TOURISTS & FIRST TIMERS
WEATHER & HIGH ALTITUDE
Weather at the United States Air Force Academy, and in the entire Rocky Mountain region, is unpredictable and can change quickly. Be prepared for both warm and colder weather by checking the forecast and bringing sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, water and jackets.
Altitude at the U.S. Air Force Academy varies from approximately 6,200 feet near Interstate 25 to 9,000 feet on the Farish Recreation Area grounds. Newcomers to Colorado may experience symptoms related to altitude sickness until their bodies adjust to the lower air pressure.
Altitude Sickness Symptoms may include: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, insomnia and loss of appetite.
The following steps can help you prevent or reduce the effects of high altitude until your body adjusts to the climate:
- Stay Hydrated Fluid loss often accompanies the acclimatization process, so drink three to four quarts of water per day to remain properly hydrated.
- Don’t Overexert Yourself Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating symptoms of altitude sickness.
- Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Alcohol acts as a depressant to depress respiration during sleep. In addition, tobacco products may decrease lung capacity.
- Eat a High-Carb Diet More than 70 percent of your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates such as starches.
Visitors to the United States Air Force Academy often wish to take in the iconic sights of our beautiful campus. Here is a list of highlights to consider as you plan your self-guided tour.
Nature Trail to the Cadet Chapel
A one-third-mile paved nature trail east of the facility allows visitors to walk to the Cadet Chapel — an iconic part of the Academy campus. Note that 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 uphill. People with limited mobility should bring their own wheelchair to get to and from the Chapel. 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.
Note: Large bags, backpacks and pets are not allowed in the Visitors Center, Cadet Chapel or on the trail between the two; however, service animals are welcomed. Dogs are permitted in outside areas, but must remain on a leash and owners are responsible for prompt clean-up of the grounds.
Services open to the public. Please check this resource before you plan your visit to the Academy. 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.
Cadet Lunch Formation
You may be able to observe the cadet wing marching to lunch. This noon meal formation is scheduled Monday-Friday from 11:30 am-12:00 pm. 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 both overlook the Terrazzo.
This facility contains several military and Academy exhibits, a snack bar area, and an auditorium for special events or official functions. Learn more.
Located between the Cadet Chapel and Arnold Hall, this area contains bronze statues and aircraft memorials from various groups.
This facility has an Indoor Athletic Field, Ice Rink, Clune Arena (Basketball Court), and a Snack Bar.
Falcon Athletic Center
The Stanley Canyon and Falcon hiking trails are open for military/government ID card holders only between the hours of 5 a.m. and sundown every day. Trail use by visitors with non-military/government ID card holders is allowed only during normal visiting hours, 9am-5pm every day.
The visitor center information desk has trail details. Parking for the Santa Fe hiking trail is available next to the North Gate entrance. Learn more.
The cadet falconry club is a member of the USAFA performing units and participates in the USAFA/CM community outreach program. The falconers are available on base to group visits mainly for Schools, Scout troops, JROTC, Civil Air Patrol or other youth group organizations with field trips to the Academy as well as to active duty military organizations. Individual or personal visits are not available. When local groups are unable to visit USAFA, the falconers may be available to visit their school or youth meeting. Teachers and group leaders may contact the Community Outreach Office at 719-333-7475 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
For all handicapped guests, please note that the Academy does not issue handicapped parking passes. Individuals should bring their own state issued handicapped parking pass with them in order to access the handicapped parking lot in the Cadet Area (north of Stillman Field) or the handicapped lots at the stadium.
The Academy also does not provide wheelchairs or other medical equipment. Please see the list of local companies offering rental of durable medical equipment, including oxygen. Inclusion in this listing doesn’t constitute a recommendation from the 10th Medical Group. It does, however, indicate that these are reputable companies who provide equipment and supplies to Tricare beneficiaries.
Local Companies Providing Oxygen, Walkers and Wheelchairs (no government endorsement of listed companies is suggested):
- Roth Medical
4715 Town Center Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
(719) 520-1414 or (719) 321-6226
- CareMax (Has local distributer)
373 Inverness Pkwy., Ste 207
Centennial, CO 80112
- Preferred Homecare
1049 Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
- Apria Healthcare
6325 Corporate Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
(719) 262-2600 or (719) 310-2653
- Major Medical
405 N. Union Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80909