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River Family Adventure 2023

July 27th – 29th

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Hello River Family!

It’s been seven years since our last trip to Colorado. In that time, we completed an extensive two-year building renovation project and we did so in the midst of a pandemic. What a crazy time! Through it all our focus was to “Build@River” — building faith and building community in addition to a physical building. Thanks to you, that’s what we did!  

This summer we want to continue applying that vision of building faith and community. The River Family Adventure trip to the Manitou Springs area July 27-29 is an excellent opportunity to do just that. The footprint of River’s scheduled gatherings will be small (a couple times are planned in the Manitou Springs Park); we’ve intentionally planned it this way in order to allow plenty of time for you to make this trip “yours.” 

We hope that as you plan your trip you’ll get with others and map out your adventure! Do the things that excite you. It can be as challenging as hiking to the top of Pike’s Peak or as relaxing as shopping and hanging with friends at a coffee shop. The important thing is that you connect with others! I’ve gone to the Springs three times and when I think about how my friendships were strengthened and deepened, I can’t help but smile and look forward with great anticipation to this trip. 

Below are a few things you can do while in the Springs area. Let’s build some community!

Please feel free to grab me on a Sunday if you’d like to talk more about our trip. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Forever in Christ, 


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Thursday July 27th
6:00 p.m.
– Meet at Trading Post at the Garden of the Gods Park.
(Bring your own dinner or grab food at the Trading Post and spend time together

Friday July 28th
5:00 a.m. Meet at the base of Pike’s Peake to hike the mountain.

9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Meet at Manitou Incline. (Reservations Required)

5:00 p.m. Bring your own dinner and meet in the park in Manitou Springs. There are carnival games and an arcade and shops in Manitou Springs.

Saturday July 29th

Drive Home.


  • Holiday Inn Express: I’ve blocks off 30 rooms at the Holiday Inn Express Manitou Springs. The rooms are blocked for River Community Church. Event rates are only good if booked by June 24, 2023. The rooms are a bit pricy ($214-224), but it is the peak season, and this is a brand-new Hotel. If you’d like to stay here, click the link and book your stay.
  • Magnuson Grand Pikes Peak (719-685-5991). A good hotel stay at is the Magnuson. They only have 30 rooms, and we are not able to make block reservations. Rooms booked with a check-in on July 27thand check-out on the 29th will cost $308.00 ($154 a night). It’s an older hotel but nice and clean. Book a Room
  • Days Inn: Another good hotel. It’s old but clean and nice. It’s just the basics. You can check out the amenities and book your stay by clicking on the following link. Book a room
  • Glen Eyrie Castle & Colorado Conference Center
    Beautiful place to stay. You don’t have to stay at the Castle, there are other options. You’ll see those options and availability when you go to book a stay. Book a Stay
  • Tent/Cabin Camping Options—Garden of the Gods RV Resort (Phone: 719.475.9450). All tent camping sites are located in the urban campground resort and have access to a bathhouse, laundry, pool, and dog park. Cabins look quite nice too. We’ve had folks stay here before and they had a great experience with the site. Choose the amenities that fit you best! Book Now.


  • Manitou Incline If you’re up for a physical challenge, the Incline is right up your alley. It’s only 2,744 steps up the 2,000-foot vertical incline to the summit. Once at the top, you can catch your breath and head down a scenic 3-mile path back down the base. The Incline is a fun challenge to do! Several of us will tackle this challenge, and we’d love to have you join us. This hike would be an excellent challenge for family and friends to do together. If you’re going to do it, you’ll have to make sure you click on the link and read up about parking and signing up for a time.
  • Hiking Pikes Peak Pikes Peak is the granddaddy of them all! If you’re up for this hike, you better lace up your shoes and start training. I (Jim) have done it three times, and am not sure if I’m going to do it again. Ha! However, we do have experienced folks who are going to hike to the top.It’s a 13.5 mile hike uphill! Basically, it’s a half-marathon in hiking form. Please only attempt hiking Pikes Peak if you are healthy, able to hike long distances, able to navigate difficult terrain and able to perform high-cardio activity with low oxygen. This is a doable hike, but you have to make sure you prepare for it.With all that said, I’m proud to say that I (Jim) have hiked it three times! It’s an accomplishment and I’m proud to have done. Check out the link and read up on this challenging Hike. By all means, feel free to chat with Rodney Bartlett, Donovan Karber, and Aaron Lewis.
  • Hike to Barr Camp If you’re not up for hiking Pike’s Peak but still want a challenging hike, then this may be the hike for you! It’s a 6.5-mile hike. The trail is well-marked and is entirely doable. It’s a fun hike, so check the link for more info.
  • Garden of the Gods If you’ve not seen these magnificent rock formations, you’re in for a real treat! Kids of all ages will love its scenic trails and the grandeur of the giant rocks that seem to come out of nowhere. You’ll have to check out the nature center, located across from the Garden’s main entrance. You can plan your excursion by simply following the link. It’s a must-do!
  • Cog railway If you do the Cog train, which I’d recommend, it’s a fun time. Make sure you read about parking availability/locations. It can be jam-packed, and parking is at a premium. The link has all the information you want to know, so check it out.
  • 7 Falls Nestled in the mountains, 7 Falls is a beautiful walk! Many different viewing spots to stop and take some pictures as you go.
  • Red Rock Canyon Open Space If going up the side of a Mountain isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to get out and enjoy a stroll through God’s unique creation on display in Colorado, then Red Rock Canyon may be just what the Doctor ordered! You can’t go wrong with this hike.
  • Focus on the Family Another fun place to visit is Focus on the Family if you have little ones in tow. Explore all there is to do by clicking on the link.
  • Manitou Cliff Dwellings The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are comprised of ancestral Puebloan ruins dating from 800 to 1000 years old. If this is something you’d like to check out, follow the link and find out what you’ve got to do to make this visit a reality!
  • The Broadmoor   The Broadmoor is a historic vacation resort that opened in 1918. It’s a sight to behold! You can read more about the resort’s history and see if it’s something you’d like to explore by clicking on the link