Garden of the Gods - 13 Things to Know Before Visiting


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About Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Prowers county. The park is home to a variety of unique rock formations, as well as diverse plant and animal life. Garden of the Gods is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers, and provides stunning views of the surrounding area. The park is also home to a number of historical landmarks, including the ruins of an ancient native American village. Garden of the Gods is a beautiful and unique place and is well worth a visit.

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Things to Do at Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a world-renowned parking spot for outdoors enthusiasts of all levels. It is one of the must-see places in Colorado and has something for everyone. The views are incredible, the history is fascinating, and there are plenty of things to do. 

For those who love to hike, Garden of the Gods is a dream come true. There are miles and miles of trails to explore, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. The natural rock formations are also fun to scramble on and make for some great photo opportunities. For those who prefer to stay on solid ground, there are plenty of scenic spots to enjoy picnic lunches or simply take in the views. 

Garden of the Gods is also a great place for wildlife watching. Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mule deer, and white-tailed deer can all be seen in the park, along with a variety of birds and other small animals. The best time for wildlife viewing is early morning or evening, when animals are most active. 

Whether you’re looking for a strenuous hike or a leisurely stroll, Garden of the Gods has something for everyone. So add it to your Colorado bucket list – you won’t be disappointed!

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History of Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods is a nationally known rock formation in Colorado. The site is located in Prowers County, and it is made up of sandstone and limestone. The rocks are red, pink, and white, and they are arranged in a strange and beautiful way. The first people to see the Garden of the Gods were Native Americans. They believed that the gods had created the rocks, and they called the site Mah-to-toh-pa, which means “the bamboo maker”. In 1859, two surveyors were looking for a route through the Rockies, and they came upon the Garden of the Gods. They were so impressed by what they saw that they decided to name the area “Garden of the Gods”. Today, the Garden of the Gods is a popular tourist destination, and it is also a National Natural Landmark.

Best Time to Visit Garden of the Gods

However, the best time to visit Garden of the Gods is during the summer months. During this time, the temperatures are warm and the days are long, making it ideal for hiking, biking, and picnicking. 

Tips for Visiting Garden of the Gods

  1. Arrive early. Garden of the Gods is a popular spot, so try to arrive before the crowds. The park opens at 5 a.m., so an early start will give you a chance to explore in peace.
  2. Bring your hiking shoes. Garden of the Gods is a great place to hike, with miles of trails to explore. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.
  3. Take your time. There's no need to rush when exploring Garden of the Gods. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.
  4. Don't miss the sunrise or sunset. Both are spectacular from this vantage point.
  5.  Keep your distance from the wildlife. Garden of the Gods is home to many different species of animals, so it's important to give them their space.
  6. Be respectful of the rock formations. Remember that these rocks are fragile, so don't climb on them or disturb them in any way.
  7. Stay on designated trails. Some areas of Garden of the Gods are off-limits to visitors, so be sure to stay on marked trails at all times.
  8. be respectful . Remember that you're sharing this space with other visitors , as well as plants and animals . Be courteous and respectful of others , and do your part to Leave No Trace .
  9. Know yourlimits . Garden of the Gods has some steep trails and rock formations. Don't attempt anything beyond your skill level - know your limits and stick to trails that are appropriate for your fitness level.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Garden of the Gods

  1. The Garden of the Gods is a public park with more than 15 miles of hiking trails. 
  2. Garden of the Gods is known for its red rocks which were formed by sedimentary deposits from an ancient sea. 
  3. The park is home to a variety of plant and animal life including mule deer, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and red-tailed hawks. There are also more than 130 types of birds that have been spotted in the park. 
  4. The park contains a variety of geological features including Balanced Rock, Siamese Twins, and Kissing Camels. 
  5. Garden of the Gods is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Colorado with more than two million visitors each year.
  6. In 2016, Garden of the Gods was named one of America's best parks by USA Today readers.
  7. Garden of the Gods gets its name from the large sandstone formations that resemble figures from Greek mythology. 
  8. The area was first designated as a National Natural Landmark by the Department of the Interior in 1971. 

