Garden framed by twisted Juniper Trees Photo Credit: pilgrims49 (iStock).

Photo Credit: pilgrims49 (iStock).

Considering that about 3.5 million people visit the 3,468.5 square miles of Yellowstone National Park each year, it's pretty impressive that an estimated four to 4.5 million visit the 2.09 square miles (1,341 acres) of Colorado Springs' Garden of the Gods annually.

"Partly why we make a big deal about staying on trail," read a post on the official Garden of the Gods Instagram page about the shocking statistic.

Another stat that makes the 4 million-plus visitors at Garden of the Gods even more shocking is that an estimated 2 million people were visiting the park annually as of 2014, with the park also rated as the number one park in the country that year on That means that park visitation has likely doubled in less than 10 years.

Much of this increase tends to be attributed to Colorado Springs' development and increased popularity among tourists and people looking for a new place to live.

For the sake of comparison, the most-visited national park in the country is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, attracting about 13 million people – three times as many as the Garden of the Gods. Elsewhere in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is the fourth most-visited national park in the country, attracting 4.3 million annual visitors – about the same as Garden of the Gods.

That being said, many other city parks see a higher visitation each year compared to Garden of the Gods, with the most visited park being New York City's Central Park, attracting around 42 million people in 2021. While Garden of the Gods' 4.5 million visits doesn't crack the top 10 among city parks, it likely lands the destination among the top 20 nationwide.

Garden of the Gods is best known for its massive rock formations, backdropped by sweeping views of Pikes Peak.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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(1) comment


I do believe the accompanying photo at the beginning of this article was taken illegally since that hill where this was taken has been closed for years.

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