One of the West's unique geological sites, the 1,300-acre Garden of the Gods is a giant rock garden composed of spectacular red sandstone formations sculpted by rain and wind over millions of years. Located where several life zones and ecosystems converge, the beautiful city-run park harbors a variety of plant and animal communities. The oldest survivors are the ancient, twisted junipers, some 1,000 years old. The strangest animals are the honey ants, which gorge themselves on honey in the summer and fall, becoming living honey pots to feed their colonies during winter hibernation.
The park has a number of hiking trails -- mostly easy to moderate -- that offer great scenery and an opportunity to get away from the crowds. Leashed dogs are permitted on trails (owners should clean up after their pets). Many trails are also open to horseback riding and mountain biking. You can get trail maps for the park at the visitor center, which also offers exhibits on the history, geology, plants, and wildlife of the area; a cafeteria; and other conveniences.
A 12-minute multimedia theater presentation, How Did Those Red Rocks Get There? ($5 adults, $2 children 5-12, free for children under 5), newly remade by local filmmaker John Bourbonais in 2008 in high-definition with a unique BluRay projection system, is an excellent introduction to the geologic history of the area. In summer, park naturalists lead free 45-minute walks through the park and conduct free afternoon interpretive programs. You can also take a 20-minute bus tour of the park ($5 adults, $2.50 children 5-12, free for children under 5). You may spot technical rock climbers on some of the park spires; they are required to register at the visitor center.
Also in the park is the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask Colorado Springs Locals about Garden of The Gods
- Very Highly Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: +1 719 634 6666
- fax: +1 719 632 0781
- 1805 N 30th St
- Colorado Springs, CO 80904
- Park May-Oct daily 5am-11pm; Nov-Apr daily 5am-9pm. Visitor Center Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 8am-8pm; Labor Day to Memorial Day daily 9am-5pm
- No Sweat
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