[tmt_info =””]The Garden of the Gods is located near US Hwy. 24, at the east end of Manitou Springs. You can access the south end of the park from US 24, or the northeast side of the park (and the visitor’s center) from I-25, exit 146.[/tmt_info]
When surveyors first discovered the outcropping of giant red and white sandstone rock, back in 1859, one described the area as a fitting place for the Gods to assemble. The name stuck.
There are quite a few hiking trails that lead around and over the rock formations. From some places, you can also see Pike’s Peak. I could not, however, because of the cloudy weather.
By far, the most popular trail at the Garden of the Gods takes you to the center of the rock formations. The path is paved, and winds around the biggest rocks. At the center you’ll find this plaque, reading:
The Garden of the Gods
The City of Colorado Springs
by the children of
Charles Elliott Perkins
In fulfillment of his wish
that it be kept forever
free to the public.
As you wander around the park you’ll marvel at the out-of-this-world formations…
… although they would have been better backed by a little blue sky.
[tmt_info =””]The Garden of the Gods has a great gift shop, near the south end of the park. The Trading Post is huge, and will take you at least a half-hour to browse. [/tmt_info]
The Garden of the Gods is popular with rock climbers, and no matter what day you visit, you’ll probably see someone scaling the rock walls. You must obtain permission from the park, though, and climbing or scrambling up rocks by amateurs (or anyone without the proper equipment) is forbidden.
If you take the long paved sidewalk out to the east side of the garden, then walk up the road a short distance…
… you’ll find this shot, one of the best pictures I took in the park. Of course, blue skies (and a view of Pike’s Peak) would have made it much nicer.
Because of the gloomy weather, I decided to head back to Denver for the final day of the trip.
[tmt_info =””]Denver is less than an hour away from Colorado Springs, via Interstate 25. You’ll find plenty of places to stay around the towns of Monument and Castle Rock. If you want to stay closer to downtown Denver, I found several reasonable motels around the CO Rte. 470 intersection. (Rte. 470 is Denver’s beltway). [/tmt_info]
Note: This trip was first published in 2005.