Your Ultimate Guide to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs CO

A panoramic view of Garden of the Gods. Clear blues skies and green flora frame the large sandstone formations.

An Internationally Recognized Geological Wonderland

There is truly something for everyone at the Garden of the Gods. Located just a few miles from the Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast, this large sandstone formation is one of the most beautiful features in North America and also one of the most accessible. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1971 and has been hosting visitors for much longer. Whether you want to make it a quick trip by driving through to see the highlights or if you’d rather take it in slowly and deeply, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from and all of them are spectacular.

Driving Through

The park has nearly 6 miles of paved roads that will take you to all the major points of interest and give you a panoramic view of the area. A loop will take you around the main rock formations, and satellite roads will take you to other points of interest such as Balanced Rock and High Point Overlook. Download a map of the park or consider following the self-guided tour put together by “Garden of the Gods Colorado”. There are areas to park all along the routes, so if you want to stop off and hike or have a picnic, this is a good way to do it.

Hiking in Garden of the GodsLarge, sandy rock formation balances on a larger formation next to a road.

There are 15 different trails to explore in the park, covering 21 miles. Pick up a free, full-colored map at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. From there you can set out on your own or join a free guided hike. The guided hikes are led by naturalists and may cover topics such as flora and fauna, birds, geology, history and more. For ideas on hikes you might want to try on your own, check out “5 Classic Garden of the Gods Hikes“. Every Thursday the park hosts a 5K/Fun Run at 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays they host a “morning wellness walk“.

Even More Ways To Experience the Splendor

At Garden of the Gods, you are not limited to hiking or driving to enjoy the natural wonders. There are several types of experiences offered regularly, including:

  • Segway tours
  • Jeep tours
  • Trolley tours
  • Electric and mountain bike rentals and tours
  • Rock climbing guides and equipment rental through Front Range Climbing Co. (don’t get caught climbing without a permit!)

There are also regular events offered throughout the year, so check out their calendar to see what’s going on during your visit.

Make It A Learning Experience

The Visitor & Nature Center houses an incredible museum offering exhibits that detail the geological history of the park, the more recent history of the people who lived on this land and the flora and fauna at home in the park. A 30-minute show is offered in the Geo-Trekker theater that details 30 million years of local geological changes. And if that’s not enough, there is also a living history museum called Rock Ledge Ranch that features historical interpreters dressed in era clothing who showcase how people lived on the land long ago.

Make A Day Of It

It is easy to spend an entire day or more at the Garden of the Gods. Make a stop at the Bean Sprouts Cafe for a healthy lunch or browse the gift shop for something special. You can also head over to the nearby Garden of the Gods Trading Post for a delicious meal and to browse their general store and art gallery for a unique souvenir.

Whatever you end up choosing, remember that at 6,400 feet in elevation, the Garden of the Gods can easily make you develop altitude sickness if your body isn’t used to being at that altitude. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen along so that you can have the best time. Because it’s free and very popular, the park gets crowded many days. Considering coming during the week or later in the afternoon if you want to avoid crowds and congestion.

Stay With Us!

The truth is, no amount of words can do this place justice. So if you’re thinking about visiting, stop thinking and start planning your trip now! At just a few miles from this fantastic natural wonder, we are the perfect place to stay to take off on your grand adventures. We will fuel you up with a gourmet breakfast and have you set for a day of spectacular sight-seeing, hiking, climbing, or wherever your ambitions take you.

Balanced Rock photo courtesy of Ahodges7Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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