall
Canyon Wall

We stood on the bank of the stream, waiting for fifteen minutes as a family tried to cross the rushing water.  After having one dog and their youngest daughter fall into the water, they finally turned back.  We were tired of waiting, frustrated with the crowds and the muddy conditions, so we turned around and headed back to the car.  It certainly wasn’t the hike that we were hoping for and was pretty disappointing.

Some of the Scenery was Beautiful
Some of the Scenery was Beautiful
It was a Beautiful Day
It was a Beautiful Day
No Spring Foliage Yet
No Spring Foliage Yet

It was just a reminder to ourselves that hiking in early spring in Colorado, the conditions can always be tough.  Melting snow often causes the streams to overrun their banks and places where the trails cross them can become impassable.  We’ll go back to the canyon and hike again sometime, but not on the weekend.  We’ve hiked the canyon in the past when the kids were young and it is a beautiful park, but we’d prefer to enjoy it when it isn’t quite as crowded.