On my way back up to Denver I decided to make a quick stop at the Garden of the Gods. This marvel of a park is just outside Colorado Springs and offered a glorious walk through the stunning red rock formations.
From the visitor center you follow a paved path down the hill to the parking lot then continue to follow the path up to the park. There is a shuttle service that will take you to the park as well that runs every 15 minutes. But the walk is easy, although the winds today were so strong that I about lost my hat. I chased it back down the path a little ways before I could grab it.
The Garden of the Gods got the name from a couple of surveyors in 1859 who came from Denver to begin a townsite. While exploring nearby locations they came across this beautiful array of sandstone formations. When one of them said it would be a capital place for a beer garden the other exclaimed that it was more a fit place for the Gods to assemble and it should be called Garden of the Gods instead. The name stuck and it has been Garden of the Gods ever since. Then in 1871 a railroad owner named Charles Elliot Perkins bought the land. Over the years he added to the park but never built on it. He turned it into a public park and when he passed away the land was given to the city with the stipulation that it remain a free park and the natural beauty of it preserved. A plaque set into the rock remembers the man who gave this beautiful park to the people to be enjoyed.
The park offers an easy paved path that winds through the formations. Surrounding the formations are hundreds of miles of trails for walking or biking. And for those looking for some serious rock climbing they can bring their gear and with a permit scale the rock faces. This park is also dog friendly and offers a dog park by the parking lot for pups to play after walking with you through the beautiful red rocks.
These formations are works of art. Each one has intricate patterns of holes and grooves as it reaches skyward with impressive height. They are stunning against the blue sky. They have made this park accessible to anyone, no matter the physical ability. It is clear that Mr. Perkins wanted this to be a park for everyone to come and enjoy the majestic natural beauty.
I walked around the park soaking in the incredible views. It made me so homesick for Utah and the red rock country in the southern part of the state. Sadly I had limited time to spend there otherwise I would have spent the entire day exploring the many dirt trails that surround the park.
With one final lap around the park I tried to soak in the feel of the park and the sights of the rocks. I could not have asked for a better place to stop for a break. This is somewhere I would love to come back to and really explore more of the area and find all the rest of what the park has to share with those that come to marvel at these beautiful rocks.
Do you love epic red rock country places as much as I do? Then here are some other places to consider:
Thanks for coming along on this walk through the Garden of the Gods. May you always look to the sky in wonder.