Garden of the Gods, Colorado, USA

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Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Natural Wonder!

I just got back from our summer adventure and fell in love all over again with the beautiful state of Colorado. Colorado is magnificent any time, but summers there are absolutely amazing, especially if you are not a fan of really hot weather. It was 85 degrees Fahrenheit at the hottest while I was there, perfect in my book.

There are many beautiful cities and towns in Colorado, and one of the most beautiful with the most things to do is the whole area of Colorado Springs. (This includes Manitou Springs.) There are mountains to hike, trails to ride on for bikes or horses, rivers to raft in or fish, trains to ride up the mountains, zipline adventures, and crystal caves to explore. All in the shadow of Pike’s Peak which looms over all like a huge monument in the sky.

And while there are many adventures you can pay for, one of the most scenic hikes you can ever take is free. I’m talking about the Garden of the Gods, which is just West of Colorado Springs, in the tiny town of Manitou Springs. Ancient red rocks were thrust up from the plains before the dinosaurs ever walked there. They still remain soaring up to the sky, inspiring artists and adventurers alike, especially at Dawn or Dusk when silhouetted against the sun. You can ride your horse or your bike or just hike the park every day of the year, for free. If you are ever near Colorado Springs, don’t miss this free outdoor adventure in one of Nature’s wonderlands!

The Garden of the Gods is located in Manitou Springs, Colorado which is just outside the city of Colorado Springs, at the base of Pike’s Peak. In fact it stands in the shadow of Pike’s Peak so you see it in the background of some photos. I was lucky enough to go to college in Colorado Springs, at UCCS, so I got to go there regularly, on a whim sometimes even. It is right down the road from the University.

Garden of the Gods photo

Composed of red rocks that soar up from the landscape into the sky like cathedral spires, Garden
of the Gods is inspiring to drive around in, hike around in, ride your horse around in, or bicycle around in. There are trails and roads for everyone. Best part is it’s free! Every day, all year!

Garden of the Gods photos
Garden of the Gods Rock Spires

There is a wonderful gift shop too, the Garden of the Gods Trading Post where you can get lots of souvenirs and see exhibits and slides about the region. But it’s just heavenly to drive around in or hike in. At 6800 feet altitude, the air is crisp and clear and invigorating so we did some hiking. I had to laugh as the natives are so adjusted to cold that we saw plenty of college students in shorts and halter tops and sandals in the 52 degree morning air! I used to be just like them, but now I need long sleeves at least for that kind of temperature. And I would not go hiking without a pair of sturdy Hi-Tec Women’s Ohio WP Hiking Boots!

Balanced rock, colorado

This is Balanced Rock!

Garden of the Gods

Learn About the History of the Garden of the Gods

Manitou Springs, or as the locals say, Manitou, has a long history as an artists’ colony and source of mineral springs. In 1901 Van Briggle Pottery was established and thus began a flourishing center of ceramics and sculpture which attracted craftspeople of all kinds. To this day you can find all forms of arts and crafts and watch them being made.

Mantou is also the gateway to Pike’s Peak, which rises 14,115 feet from sea level and over 8,000 feet above the city of Colorado Springs. You can drive to the top, or take the cog railway, which is a very fun thing to do. Some people hike it, but it’s a long way up there….

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

My poem about Colorado:

Rocks and mountain tops and green green forests,
Sparkling streams and clean clean air,
Vistas that go on forever,
Canyons and caves that leave you breathless,
Natural wonder everywhere.
The trees sigh in gratitude
As do I.

~All Photos © Heather Burns 2014, Please do not copy!