The Garden of the Gods park had been on my radar for years, ever since I first learned of its unique beauty through photographs. Although I had always longed to visit, it never quite fit into my travel itinerary. Imagine my delight when my son-in-law was stationed in Colorado Springs, the very city in which this incredible park is situated! Finally, I knew I would have the chance to experience it firsthand.
Recently, my desire came to fruition during a trip to see my daughter and her family: a visit to the stunning Garden of the Gods Park. The park’s proximity to my daughter’s house, just a half-hour away, belies its breathtaking natural beauty nestled in the heart of a bustling city. It’s a testament to the natural wonders of Colorado, a state with an abundance of such awe-inspiring sights.
In search of cooler climes, we embarked for the park during the late-afternoon hours. It welcomes visitors from as early as 5:00 am to 11:00 pm during summer, while its winter hours curtail operation to 9:00 pm daily. During the summer months, the Visitor & Nature Center is open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, while its Winter hours are shortened to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Reaching the Garden of the Gods is a breeze, only 2.5 miles from the I-25 exit on Garden of the Gods Road, with easy-to-follow directions. Once there, visitors are greeted by the free Visitor & Nature Center on the left, while the entrance to the park is located a bit further on the right. Both the Park’s and the Visitor & Nature Center’s gates are always open without any entry fee, allowing visitors to return and relish the experience multiple times.
Due to time constraints, we had to forego a visit to the Visitor & Nature Center on our trip, as we arrived near their closing hours. Although I had planned to come back another time to explore it, it didn’t happen during this trip. Instead, we made a beeline for the park and parked in the primary parking lot located in close proximity to the main entrance.
Upon parking in the designated area, a paved path leads visitors straight to the center of the Garden of the Gods. While en route, one can make use of the clean bathroom facilities. This pathway loops around some awe-inspiring rock formations, with strategic benches for those in need of a break.
For those eager to explore the park in greater depth, numerous trails offer a scenic hiking experience. Alternatively, partake in a complimentary guided nature walk by availing a map from the visitor center. Nature walks are offered at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, weather permitting, and commence from the main parking lot. A sign cordially invites guests to the meeting point.
For those seeking a thrilling experience, rock climbing at the Garden of the Gods is a must-do. However, it is crucial to adhere to the rock climbing regulations and obtain a permit, which can be done by clicking here for the application.
Numerous touring companies provide an array of transport options for touring the park, including buses, jeeps, and segways. Opting for one of these exciting modes of transport would be an excellent means of delving deeper into the park’s offerings.
During our recent trip, we took a leisurely stroll along the looped path at the Garden of the Gods. The walk was brief, affording us ample time to marvel at the numerous and awe-inspiring rock formations, including the famous “Kissing Camels.”
The path was adorned with stunning wildflowers, and on our nature walk, we chanced upon a few lively jack rabbits. The kids were thrilled by the sight! For families with active children, the Garden of the Gods provides an ideal locale to let kids blow off some steam. Even our teenager, Dion, enjoyed the outing. He was engrossed in playing Pokemon Go, along with several other enthusiasts, after discovering a Poke Stop in the park.
Dog lovers, rejoice! The park is open to your furry friends. During our stroll along the loop, we encountered numerous pups out for a walk with their owners. If you’re planning a day out at the park, consider bringing your own dogs along – it’s a great way to spend time with your pets.
Our time spent exploring was limited to a mere two hours. However, before departing, we opted for the route leading to Manitou Springs. Along the way, we glimpsed the awe-inspiring “Balance Rock” formation, complete with a designated pull-off for photo opportunities. Though hunger pangs and dinner called, we vowed to return for a closer look during our next excursion.
Whether you’re seeking tranquility or adventure, the Garden of the Gods is a must-visit destination. With its serene atmosphere, this captivating site is perfect for unwinding and escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience it for yourself!