By receiving this highest standard of recognition, Gold Standard Sites are exemplary models, encouraging other public lands to ensure that Leave No Trace education is part of everyone’s experience when spending time outdoors. Learn more about what it means to be a Gold Standard Site here.
The towering red rock formations of the Garden of the Gods Park come alive when you visit the free Visitor and Nature Center and explore the geology, plants, animals and people of this amazing 1,341.3-acre regional park, located at 1805 North 30th Street in Colorado Springs. This incredible city-owned park is truly one of a kind. The site is a National Natural Landmark, having been recognized by the Department of the Interior as "a nationally-significant natural area." It offers towering sandstone formations, a wonderful view of Pikes Peak, paved and unpaved hiking paths, the historic Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, a living history museum, placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1971, and many other amenities.
The park was given to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909 by the children of railroad magnate Charles Elliot Perkins, in fulfillment of his wish that it be kept forever open and free to the public. As a result, this amazing park can be enjoyed free of charge.
Some activities and features include guided nature walks, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails, road biking and technical rock climbing.
November 1 - April 30: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m.
May 1 - October 31: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Weddings and other ceremonies at Garden of the Gods
View information for holding a wedding or another event at Garden of the Gods can be found at ColoradoSprings.gov/parks-recreation-and-cultural-services/page/garden-gods-weddings.
Ideas for your Garden Experience:
For the photographer, there's the most spectacular scenery in Colorado Springs. You can take great photos of Gateway and Balanced Rocks from their respective parking lots. Or, try the Siamese Twins trail for a unique view of Pikes Peak framed by a beautiful rock formation.
For active folks, there are miles of trails to explore. Start at the main parking lot for easy, concrete foot paths through the heart of the red rock formations. From the South Garden parking lot there are approximately 5 miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding. In addition, all one-way roads in the park have paved bike lanes.
If you like a more personal touch, you can enjoy free naturalist-led walks, daily 10:30 a.m., that present fascinating lore about wildflowers, rattlesnakes, gold-seekers and many other topics. Guided walks are $5, and reservations are required. Call the Visitor and Nature Center at (719) 219-0108 for reservations and a schedule of additional walks led by City of Colorado Springs interpreters. Special programs are offered year-round and some may require a reservation. School Programs are offered during the school year and Junior Ranger Programs are available as well.
Garden of the Gods Nature Presentations also take place on a daily basis at the Visitor Center. They are free, last about 30 minutes, and explore a wide variety of topics, including the geology, ecology, wildlife and the cultural history of the Park. For more information call (719) 219-0108.
Technical climbing is permitted on established routes inside the park.
Leave No Trace
Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles
The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services department is proudly partnered with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in order to promote environmental stewardship and safeguard the natural, cultural, and historical resources that make Colorado Springs such a fantastic place to live and visit. Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles to help keep our parks, trails, and open spaces healthy and sustainable. Learn more at lnt.org
|Plan ahead and prepare. Stop by our Visitor and Nature Center to pick up a free park map, and plan your route. Please bring plenty of water and dress appropriately for the current weather. Colorado’s weather changes fast, so dress in layers.|
|Travel on durable surfaces. Please stay on established trails at all times. With well over 4 million visitors a year it does not take much off trail activity for our sensitive vegetation to quickly die off. You must have a climbing permit and technical climbing gear to rock climb. All chalk and chalk substitutes are banned from the park. Familiarize yourself with seasonal climbing route closures before you get to the park.|
|Dispose of waste properly. There are bear resistant trash cans throughout the park for your use. Pet waste must be picked up and disposed of. Disposing of waste properly not only makes the park more enjoyable for the visitors that come after you, but also protects wildlife from the spread of disease.|
|Leave what you find. There are plenty of wonderful sights around Garden of the Gods and many people want something to help remember their trip. The best memento to take with you is a picture of your trip. Please don’t take any rocks or plants with you. Due to our high visitation, even removing one pebble or small stick quickly adds up and deprives the park of needed resources.|
|Be careful with fire. No solid fuel fires are allowed in Garden of the Gods. The park gets very little precipitation throughout the year which makes it dry and incredibly easy for fires to quickly spread. There is also no smoking allowed on park trails.|
|Respect wildlife. Use the “Rule of Thumb” to give wildlife appropriate space. Outstretch one arm and stick your thumb up, closing one eye. If you can’t completely cover an animal with your thumb, then you might be too close. Keep all pets on leash and on trail. Please leave the area if your pet appears to be stressing and frightening wildlife. Never attempt to feed or touch wildlife. Doing so can result in serious injury or death for you and the wildlife.|
|Be considerate of others. Be observant of other visitors in the park and be mindful of the “Yield Triangle”. Horseback riders always have the right-of-way, while cyclists must always yield to walking pedestrians and horseback riders. Be sure not to take up the whole trail, and allow others to pass if they are moving quicker. Please don’t listen to music or loud phone calls at a level where others can hear it.|
© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:
More Garden of the Gods educational videos about Leave No Trace.
Visitor and Nature Center
The FREE world-class Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is your gateway to the Park. Enjoy over 30 new state-of-the-art interactive exhibits showcasing the rich history, geology, flora and fauna found in the Park. See the world’s only Theiophytalia kerri dinosaur unique to the Park.
Learn how the amazing red rocks got there with the new Geo-Trekker Movie experience, shown every 20 minutes. The most visited attraction in the Pikes Peak region, the Center offers free park maps and information, guided nature walks, daily interpretive presentations, Café, and award winning gift shop. Proceeds benefit Garden of the Gods Park. For more information please visit www.GardenofGods.com.
- 1805 N. 30th Street (at Gateway Road)
- Phone: (719) 634-6666
Commercial Use Permits
Individuals, companies or organizations seeking to conduct commercial activity in Garden of the Gods Park must apply for a commercial use permit. If an individual/organization receives any form of compensation for what they are providing they are considered to be conducting a commercial activity/use. Examples include:
- Guided Rock Climbing
- Guided Talks, Hikes, and Walking Tours
- Guided Scooter, Mountain Biking, Road Cycling and E-Assist Bicycle Tours
- Scooter and Bicycle Rentals
- Commercial Bus or Vehicle Tours
- Guided Hiking and Walking Tours with Any Type of Animal (Llama, Wolves, Dogs, Etc.)
- Art Workshops
- Exercise/ Yoga Classes
- Day Camps and Summer Camps
- Other Commercial Activities
To learn more or apply for a Garden of the Gods Park commercial use permit, visit www.gardenofgods.com/permits
Commercial Photography, Video and Drone Use
Commercial photography, video and drone use within the Park requires a permit through the Office of Special Events.
At this time, professional photo or video projects where the final product is for the customer's personal use do not require a permit (this includes weddings, engagement photos, graduation photos, etc.) The Parks Recreation and Cultural Services Department is considering a permitting process for this type of use. Please visit the Commercial photography, video and drone use page for more information.
Drone photography is only permitted with expressed written consent (see Drone Policy).