Our vote for the #1 kid-friendly site in Colorado Springs has incredible scenic views, easy hikes, and lots of family friendly amenities and activities.
As soon as we pulled into the parking lot at Garden of the Gods, it was already very clear that we were in for a treat.
The landscape was just pure Mother Nature at her best for miles.
And, directly in front of us, a giant red rocky cliff towered toward the sky.
We started along the trail immediately (admission to Garden of the Gods is free!)…
I wanted to stop and snap photos, but Trevor had plans of his own.
He was off at a sprint, already darting along the trail.
At first, nearly running, then making sudden stops to pick up pebbles scattered along the paved walkways.
He loves to “go for hike,” so he was in his element.
But what I loved: taking in the incredible views in every direction!
Garden of the Gods is one of the most memorable and unique parks we’ve visited, not just in Colorado Springs, but anywhere.
The vivid red-orange rock formations were everywhere around us – some of them very jagged and uniquely shaped.
Many of them towering hundreds of feet toward the sky.
In the distance, we could see the green Rocky Mountains sloping along the skyline.
It was so uniquely beautiful, it was almost surreal.
But for families with young kids, there are a lot of great benefits to visiting Garden of the Gods:
- Admission to the park is free.
- Free trail maps are available at the Visitor & Nature Center, and there are several easy trails (plus moderate trails), all paved and mostly flat.
- There’s a family friendly café selling healthy snacks, quick service breakfast and lunch items, and smoothies.
- There’s also a museum and a 15-minute show when you need a break from the outdoors.
Garden of the Gods is a prime example of the unique and beautiful Colorado Springs desert mountain landscape.
And it’s really easy and accessible for families to explore!
Here are the questions we had about Garden of the Gods, plus all of the answers we learned after visiting:
What Can We Do at Garden of The Gods?
- For hiking, there are a lot of options at Garden of the Gods and over 15 miles of trails in total. There are two easy, mostly flat, mile-long trails. And three moderate trails.
- Make sure to grab your free trail map at the Visitor and Nature Center!
- There are also free 30-minute guided nature walks that are held daily at 10am and 2pm.
- Check out the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center museum, which has hands-on, interactive exhibits exploring the geology and history of the region.
- There’s also a cafe selling healthy sandwiches, breakfast items, snacks, and smoothies. And a gift shop.
- You can also purchase tickets for a 15-minute show, How Did Those Red Rocks Get There? It has beautiful aerial footage and a fun theater replicating a time machine to help you explore the history of the region.
When Should We Visit Garden of the Gods?
The Visitor & Nature Center is open daily from 9am to 5pm (and 8am to 7pm in summer). But the Garden of the Gods park is actually open from 5am to 9pm.
The crowds can get pretty heavy at Garden of the Gods. And the heat can get really intense too, during the warm months of the year.
So to avoid the crowds and the heat, we’d definitely recommend visiting either first thing in the morning or else closer to sunset – on a weekday, if possible.
We visited on a weekday just before sunset and found the parking lot more than half empty. The park was quiet, with a few visitors scattered along the trails.
How Long Should We Plan to Stay at Garden of the Gods?
There are so many options for hiking trails, plus options for eating at the cafe, shopping in the gift shop, watching the movie, and checking out the museum.
So the length of your visit will depend on how much you want to do and see. It’s possible to do an easy loop along the trail and get a good overview of the park in about an hour. Or, you could do everything and spend a full morning (or afternoon).
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Garden of the Gods?
Both the park and the Visitor & Nature Center are free.
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