THIS WEEKEND: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Annual Run to the Shrine Raises Funds, Heartrates and Elevation

May 15, 2024

FOUR-MILE WALK/RUN FUNDRAISER OFFERS ONCE-A-YEAR EXPERIENCE ON FOOT TO WILL ROGERS SHRINE OF THE SUN – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo hosts its 16th annual Run to the Shrine, featuring a North American river otter as this year’s event mascot, on Sat., May 18 and Sun., May 19, 2024.

Where else can you hand-feed a giraffe and then walk up the side of a mountain? (Nowhere!) The 4-mile round trip up-and-back course offers breathtaking views of Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods, and parts of the Front Range as participants run by African lions, giraffe and African elephants through the Zoo, up to Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun and back into the Zoo. The evergreen-forested course, with a nearly 1,000-foot elevation gain, is good practice for competitive runners gearing up for summer races and a fun challenge for weekend warriors and families. Runners and walkers are welcome, and jogging strollers equipped with automatic hand brakes and tethers are allowed on the course.

Run to the Shrine is the only time of the year foot traffic is allowed on the picturesque route through and above the Zoo to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, and back down. Saturday is sold out and there are only a few hundred spots left for Sunday’s event. Participant and spectator tickets are available. Spectators can explore the Zoo from 5 to 8 p.m. when the event ends, but do not get access to Shrine Road.

Registration includes Zoo admission for the evening, a commemorative performance running T-shirt featuring a North American river otter , and access to a post-event celebration at the Zoo’s Lodge at Moose Lake. All proceeds help feed and care for Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s animals. Since the Zoo doesn’t receive any tax support, community events like Run to the Shrine help keep the zoo “running.”

Fast Facts
Run to the Shrine at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 18 – SOLD OUT
Sunday, May 19

  • 4-mile run/walk through the Zoo, up to Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, and back to the Zoo
  • Post-race expo
  • Access to the Zoo from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Advance registration is required and capacity is limited.
  • Register now at

Run to the Shrine helps CMZoo – one of the only AZA-accredited, nonprofit zoos that doesn’t receive any tax support – fund Zoo operations, improvements, animal care and conservation. We’re wild about our Run to the Shrine 2024 partners, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Your Colorado Springs Toyota Dealers and Colorado Springs SCHEELS.

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2024, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #5 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Since 2008, CMZoo’s Quarters for Conservation program has raised more than $5 million dedicated to frontline conservation efforts around the world. Of the 237 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.