What's the best way to experience the garden?
Garden of the Gods Park is set to welcome visitors for a quiet morning in the park during the fourth Motorless Morning on Sunday, Oct. 6.
No motor vehicles in the park, you say? Then what’s the best way to experience the garden?
Depends who you ask.
To set aside one morning each spring and each fall for Garden of the Gods Park and the wildlife that call it home to take a deep breath and reset. Without vehicular traffic, the natural sights and sounds of the garden come alive for visitors to experience the park in a whole new way.
Without cars, the park’s winding roadways beckon to cyclists and joggers, skaters and dog walkers, offering the chance for a wide variety of user groups to join together, slow down and enjoy the splendor of this wonderful city park.
While the popular event eliminates motor vehicle traffic in the park from 6 a.m.-noon, there are many ways to enjoy the park this Sunday. Past events have welcomed cyclists, joggers, skaters, hikers, dog walkers and even skateboarders, who aren’t usually allowed in the garden.
The magnificent views and freedom of the winding road without cars is attractive to many. And, this is both wonderful and challenging.
In order to make the event safe for everyone and to encourage recreational empathy (aka. respect for the experience of other users), Slow Zones staffed by friendly volunteers will be in place throughout the park. If you’ve ever been skiing or snowboarding, these zones will be very familiar to you!
The creation of these slow zones is just one of the results of community input received from many different user groups – all who want to work together to keep this event safe and successful for years to come. To collect this input, Parks’ staff brought together skateboarders, roller skaters, cyclists, joggers and hikers to brainstorm the best ways to safely share the road during Motorless Morning, which is still a pilot program.
Out of this process, came a shared vision and etiquette that we encourage you to embrace and familiarize yourself with before attending on Sunday. And, tell a friend.
- No motor vehicles are allowed. Even though there are no cars, there are many different ways that people use the road during this event. Share the road and be aware of your surroundings.
- Slow down and enjoy. The speed limit is 20 mph throughout the park.
- Respect all of the marked SLOW ZONES. They are in place for everyone’s safety.
- Follow the marked one-way traffic and do not go against traffic for the safety of others.
- During the event, the bike lane is not designated for bikes. Slower traffic should use the right side of the road, and passing should occur on the left.
- People downhill of you have the right of way. Control your speed and announce yourself to others when attempting to pass.
- Even when you’re not on a hill, it’s always a good idea to make your presence known to other users, particularly when approaching from behind.
- Please don’t block the road. Allow room for other users to pass safely. You may need to form a single file line, or in some areas step to the side to let others pass.
- Pets are welcome, but must be on leash at all times and all pet waste removed. Be aware of the length of your leash and your surroundings.
- E-assist bicycles are allowed, as are all other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMD). View the City’s OPDMD policy. Skateboards are also allowed, on the road only.
- Stay alert. Always be on the lookout for other users. Wear only one earbud while listening to music for both personal safety and awareness.
- The park has unique and sensitive soil that is easily damaged. Even one person off trail can create decades of destruction. Protect the park by staying on official trails.
- The rocks in the park are easily damaged. Do not mark, carve or ride on them. Skates, skateboards, bikes and other equipment can cause significant damage to the rock formations.
- Horseback rides on designated trails can be scheduled with Academy Riding Stables. If you bring your horse to the park, ride only on designated trails.
- Rock Climbing Permit and safety gear are required for any rock climbing activities inside the park. You can get a permit online or at the information desk in the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.
- There are areas inside the park for bouldering. You must have a climbing permit and climbing safety pads are recommended.
Park officials will be actively working to encourage this etiquette during the event. We hope all users will help us continue to hold these special mornings in the spirit in which they were created!