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US Air Force Academy

Off-Base Neighborhoods

On the northern side of Colorado Springs, the neighborhoods of Flying Horse, Northgate Highlands, The Farm, and Voyager (Middle Creek) are all within 15-20 minutes from USAFA. Many families live in Monument also. Almost every subdivision in Monument is desirable and within 20-25 min drive to USAFA. In the central part of Colorado Springs, you can find a large variety of homes, especially going further east with new construction in subdivisions like Cordera. The houses in the Briargate area tend to be older than the areas further east.

On Base Housing

Hunt Military Communities manages the family housing areas on base for non-cadets. USAFA neighborhoods are an easy commute to Fort Carson, Schriever AFB, or Peterson AFB. Families can apply for housing on those bases as well, and commute to USAFA. Hunt manages 4 neighborhoods at the USAFA grounds. Two are for officers only, one is for enlisted only, and the 4th allows all ranks. Houses are either town homes or single family homes, with predominately 3-4 bedroom layouts.

The neighborhoods have mountain views, fenced-in backyards, community centers, walking trails, playgrounds, and sports courts.


Yes, there are two schools on USAFA. One is Douglass Elementary which is primarily for children who live on base. The other is Air Academy High School which draws from families who live on base and families who live south of USAFA. Colorado Springs has school choice so kids outside of the school zoning can choose to send their kids to different schools based on preference or a particular sport. The middle school, Eagleview, for the base children is located south of USAFA in the Rockrimmon area, not on the ground of USAFA. Most military families choose to send their kids to schools in District 20 (which is the North end of Colorado Springs) or to District 38 (which is Monument). Both districts are fantastic and the schools are amongst the best in the country.

Cost of Living and BAH

Colorado Springs has a cost of living that is slightly above average, so depending on where you are coming from, you may see your BAH increase or decrease. The USAFA BAH varies depending on rank and whether or not you have dependents. To determine your BAH at USAF Academy, use our BAH calculator.

BAH Calculator

Housing Costs

The average cost of a 3 bedroom house in the Colorado Springs area is $330,000. However, the current housing market is competitive. Many houses had multiple offers and are selling for well over asking price. Many people from out of state are moving to Colorado from other states which makes the competition higher for military families.

Colorado’s property tax rates are some of the nation’s lowest at just 0.63%. Property tax revenue goes directly to the county it is paid in and not to the state government. Colorado is a flat-tax state with an income tax rate of 4.63% regardless of income level. The base sales tax rate in Colorado is 2.9%, though many cities add their own sales taxes.


We definitely get all four seasons in Colorado. Colorado Springs has a mild, semi-arid year-round climate with an average high of 43˚F in January and an average high of 84˚F in August. It averages 37 inches of snow annually. Depending on where you choose to live, the snow can get heavy in the winter (north like Monument has more snow than the Springs) but typically the sun is out the next day and it melts. It can be windy in the winter but mostly pretty mild. The summers are amazing with very mild temperatures from April to September.

Because of the altitude, newcomers may experience slight fatigue and other symptoms of altitude sickness. You should allow time for your body to adjust to the elevation. Also, be sure to prepare for the low humidity by using lots of lip balm and skin moisturizer.

Base Amenities

The USAFA has a BX (small), a Commissary (small), a clinic but no hospital, and a wonderful Outdoor Rec program. Families can rent ski equipment from Outdoor Rec for the season or for a weekend and can also do activities like white-water rafting in the summer for a lower cost than other places.

Area Attractions

Most people in Colorado take advantage of the outdoor opportunities for which Colorado is known for: hiking, biking, skiing, camping and water sports. The ski resorts offer some of the best skiing in the country and they have a highly discounted military ski pass. Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park is truly an amazing place with unspoiled views and hiking. You can stay in the YMCA of the Rockies, which offers a military package, and hike directly into the park from their property. There are more hiking trails and mountains than can possibly be named, and each place is uniquely beautiful.

Those lucky enough to be stationed at Fort Carson, Peterson AFB or any of the local military installations know Colorado Springs offers many cultural and art experiences. From mystery dinner shows and comedy clubs to orchestras and fine art displays, Colorado Springs has a lot to keep you entertained. A visit to the Pikes Peak Center to see the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, a Broadway show, or a comedian, is a great way to spend an afternoon. You can also take a stroll through one of the galleries at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center or Cottonwood Center for the Arts downtown.

