Garden of the Gods

Don’t miss one of the most incredible geological wonders of the world – right in our backyard!

Photo by Lars Leber)

Explore Colorado Springs’ paradise in one magical stop. Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300′ towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This world-class Visitor & Nature Center and museum is the most visited attraction in the region with all new interactive exhibits. Learn how the amazing red rocks got there with the NEW Geo-Trekker theater experience, shown every 20 minutes. Delight in one of Colorado’s most photographed views while eating in our glass-enclosed café or from our terrace overlooking Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Where else can you eat inside a postcard?

The Park is a unique biological melting pot where the grasslands of the Great Plains meet the pinon-juniper woodlands characteristic of the American Southwest and merge with the mountain forest of the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain.

The 300 million years of geological history of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs reveal one of the most extensive pictures of earth history found anywhere in the United States. It is a true geological wonder.

Park Location

In your GPS, use the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center for the main entrance of the park:
1805 N. 30th St. Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Park Hours

  • May 1 – October 31: 5AM – 11PM
  • November 1 – April 30: 5AM – 9PM
  • Both the park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day.

Park Activities

  • Hiking – There are 15 miles of trails in the park. The Perkins Central Garden Trail is a 1 1/2 mile paved trail that is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Stop by the Visitor & Nature Center to pick up a free map with all of the hiking and biking trails or take one of their guided walks. Take a unique hiking tour with Garden of the Gods Walkabout. Discover lesser-known trails, learn about wildlife, vegetation, geology and history all under the guidance of a trained professional.
  • Biking – Guided electric bike tours provided by Amp’d Adventures, who also rent e-Bikes and standard mountain bikes. Mountain biking is permitted on select trails in the park, and all one-way roads have paved bike lanes. View a Bike Trail Map for more details.
  • Horseback Riding – Guided horseback riding is provided by Academy Riding Stables. They offer 1 & 2 hour rides fitted for beginners and experts.
  • Other Ways to See the Park – Explore Garden of the Gods on a Segway or on a Jeep tour! Short and long tours are provided by Adventures Out West.
  • Birding – Garden of the Gods Park is listed on the Colorado Birding Trail. There are more than 15 types of birds that you can see there.
  • Rock Climbing – Rock climbing is permitted in the park. You must fill out the free registration form and abide by all rules. Want to learn how to rock climb? Check out these outfitters and they will teach you in Garden of the Gods Park.

Frequently Asked Questions About Garden of the Gods Park

How many people visit the park each year?
Annually an estimated 2 million visitors per year from all 50 states and more than 60 countries discover the beauty and history of the 1,367-acre Garden of the Gods Park, which has been designated as a National Natural Landmark.

Is Garden of the Gods free to visit?
Yes, both the Park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.

Where can I find a map of the park?
Click the link below to view or download a PDF map of the park.
Garden of the Gods Park Map

Is the Garden of the Gods a National Park?
The Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs.

How did the red rocks form?
The park’s famous red rocks formed millions of years ago due to upheavals in the earth’s surface and erosion. The rocks are conglomerates of red, pink, and white sandstones and limestone. You can travel back in time to learn more about the history of these rock formations by watching an entertaining 15 minute film during your visit to the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center.

Are dogs allowed in Garden of the Gods Park?
Yes, dogs are allowed on a leash throughout the park. An off-leash area is open south of Gateway Road near the main entrance and Rock Ledge Ranch. Please pick up after your pet, it is the law.

What is the elevation at Garden of the Gods?
Garden of the Gods sits at about 6,400 feet or 1951 meters above sea level. Find more tips on high-altitude travel here.

How far is Garden of the Gods from Manitou Incline and other attractions?
Below are approximate times from Garden of the Gods to nearby attractions and points of interest.

  • Manitou Incline: Approximately 21 minutes
  • Pikes Peak Highway: Approximately 16 minutes
  • Cave of The Winds Mountain Park: Approximately 16 minutes
  • The Broadmoor Seven Falls: Approximately 22 minutes

Should I visit the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center?
We highly recommend a stop inside Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center before heading into the park for insider tips on the best trails, access to maps, food and refreshments, as well as the most spectacular view of the garden as it frames Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain. Inside you can also find educational exhibits, a fun 15-minute HD video on the formation of the park and a gift shop.

Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center 
1805 N. 30th Street in Colorado Springs

Visitor & Nature Center Hours:

  • Memorial Day – Labor Day: 8AM – 7PM
  • Labor Day – Memorial Day: 9AM – 5 PM
  • Both the park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Day.

Who donated Garden of the Gods Park and when was it founded?
The answer to that question is a story of friendship, of a strong commitment to the common good and of children fulfilling their father’s dream. This part of the story begins in 1879 when General William Jackson Palmer, founder of the city of Colorado Springs, convinced his good friend, Charles Elliott Perkins to buy 240 acres of land known as the Garden of the Gods. In 1899, Perkins purchased another 240 acres and in his letters to General Palmer, expressed his desire to donate his 480 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. Perkins was undoubtedly influenced by General Palmer, who already had donated more than 1,000 acres of his own land to become public city park lands.

In 1907, Charles Perkins died before he had officially arranged for the Garden of the Gods in Colorado to become a public park. However, knowing their father’s wish for the Garden, Perkins’ children deeded the 480-acre Garden of the Gods to the City of Colorado Springs on December 22, 1909, with the stipulation that it remain “free to the entire world.” Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado is currently owned by the City of Colorado Springs.

Today the original 480-acre Perkins land donation, “a gift of inestimable value”, forms the center of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which now totals 1,367 acres. It still is free and will always be “Kept forever free to the world.”

How was Garden of the Gods named?
The first European explorers referred to this site as Red Rock Corral. Then, in 1859 a new group of surveyors explored the site and one gentleman remarked that the area would be a great location for a beer garden. His companion retorted that this place of incredible beauty was suited for more than just a beer garden, that it was a place fit for gods to assemble. And that’s how “Garden of the Gods” got its name!