Thursday, May 26, 2016

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a public park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It's an easy drive off of Interstate 25 and is open almost 24 hours (Summer 5am to 11pm and Winter 5am to 9pm). The park is composed of red rock formations with an excellent view of Pikes Peak. There is a visitor center containing a gift shop, snack bar, interactive map and a small exhibit about the park. You can walk, hike, bike ride and picnic here (we picnicked both times we were here) all for FREE. Yep, totally free - unless, of course, you choose to purchase something at the gift shop or snack bar.







Native tribes, including Apache, Commanche and Ute, have camped on this land using the rock formations for shelter. It was purchased in 1879 - well, 480 acres of it - and was given to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909 with the provision that it would become -and remain- a free public park.




















The visitor center is located directly across the street from the park entrance and should be your first stop. There is a information desk and exhibit about the park on the first floor and then the gift shop, snack bar and interactive map on the second - with elevators for those who cannot climb stairs. Best of all, is the postcard perfect scene from the outdoor deck - don't forget to get a photo from here!



The rock formations in the park have names - especially the more iconic ones like Balancing Rock. In the 1890's the Goerke family started charging 25 cents to have your photo taken with Balancing Rock (they took and processed the photo there in a photography shop they set up) and eventually purchased it, and Steamboat Rock. They put a fence up around it to charge admission. When the fence was finally taken down, and the city took possession, there was a crowd assembled to cheer the dismantling of their empire.










I think my favorite part of the park is the fantastic view looking over the city of Colorado Springs, the Manitou Incline and Pikes Peak. Drive up Ridge Road to "High Point" to see some beautiful scenery.






















If you're near Colorado Springs, head to Garden of the Gods for a pretty place for a hike, or a walk, or just to enjoy a picnic lunch. (You can also rock climb - you must obtain a permit at the Visitors Center - and horseback ride for a fee) It's easy to get to and you can take as long as you like - an hour or a day. And it's FREE.


This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner and Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute!











22 comments:

  1. Beautiful scenery. The rock formations really add to the area. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Thanks - and thanks for visiting!

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  2. Love the holding up the rock photo - I never think to do things like that! I love the contrast of rocks and sky.

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    1. I pretty much forget to do those kinds of photos also - I'm giving credit to my daughter who remembered! Thanks for stopping by

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  3. I am reading this in Scottsdale, Arizona this week and am reminded of the striking similarities in the landscape. Beautiful photos!

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    1. I've not been to Scottsdale but I've been to Sedona and find them remarkably similar also. Thanks so much and thanks for visiting!

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  4. I vaguely remember visiting Garden of the Gods when I was a kid on family vacation. I remember it being incredibly beautiful!

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    1. It is very beautiful - but I do love a desert landscape with a mountain view! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I'd love to go hike here!! Beautiful photos!!

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    1. Thanks - and thanks for visiting!

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  6. I am not sure if you can still do it but you used to be able to take a Segway Tour through the Garden of the Gods. David and I had one booked years ago but got rained out - apparently they don't work (or aren't safe or something in heavy rain). It would be a great place to do one though.

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    1. Wow - a segway tour would be so much fun! I didn't see anything about it in the Visitor Center but would definitely love to do that!

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  7. Lovely rock formations. Good to know that the park is free for the public. Thanks for sharing this #WeekendWanderlust.

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    1. Thanks! And I'm so happy that it's free also - I love when someone had the forethought to give land and it keep it available for the public. Especially such a beautiful parcel of land. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Wow Jill - what an amazing landscape. Those rock formations are just incredible! The segway tour through the Garden of the Gods sounds like a fantastic idea! :-)

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    1. I love the rock formations also - thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I didn't visit the Garden of Gods. It looks very much like some parts of Arizona, doesn't it? Thanks for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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    1. It does look alot like Arizona! Thanks for visiting!

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  10. Stunning mountains views! Beautiful photos!!

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    1. Thank you - and thanks for visiting!

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  11. What an intriguing name for a park. I really wonder what the history is behind the naming of the park? Any idea?

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    1. According to Google, when the surveyors were surveying the land, one said that it looked like a great place for a beer garden. And the other said, "Beer garden? Why it's a fit place for the gods to assemble!" I'm not sure if that's fact - or legend - but that's how it was named apparently.

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