LIVING IN COLORADO SPRINGS: The unparalleled beauty and mild climate of Colorado Springs make it a gateway to a wide variety of outdoor activities. There are many internationally known ski areas nearby. Furthermore, some of the nation’s most scenic parks and finest hunting and fishing areas are located within a short drive. Locals enjoy activities such as ice climbing, snowmobiling, rock climbing, as well as white water rafting. A visit to the hot springs is also within an easy drive. Tour information and rental equipment are available at the Outdoor Recreation Centers at USAFA, Peterson, Schriever and Fort Carson.

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING: Colorado is ‘THE’ destination for skiing and snowboarding in the country. With its blue skies and abundant fresh, dry powder, it is a destination both for families as well as adventurous skiers looking for expert-only terrain. Colorado’s 25 ski resorts open earlier and stay open later (October to late April) than any others in the nation. Additionally, equipment to buy and rent, season passes, and daily lift tickets can be purchased at the Outdoor Recreation Centers at any of the military installations. HIKING AND CAMPING: There is no better way to enjoy the mild climate and beautiful scenery of the Pikes Peak Region than a hike. Furthermore, from short hikes, to day-long back country hikes, the area has something to offer the beginner and the seasoned hiker. There are also many campgrounds, both primitive campsites as well as those with facilities.


Territory Days – (Memorial Day weekend) – Celebrate the Old West in Old Colorado City.

USAFA Graduation – (May) -Watch the cadets toss their mortar boards in celebration.

Pikes Peak Hill International Climb – (Last weekend in June) – Grab a spot along the Pike Peaks Highway and watch the world’s highest auto race and one of the most grueling events in all of motor racing.

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and Parade – (Mid-July) – Watch rodeo action and enjoy lots of family fun, all while paying tribute to the local military and their families.

Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off – View the ascension of over 50 hot air balloons in the mornings and balloon glows in the evening at Memorial Park.

Oktoberfest – (September) – Enjoy traditional German food and beverages at the many Oktoberfests celebrated across Colorado.

All Colorado Beer Festival – (First weekend in November) – Over 80 Colorado brewers participate in this awesome beer festival. The Pikes Peak Region is home to over 30 microbreweries, and Colorado has 284 craft breweries. If you like beer, you are going to love Colorado!

Emma Crawford Coffin Race – (October) – Watch this wacky race in downtown Manitou


Cave of the Winds Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Home to the largest herd of reticulated giraffes in North America!

Olympic Training Center – Headquarters for the U.S. Olympic Committee – offering tours daily.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway – Ride to the top of Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak Highway – Or take the 19-mile drive in your own vehicle.

Seven Falls – 224 steps up a series of waterfalls.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park – Enjoy the hiking trails or camp overnight.

Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum – Learn the cultural history of Colorado Springs.

Money Museum – A museum all about money!

North Pole – Santa’s Workshop – Visit a Christmas-themed amusement park.

Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame – The only heritage center in the world devoted to professional rodeo.

Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center – Voted TripAdvisor’s Best Park in the country!

Manitou Incline – Located in Manitou Springs, a challenging hike up an old cog railway line gaining almost 2000 ft of elevation in about one mile.


Woodland Park (30 min) – Visit the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center or enjoy food and beer along Main Street.

Denver (1 hr) – Colorado’s capital – Enjoy great restaurants, shopping, the Denver Zoo, a Broncos or Rockies game, the Denver Botanical Gardens, Denver Museum of Art & Science or the Denver Art Museum.

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park (1 hr) – Visit one of the world’s highest suspension bridges.

Cripple Creek (1 hr) – Cripple Creek is an historic gambling and mining town where you can visit the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine or take a ride on the Cripple Creek & Narrow Gauge Railroad, as well as more than 15 casinos.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (1.25 hr) – Take in a concert at this world famous outdoor venue.

Golden (1.25 hr drive) – Visit the largest single-site brewery in the world, Coors Brewery, offering free tours daily. Check out the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Rocky Mountain National Park (2.75 hr drive) – Enjoy one of the most visited National Parks in the U.S. and take in the views of the majestic peaks and wildlife.

Great Sand Dunes National Park (2.75 hr) – The tallest sand dunes in North America are found in this National Park in south central Colorado. Surf the dunes, camp, and hike or wade in Medano Creek in late May when the snow melt increases the stream flow.

Food and Drink

There are lots of wonderful restaurants in the downtown area which is becoming a great place to spend a weekend evening. The best places are the many breweries where you can find great local beer, food trucks, live music and best of all, dog friendly patios, where you can relax after a challenging day of hiking.

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