Garden of the Gods

Colorado Springs, Colorado 80997

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"First, a little history. Way back in August 1859, a couple of surveyors were out doing their thing when they happened upon a beautiful swath of monolithic red sandstone formations just west of what would become modern-day Colorado Springs."

More Garden of the Gods Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Trail Runs: Denver, Boulder, & Colorado Springs (Falcon Guides)
Adam W. Chase, Nancy Hobbs, Peter Jones
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"Garden of the gods, a city park, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Colorado Springs. Famous for its prehistoric rock formations, this city park boasts 15 miles of trails, most of which are short, 0.5-mile to 1.0-mile sections joined together for a navigable 4.0-mile route around the perimeter of the park. In addition to the perimeter route, numerous trails crisscross the interior of the park, and some also lead to the gravel Rampart Range Road, which heads some 60 miles north to end at CO 67 between Sedalia and Deckers." Read more
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"Circumnavigate one of Colorado’s easily accessible scenic wonders—magical massive red rock sculpted by wind, water, and the sands of infinite geologic time. This short, easy route gives you a 360-degree view of this spectacular foothills rock garden. There are also wheelchair-accessible trails." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder (Menasha Ridge Press)
Kim Lipker
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"Garden of the Gods is a must-see, ranking up there with Pikes Peak and the U.S. Air Force Academy, for any visitor to Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods features 19 significant rock formations, and Perkins Central Garden Trail passes around more than half of them. This easy 0.9-mile round-trip trail is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers and is located in the heart of the park, at the base of the highest rock formations." Read more
Best Loop Hikes Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Steve Johnson & David Weinstein
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"Two surveyors exploring areas south of Denver in 1859 came upon a collection of dramatic sandstone formations. One of the gentlemen suggested it would be a “capital place for a beer garden.” Fortunately, his companion had clearer vision, thinking instead “it is a fit place for the gods to assemble.” So they named it Garden of the Gods, a well-chosen moniker for such a magical place. We can enjoy the enchantment thanks in large part to General William Palmer and his friend Charles Perkins. Mr. Perkins bought property in the Garden of the Gods and chose to leave his 480 acres of land in its natural state." Read more

Garden of the Gods Reviews

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Trail 360 on YouTube-Garden of the Gods is a very popular attraction in the Springs. It is well known for its breath taking rock formations and easy access for rock climbing. The contrast of red rock, green vegetation, and blue skies will have you telling others about the Garden of the Gods.
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Great for pics and some fun climbing in certain areas. An easy "hike" along a paved loop.
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This is a good family trail. Did this with my wife, 21year old nephew, and my 9 year old. We also did the Siamese Twins trail that has a little incline to it but is worth it to make it to the Window. Good picture taking opportunity, and kids love to climb on the rocks.
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Easy walk, relatively flat, well-marked, though you can wander off into residential neighborhoods. Best to not go in the summer when the park is infested with tourists.
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We visited the park in the late afternoon, with the sun shining on the western walls on the rock formations. An early morning visit would surely give a completely different experience. It was a Saturday, so the trails and roads were busy. This didn't matter, because the rocks themselves are so overpowering and it is easy to forget that there are others around. One can easily take pictures that make it seem like one is in the wild back country, rather than in a popular city park in Colorado Springs. As our time was limited, we were glad of the short hike (0.9 miles) and very slight elevation gain. The trail described is paved, and wide enough for large groups to comfortably walk close together. We will return someday for a longer walk in this beautiful park.
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This is one of the premiere trails our family has hiked in our experience. For those that live in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a part of their natural environment. For those of us who don't live in this area, this is one of the most beautiful hikes you will ever experience. The terrain is challenging on some areas and easy in others. Elevation changes are not too strenuous. It is hot during the summer months. Stay hydrated. Wear a hat. The photo opportunities on this hike are endless. Do not leave your camera at home. We have rated this hike four stars instead of five because of the excessive traffic on this trail. There are significant numbers of visitors to this park, so be patient. Overall, everyone needs to hike this trail at least once in their lifetime.

Garden of the Gods Photos

Trail Information

Colorado Springs
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
729 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
30-60 minutes
Riding Time
Mountain Biking
Additional Use