Welcome to the U.S. Air Force Academy Visitor Center!
The Barry Goldwater Air Force Academy Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the academy, providing information on its history and cadet life to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
The Visitors' Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
The Academy is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
- General Visitor Information
- Visitor Center
- Cadet Chapel
- Self-guided Tour Highlights
- Academy Admissions/Summer Camp links
- Driving on the Academy
- Visitor Map
- AFA Visit Letter
Visitors to the Academy may enter through either the North Gate, which can be accessed from Exit 156B on Interstate 25, 14 miles north of downtown Colorado Springs, or from the South Gate, which can be accessed from Exit 150 on Interstate 25. For more information, call the Visitor's Center at 719-333-2025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Backpacks or large bags are not allowed in the Visitor Center, the paved nature trail, or the Cadet Chapel.
Special Event Visitor Access Procedures
Organizations sponsoring events in excess of 100 people during visitor hours will need to notify Security Forces of their event to ensure the gates are prepared for the increase of traffic/searches. The following information will be required:
- Name of event
- Sponsor/Contact number
- Approximate number of visitors
Organizations sponsoring events before or after visitor hours will need to notify Security Forces of their event to ensure the gates are prepared for the increase of traffic/searches and to ensure visitors are not turned away as tourists. The following information will be required:
- Name of event
- Sponsor/Contact number
- Approximate number of visitors
Visitor requests should be sent by the sponsoring agency to: email@example.com no later than 72 hours prior to event. Mark the subject line with the name of the event.
All visitors will be required to show their driver’s license to the guard and expect to have their vehicle inspected and/or other random security measures prior to entering the Academy. Visitors who refuse to comply with security measures will not be allowed access to the base.
The center was built with donated and borrowed funds totaling $4.5 million. The private organizations which donated the building to the Air Force named it in honor of retired Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater, an avid supporter of the academy. The facility opened its doors in June 1986.
The 31,600-square-foot building contains exhibits, a snack bar and a gift shop. As a courtesy to visitors wheelchairs are provided for use within the Visitor Center, however, they cannot be taken out of the facility.
A one-third-mile paved nature trail east of the facility allows visitors to walk to the Cadet Chapel. *Note the paved nature trail is a very strenuous walk with a variety of hills. The walk back from the Chapel to the Visitor Center is mostly an up-hill walk. People with limited mobility should have a wheel chair to get to and from the Chapel. *WHEEL CHAIRS ARE NOT PROVIDED TO THE PUBILIC FOR OUTSIDE USE. ALL PERSONNEL NEEDING ASSISTANCE IN WALKING MUST HAVE THEIR OWN WHEELCHAIR. You may also park in the Arnold Hall parking lot to access the Cadet Chapel; however this still requires you to walk approximately 1/3 of a mile and is mostly uphill when returning to your vehicle.
A 14-minute movie highlighting the academy experience is shown throughout the day in the 250-seat theater. The exhibit area features displays on history and cadet life with specially designed exhibits to explain the academy's four “pillars of excellence.” These refer to the four areas of the cadet training program: character development, academic, athletic, and military training. The 5,652-square-foot exhibit area includes video and static displays, a hometown map, and a historical exhibit featuring information on Academy history, current and former superintendents and other significant features of the Academy's history. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve Day, and New Year's Day. Self-guided tour maps and information on the academy are available at the information desk. For additional information call the front desk at 719-333-2025.
Cadet Chapel: Check out the Chapel webpage for Chapel services and tour information. Note: The chapel is occasionally closed for private services, weddings and funerals throughout the year. During these private services the chapel will not be open to the public.
Buses/RV: Due to the large volume of bus traffic to the Visitor Center, busses may off-load passengers on the top level, Right Side of the entrance. Buses will then be parked on the bottom parking lot level. Buses may later return to the top level, Left Side of the entrance to pick up passengers. This policy is to ensure safety of pedestrians in the parking areas.
The Visitor Center does not accept reservations for guided tours. Only self-guided tours are available.
Any large group that plans to eat at the Visitor Center should make a courtesy call ahead to ensure the food court is open at 719-472-9664. General Visitor Center Food Court hours are Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is also a food court in Arnold Hall, 719-472-0664.
Falcon Store gift shop: Members of your group with active or retired military ID cards will receive a discount in the Visitor Center gift shop at 719-472-0102, or Toll Free at 800-955-4438 or visit www.goairforcefalcons.com.
Arnold Hall: This facility contains several military and Academy exhibits, a snack bar area, and an auditorium for special events or official functions.
Honor Court: Located between the Chapel and Arnold Hall this area contains bronze statues and aircraft memorials from various groups.
Field House: This facility has an Indoor Athletic Field, Ice Rink, Clune Arena (Basketball Court), and a Snack Bar.
Hiking:, The Stanley Canyon and Falcon hiking trails are open for military/govt ID card holders only between the hours of 5 am and sundown everyday. Trail use by visitors with non military/govt ID card holders is allowed only during normal visiting hours, 8am-6pm.everyday (the visitor center information desk has trail details). Parking for the Santa Fe hiking trail is available next to the North Gate entrance.
Planetarium: As of June, 2003 the Planetarium is permanently closed and is no longer open to the public.
Cadet Lunch Formation: You may be able to observe the cadet wing marching to lunch. This meal formation is scheduled Monday, and Friday at 12:00 pm. Wednesday, Terrazzo parade, 12:00 pm. No formation is scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday. This schedule is in effect during the academic year (mid-August through mid-May), weather permitting, and is subject to cancellation without notice. Visitors may view the formation from the Honor Court wall or the wall surrounding the Cadet Chapel, which overlooks the Terrazzo.
Academy Admissions: www.academyadmissions.com
- Summer Seminar, go to www.academyadmissions.com click "admissions", and then "summer seminar".
- Sports, go to www.goairforcefalcons.com, click summer camps.
- Society of American Military Engineers/USAFA Engineering and Construction Camp go to www.samecoloradocamp.org and www.same.org.
Driving on the Academy
Like any Air Force installation, all vehicles and people are subject to being stopped and searched. Please understand we are trying to balance our need for increased security with the public’s desire to visit the Academy.
As of March 1, 2006, privately owned vehicle operators and operators of government vehicles shall not use cell phones unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless they are using a hands-free device.
The safety of motorcyclist operating on Academy grounds is everyone's responsibility. Motorcyclists must wear helmets upon entering Academy grounds and comply with the attached, 'Personal Protective Equipment Requirements for Motorcycle, Motor Scooter and Moped Operations.'