Community & Staff Recreation
The Academy is home to 27 men’s and women’s Division I athletic teams. Many sporting events are free with the exception of football, men’s and women’s basketball, ice hockey and women’s volleyball. Tickets are sold at the Field House or online at https://goairforcefalcons.com.
Academy staff and faculty members are offered membership in the Athletic Association, allowing members to buy season tickets at reduced prices.
BARRY GOLDWATER VISITOR CENTER
The Barry Goldwater Visitor Center is a 35,000-square-foot facility offering information about the Academy, including a film and exhibits on cadet life and Academy history. The center also has a gift shop. You can walk to the Cadet Chapel from the visitor center on a short, paved nature trail (1/3 mile).
The visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
There are more than 23 miles of unpaved trails on the Academy property and 6 miles of trails at Farish Recreation Area (limited to active-duty military and other eligible personnel). All trails are accessible by hikers, bikers and equestrians. The Academy trails include the 13-mile Falcon Trail, a 7-mile section of the new Santa Fe Trail, and the Stanley Canyon and Eagle Peak trails, which provide hikers with access to Pike National Forest.
All trails are open 24/7 for DOD ID card holders. Use by the general public may be limited to posted visitor hours and other access restrictions. Trail maps are available at Natural Resources, Farish Recreation Area, the Outdoor Recreation Center, FamCamp, the Air Force Academy Visitor Center and on various public websites.
HUNTING AND FISHING
To manage elk and deer populations, the Academy has a hunting program open to staff and the public. Members of the public must pay a base fee and have a valid state license.
Natural Resources annually stocks five Academy lakes and three Farish Recreation Area lakes with catchable rainbow trout. Persons eligible to fish include active-duty members, military retirees, base civilians and sponsored guests. An annual or one-day fishing permit and an optional second-rod stamp are required. A state fishing license is not required. Anyone with a 60 percent or higher military service-related disability is eligible for a free lifetime base fishing permit available only at the Natural Resources office (Building 9030). Anglers 16 years old or younger are not required to have a fishing permit, but they can only keep one-half of the normal limit.
Off-roading and all-terrain vehicle use is strictly prohibited on base, and violators are subject to ticketing and fines for natural resource damages. Areas have been designated for ORV and ATV recreation in specified areas of Pike National Forest, west of Colorado Springs.
EISENHOWER GOLF CLUB
The Eisenhower Golf Club, named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is a scenic, 36-hole golf facility home to one of the Air Force’s premier golf courses.
The Blue Course is a championship layout designed by Robert Trent Jones. It measures 7,301 yards from the championship tees and is one of the top 100 golf courses built prior to 1963 in the United States. It is usually among the top 10 courses in Colorado, as ranked annually by Golf Digest magazine.
The Silver Course, designed by Frank Hummel, opened in 1976 and is a challenging, yet scenic course where a premium is placed on accuracy rather than length. It measures 6,519 yards from the championship tees.
A full tournament schedule each year provides players the opportunity to challenge these courses under tournament conditions.
The Eisenhower facility also provides an excellent driving range, three practice putting greens, two chipping greens, the Tee House snack bar, the Falcon Nest lounge, men’s and women’s locker rooms and a fully stocked pro shop.
THE EQUESTRIAN CENTER
The Equestrian Center is south of Pine Valley housing and west of Air Academy High School. This center is home to approximately 25 horses available for rent by the hour or day from April through October and available for lease by the season during the fall and winter. Boarding facilities are also available for more than 75 privately owned horses on a full- or partial-care basis. A new horse facility features private 12-by-12-foot stalls with individual 36-foot run pens and a 16-foot-wide alleyway.
The center is host to the cadet equestrian team and conducts horsemanship seminars. In summer, numerous trail rides are conducted by reservation. All levels of instructional classes are offered as well as group hayrides.
COMMUNITY CENTER OUTDOOR RECREATION
Main Line: 719-333-4475
Rental and Ski Shop: 719-333-4753/4356
Outdoor Adventure Program: 719-333-2940
The main Outdoor Recreation Center is in the Community Center at the north end of Building 5136.
- Rental equipment for camping, hunting, fishing, gardening, lawn and ski gear.
- RV storage lots and base picnic areas.
- The Information, Tickets and Travel Office.
- A full-service ski shop.
- The Outdoor Adventure Program, with numerous programs, including:
- Whitewater rafting and kayaking.
- Rock climbing.
- Mountain biking.
- Downhill skiing.
- Photography and bike repair classes.
FARISH RECREATION AREA
Farish Recreation Area encompasses 655 acres of pristine mountain beauty. More than 9,000 feet above sea level, it is surrounded, in part, by Pike National Forest. Use of Farish is limited to active-duty military members and other eligible personnel.
The area is a 42-mile drive west of the Academy. Farish may also be reached by hiking 8 miles from the Academy. A variety of overnight lodging accommodations are available all year, as well as camping during the summer. Reservations are required and may be made up to 90 days in advance for weekends and holidays. A new multipurpose center may be reserved for groups up to 75 people.
