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.
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
Is the Garden of the Gods a National Park?
The Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs.
How did the red rocks 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.
- Manitou Incline: Approximately 14 minutes (longer if you park in Manitou Springs, which is recommended)
- Pikes Peak Highway Toll Gate: Approximately 16 minutes
- Cave of The Winds Mountain Park: Approximately 16 minutes
- The Broadmoor Seven Falls: Approximately 22 minutes (park at Norris Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, and take shuttle)
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.
Address of Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
1805 N. 30th Street in Colorado Springs
Visitor & Nature Center Hours:
- 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.”
How was Garden of the Gods named?
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!