Climb and Hike in the Garden of the Gods
Colorado › Palmer Trail, Colorado Springs
Added by Eric Schuette
Visit one of the most interesting and recognizable landscapes in Colorado for free!You can drive one of several loop roads, walk one of or more of the many trails through the area, or rock climb some of the interesting rock formationsWildlife, wildflowers, amazing scenery, and interesting geology means Garden of the Gods has something for everyone
If you are new to the area a stop by the visitor center can helpful to get a map of the trails and roads in the area as well as obtaining a climbing permit (one is needed to climb and is free).
Once you have entered the area there are multiple trails and pull outs that you can explore. Many of the trails are paved and most of the year easy to follow. During the summer expect crowds during the day but those thin very early or late. In the winter snow can provide a wonderful addition to the landscape. The area is not very large and can easily be explored in a day.
For those who are interested in climbing make sure to obtain a permit from the visitor center. Also, the staff can brief you on current area closures (usually raptor nesting) as they are not marked on the park. There are multitudes of routes that provide all levels of a challenge but all have really cool views of the area.
Your pack list will depend on your activity and time of year but should include:
- Appropriate clothing for the weather
- Sturdy shoes
- A map of the area
- Appropriate climbing gear
- A permit obtained at the visitor center are required
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Cycling, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running, Yoga
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ReviewsLeave a Review
Garden of the God's is one of my favorite places in CO. It's family and dog friendly and there are countless areas to explore. It gets very crowded during the warm months so be prepared to be surrounded by other people. Also, afternoon thunderstorms are quite common so plan accordingly.
A Classic Adventure
Garden of the Gods is one of the most amazing places not only in CO, but in the country. From the red rocks to the lush green plants and cacti, this place is beautiful in every way. You can climb and hike all over the rocks, spending hours exploring areas of the park. It's family friendly and accessibly to all.
The red rocks honestly wasn't what i was expecting when my girlfriend and i visited Colorado. Even though it is very beautiful, it is very touristy. I am not one for just visiting a touristy place while exploring a new place. It it obviously free and can be driven through. Enjoyed being there all the same & definitely a must see when visiting Colorado
Stunning Contrast Of Mountain And Red Rock
Great rock climbing and bouldering; easy walking trails. Tons of wildlife especially in the morning. Got there at 7 for a light coffee stroll and meditation. To climb you need a permit, which can be obtained for free online via the park website. Great spot right on the edge of the city.
It constantly amazes me how beautiful nature is!! I went on a Sunday afternoon and it was busy!! Get there early in the day to get a good parking space, or just be prepared to hunt for a space for a while. I was there at sunset and got some amazing photos and the views are beautiful!
Running at Garden of the Gods
Running at Garden of the Gods is a very cool experience. There are trails just beyond the confines of the actual park that go for miles around the Colorado Springs area and offer amazing views of the mountains to the West.
Quintessential Colorado adventure!
If you're in Colorado then checking off Garden of the Gods is definitely a must do. The park has miles of trails for you to choose from and every one is a gem. Stick around for sunset, the rocks really explode with color plus the views of Pikes Peak can't be beat. Trinity Brewing is just down the street if you're looking for a post hike brew.
Absolutely love Garden of the Gods. It's a stunning place to witness the power of the earth with its unique rock formations. If you're looking for a place to stay in Colorado Springs, I stayed at the Garden of the Gods resort and from your room you can see the sunrise over Pikes Peak and the Gardens. Truly unforgettable.
I loved visiting the Garden of the Gods on my trip to Colorado. The rock formations are like nothing that I have seen before and totally jaw dropping. I found myself just wandering off-trail and getting lost in the parks unique landscape for a majority of the visit. Be sure to check out the iconic Balanced Rock, like many of the rock formations it might not be here for too many years. The Garden of the Gods was an awesome experience.
Garden of the Gods is a spectacular location. Whether you are an experienced climber and taking advantage of the structures or just hiking/biking through for the day there is something special to be said about this place. One cannot help but feel small amongst these majestic rock formations. This is definitely worth a day trip for anyone nearby or just traveling through Colorado Springs and it is completely free! I attend college a couple of miles down the road and I love coming here for the day with friends to hike around and have a picnic and enjoy the beauty.
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