How many people visit the park each year?
Annually an estimated six million visitors per year from all 50 states and more than 60 countries discover the beauty and history of the 1,367-acre Garden of the Gods Park, which has been designated as a National Natural Landmark.
Is Garden of the Gods free to visit?
Yes, both the Park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.
Do I need a reservation to visit Garden of the Gods?
No advance reservations are required to visit the park itself, however special activities and events held throughout the year — such as guided nature walks or rock climbing lessons — may require reservations or ticket purchases in advance.
Where can I find a map of the park?
Click the link below to view or download a PDF map of the park.
Garden of the Gods Park Map
How long does it take to go through Garden of the Gods Park?
The average visitor spends at least 90 minutes to 2 hours exploring the park, especially if driving from location to location. However, depending on which activities you'd like to participate in — such as rock climbing, long hikes or nature walks — visitors can expect to spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours in the park. Visits can also be much shorter — as quick as 20 or 30 minutes — if just driving through the park, depending on how quickly traffic moves through the park.
Can you drive through Garden of the Gods?
Yes, you can drive through Garden of the Gods Park. There are several parking areas throughout the park. The northern parking area is an ideal location to park for those wishing to explore the Central Garden, conveniently accessed via a paved trail from the lot. This northern lot is also the starting point for most nature walks and is home to a restroom. Additional parking areas can be found at the Spring Canyon Trailhead, South Garden Parking Lot, Balanced Rock Area, High Point Overlook, Spring Canyon South Picnic Area and Scotsman Picnic Area. Smaller vehicle pull-offs are also available throughout the park.
When is the best time of day to visit Garden of the Gods Park?
Visiting early or late in the day is recommended for visitors looking to avoid crowds.
Is the Garden of the Gods a National Park?
The Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs.
Where is Garden of the Gods Park located?
The main entrance for Garden of the Gods Park is located at 1805 N. 30th Street in Colorado Springs, Colorado, approximately 70 miles from Denver, Colorado.
How did Garden of the Gods form?
The park’s famous red rocks formed millions of years ago due to upheavals in the earth’s surface and erosion. The rocks are conglomerates of red, pink, and white sandstones and limestone. You can travel back in time to learn more about the history of these rock formations by watching an entertaining 15-minute film during your visit to the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. There is a small fee for the film.
Are dogs allowed in Garden of the Gods Park?
Yes, dogs are allowed on a leash throughout the park. An off-leash area is south of Gateway Road near the main entrance and Rock Ledge Ranch. Please pick up after your pet, it is the law.
What is the elevation at Garden of the Gods?
Garden of the Gods sits at about 6,400 feet or 1,951 meters above sea level. Find more tips on high-altitude travel here.
How far is Garden of the Gods from Manitou Incline and other attractions?
Below are approximate times from Garden of the Gods to nearby attractions and points of interest.
Should I visit the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center?
We highly recommend a stop inside Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center before heading into the park for insider tips on the best trails, access to maps, food and refreshments, as well as the most spectacular view of the garden as it frames Pikes Peak-America's Mountain. Inside you can also find educational exhibits, a fun 15-minute HD video on the formation of the park and a gift shop.
Where is the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center located?
The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is located at 1805 N. 30th Street in Colorado Springs.
What are the hours of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center?
- Memorial Day - Labor Day: 9 am - 6 pm
- Labor Day - Memorial Day: 9 am - 5 pm
- Entry into the Visitor & Nature Center is free and open to the public.
- Tickets must be purchased to see the fun and educational film about how the red rocks got there.
- Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day.
Who donated Garden of the Gods Park and when was it founded?
The answer to that question is a story of friendship, of a strong commitment to the common good and of children fulfilling their father’s dream. This part of the story begins in 1879 when General William Jackson Palmer, founder of the city of Colorado Springs, convinced his good friend, Charles Elliott Perkins to buy 240 acres of land known as the Garden of the Gods. In 1899, Perkins purchased another 240 acres and in his letters to General Palmer, expressed his desire to donate his 480 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. Perkins was undoubtedly influenced by General Palmer, who already had donated more than 1,000 acres of his own land to become public city park lands.
In 1907, Charles Perkins died before he had officially arranged for the Garden of the Gods in Colorado to become a public park. However, knowing their father’s wish for the Garden, Perkins’ children deeded the 480-acre Garden of the Gods to the City of Colorado Springs on December 22, 1909, with the stipulation that it remain “free to the entire world.” Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado is currently owned by the City of Colorado Springs.
Today the original 480-acre Perkins land donation, “a gift of inestimable value”, forms the center of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which now totals 1,367 acres. It still is free and will always be “Kept forever free to the world.”
Why is it called "Garden of the Gods"?
The first European explorers referred to this site as Red Rock Corral. Then, in 1859 a new group of surveyors explored the site and one gentleman remarked that the area would be a great location for a beer garden. His companion retorted that this place of incredible beauty was suited for more than just a beer garden, that it was a place fit for gods to assemble. And that’s how “Garden of the Gods” got its name!
Can you do Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods in one day?
Yes, absolutely! There are a number of efficient ways to reach the summit of Pikes Peak in a timely manner, such as the Broadmoor Manitou Pikes Peak Cog Railway, as well as van, bus or jeep tours that travel Pikes Peak Highway. These leave plenty of time to explore Garden of the Gods Park as well, either by car or by foot.