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Garden of the Gods in Colorado

This place is gorgeous enough for Gods to assemble

Best time: all year round

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods

These impressive sandstone rock formations create a perfect background for a western movie. The iconic scenery makes the Garden of the Gods park located in Colorado Springs one of the most popular attractions in the state of Colorado with over 2 million visitors per year.

The Garden of the Gods' red rocks were created as a result of a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago. Erosion and glaciation of the rock created its unusual formation. The rocks contain evidence of the past: ancient seas, mountain ranges, sandy beaches and dunes. Many Native American tribes have lived in this valley, including Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Pawnee, Shoshone, and Ute people. The Utes believed that red rocks had a spiritual meaning.

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is one of the most iconic formations at the Garden of the Gods. This giant 700-ton sandstone is struggling to keep its balance after millions of years of erosion have removed softer layers at its base. Balanced Rock located in the heart of the Garden of the Gods is a fragile landmark since it is destined to fall sooner or later.

Now the Garden of the Gods Park is a great spot for hiking, climbing, biking and horseback riding. Most of these activities can be done in the summer when the weather is sunny and dry. Although the park is open all year round with spectacular winter hiking among snow-capped red rocks. It may close due to a snowstorm so always check their website before planning a winter trip.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to visit Garden of the Gods?

Garden of the Gods welcomes tourists year-round and each season presents a different experience. While summer is known for pleasant weather and ideal conditions for biking, climbing, horseback riding, and hiking, fall boasts beautiful foliage colors, and winter allows visitors to partake in snow-capped red rock activities. However, snowstorms may lead to park closures, and unpredictable spring weather requires careful consideration to plan a visit. Show more

Can you climb the sandstone rock formations in Garden of the Gods?

Yes, rock climbing requires a permit and is allowed only in designated areas. To climb, visitors must register beforehand with the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. The park offers climbing programs, classes, and guided climbs, but safety regulations must be followed to minimize the climber's environmental impact. Climbing activities are limited to specific rocks to prevent environmental degradation. Show more

What is the history of Native American tribes in the Garden of the Gods valley?

Throughout history, a variety of Native American tribes have resided in Garden of the Gods, including Shoshone, Kiowa, Ute, Apache, Lakota, Pawnee, Cheyenne, and Comanche people. Some tribes attributed spiritual importance to the red rocks that comprised much of the area, evident through the discovery of petroglyphs and ancient ruins. The park works with tribal authorities to protect the landmark's historical integrity and educate visitors on its significance to Native American cultures. Show more

Why is Balanced Rock considered a fragile landmark?

Balanced Rock's age and location make it a fragile landmark that will inevitably fall in the future. Geological processes have caused erosion over millions of years, removing softer layers from its base. As a result, the formation is precariously perched on a pedestal, making it famous around the world. To reduce the risk of falling rocks and prevent damage, sections attuned to the Balanced Rock are blocked off by the park management. Show more

Are there any activities available to visitors in Garden of the Gods during the winter?

Visitors can enjoy walking, snowshoe hikes, and sightseeing during the winter season in Garden of the Gods. The park management typically closes during snowstorms, and outdoor activities may be quite challenging in inclement weather conditions. Adequate preparation is crucial, with visitors bringing appropriate gear, extra water, and snacks because facilities may be shut or have reduced availability. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin