U.S. Air Force Academy
The Academy is one of the most popular attractions in Colorado, welcoming more than one million visitors each year.
Find out everything you need to know about visiting.
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, located north of Colorado Springs, is an institution that educates, trains and inspires men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the United States Air Force and Space Force in service to our Nation.
WHEN CAN I VISIT THE U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY?
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is open to visitors daily from 5:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. and the Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Visitors to the Academy can enter through either the South or North Gate, which can be accessed from Exit 150 or 156 on Interstate 25, just north of downtown Colorado Springs. The public is welcome to use the Arnold Hall food court, hiking and biking trails, the stables and golf course. Stop by the Visitor Center for more information.
All guests over the age of 18 are required to have a valid state-issued ID, Defense Department ID, or passport. Random vehicle inspections may also be required. Learn more about getting on base.
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY CHAPEL
PLEASE NOTE: The U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel is closed for a major restoration that is estimated to last until spring 2027. Those interested in seeing the Cadet Chapel can check out the virtual tour.
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado is perhaps best known for its stunning chapel. Soaring 150 feet toward the Colorado sky, the Cadet Chapel is an all-faith house of worship designed to meet the spiritual needs of cadets. It contains centers of worship for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist chapels, an All-Faiths Room, and a Falcon Circle, each with its own entrance. The Chapel is capable of holding services in all rooms at one time.
The aluminum, glass and steel structure features 17 spires. There is no significance to this number. Original designs were too expensive, so changes were made, among them a reduction in the number of spires. The changes did not alter the basic design or the interior square footage of the chapel, however. The chapel structure cost $3.5 million to build. Furnishings, pipe organs, liturgical fittings and adornments of the chapel were presented as gifts from individuals, organizations, and donations from Easter offerings made at Air Force bases. The chapel was named one of CNN's most epic churches in America.
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY PLANETARIUM
The Planetarium features free shows for cadets, school groups and the public. Enjoy shows such as Black Holes, Fighter Pilot and Superpower Dogs. One of the oldest structures at the Academy, it was originally used to teach cadets celestial navigation. Now, after a refurbishment provided by generous donations, the advanced technology and capabilities serve a new generation of cadets leading the way in space, as well as STEM education for K-12 students and community outreach. Check out the latest schedule of free public shows and enjoy the reclining theater seats and 8K projectors offering a 360-degree near-hemispheric screen to deliver a visually immersive field-of-view.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 11 MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS AT THE U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY?
Here are the top 11 must-sees for visitors. Click here for more details on these attractions.
- Barry Goldwater Visitor Center
- U.S. Air Force Academy Planetarium
- Noon Meal Formation
- Cadet Chapel - Closed for a major restoration that is estimated to last until Spring 2027.
- B-52 Display
- Cadet Field House
- Academic Overlook
- Athletic Overlook
- Arnold Hall
- Doolittle Hall
- Falcon Stadium
WHAT KINDS OF HIKING AND BIKING TRAILS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY?
Visitors can enjoy several trails from 5 a.m. until sundown daily. Pack sunscreen and layers of clothing as the mountain weather can change quickly. Bring a buddy to explore the Rampart Range and carry water with you to stay hydrated. Here’s a list of all the trails available to explore.
ARE THERE DINING OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR VISITORS ON BASE?
Yes, there are plenty of options for grabbing a snack or meal while you are on the base. They include fast food and favorite chains, pub fare and several restaurants serving lunch and dinner. Here is a list of all the dining options and their hours of operation.
WHAT KIND OF EVENTS HAPPEN AT U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY?
There are events year-round at the base. For a full schedule, visit the Academy’s calendar of events. The U.S. Air Force Academy cadets compete on 27 NCAA Division I teams, primarily within the Mountain West Conference. To get tickets to an upcoming game and cheer on the Falcons during their most popular sporting events including football, basketball, volleyball and hockey, call 719-472-1895 or visit www.goairforcefalcons.com.
WHO ATTENDS THE U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY?
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado is among the most selective colleges in the United States. Candidates are judged based on their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, athletics and character. To gain admission, candidates must also pass a fitness test, undergo a thorough medical examination and secure a nomination, which usually comes from one of the candidate's members of Congress. Recent incoming classes have usually consisted of about 1,400 cadets; just under 1,000 of those usually make it through to graduation. Cadets pay no tuition but are committed to serving a number of years in the military service after graduation. Graduates of the four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree and most are commissioned as second lieutenants.
IS CAMPING AVAILABLE FOR YOUTH GROUPS/SCOUTS?
The U.S. Air Force Academy is proud to host local youth organizations on base for camping. Our designated campground for overnight stays is conveniently located near the North Gate. The primitive campground is adjacent to the B-52 static display and available to reserve year-round. There is no fee to reserve the campground. In order to allow time for processing, please make your reservations at least 45 days in advance. Nestled along the base of the Front Range, the Academy preserves over 18,500 acres of forests and mountain terrain, ideal for outdoor activities.
Due to base regulations, groups camping overnight must have a designated sponsor with a valid Department of Defense/military ID card.
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