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Garden of the Gods

While it's possible to see some of the highlights in just a couple hours, if you really want to experience everything the park has to offer, plan on spending at least half a day. And if you have the time, spending a full day (or even two!) at Garden of the Gods is an unforgettable experience.

How to Reach Garden of the Gods

The best way to reach it is by car or bike. From Denver, take I-25 south to Colorado Springs. Then, take US 24 west to Manitou Springs. From there, follow signs to the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. You can also reach Garden of the Gods by taking the shuttle from downtown Colorado Springs. The shuttle runs every 30 minutes from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Entrance Fee of Garden of the Gods

There is no entrance fee to explore Garden of the Gods, making it a great option for families on a budget. 

Opening Hours of Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is open from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily. 

Attractions Near Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

1.59km from Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a stunningly beautiful and unique place. Named for its unusual sandstone rock formations, it's part of the Shawnee National Forest and a popular recreational spot. Visitors can take in scenic views from the observation trail or go off-trail to explore even more dramatic areas within the park. Whether it's just to take a break or to enjoy outdoor activities like camping, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, or bird watching; Garden of the Gods offers something for everyone.

Rim Rock National Recreation Trail

Rim Rock National Recreation Trail

8.54km from Garden of the Gods

This is a beautiful and challenging 5.1-mile hiking trail that gives visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The hike starts with an uphill climb through a shady forest, then traverses along rocky ridgelines before arriving at an exposed cliff overlook. Along the way, hikers will find unique geological formations, wildflowers in bloom, and diverse wildlife. This trail takes roughly 3 hours to complete and can be strenuous at times due to the steep ascents.

Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

17.19km from Garden of the Gods

Lusk Creek Canyon Nature Preserve offers plenty of outdoor activities and stunning views. Situated in the Shawnee National Forest, the spectacular natural area includes a variety of pristine habitats from limestone canyons to rocky terrain, meadows, marshlands and forests. Miles of hiking trails throughout the preserve traverse hills and dales with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and overlooks for spectacular sunrises or sunsets.

Burden Falls

Burden Falls

23.89km from Garden of the Gods

Burden Falls is one of the Midwest's most beloved natural attractions. Located in the Shawnee National Forest, Burden Falls features cascading waterfalls up to 75 feet high, with the multi-tiered falls embedded in a picturesque sandstone woodland. Visitors can spot an abundance of wildlife from eagles soaring overhead to deer on the trails, as well as various fish species found in pools at the base of the falls. For those looking for an extra adventure, a 25-mile hiking loop is available.

Cave-In-Rock State Park

Cave-In-Rock State Park

24.39km from Garden of the Gods

Cave-In-Rock State Park offers a unique and remarkable experience to any nature enthusiast. Situated along the Ohio River, this state park is popular for its namesake, a fascinating landmark featured on the Register of National Natural Landmarks. This 55 feet tall cave was formed by wave erosion of the river and offers incredible panoramic views of the surrounding area from both inside and outside it. Visitors can also explore many nearby trails that lead to the many waterfalls.

Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest

28.07km from Garden of the Gods

Shawnee National Forest, is a beautiful and eclectic mix of nature. The area is teeming with a diverse array of flora and fauna, from bald cypress trees to long-eared foxes. In addition to its many wonders of nature, Shawnee National Forest also features stunning rock formations like Garden of the Gods which make for an unforgettable experience. Visitors to the forest can enjoy activities like hiking, camping, horseback riding, birdwatching, fishing and more as they take in all it has to offer.

Discover More Attractions in Prowers County, Home of Garden of the Gods

Prowers County

Prowers County

5 attractions

Prowers County is a quaint, rural destination situated in southeastern Colorado. The county seat is Lamar, and the largest city is Holly. The region is known for its agriculture and livestock production, as well as its abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting in the nearby mountains, or exploring the many trails and parks in the area. Prowers County also offers a variety of unique shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to

Location of Garden of the Gods