Garden of the Gods Park and Visitor Center – Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods - Visitor Center ViewRecently one of my nieces was here visiting from California and I wanted to see some natural beauty and do a little hiking.  Thus we decided to visit Garden of The Gods in Colorado Springs. I have been there a few times since moving here to Denver, but never knew how it got its name or why? I did a little research and this is what I found.

Garden of the Gods - Rocks1The area was first called Red Rock Corral. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden”. His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.Garden of the Gods - Rocks2Today, visitors 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. The Park is a unique biological melting pot where the grasslands of the Great Plains meet the pinon-juniper woodlands characteristic of the American Southwest, and merge with the mountain forest of the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. The 300 million years of geological history of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs reveal one of the most extensive pictures of earth history found anywhere in the United States.Garden of the Gods - Rocks3

Whatever it’s named, or how it became known as Garden of the Gods, it is magnificent and a true geological wonder. Like I said earlier, my niece and I visited the park last week and decided the check out the exhibits in their visitor center. Besides their geology exhibits they have a Flora & Fauna Gallery as well as a People & History gallery.Garden of the Gods - Animal RoomThey were so amazing interactive exhibits. There was one room with a lot of animals on display which was my favorite. They also had an exhibit with furs from different animals to feel. So cool. Another one that was interesting was about the different types of trees in the park. Definitely glad we stopped in before we hit the park.Garden of the Gods - TrailIt is a magnificent park with quite a few things to see and do. Hiking, bike, go horseback riding, bird watching, rock climbing, photography, and dog walking are just a few things to enjoy in the park. We drove around the park for a while then park at a trailhead and did a little hiking. It was so amazing and a perfect day.Garden of the Gods - Balanced Rock

While all the red rocks were amazing, there was something she really wanted to see, Balanced Rock.  According to a sign near Balance Rock, it was exposed more than 60 million years ago when the existing Rocky Mountains rose. To make it’s current shape, the soft, bottom layer of shale eroded much faster the harder sandstone and conglomerate above. Amazing, the narrow pedestal supporting Balanced Rock  has held the 700-ton weight for thousands of years. It was cool to compare it to the Balanced Rock in Twin Falls, Idaho. My niece had a great time running around and climbing a little to get some pictures. I think she really enjoyed herself. I admit, I had fun watching her, lolGarden of the Gods - Cassidy and meWe had a great time looking through the visitor center, shopping in the gift shop, hiking, and taking pictures all over the park.  I hadn’t been there for a while so it was great to visit again. I will not forget the last time I was there though. It was Valentines Day in 2014 and we were walking around with our dogs and saw a guy propose to his girlfriend. It had just started snowing and seemed so romantic. I loved how Gene purposed (Check out my About Us section above) but I think it would have been so cool for him to have popped the question up there. Again, I have to say, very romantic.Garden of the Gods - SignIf you are ever in the Denver area and have a chance to head down to Colorado Springs I would highly suggesting visiting this incredible park. Here is a link to their website.  If you have visited in the past, I would love to hear about your experience. Please feel free to share in the comments below. Happy travels!


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2 comments on “Garden of the Gods Park and Visitor Center – Colorado Springs
  1. Garden of The Gods is stunning – I can see why so many visitors descend to see these geological wonders! I’d never heard of them before! So thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes and enlightening me!

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