Monday, January 3, 2022

Top things to do in Garden Of The Gods

Explorer Lens

Colorado is a very beautiful state of USA and it is home to 4 iconic national parks of USA having diverse scenery. Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery and variety of wildlife. Great Sand Dunes National Park is famous for the tallest dunes in USA and provides incredible opportunity to hike the dunes during night time. Mesa Verde National Park is home to the most ancient cliff dwellings in USA and preserves the rich pueblo culture. Black Canyon of the Gunnison has incredible scenic views which reminds you of the iconic Grand Canyon.

Though Colorado is known for these 4 national parks, but there are few state parks and places which are also incredibly beautiful and amazing and should be there on the list if you are on a roadtrip around Colorado. One of such scenic places is “Garden of the Gods”.

Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark and one of the natural wonders of Colorado.
Just outside Manitou Springs and an hour away from Denver, this 1350-acre park is best known for its breathtaking rock formations and spectacular scenery. You can explore the park through driving, hiking, biking or climbing. Garden of the Gods is free and open round the year.
Park Hours are -
May 1 - October 31: 5AM - 10PM
November 1 - April 30: 5AM - 9PM

Finally coming to the best part of the post, here are the best things to do in this natural wonder.

Major attractions in Garden of the Gods:

1. Rock Formations

The major attraction of Garden of the Gods is the incredible sandstone rock formations that are unique, huge and breathtakingly beautiful. They are of different shapes and sizes balancing in a way that seems impossible. The Pikes Peak Mountain also known as America’s mountain form jaw dropping backdrop.

2. Visitor Center

One thing I never forget while visiting a National Park is to stop at its visitor center as it is really amazing and the interactive exhibits help me understand the history and formation of the place. Garden of the Gods Visitor Center was no less and I was really amazed to see the world class interactive exhibits and theatre experience available to everyone. The scenic views of Garden of the Gods rocks and Pikes Peak from the visitor center is just a delight.
Don’t forget to take the map and souvenir.


3. Hike to see the best views and rock formations

The best way to experience the Garden of the Gods is on your own feet. There are 21 miles worth of trails which wind throughout the rock formations. Most of the trails are easy to moderate and are easily accessible. 

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The famous/great ones include the below:

- The Perkins Central Garden Trail
This is the most popular trail of the Garden of the Gods. It is fully paved and relatively flat, making it great for all ages. This 1.5-mile loop trail takes you through the heart of the park letting you see the red rock formations up close and personal.

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- The Siamese Twins Trail
This 1-mile roundtrip trail is one of the most famous hikes of the park as it not only offers epic views of the Siamese Twins rock formations and also Pikes Peak. You can be lucky to see the Pikes Peak also through the natural window of the twins.

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- The Ridge Trail
This is a slightly challenging hike that offers you a 100 feet elevation. This half mile hike leads to the huge Sleeping Giant formation.

- The Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trail
This 3-mile moderate hike is the longest in the park which circles around almost the entire park and gives you the opportunity to see most of the famous rock formations of the park.

4. Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is the most famous rock formation in the park sitting right next to the road, so you can see a lot of crowd gathered for photo opportunities at most time of the day.
As the name suggests, it looks like it could tumble at any moment.

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5. Kissing Camels

Another famous rock formation of the park is Kissing Camels. It can be seen from various trails and also from the road.

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6. Climb a Rock

Rock Climbing is one of the favorite activities to do in the Garden of the Gods. You just need to sign a free registration form and abide by the rules. If you want to learn how to climb, there are experienced guides available for that too for a fee.

Credit - Here

7. Nature Guided Walks

The park offers Guided Nature Walks by reservation ($5 per person). The walks are approximately 45-60 minutes and the topics covered are local ecology, geology and park history.

Tips from our experience and learning

1. You will need half day to cover most of the attractions, so plan your visit accordingly.
2. If you are visiting the park during summers, the day temperatures can soar significantly, so carry sunscreen and good amount of water.
3. The Red stone formations are seen best when the sun casts its golden rays on them and they create dramatic scenery with vibrant colors all around, so check the weather and plan accordingly.
4. You can also see the park while driving, but the best experience is through hiking.
5. There are various famous places at a driving distance from the Garden of the Gods, like Pikes Peak, The Broadmoor Seven Falls and Cave of The Winds Mountain Park, so you can plan to visit them also in the same day.

Garden of the Gods is a perfect visit for people from all ages, so enjoy your visit and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Explorer Lens / Author & Editor

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