What To Do In Fort Carson, CO
Located 60 miles south of Denver and just south of Colorado Springs, Fort Carson sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Residents have easy access to the attractions of Denver and “The Springs” as well as some of the most scenic parks in the nation and internationally acclaimed ski areas. A United States Army installation, spanning 137,000 acres and extending southward toward Fremont and Pueblo counties, Fort Carson is home to the 10th Special Forces Group; 4th Engineer Battalion; 4th Infantry Division; 440th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR); 71st Ordnance Group (EOD); Army Field Support Battalion-Fort Carson; 759th Military Police Battalion;10th Combat Support Hospital; 423rd Transportation Company (USAR); 13th Air Support Operations Squadron; 43rd Sustainment Brigade; and the United States Air Force. Fort Carson takes its name from Army scout General Christopher “Kit” Carson who was known for exploration in the West during the 1800s.
One of two net zero installation communities, Fort Carson has been designated by the Army to achieve net zero waste, water and energy by the year 2020. In order to achieve these goals, staff, soldiers and family members all contribute to these efforts by conserving energy and water and reducing, reusing and recycling waste.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1942, the city of Colorado Springs bought land just south of the city which was then donated to the War Department. This became known as Camp Carson when the camp headquarters was completed that same year.
The first major unit to be activated at Camp Carson was the 89th Infantry Division. More than 100,000 soldiers trained here during World War II and in excess of 125 units were activated here during the war. Soldiers of every type trained at Camp Carson including an Italian ordinance company, a Greek infantry battalion, tank battalions and mule packers. On the first day of 1943, an internment POW camp was opened at Camp Carson. Nearly 9,000 POWs, mostly Italians and Germans, were located at Camp Carson. These POWs served to lessen a man power shortage since they did general farm work and assisted with logging operations on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Following the end of World War II the activity at Camp Carson saw a swift decline. The size of the military dropped to roughly 600 by April of 1946. Camp Carson was facing closure until the onset of the Korean War. Many National Guard and Reserve units were called to and stationed at Camp Carson.
The official name was changed to Fort Carson in 1954. Additional training land was purchased in the 1960s and increased the size of the post to the current 137.403 acres. In September of 1983 another training area was added which spanned 235,300 acres. Used for large force-on-force maneuver training, this training area was named the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. Today when Soldiers are not deployed, they train annually at Canyon Maneuver Sire. Fort Carson soldiers and units have been active in the community throughout the history of the Mountain Post. They have supported various events and conducted firefighting missions, search and rescue missions and a variety of other emergency operations.
Some of our Favorite Activities
Some of our favorite ways to explore Fort Carson are listed in our mini guide below.
The Fort Carson post is home to thousands of military personnel and their families and each year countless numbers of pleasure-seeking visitors and new reports discover the abundance of adventure opportunities in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. The region has been considered a mecca for more than 100 years, attracting people seeking natural beauty and overall quality of life. Rest assured, there is no shortage of fun family activities awaiting you in Fort Carson. Whether you seek an outdoor adventure or an indoor family activity, there is always something to see and do in Fort Carson.
Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex
A joint project between the El Paso County Sherriff, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the US Forest Service, the US Army and El Paso County, The Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex (CMSC) is a 400 acre site that sits on Army Land near I-25. The range is open to the public with the entrance located just outside the Gate 20 security perimeter.
Currently there are 120 shooting positions that are located across seven different ranges. This is a three phase project with phases two and three still under development. Of the existing ranges, one is a designated Law Enforcement Range which is available to the public only on weekends. The other ranges include a rifle and pistol range; an instructional range; and two ranges specifically designated for pistols, allowing for firing points up to 50 yards.
