We’ll get to Garden of the Gods in one sec… First of all, I have to say that it’s pretty a pretty wild (literally) first morning in Colorado Springs. Even though I’m a frequent visitor, I still managed to get turned around this morning and walked the wrong way to search out a morning latte at Loyal Coffee.
It is a really good thing that I went the wrong way first of else I have missed an early morning face to face encounter with a young elk.
Seriously. Right downtown Colorado Springs there was a young elk trotting down the street only stopping once to look me in the eye (from only 10 feet away!) before carrying on.
I just stood there stupefied.
And this before even seeing the main attraction, the beloved Garden of the Gods.
The Low Down
- Distance: An easy 10 km (15min) drive from downtown Colorado Springs.
- Address: 1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
- Suggested stops: Local Coffee opens at 6am and serves up a great latte. Check out their creative toast menu for breakfast fare. The visitors centre across the street if it’s not too busy so that you can get that panaramic view of Garden of the Goods.
- More Information: Visit the Garden of the Gods website.
- Dogs: Permitted on leash (don’t forget to bring them water!).
- Washrooms: Onsite near the main parking lot, although a long line up when busy.
- Entrance Fee: Free.
- Season: Open year round.
- Accessibility: The main trail is wide and paved. There are steps and dirt trails off of the main, but otherwise accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Disabled parking is available (and the main parking and lot 7).
Garden of the Gods is a popular attraction for both tourist and locals alike. It’s stunning. The bright red earth rock formations protrude from the ground with greatness. I haven’t been there for sunrise yet, but I imagine it would be spectacular to watch.
Garden of the Gods
It is pretty impressive that the property was once family own and then donated to Colorado City (not a typo, check the history…) for the public to enjoy as well. Thanks to Charles Perkins and his kin, Garden of the Gods “shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park.”
The trails get busy with families, tourists, and people training during the summer months. And even at its busiest, it didn’t feel too crowded and I was able to get plenty of great unobstructed pictures.
As mentioned above, the main trail is wide and paved making it easy to enjoy the park. There are also park maps located at the parking lots and main trail intersections.
What to bring
Because the weather is unpredictable in Colorado Springs (which is a big understatement) and the park trails allow for both shorter and longer hikes, here’s what I would suggest bringing:
- Camera: Because those are views you’ll want to see again.
- Rain jacket: It can be hot as Hades one minute and raining with hail the next.
- Water: Ummm, same reason as above.
- Snacks: If you’re look to spend a longer time in the park.
- Footwear: Good walking shoes, hikers aren’t required but you can climb in a few areas!
- Patience: It might take some patience while trying to find parking but it’s worth it in spades.
No much for wildlife mind you, but there are birds! If you’re lucky you’ll catch a hawk or falcon soaring above.
Aaaaaaand don’t go off trail or poking around in the flora/dark spaces…rattle snakes are a thing here.
That view though
There’s no arguing that Garden of the Gods is one magnificently gorgeous insta worthy spot to check out. I mean really, it has a wow factor.
Heck, even without social media, it’s worth it. Last time I was in town I managed to explore the park mostly to myself in the early hours and even meditated on top of one of the rocks. It was a perfectly serene moment that was wholeheartedly appreciated.
Wrapping it up
It was the perfect day to visit even with the summer crowds! Typical me, I spent my time saying good morning to pretty much everyone then found a bench with a view, and enjoyed my lunch and matcha latte from Mountain Mama.
There are some spots that you only experience once in life and others like, Garden of the Gods, that are a joy to experience with each visit.