The complete post guide to Fort Carson - We Are The Mighty
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The complete post guide to Fort Carson

Fort Carson in Colorado is one of the best Army duty stations you could ever wish for. No, really! It’s called the “Best Hometown in the Army” for a reason. Between its fantastic location, amazing weather, and its local community, what more could you want? “Mountain Post,” as it’s also known, “is home to the 4th Infantry Division. You’ll also find the 10th Special Forces Group and others. This installation is often considered one of the premier DoD locations for training Soldiers to win in combat situations. Nearby Colorado Springs and Fountain are excellent places to live and the area provides breathtaking scenery. Read on to fall in love with your next duty installation! 

Overview

Because of its excellent community feel and fantastic location, Ft. Carson is one of the most-requested Army installations. So, if you’re heading to Colorado, consider yourself very fortunate and do all you can to make the most of your time there. Close to Ft. Carson, you’ll find Peterson Air Force Base, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and NORAD. Nearby Denver is home to Buckley Air Force Base. On post, you’ll also find reserve units for both the Army, Army National Guard, and the Navy. Because of its large military presence, it’s no surprise that El Paso County is home to the third largest military veteran and retiree population in the country. 

Speaking of NORAD, did you know the agency’s tracking of Santa on Christmas Eve is a result of a misprinted phone number? 

Ft. Carson Location

This post is located southwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s in between I-25 and Highway 115. Ft. Carson is in El Paso County and is about 60 miles south of Denver. It’s also part of the Pikes Peak region that includes El Paso, Park, and Teller counties. 

Fort Carson helicopter
A UH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopter with Task Force Eagle Assault, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, lifts front wheels off the ground during a rolling takeoff on a confined hilltop at Fort Carson, Colo. during Task Force Eagle Assault’s rotation to high altitude mountainous environment training, Feb. 20, 2012.

Directions

From Colorado Springs Airport, follow the airport road exit. Then turn left at Powers Blvd. This road becomes Mesa Ridge Parkway. It takes you directly to Ft. Carson’s gate. 

If you’re traveling from Denver International Airport, follow the airport road exit onto Pena Avenue. Stay on Pena until you reach I-70W. Exit at I-225 for Colorado Springs and follow until you get to I-25. Then, stay on I-25 for about 60 miles and take exit 132B to get to the gate. 

Transportation

Flying might be easiest and most convenient, since Colorado is sort of in the middle of the country. You can arrive via the Colorado Springs Airport or Denver International Airport. Both serve a variety of airlines. The Colorado Springs Airport is only ten miles from post – that’s about a 15 to 20 minute drive. 

The good news is that post has a shuttle for all your on-the-installation errands. There are even five routes to help you get where you need to go. It’s free for Soldiers, DoD personnel, and family members. Call the Shuttle Dispatch to check the current schedule or visit the shuttle website. 

Additionally, Mountain Metro provides public transportation for Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak. 

You can also arrive via the Greyhound, if that’s more amenable to your travel style. The closest station is in Colorado Springs. 

Gates and Hours

There are two Visitor Control Centers located at Ft. Carson. One is at Nelson Blvd. Gate 1 and the other is at Chiles Avenue Gate 3. 

Barkley Avenue, Gate, open 24/7

Chiles Avenue, Gate, open 24/7. This is primarily a commercial vehicle gate.

Essayons Road, Gate 19, open Monday – Friday, 0500 to 1800

Magrath Avenue, Gate 20, open 24/7

Nelson Boulevard, Gate 1, open 24/7

O’Connell Boulevard, Gate 2, CLOSED

Titus Boulevard, Gate 5, open Monday – Sunday, 0500 to 2100 

Wilderness Road, Gate 6, open Monday – Friday, 0500 to 1800

Fort Carson exchange
Fort Carson Exchange. (DVIDS)

Contacts at Ft. Carson

Balfour Beatty Communities/On-Post Housing (719) 579-1606 ext 250

Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (719) 526-0570 / (719) 524-0851

Child and Youth Registration and Referral (719) 526-1101 

Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (719) 526-8341 

Civilian Personnel Office (719) 526-8341 

Dental (719) 526-3330 

Emergency Room (719) 526-7111 

Equal Opportunity Office – 4th Infantry Division (719) 526-4305/4304

Evans Community Hospital Operator (719) 526-

Family Advocacy Program (719) 526-4590 

Fort Carson Housing Referral Office/Off-Post Housing (719) 526-2322

Household Goods/Transportation Office (inbound) (719) 554-

ID/CAC Card Processing (719) 524-3704 

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Army Hotels (877) 711-8326 

Legal Assistance: (719) 526-5572 

New Parent Support Program (719) 526-4590 

Personnel Support Office (719) 526-5477

Relocation Readiness Program (719) 526-1070 

School Liaison Services: (719) 526-1101

Single Soldier Housing Office (SSH) (719) 526-0570

Shuttle Dispatch (719) 524-RIDE 

Victim Advocate Program (719) 526-4590 

Mission and Units

The mission at Ft. Carson is to build and maintain combat ready expeditionary forces ready to fight and win in complex environments. This is achieved either as members of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) team members or as part of a Mission Command Element (MCE). 

