Get your suit of armor and prepare your trusty steed! We are heading out to visit several famous castles in Colorado. With more than a dozen castles awaiting your perusal, you should find at least one that reminds you of Medieval times.
There are castle drawbridges, ruins, towers, and best of all, tours! Just don’t count on seeing any moats.
How Many Castles Are in Colorado?
Colorado is home to 20 castles, but only 14 remain standing. All but four are open to the public, including a castle that houses a church, a castle that one man built over the last 60 years, and one castle of beer cans and scrap metal.
It’s an eclectic collection, but a trip to visit them would be an adventure fit for royalty.
What Is the Famous Castle in Colorado?
Each castle available for tours is famous, so choosing one over another is virtually impossible. Many might select Bishop’s Castle because of its origin, while others love Glen Erie because of its size and the grounds around it.
Those who favor building within a budget may endorse using salvage material in the construction of Cano’s Castle. Visiting any of the castles in Colorado can provide a sense of awe.
Who Owns Bishop Castle?
The owner of Bishop’s Castle near Rye, Colorado, is Jim Bishop. He’s the man who started its construction almost 60 years ago. He purchased the land for $450 at 15 years old in 1959.
He planned to build a family cabin, and he and his father camped on the property for ten summers, clearing land for the foundation. But by 1969, Jim began work on a one-room stone cabin that had become an enormous rock and iron castle, complete with a dragon.
Best Castles in Colorado to Visit
There are fourteen castles still standing in Colorado, and it was a tough choice to select seven. They are all fascinating structures. Take a look at the ones we’ve listed below and see if you agree that these castles in Colorado are fit for royalty.
12705 State Highway 165, Rye, Colorado 81069
About: In a dense forest at 9,000 feet in altitude, Bishop’s Castle is a fantastic accomplishment. Jim Bishop began work on what he planned to be a one-room stone cabin in 1969.
Today, his continuous labor is now a 3-story castle with a ballroom, several towers and bridges, and a fire-breathing dragon. With a 30-foot-tall steel steeple, Bishop’s Castle is 160 feet tall, the equivalent of a 16-story building.
How to Visit: Bishop’s Castle is always open and has free admission! It is Jim’s goal to make his creation available to all. You may even catch him adding more spiral staircases, stained glass, or stone walls to this fantastic testimony to one man’s dream.
Glen Eyrie Castle
3820 N. 30th Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904
About: Railroad engineer and founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, built this structure for his wife in 1871. Glen Eyrie didn’t become a castle until 32 years later. He added a tower in 1903 as a memorial to his wife. General Palmer did not enjoy this 67-room castle for very long, dying in 1909 due to a riding accident three years prior.
Today Glen Eyrie sits in the hands of The Navigators, a Christian organization with its publishing arm. The castle is open for high teas, conferences, and overnight lodging. Guests can participate in a tour of the castle and grounds.
How to Visit: Visitors must have a reservation for a tea, conference, or lodging to access the 800-acre estate. Once on the property, a free tour is available throughout the day.
9 Capitol Hill Avenue, Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829
About: In 1895, Father Jean Baptiste Francolon built one of the many stunning castles in Colorado. Miramont Castle combines several architectural styles.
The owner moved to Manitou, bringing an eclectic selection of furnishings, vestments, and artwork. He left many of these items behind when he and his mother left the state five years later.
The Sisters of Mercy used the grounds to run a sanitarium for many years, but today the castle hosts a museum, tea room, and gift shop. Also, it’s reputedly haunted!
How to Visit: Enjoy Victorian tea by reservation, then wander through the castle museum. Virtually every room is open for your perusal!
Traveler’s Tip: Don’t miss a chance to drive the most haunted road in America while you’re exploring Colorado.
Mount Falcon Castle
3852 Vine Street, Morrison, Colorado 80465
About: John Brisben Walker was an investor in the Stanley Steamer steam-powered automobiles and owned Cosmopolitan Magazine before moving to the Front Range of Colorado. He built a 10-bedroom mansion with eight fireplaces and an observation deck in 1909.
Sadly, Mr. Walker only enjoyed his home for nine years before lightning struck and burned the estate. Today, a few stone spires remain at the site.
Walker had bigger dreams that also fell by the wayside with the fire. He hoped to build “the Summer White House” near his castle, enticing future presidents to spend the summer months on this beautiful hillside in Colorado. All that lingers is the cornerstone stating, “Summer home for the Presidents of the United States – the gift of the people of Colorado 1911.”
How to Visit: The land where Walker’s castle remains belongs to the city of Denver and is the foundation for the Denver Mountain Parks Department. You must hike the “Castle Trail” to see John Brisben Walker’s efforts.
Cherokee Ranch and Castle
6113 N. Daniels Park Road, Sedalia, Colorado 80135
About: Beginning life as Charlford Castle in 1926, Cherokee Ranch Castle was constructed as a Scottish residence for the Johnson Family. In 1954 when the land changed hands, the castle sat on ranching property with Santa Gertrudis cattle. Today the castle overlooks prime ranch land and a wildlife sanctuary, while conferences, weddings, and teas are within the castle walls.
How to Visit: Take a 90-minute castle tour or participate in programs on castle grounds, like concerts, guided hikes, archaeological tours, whiskey tastings, and specialty brunches.
58 Redstone Boulevard, Redstone, Colorado 81623
About: John C. Osgood, the founder of Colorado Fuel and Iron, built Redstone Castle in 1903. It is in a somewhat remote location near the Crystal River. Its 42 rooms overlook the river and several mountains in the White River National Forest.
With 24,000 square feet, there is ample room to explore. Today the castle is a wellness center, offering retreats specializing in weight loss, high altitude training, culinary skills, and outdoor adventures.
How to Visit: Redstone Castle offers private and public tours. Costs range from $50 to $500 for the one-and-a-half-hour guided historical tours.
10th Avenue and State Street, Antonito, Colorado 81120
About: A folk art castle of recycled materials sits in a small southern Colorado town. Dominic (Cano) Espinoza began building his castle in 1980 as a thank you for returning from the Vietnam War.
The grounds contain four structures he made from beer cans, salvaged metal, native volcanic stone, and other scavenged materials. With two gleaming towers, Cano’s Castle has five sections. Regrettably, fire heavily damaged one portion earlier this year, but most of the castle remains.
How to Visit: You can’t tour Cano’s Castle, but visitors are welcome to view it from the street. If you’re lucky, Cano will show up to talk with you, as he lives across the street from his creation.
3455 W. 83rd Avenue, Westminster, Colorado 80031
About: This red sandstone castle was built in 1893 by Henry T. Mayhem. Some call the castle the Pillar of Fire. Henry had a dream to start a Presbyterian school out west that would rival Princeton University. The plan didn’t go well, as the school was open only nine years before World War I began, and the enrollment dropped to zero.
Other schools filled the hallways over the years, and today it is home to Belleview Christian Schools and a radio station.
How to Visit: Because it is a working school, there are no tours. However, the stunning architecture of Westminster Castle overlooking Denver is worth the trip.
Is It Worth Visiting Castles in Colorado?
You won’t need chain mail or a shield to see the most famous castles in Colorado. Bring your sense of adventure and imagination. You will find more than dragons, drawbridges, and knights in shining armor when visiting these historic structures.
Which castle will you visit first on your next adventure?
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