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Discover America’s Favorite Park

By: Stewart M. Green

The Garden of the Gods, a 1,368-acre Colorado Springs park, is simply one of Colorado’s most beautiful natural destinations. America's favorite park, visited by over a million people annually, is rated as the #1 city park in the United States by TripAdvisor. It earns this distinction with its towering sandstone formations, gorgeous views of Pikes Peak, and sculptural geological beauty. The compact park, nestled in an open valley below the Rampart Range, offers a variety of stunning views in every season. A scenic drive loop circles the Garden, passing parking lots, trailheads, and overlooks. The best way to see the Garden of the Gods is to hike the over 15 miles of trails that twist among the soaring rocks, ride a bicycle on the scenic drive, or put fingers and feet to stone and climb the sandstone rock formations.

The Gateway between North and South Gateway Rocks frames 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, America’s most famous mountain. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Stars dot the night sky above North Gateway Rock, the largest formation in the Garden of the Gods. The steep northern end of the rock on the right is home to thousands of white-throated swifts during the summer. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
The Mesa Overlook offers an expansive view of the Garden of the Gods and snow-covered Pikes Peak. The Garden of the Gods was donated to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909 by the children of railroadman Charles Elliot Perkins with his wish that it remain free and open to the public. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Pikes Peak, named for explorer Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, towers above North Gateway Rock at the Garden of the Gods. Pike attempted to climb the great peak in late November 1806 but failed due to deep snow and cold temperatures. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Rock formations at the Garden of the Gods expose over 300 million years of the earth’s history, including rocks deposited along ancient seashores, in massive sand dune fields, and in swamps populated by dinosaurs. The only fossil of a previously unknown dinosaur, named Theiophytalia kerri, was found at the Garden in 1878. It sat hidden in a museum collection until 2006 when Denver Museum of Nature & Science paleontologists analyzed the skull and determined it to be a new species. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Fresh snow covers a ridge on White Rock, South Gateway Rock, and Gray Rock on a winter morning at the Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Frosted scrub oak trees form a wintery counterpoint to the red sandstone walls of North Gateway Rock at the Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
A blanket of frost covers trees north of High Point at the Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Snow falls across the central Garden in this view from the Garden of the Gods Overlook on the scenic drive. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
The east faces of North Gateway Rock, South Gateway Rock, and Gray Rock catch early morning light on a cold winter morning. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Autumn brings golden leaves on towering cottonwoods in the southern part of the Garden of the Gods. Beyond rises the red rock ridge of Keyhole Rock and Pikes Peak. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
North Gateway Rock flares with color at sunset from a high notch below the summit of South Gateway Rock. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Storm clouds clear off the south ridge of Pikes Peak above North Gateway Rock’s ragged ridge. The natural arch at the ridge top is called the Kissing Camels, two single-humped dromedaries poised in an eternal kiss. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Fresh snow covers the Garden of the Gods and an ancient juniper tree perched on a quiet ridge. Some of the park’s junipers are over 1,000 years old. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Garden of the Gods.
Windswept snow blows off Pikes Peak above the Garden of the Gods and spiked yuccas and grass at the Mesa Overlook. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO - Stewart Green
The Garden of the Gods Overlook on the north side of the park offers the best views, with a row of towering formations, including South Gateway Rock, Gray Rock, Montezuma Tower, The Three Graces, and Keyhole Rock etched against the evening sky. Photo Credit: Stewart M. Green.

What We Believe

We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More