On the lower slopes of Cheyenne Mountain, at 6,800 feet above sea level—making it the nation's highest—this medium-size zoological park is my top pick for families. The 700-plus animals, many in “natural” environments, include wolves, lions, leopards, red pandas, elephants, hippos, monkeys, snakes, mountain lions, grizzly bears, and moose. The zoo’s giraffe herd is the largest and most prolific captive herd in the world; there have been more than 200 live births since the 1950s. Visitors can actually feed the long-necked beasts ($2 for lettuce or crackers), whose prehensile tongues are quite the sight to behold. There’s also a colorful antique carousel, built in 1926, the year the zoo was founded (rides are $2), and a new chairlift dubbed the Mountaineer Sky Ride ($5 adults, $4 kids 3–11). A stroller- and wheelchair-accessible tram makes a full loop of the zoo in about 15 minutes; it operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Admission to the zoo includes road access to the nearby Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a granite tower built in 1937, with photos and information on the American humorist. The tower also affords great views of the city and surrounding countryside. Strollers, double strollers, wheelchairs, and wagons are available for rent. Allow 2 to 4 hours for the zoo and an extra 45 minutes for the shrine.
- Frommer's Staff