Plan Your Visit
Located 55 miles south of Denver and eight miles north of Colorado Springs, the United States Air Force Academy is convenient to travel to from anywhere in the country. Once you arrive, stop by the Barry Goldwater Air Force Academy Visitor Center. The center welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists each year with information on Academy history, cadet life and campus attractions.
If you travel to the Academy by car, you will find that entrances are clearly marked.
If you do not have a DoD ID card, you must use the North Gate.
FROM I-25 NORTH: You may enter the Academy at Exit 156.
FROM I-25 SOUTH: The easiest access to the Academy is at Exit 150 (you must have a DoD ID card to enter the Academy at the South Gate).
- DRIVING FROM COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT As you depart the airport, keep left onto South Academy Boulevard, then merge onto I-25 North to Colorado Springs. Take Exit 156A and follow the roundabouts west to the north entrance. Note: On I-25, you will pass an exit for the South Gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy (Exit 150). This entrance is only open to people with a DoD ID card. All other visitors must use the North Gate entrance off Exit 156A.
- DRIVING FROM DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Go south on Peña Boulevard to I-70. Head west to I-225, then southwest to I-25 and then south to the Academy (Exit 156).
- DRIVING ON THE ACADEMY GROUNDS As at any Air Force installation, all vehicles and people are subject to search. Please understand we are trying to balance our need for increased security with the public’s desire to visit the Academy. The use of handheld devices such as cell phones is prohibited on all military installations while driving. Additionally, the safety of motorcyclists operating on Academy grounds is everyone’s responsibility. Motorcyclists, regardless of age, must wear helmets upon entering Academy grounds and comply with all safety equipment regulations.
Air: The Colorado Springs Airport is convenient to the Academy. You can find taxi and auto rentals to get you from the airport to the Academy.
Rail: Amtrak Railway serves Denver. Once there, taxi, auto rental and bus services are available to get you to Colorado Springs.
Bus: Greyhound also serves Colorado Springs, and taxi and auto rentals are available. There is no city bus service to the Academy.
Hotel and Area Attractions
Colorado Springs has many hotel options for prospective cadets and their families. We recommend that you get in touch with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce or the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce for more information about places to stay as well as beautiful area attractions to consider during your visit.
Visitors to the U.S. Air Force Academy often wish to take in the iconic sights of our beautiful campus. Below are campus highlights to consider including as you plan your self-guided tour.
The Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Nature Trail to the Chapel
A one-third-mile paved nature trail allows visitors to walk to the Cadet Chapel—an iconic part of the Academy campus. The trail is strenuous with a variety of hills, so 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, however, this still requires you to walk approximately one-third of a mile and is mostly uphill when returning to your vehicle.
Visit the Chapel page.
Cadet Lunch Formation
You may be able to observe the cadet wing march to lunch. This formation is scheduled three days each week from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., weather permitting, and is subject to cancellation without notice. To see if there is a lunch formation, call the Visitor Center at 719-333-2025 on the day of your visit. Guests may view the formation from the Honor Court wall or the wall surrounding the Cadet Chapel which both overlook the Terrazzo.
Located between the chapel and Arnold Hall, this area contains bronze statues of historic aircraft and influential Airmen.
Falcon Athletic Center
Located next to the Field House, the athletic center contains the Athletic Hall of Excellence and the Athletic Ticket Office. The Athletic Ticket Office can be reached by calling 800-666-8723 or by visiting them on the U.S. Air Force Academy Athletics website.
Services open to the public and chapel tour information are posted online. The chapel is occasionally closed for private services, weddings and funerals throughout the year, so please check before you plan your visit to the Academy. Visitor hours of operation for the Cadet Chapel are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The chapel is closed for necessary repairs that will last more than three years with a projected completion date of November 1, 2022. For alternate service locations, visit the Chapel page.
This facility contains several military and Academy exhibits, a food court and an auditorium for special events or official functions.
This facility has an indoor athletic field, ice rink and Clune Arena (basketball court).
The Stanley Canyon and Falcon hiking trails are open for military/government ID cardholders between 5 a.m. and sundown every day. Trail use by visitors without a DoD ID is allowed only during normal visiting hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. For trail details, visit the Visitor Center. Parking for the Santa Fe hiking trail is just outside the North Gate entrance and is open to anyone.