Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods, located in Colorado Springs is a magnificent, picturesque 1300+ acre park, a MUST-SEE for everyone.
This unique and wonderful place offers incredible natural sandstone formations which are beautiful, dramatic, and quite spectacular to view from all angles. The landscape here never fails to inspire awe, no matter how many times you go. The many holes and crevices in the rocks are homes for numerous animals, birds and bats. Depending on the elevation you can find cottonwood-willow, prairie grasslands, pinyon-juniper, mountain shrub and ponderosa pines in abundance.
The steep and unusual rock formations in the park make it an attraction for rock climbers. Rock climbing is allowed but one needs to acquire an annual permit which can be obtained at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. I highly recommend you stop by the center before entering the park. It is well worth the visit. There is plenty of useful information for all visitors and it is located near the park entrance. The Center offers maps, narrated bus tours, movies, exhibits, and other various programs. It has a restaurant with a view (good for the weary traveler). Besides they have a look-out deck that gives you an outstanding first impression of this wondrous terrain. Just be sure to take your camera with you. It's a great photo op!
Entrance to the park is always FREE and will remain so according to the wish of Charles Elliott Perkins, whose children donated the land to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909.
My Most Recent Visit...
...was late morning. The park was already busy by the time I got there and yet not even the hustle and bustle could distract me from the views. There are numerous trails for hiking, walking, mountain biking and horseback riding. They all lead you on a journey where you will experience some of the most awe inspiring scenery Colorado has to offer. On this day I am going to just walk.
Within minutes I come across some rock climbers so I sit to watch them. It was pretty intense. The strength, the determination these climbers had was pretty amazing. I remember thinking to myself..nerves of steel. I think I much prefer to watch. Although, perhaps on my next visit...
As I continued on I notice a large twisted rock formation where numerous birds were happily perched atop the monster red rocks. Not being in any rush I stopped to watched as they played amongst themselves. They were totally oblivious to my presence. It was at this point I realized I somehow managed to lose most of the tourists. I am happy. I enjoy the quiet and chirping of the birds above me. This is a a great place to just sit and ponder. It is hard to believe that the forces of nature got together to create this beautiful rock garden and within their sculptor placed the majestic Pikes Peak as its background. It's an OMG moment as I look around. So so beautiful. Each time I visit here I am reminded how important it is for mankind to preserve what mother nature gave us.
On this trip I stopped at Balance Rock for some photos when it started to rain. The drops were welcomed as it cooled my skin. But living in Colorado as long as I have, I know how quickly and how dangerous the weather can become. Calling it a day I took several last shots...
Anyone interested in geology should definitely visit the Garden of the Gods. There are outstanding geologic features throughout the park filled with a rich history as well. There are many fossils to be seen: marine forms, plant fossils, and some dinosaur fossils. For me I just enjoy it all. I am not a scientist, or an archaeologist or a rock climber. I am just a woman who loves nature in all its forms. I see and admire the beauty around us. To me the Garden of the Gods is a wonderful playground. Something everyone should try and experience at least once. To really take advantage of the park one should visit it on different days, at different times, and in different seasons. No two visits are ever the same and each time you will always see something new and beautiful.
To summarize, the Garden of the gods is an awesome place to visit. Take your kids, go for a romantic walk with someone you love or just go to be by your self. The rock formations are unbelievable, the trails are easy for the most part and each trip is always different. You can enjoy the park by car, bike, foot or even horseback. Remember, there are numerous trails throughout the park, so there is plenty to explore no matter what mode of transportation you prefer! Oh and the best part..... its all FREE!
Beautiful red rocks jutting out of the earth (Click on the photo to watch the slide show).