As you probably know, Ft. Carson is home to the 4th Infantry Division and the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). You’ll also find the 71st Ordnance Group. But that’s not all! Since 2005, it’s been home to the Army’s 1st Space Brigade. Who knew Soldiers were secretly vying to be Space Force Guardians? The 1st SB’s mission is to “provide trained and ready space forces to conduct global space force enhancement.” The brigade completes operations and missions across all domains and is spread in ten different countries. 

Fort Carson history
Guido Borella, a World War II veteran who served with the 12th Armored (Hellcat) Division, visits the 4th Infantry Division Museum on Fort Carson, Colo. during the 12AD’s 73rd annual reunion, July 25, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Robert Vicens)

Ft. Carson History

The War Department established Ft. Carson after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. By February of 1942, a name was selected. Ft. Carson’s name honors Brig. Gen. Christopher Carson, a famous frontiersman. 

During WWII, the 89th Infantry Division was the camp’s first major unit. Carson also served as a POW camp and housed more than 9,000 prisoners. 

After the war, Camp Carson continued to grow. In 1954 it became a permanent installation. 

Then, in 1999, Ft. Carson became home to the first active-reserve division in the Army. However, seven years later, the 7th Infantry Division was inactivated and Division West, First Army took its place. 

Since 2003, nearly all Ft. Carson units have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. 

Now, it’s not only home to the 4th ID but it’s also home to the Army’s 1st Space Brigade. Even though Ft. Carson is a relatively new installation, it continues to reinforce its place in the DoD community.   

Things to Do Around Ft. Carson

There will be so many things you want to do, see, and experience in this region that you should definitely keep a list! That way you’re sure you don’t miss anything. In fact, Ft. Carson is consistently ranked one of the best installations for families.          

Hotels

There are tons of hotels near Ft. Carson, so finding lodging shouldn’t be an issue. 

Candlewood Suites (719) 374-9158

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Colorado Springs (719) 576-8900

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Colorado Springs Central (719) 424-4300

Food Scene

Fruit foodies, you’re going to love being at Ft. Carson. Be sure you try the grapes, cherries, and apricots. You won’t want to miss out on the peaches, either! Take a canning class and learn how to transform these sweet fruits into jams and jellies. Craft beer is a big deal in Colorado too, so while you’re enjoying some fruit, you should definitely get something local to sip on. Of course, it’s not a Colorado meal without green chile sauce slathered on so don’t be shy about adding it onto everything. It’s especially delectable on burgers. Trust us! 

jobs at Fort Carson
Pvt. 1st Class Quanisa Fairweather, a unit supply specialist assigned to 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, watches a demonstration on infant safety during the Fort Carson 2018 Baby Expo at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center on May 16. Fairweather is currently expecting a boy in two weeks.

Activities

If you’re looking for something to do close to home, why not check out the 4th Infantry Division’s museum? It’s located outside of the main gate and offers interactive exhibits and all the history you could ever want to know.  

All the hiking, camping, and fishing you could ever want is just moments from your Ft. Carson home. Be sure to check out the Garden of the Gods, a registered national landmark. Bring your bike or your picnic basket! You’ll also want to check out the Shrine of the Sun. Spring for a zipline tour or take a sunset cruise in a hot air balloon. 

Ft. Carson Housing

More than half of Ft. Carson’s permanently stationed population resides off the installation in any of the vibrant communities nearby. Military family favorites include Black Forest, Fountain, and Widefield among others. Since there’s such a robust military population in and around post, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a home/apartment owner who understands the military way of life.  

Balfour Beatty owns and manages housing at Ft. Carson. On post housing is available to all ranks and family sizes. Wait lists are common so call the Military Housing Office as soon as you receive orders! 

Unaccompanied Soldiers E1-E5 are assigned a room in the barracks. Call the SSH for more information. 

Schools Near Ft. Carson

Though there are no DoDEA schools on Ft. Carson, there are elementary schools and a middle school on the installation. These are part of the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8. The district also offers a high school, but it’s off the installation. If you and your family live off-post, there are more than 150 schools to choose from to suit your child’s needs. Talk with the School Liaison Office for more information, including current enrollment requirements. 

flightline
The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division receives its first CH-47 Chinook helicopters at Butts Army Airfield on Fort Carson, Colo., Jan. 22, 2013. The Chinooks are the first CH-47s to arrive to the new combat aviation brigade. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs NCOIC/Released)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fort Carson famous for?

Ft. Carson is famous for being the home of the 4th ID and the 10th Special Forces Group. 

How many Soldiers are stationed at Fort Carson?

On average, about 25,000 Soldiers call Ft. Carson home. 

What kind of base is Fort Carson?

It’s an Army installation but also serves Navy Sailors. 

Does Fort Carson have Airborne?

Yes! The 10th Special Forces Group is Airborne.

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