The Garden of the Gods, located in Colorado Springs, is a natural gem, featuring some of the most stunning red rock formations in the nation. In addition to the amazing sights, the 1,300+ acre park also offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and superb climbing opportunities.
The Garden of the Gods is a perfect day trip for anyone visiting (or living in) Colorado. Roughly an hour south of Denver, the Garden is a popular destination all year around. And best of all – access to the park is free.
A visit to the Garden of the Gods will begin at the extensive Visitor and Nature Center. The center features over 30 educational exhibits, as well as a short movie, How Did Those Red Rocks Get There? and a gift shop. Programs offered include nature hikes and talks, a Junior Ranger program, narrated bus tours, movies, educational programs and special programs.
Next you’ll want to experience the Garden of the Gods close up. Unlike many natural locations, there’s opportunities for everyone at the park. Wide, paved walkways weave through the center of the park, making it perfect for families with strollers or those in wheel chairs. Those looking for a more challenging exercise can hike the more than 15 miles of trails, which range from easy to moderate in difficulty. Many of the trails are available for mountain bikers as well.
Those looking for a little bit of adventure will find some of the best climbing in the area. The park’s spires and jutting rocks are perfect for climbers of all skill levels. Local rock climbing guides are available to hire, providing all the gear and expertise you’ll need at a reasonable price. For those who have never climbed, the Garden of the Gods is a great way to experience the thrill.
Finally, the Gardens of the Gods offers several roads through the park, allowing you to experience the natural beauty right from your auto. The park has constructed well-placed pull offs, giving you ample spots for photos. One of the most popular photos is of Balanced Rock (at right).
Wildlife lovers can see deer and bighorn sheep in park.
The Garden of the Gods was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. The original lands were donated to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909, with the provision that the park always remain free to the public.
In addition to the Garden of the Gods, the local area offers several other wonderful opportunities, with the major attraction being Pike’s Peak. You can take a train to the top – or drive to the 14,000+ foot summit yourself.