Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs - animals, pricing, guidelines and directions

tiger upclose

Zoos have to be one of the best family events that one can explore. Families travel hundreds and even thousands of miles to go to different zoos so they can catch a glimpse of animals that aren’t local to them.

A zoo isn’t only exciting, but it’s educational and opens people’s minds to other wildlife that we share this beautiful earth with.  Although zoo animals are in captivity, they are extremely well cared for and allow us to get to know and understand them in ways that we wouldn’t be able to in the wild.

Among the top zoos in Colorado is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs that hosts a tremendous variety of wildlife that your entire family will enjoy. In addition to having some species that aren’t in other Colorado zoos, at 6,714 feet above sea level, it’s the highest zoo in America! 

Surprisingly, they house over 750 animals with over 150 different species of which 30 are endangered.

What is the biggest zoo in Colorado?

Among the zoos in Colorado, the two largest and well-known zoos are the Denver Zoo and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Both are hosts to hundreds of individual animals and many different species (including some endangered). 

In terms of land mass, the largest zoo between the two of them is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs which has a total of 140 acres, although only 40 acres are in use. In contrast, the Denver Zoo has less total land but takes advantage of an 84 acre campus. All of this to say that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has more opportunity to expand and add wildlife to their facility.

How much does it cost to get into the zoo?

There are several ways you can purchase a ticket to get into the zoo. You should purchase your ticket depending on how often you think you would attend the zoo in a year.

Zoo Members:

As a zoo member, you can attend the zoo as many times as you’d like throughout a 365 day period for one low member price. Depending on how many people you plan to take with you determines your pricing:

hippopotamus pricing

Keep in mind that you cannot reserve a specific entry time with a membership, so the Zoo recommends that you purchase your tickets as a non-member and then upgrade within 14 days (funds will be applied towards your membership)

Non Zoo Members:

In an effort to provide the best visiting experience to all their guests, non-zoo members must purchase tickets in advance. This is to avoid over-crowding and to help with parking and shuttles to the zoo. During peak days and times there could be delays in getting into the zoo, so tickets in advance should help ease the wait times.

Pricing for non-members is below


Is the Denver Zoo better than the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?

In 2021 the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted in the top 10 zoos in North America for five consecutive years by USA Today. In addition, the zoo earned the #3 best zoo exhibit for the Rocky Mountain Wild which is a part of the zoo that hosts native animals to the Rocky Mountains.

2021 USA Today top 10 best zoos in North America in ranking order are:

  1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – Cincinnati
  2. Fort Worth Zoo – Fort Worth
  3. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – Omaha, Neb.
  4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Colorado Springs
  5. Nashville Zoo – Nashville Zoo
  6. Brevard Zoo – Melbourne, Fla.
  7. Audubon Zoo – New Orleans
  8. Saint Louis Zoo – Saint Louis
  9. Dallas Zoo – Dallas
  10. Denver Zoo – Denver

If you’re contemplating with zoo is better – the Denver Zoo or the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, both made it to the top 10 list, so either way you choose, you’ll have an amazing time!

How many animals does the zoo have?

lions in cheyenne mountain zoo (1)

The zoo currently has over 750 animals in 150 different species. Of the 750 animals, they have over 30 endangered species that call the zoo their home.

How much time do you need to get through it?

Everyone enjoys seeing animals at their own pace, so it completely depends on your preferences. If you were to quickly browse through all the animal exhibits, you could probably see everything in under 2 hours, but let’s be real, who doesn’t want to feed the giraffes, spend some time with the elephants and hang out with the hippos?

If you enjoy the zoo by getting to know the animals, staying for a brief meal, and enjoying the sunny day, you trip should last about 3-4 hours long.

Does the zoo sell beer?

Yes, the zoo does sell beer. The Rocky Mountain Barbecue Co serves local craft beer and wine, among gourmet pretzels and nachos. 

Also, the zoo does allow you to bring in your own food, snacks and beverages as long as you do not bring in glass containers, or your own alcohol. 

Are masks required?

The zoo follows the CDC guidelines for masks and other health related requirements. To see the current mask guidelines that the zoo follows, you can go here:

Can you use EBT at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?

As of the time of this writing, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo does not provide any EBT discounts for their general admission or membership pricing. This could be subject to change in the future. If you’d like to call and double check, you can dial (719) 633-9925

Driving directions

From Denver:

  1. Take I-25 S towards Colorado Springs for 69.8 miles
  2. Use the right 2 lanes to exit 140 for Tejon St
  3. Turn right onto S Tejon St and continue straight for 0.4 miles
  4. At the traffic circle take the 1st exit onto Cheyenne Blvd and go straight for 1.5 miles
  5. Make a left turn onto Cresta Rd for 0.3 miles
  6. This turns right and becomes Mesa Ave
  7. Continue straight onto Park Ave for 0.1 miles
  8. Turns into El Pomar Rd going straight for 0.4 miles
  9. Turn left onto Penrose Blvd and go straight for 0.5 miles
  10. This turns into Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd and go straight for 0.7 miles
  11. The zoo will be on your right hand side

From Pueblo:

  1. Merge onto I-25 N a travel for 40.7 miles
  2. Take exit 138 for Lake Ave and continue straight for 0.4 miles
  3. Make a left hand turn onto Lake Ave going straight for 2.1 miles
  4. At the traffic circle take the 3rd exit staying on Lake Ave
  5. Lake Ave turns into Old Broadmoor Rd – go straight another 0.2 miles
  6. Old Broadmoor turns into W Cheyenne Mountain Blvd – continue another 1.6 miles
  7. Make a slight left onto Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd going straight for 0.5 miles
  8. The zoo will be on your right hand side

From our office at 121 S. Tejon Street, Suite 201 A, Colorado Springs, CO 80903:
Springs Excavation Pros:

  1. Head south on S Tejon St for 0.1 miles
  2. Make a left onto E Vermijo Ave for 0.1 miles
  3. At the first cross street make a right onto S Nevada Ave and continue straight for 1.0 miles
  4. S. Nevada Ave will turn into CO-115 S – continue straight for 1.8 miles
  5. Make a right turn onto E Cheyenne Mountain Blvd for 0.3 miles
  6. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto W Cheyenne Mountain Blvd and continue straight for 0.4 miles
  7. Make a left onto W Cheyenne Mountain Blvd and continue straight for 1.6 miles
  8. Make a slight left onto Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd for 0.5 miles and your destination will be on the right side