Climb and Hike in the Garden of the Gods

Palmer Trail, Colorado Springs - Search Nearby - 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 formations. Wildlife, 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.


Rock Climbing
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area

Stay Nearby

Fountain, Colorado

Colorado Springs KOA

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Cripple Creek KOA

Woodland Park, Colorado

South Meadows

Woodland Park, Colorado

Pike Community

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Upper Loop Trail

0.75 Miles Round Trip - 72 ft gain

Hike the Perkins Central Garden Trail

1.5 Miles Round Trip - 30 ft gain

Bike the Garden of the Gods Loop

6 Miles Round Trip - 500 ft gain

Run the Famous Manitou Incline

3.7 Miles Round Trip - 2000 ft gain

More Nearby Adventures


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Overall rating: 

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.