Fishing in three stocked lakes, pedal boat rides, hiking trails, picnic pavilions, volleyball courts and a playground are popular in the summer. Private boating, swimming and hunting are NOT permitted. Farish is closed during winter months.
Interpretive talks and outdoor nature activities are scheduled all year and may be customized for special groups such as family reunions, home school classes, Scouts and others.
VANDENBERG OUTDOOR RECREATION ANNEX
The Vandenberg Outdoor Recreation Annex in Vandenberg Hall, Room 1C15, may be used by all Academy-affiliated personnel. This shop is only open in the winter and offers winter ski apparel and retail, lift tickets, and ski and snowboard rentals. A full-service ski shop also offers repairs on skis and snowboards. Denver International Airport and Colorado Springs Airport buses and shuttles are available through the Vandenberg Outdoor Recreation Annex for cadets and prep students during the three academic break periods: Thanksgiving, winter and spring.
East of Falcon Stadium, the Peregrine Pines FamCamp has 105 sites available for recreational camping. All sites have electrical, water and sewage hookups. Facilities include two bath houses with laundry rooms, picnic tables, barbecue grills, trash receptacles, leveled parking and eight tent sites for rustic camping. A water station is at the nearby picnic area and a dump station is on the premises. FamCamp is open year-round depending on weather conditions. Due to high demand, there is a 30-day limit for RV camping during the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day). The FamCamp office is open from May 1 to the last home football game.
BASE PICNIC AREAS
Three base picnic pavilions, northeast of Falcon Stadium, are open May 1 through Sept. 30. They are available to groups or families by reservation only (government ID card is required). Restroom facilities are conveniently located nearby. All three pavilions have electricity and a water faucet. Picnic Pavilion No. 1 has a small covered pavilion, 10 tables, two small barbecue grills, a horseshoe pit, tether ball and a sand volleyball court. It can host up to 50 people. Picnic Pavilion No. 2 has a large covered pavilion, 20 tables, a built-in grill, a sand volleyball court, tether ball and a horseshoe pit. It can comfortably host up to 200 people. Picnic Pavilion No. 3 also has a small covered pavilion, 12 tables, two barbecue grills, two horseshoe pits, tether ball and a sand volleyball court. It can host up to 75 people. Reservations for the picnic areas are made at the Outdoor Recreation Center, starting early February.
THE AERO CLUB
The Aero Club, on the east side of the airfield, is home to six Cessna aircraft used for training and recreational flying. The club primarily conducts flight training for members to obtain their private pilot’s license, but introduction to flight and advanced training are also available. All instruction is conducted by Federal Aviation Administration-certified instructors. The Aero Club also provides testing for all FAA required knowledge tests.
The club is open for flying, weather permitting, seven days a week, including holidays, sunrise to sunset. Office hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
THE ACADEMY FALCON CLUB (ALL RANKS)
The Academy Falcon Club on Academy Drive provides scenic views of the Cadet Chapel and the beautiful Rampart Range. It serves lunch and dinner — including some of the best prime rib, filet mignon and salmon in the Colorado Springs area — as well as the popular Sunday brunch.
The club is open to all Air Force active-duty, retired or reserve military personnel, federal civilian employees, NAF employees and base contractors. Club members receive discounts.
Facilities are available for meetings, special parties, promotion parties, wedding receptions and coffee socials for up to 700 guests. An experienced club manager, club chef and catering manager provide the necessary expertise for a custom and quality menu and event. Catering services are also available.
The Outdoor Recreation Center maintains two recreational vehicle storage lots near the South Gate with space for vehicles from small trailers to large RVs. Active-duty personnel, retirees and other eligible personnel, on or off base, may use the lot. A monthly fee is charged, based on the size of the RV or trailer. Base residents are prohibited from maintaining and storing RVs at their residence and, therefore, have priority. There is a waiting list for most sizes.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN BLUE
USAFA Outdoor Recreation has a contracted program with Keystone Ski Resort for discounted military rates and services, including lift tickets, equipment rental, lodging, conference facilities, family vacations, weddings, reunions, special events, ground transportation, summer activities (such as gold panning and whitewater rafting), and meals for military and DOD customers. Call for more information.
The Academy Lanes Bowling Center, across from the main exchange, is open seven days a week. The facility features 20 computerized lanes with automatic scoring and videotaping, a snack bar, a game room, Glancer bowling cushions (bumpers) and other accommodations for children’s events, lockers, rental balls and shoes. There is also a fully equipped pro shop offering ball-drilling services for a wide variety of brands, colors and weights.
League play is available for men, women, mixed youth, seniors, cadets and others during the winter, plus intramural and varsity play. Special programs include Scotch doubles tournaments, late night and noontime discount bowling, and turkey shoot and ham bake tournaments. Thunder Alley Bowling is the facility’s newest program, with black light bowling, a spectacular sound system, and fog and strobe lights.
COLORADO R&R TRAVEL
The Destination Leisure Travel Office is a land-only service travel office. Patrons can book a vacation through this office. It offers discounted lodging reservations in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and California. It also provides reservations for car rentals and recreational activities. Colorado R&R is in the Outdoor Recreation Center.