As if the city of Colorado Springs wasn’t already fascinating enough, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is a destination you should include on your bucket list. Upon arrival, you will be mesmerized by the view of the surrounding mountains to the West and the sprawling plains to the East. As you enter the shrine, you can begin with a stop inside the visitor center to gather some interesting history of Rogers and the Shrine then take a short walk through the stone archway and up the path to the Shrine itself. the shrine is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a cool place to learn about the life of Will Rogers and see some of the surrounding area.
The Shrine serves as a memorial to Spencer and his wife Julie Penrose. Constructed between 1934 and 1937, the shrine is one of our incredible local landmarks created by Spencer Penrose. Penrose was a huge fan of Will Rogers, an American humorist and wild west comedic actor during the early days of motion pictures. Rogers, unfortunately, died in a plane crash in 1935 before the Shrine was completed. However, once inside, visitors will enjoy many images and videos of Will Rogers in action as seen through his films.
The Shrine is one of the city’s prominent landmarks and is a 5-story commemorative tower standing at 100 feet tall. It was constructed on the side of Cheyenne Mountain and was assembled from cut stone obtained from a single boulder. The remains of Spencer Penrose and his wife Jule are located on the lower level. You can access the upper levels via a narrow staircase while you enjoy views and a photographic history of Will Rogers on every floor.
The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is sure to surprise and delight all who visit and at an elevation of 8,136 feet above sea level, the breathtaking views of Colorado Springs from the top of the shrine will take your breath away! As you look down from the shrine, you will see most of the Pikes Peak Region below you including the Garden of the Gods, Broadmoor Hotel, the Black Forest, Fort Carson, the Colorado Springs Airport as well views of the Rampart Range all the way out to the eastern plains. The nearby residential communities of Broadmoor Resort Community and Broadmoor Heights offer some great homes for sale with the added bonus of hearing the set of Westminster chimes on the quarter hour throughout the day.
Access to the Shrine is included with your zoo admission to the neighboring Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Simply drive up to the toll gate on the left-hand side of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo entrance and the attendant will give you quick and easy instructions for your journey through the Zoo and up the mountainside. The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun attraction is open daily except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 9 AM – 4 PM. It is recommended to call ahead during inclement weather. Plan your family visit today!