Updated: Jul 14
Garden of the Gods is one of those places you tend to remember for a long time. Maybe it’s because of the remarkable red color of sandstone, or maybe it’s the way these other worldly gargantuan rocks stand in striking contrast to their mountainous backdrop. Whatever the reason, GOG is a place unmatchable by most.
We’re day-trippers most of the time, and for folks hailing from Denver, Garden of the Gods makes for a perfect one-day excursion. At just over an hour and a half drive, we prefer to park in the large gravel lot off of Gateway Road across 30th Street from the visitor and nature center. This lot always has plenty of available parking and is easy to cross Gateway Road and follow the red cement paved pedestrian foot path to the entrance of the park.
Walking between North Gateway Rock and the Central Gardens, we turn right following Garden Drive. If you’re feeling more adventurous, keep your eyes pealed for ascending step paths near Juniper Way Loop’s parking lot leading to a perch perfect for eating a lunch and taking in the views of Scotsman Trail and the valley below.
Once you’ve seen enough of the rolling sandstone hills and the peaks of Mount Manitou at afar, head back down the trial toward Central Gardens. Before returning to the parking lot, head north towards the Chuck Wagon pavilion and stand atop the newly constructed viewing platform, taking in the view southward for a new perspective on this otherworldly landscape.
If you didn’t eat your lunch yet, cross over North 30th Street and check out the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. They’ve got clean, modern amenities and informative exhibits coupled with a climate controlled interior incase you chose an extra hot day to visit the garden. The view from the visitor center of Garden of the Gods is something special. Pro Tip- Look for the silhouette of the Sleeping Giant amongst the massive boulders.
Normally I would suggest stopping to grab a bite to eat on your way back to Denver, but because route 25 is such a bear, I’d recommend getting on the road as soon as possible to avoid the traffic that seems synonymous with this highway. If you don’t mind taking a more leisurely route, try picking up route 105. This scenic two-lane road rides closer to the foothills and generally has less traffic. Pick up 85 west to postpone your encounter with 25.
Do you see yourself standing on this red brick platform taking in the beauty of Mother Nature's garden? Take the first step to become a full-time traveler and pick up a digital copy of our 10-Step Guide Book today! We explain every fiscally responsible step and provide resources to help you achieve every level.