Colorado Springs is a beautiful city on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado. It’s crowning touch landmark is Pikes Peak; visible reaching into the sky from most areas of the city.
During our time in the Colorado Springs area, Abby and I camped at the South Meadows Campground, just seven miles north of the small town of Woodland Park. Mornings were a bit chilly (upper 30s) since we were above 8,500 feet! The campground is managed by the National Forest Service; our Senior Park Pass allowed us a great rate of just $11.50 per night!
Had I not seen the signs directing travelers to the Garden of the Gods, I may have missed this little gem. The park, a National Natural Landmark, is located on the western edge of the city. Amazingly, entry to the park is free!
The Visitor and Nature Center is modern, well-done and very informative. It includes interactive museum exhibits, free nature programs, a snack bar and gift shop.
The 1,300-acre park includes 17 sandstone rock formations, most of which can be seen from your vehicle from the paved, short drive through the park. Hiking trails, rock climbing, and mountain biking are also available.
The land for the park was donated to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909 by the family of Charles Elliot Perkins, with the condition that it be operated permanently as a city park, open to the public and free forever—pretty unbelievable! The ancient rock formations were created along a fault line, and they were uprooted and tilted vertically during the formation of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains.
The Garden of the Gods may not compete in size with Zion or Arches National Parks, but it is well worth your time for a visit; I highly recommend it!
—-Next: her car won’t start reliably. 😟 I can’t let her drive alone cross country…right??? Absolutely not!!!