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Best Hikes in the Garden of the Gods

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Colorado Springs' famous rock formations.

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Photo: Shutterstock


The Garden of the Gods is Colorado Springs' most famous park, containing stunning geological formations of uplifted red rock fins. These staggeringly-beautiful rocks attract over two million visitors per year to the park, making it the most popular in all of Colorado Springs.

The most famous rock formations include Steamboat Rock, the Three Graces, and Balanced Rock. These and the rest of the red rock formations "are the ancient sedimentary beds of deep-red, pink and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted into 'fins' by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Rocky Mountains and the Pikes Peak massif," according to Wikipedia. Since the fins were uplifted, they've been further eroded by wind, rain, snow, and ice, creating the unique formations that you see today.

Garden of the Gods attracts sightseers, casual walkers, hikers, trail runners, rock climbers, road bikers, mountain bikers, and more. Almost anyone can enjoy this spectacular area, although rock climbing and hiking are the most prevalent sports.

In this guidebook, you'll find four hikes that will take you on different tours of this 1,341-acre natural area. These routes range from short to medium-length and easy to difficult, although none of these routes are severely or extremely technical. If you're looking for a truly technical challenge, you'll have to try your hands (and feet) at some of the technical climbing routes in the park.

The easiest of these routes is the Central Garden Trail, which is entirely paved and ADA-accessible. Next, there are two loops of roughly 4 miles included here: the Western Loop and the loop consisting of the Palmer, Buckskin-Charlie, Niobrara, and Bretag trails (among others). Finally, the full Outer Loop of the park measures over 6 miles in length, making for the longest route in this guidebook. In total, there's over 21 miles of trails in the Garden of the Gods, allowing you to mix and match to your heart's content!

Sources: https://gardenofgods.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GardenoftheGods

Routes included

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