One of the reasons I love visiting Colorado is how easy it is to discover new things to do and sights to see. Known as the Garden Of The Gods, this tranquil park got it’s namesake in 1859 from two surveyors from nearby Colorado City who happened to stumble upon the rock formations while exploring the area. As is all too often the case, namesake rights goes to the first white guy to brag about something he discovered, instead of the locals who have known of the existence of that place/species for generations.
Sunrise at Garden Of The Gods
Exploring Garden Of The Gods
The beautiful thing about the Garden Of The Gods — aside from the obvious natural beauty — is that this park is 100% free to the public and always will be. The park itself consists of a few main roads looping around the red rocks with numerous scenic overlooks and photo spots, as well as trails for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding.
Once you have had your fix of the free mountain views and explored all you can around the park, follow it up with a brief visit by the Garden Of The Gods Visitor & Nature Center located just a few hundred yards down the road from the entrance to the park. Just like any other national park souvenir shop, this place has it all. From historical items, local gems, books, artwork, clothes, postcards, native species of flowers, and anything and everything else you would expect to find, this place has it.
Winter at Garden Of The Gods
Oh sorry, does walking require too much effort? Try one of the Segway tours operated by the visitor center instead of shuffling your feet. Why use this skill we’ve been perfecting since we were one year old when we can waste half the afternoon learning how to operate some crazy new 21st century technology that will be obsolete in another decade. (Note: These are not free — only walking is free. But if nothing else will talk you into it, maybe the financial benefits will.)
The visitor center also provides a wealth of information about Colorado, the Garden Of The Gods history, and of course the nearby Pikes Peak. Additional knowledge can be gained by watching (and that means paying) for the visitor center’s informational movies, which run on a loop every 15 minutes in the miniature movie theater.