I have heard a lot about the Colorado, but haven’t been there. The Colorado is famous for the mountains and it attracts a lot of hikers and skiers all around the year. I had only 3 days for my trip and I wanted to take out most of it. As I was very tight on schedule better to make a feasible itinerary. I took a flight to Denver Airport and used a rental car for the whole trip. After my trip, I would say the Colorado is the second most scenic state in the USA. The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Spring was the very 1st destination of my trip. When I started writing this article, 1st time in my life I felt I didn’t have words to describe what I had seen. The beauty of nature was so amazing the words don’t do justice to describe it.
Tip to explore Garden of Gods
- Most important thing to keep in mind is you can face any weather in Colorado Springs at any time so be ready. We had seen heavy snow in April.
- Make your itinerary first and then book a hotel nearby your attractions so you don’t have to drive back and forth and waste time.
- Wear proper shoes which comfortable to walk.
- Get a rental car from the airport if you are flying to Denver that will be convenient.
- If you are planning for hiking then wear shorts or comfortable bottoms for a safety.
- If you are planning to stone climbing, you have to obtain a permit and bring all your gears.
- There are an only visitor center and cafe to get food and drink so get your necessity before you enter in Garden of the Gods park.
Garden of the Gods in Colorado Spring
In the Garden of Gods park, you can see red rock formations created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line million years ago. There are more than 13 types of rock formation and they had given the names to all of them. If you like nature and hiking on trails then you will love this place.
Colorado Springs has a lot to offer. Specially Scenic drives, Historic Landmark, Rock formations, and mountains. Don’t get confuse while planning your trip order the Colorado vacation guide. Its free of charge, but it takes a time to reach so best to order before 2-3 weeks.
This park is free. You can see amazing rock formations at Garden of the Gods. First, go to the visitor center and grab a map. You can also download map online from here. They also have a short movie on how the rock formation occurred. Also, don’t forget to check out the view from the terrace of the visitor center and take a glimpse of the park. Camping is not permitted in this park and rock climbing needs special permission. If you like hiking then I would suggest you spare a full day to explore the park. Major roads in the park have one way and people will be walking on the trail so be careful while driving and the park has designated parking spots so better to park in one parking lot and walk around hiking trail.
Hiking, biking, and horseback riding offer unique views and experiences of the Garden. Please keep in mind that due to the highly erosive soils in the western portion of the Park, mountain biking is permitted off-road ONLY within the designated mountain bike area. Daily 10 am and 2 pm. Park naturalists will take you on a 45-minute walk expo among the geology, history, flora and fauna of the Park. Walks are conducted on various trails throughout the park. Check at the Visitor Center for more information.
It would be great if you follow the path indicated as in the map so you can cover all the rock formations one by one. I have started with the Gateway road, So very first I saw the white rock which you will see from the car. The further you follow the road you will see a parking lot near Tower of Babel. You park in the parking lot and walk down to see other rock formation near it.
From the parking lot when you start walking very 1st you will see the Tower of Babel. As you walk further you will see Kissing Camel on the top of the rock and Signature rock on the right side of the trail. On the Left side, you can see the White rock.
This trail leads further to the junction where four different trail routes meet. I found North Gateway and south gateway rock formation. In the middle of both this rock check Sentinel Rock. The Sentinel Rock is also known as Twin Spires. I saw some people doing rock climbing. Rock climbing is only one adventure, which I have a fear of so I am not trying anyway. After seeing all this rock formation we head back to the parking lot. If you follow the parallel path of the South Gateway formation it leads you to the Cathedral rock, Sleeping giant and Keyhole window but we are keeping the hike shorter as we have less time.
I have left this parking lot and drive further. Now as I drive further Gateway road divided in Juniper Way loop and Garden Drive. I took the Juniper Way loop because I wanted to finish one portion first. I head to the Juniper loop and parked in the very 1st parking lot on the road near upper loop trail and Three graces rock formation.
Juniper Way loop
These will be a long trail, so maybe you can take a break at intervals. You might not get a bench to sit, but you can sit on the ground that’s fine. You can start with Pulpit rock and follow the path through Cathedral Spires, three graces, and Keyhole window.
This was a one way so now I have to follow this loop road and get on the Gateway road again to get on the Garden loop. It was almost lunch time so instead of going to the diner we thought to find a place where picnic tables are available so we can have lunch in the park only. Hence, after watching an amazing rock formation we look into the map to find picnic area. We found picnic area near Scotsman Rock.
We get on Gateway road again and followed garden loop road this time. When we pass by the Tower of Babel parking lot, we saw people are keep coming even in the afternoon. I am glad we started early so got enough time and less crowded. We went to Scotsman rock, it has parking, restrooms and picnic tables, so good spot to have your food and rest a while.
The next must see rock formation is Siamese twins. You can keep parked your car in the same parking lot or you can take it to the next parking area. From both the parking lot you can take a trail to hike. We took Siamese Twins Trail. This trail is quite rocky and has big steps to climb. All though the hike is worth the view. There is a little window made by this twin rock and you will get beautiful mountain view from that window.
At last, we left with only three rock formation which are Balanced rock, Steamboat rock and Toad and toadstool rock. You can take a trail from the same parking lot but as we were running out of time we decided to drive. There is a small pullover area near the rock formation. Both Balanced rock and Steamboat rock and opposite to each other and it will not take much time.