Ready, aim, fire at: 7790 Route 1, Fort Carson, Colorado
For more information call: 719-896-6196
Thunder Alley Bowling Complex
A pubic facility, Thunder Alley has 36 lanes and is open six days a week. The bowling center also offers bumper bowling for children and The Strike Zone restaurant which serves freshly made sandwiches and French fries. There is never a dull moment at Thunder Alley with theme nights each week. Tuesdays are 50s night and feature 50 cent games and hotdogs. On Wednesdays you can take advantage of dollar games. If you’re at Thunder Alley on Friday night or Saturday afternoon, you’ll find black lights and music, making this the place to be on the weekend.
Knock down some pins at: Fort Carson, 1511, 6391 Chiles Avenue, Fort Carson, CO 80902
Give them a call at: 719-526-5542
Iron Horse Park
Iron Horse park features two ball fields, a basketball court, three playgrounds, a multitude of pavilions, a horse shoe pit, and a volleyball court. The park also hosts a fenced in off-leash dog park complete with obstacles and agility equipment to keep Fido in shape and interested. Iron Horse Park plays host to the annual Iron Horse Week, in late summer which celebrates the heritage of the 4th Infantry Division. Intended to build camaraderie and spirit among the units at Fort Carson, Iron Horse week includes friendly competition, a barbecue, an awards ceremony and a concert.
The park is located at: Fort Carson, 6151 Elwell Street, Fort Carson, CO 80913
For more information call: (719) 385-5940
Fort Carson is located in the center of Colorado and offers non-stop views of the incredible Rocky Mountains. The second most requested duty station, Fort Carson abounds with natural beauty, adventure and opportunities for fun outdoors. Whether you are looking for ways to explore on your own or prefer guided tours, there are endless possibilities while you are in Fort Carson including the Army Outdoor Recreation (ODR) programs.
The Fort Carson Outdoor Recreation Complex
The Fort Carson Outdoor Recreation Complex offers team building programs, local outdoor adventures, clinics, courses, certifications and youth adventures. In addition, Mountain Post Outfitters retail store offers brand name outdoor equipment and gear. Be sure to try your hand at the 28′ x 43′ indoor climbing wall and the Alpine Tower challenge (directly across the street). If you’re looking for a modern twist on golf, there is a disc golf course near the Alpine Tower Challenge.
Get active at: 7093 Specker Avenue, Building 2429, Fort Carson, CO 80913
Call for more information: 719-526-5366
Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR)
The DFWMR offers fitness programs designed to help community members get fit and keep fit. With a diverse program schedule, there is something for everyone, regardless of individual fitness needs that keep members and visitors coming back. Consider this fitness buffet where members can choose classes and facilities that wet their fitness appetite.
There are four Fitness centers on base in addition to 16 softball fields, three running tracks and three swimming pools. The Fitness centers play host to basketball and racquetball courts, weightlifting equipment, exercise equipment, hot tubs and saunas. Swim lessons and aerobic classes are also offered in the fitness center pools.
For more information about DFMWR call: 719-526-2706
For more information about individual Fitness Centers, including hours, call:
Garcia Physical Fitness Center,
building 1856 526-3944
Iron Horse Sports and Fitness Center,
building 1925 526-2706
McKibben Physical Fitness Center,
building 1160 526-2597
Waller Physical Fitness Center,
building 2357 526-2742
Indoor swimming pool,
building 1446 526-3107
Outdoor swimming pool,
building 1231 526-4456
Iron Horse Swimming Pool,
building 1925 526-4093
Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course
A breathtaking 18 hole championship course, Fort Carson’s Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course is set in the shadows of Cheyenne Mountain. One of the finest courses in the area, Cheyenne Shadows offers year-round golf. The driving range learning center offers both private and group lessons. There is also a Coyote Run Junior Golf Course for up and comers. Staying ahead of the pack, Cheyenne Shadows has a state of the art clubhouse and pro shop and a state of the art onboard global positioning system giving players tips specific to the course, including pin placement, distance to the hole and more. The course is open to the public and has handicap accessible golf carts. Tee times are available on weekends and holidays.
Plot your course at: Fort Carson, 7800, 1050 Titus Blvd, Fort Carson, CO 80913
Call for a tee time: 719-526-4122