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Insider Secrets To The Garden of the Gods


Garden of the Gods, located in Colorado Springs, is truly a place of heavenly beauty. For years, visiting this national park has been a must for us. Now that we have hiked all over the area, we're happy to share with you insider tips for getting the best views while you are there. As an added bonus, most of the views do not involve crowds!

Upon arriving at the national park, we highly recommend stopping in the visitors center and taking advantage of the local knowledge through the volunteers. They are always excited to meet new people and can give you the best tips on where to park, what time the guided tours take place, and the famous spots to see.




Where To Park

Parking can be quite a hassle at this national park as it is a very popular destination in Colorado and the parking lots are quite small. We highly recommend not stopping at the first few parking lots. Ultimately, it's a waste of time as they are very crowded and if you are looking for a different way to see Garden of the Gods, take the non-traditional path and head further down into the park. 

All of the parking lots have trailheads that will connect you to the main path to each of the famous sports in the park. Take advantage of the free map from the visitors center as it is a great guide when you are on the trails. 


What to Wear

For the most part, the trails are rock and sand. If you are visiting Colorado Springs in the summer, we suggest being as comfortable as possible! For us, that meant Nike shoes, athletic shorts, and dry-tech tees. Additionally, we brought along a Camelbak backpack full of water, a Gatorade, and a protein bar. We planned to hike for quite some time. Also, if you are there in the summer take sunscreen! 



Where to Hike 

The park has a main area that is a cement sidewalk, which circles around the big red rocks (see next image). This is definitely a very popular area. There is a lot of rock climbing, crowds, and guided tours going on. This is also where you will walk amongst the spires. For us, while the area was beautiful and worth a quick stroll, we were ready to get back on the rocky trail. The image you see below was taken from a higher up vantage point where we were away from the crowds and off the beaten path.



How To Plan Your Visit

First, reading up on posts like this is definitely a good place to start! We consult a lot of travel blogs before we head out. Having that "insider" information helps us to plan and travel wisely. In addition to checking out other blogs, we suggest consulting Pinterest, books at your local library, and the official Garden of the Gods website: http://www.friendsofgardenofthegods.org/Default.aspx 

If you're not so interested in hiking and would rather just drive through the park and check out the famous spots. Of course, we do caution that some of the sites, like the Siamese Twins, are near impossible to see from a car.





Also, be prepared for crowds. Especially around the popular sites, like the balanced rock. There really is not a best time of day to visit the park. Garden of the Gods is internationally known and is always busy! This is why we once again strongly suggest parking your car and opting for a nice afternoon hike.




Must See Sites 

There are a number of beautiful spots to see at Garden of the Gods. In our next post, we will share the best ones with you!  


Have you visited Garden of the Gods? What are some of your insider secrets? 






1 comment

  1. Love the photo overlooking the GOG. Great tips! Hope to travel there soon!

    ReplyDelete