Location: Visitor Center – 1805 N 30th St. Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Hours: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Amenities: The Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark located within the City of Colorado Springs and managed by the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services. With nearly 3 million visitors each year, Garden of the Gods is one of top destinations in the Western United States. Recently it was honored as the second most popular park in the country and third most popular park in the world! Garden of the Gods can be accessed from the south east or north. There are 15 miles of trail including 1.5 miles of paved trail off the main parking lot on the north side of the park. The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center offers free admission with exhibits and displays explaining the history of the park. Visit their website at www.gardenofgods.com.
History: By the 1870’s, the railroads had forged their way west. In 1871, General William Jackson Palmer founded Colorado Springs while extending the lines of his Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. In 1879, General Palmer repeatedly urged his friend, Charles Elliott Perkins, the head of the Burlington Railroad, to establish a home in the Garden of the Gods and to build his railroad from Chicago to Colorado Springs. Although the Burlington never reached Colorado Springs directly, Perkins did purchase two-hundred and forty acres in the Garden of the Gods for a summer home in 1879. He later added to the property but never built on it, preferring to leave his wonderland in its natural state for the enjoyment of the public. Perkins died in 1907 before he made arrangements for the land to become a public park, although it had been open to the public for years. In 1909, Perkins’ children, knowing their father’s feeling for the Garden of the Gods, conveyed his four-hundred eighty acres to the City of Colorado Springs. It would be known forever as the Garden of the Gods “where it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park.”
Volunteer: Want to help promote, preserve and enhance the natural and cultural assets of the Garden of the Gods Park through advocacy, educational and financial support? Connect with Friends of Garden of the Gods, friendsofgardenofthegods.org.
This park is managed by City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (719) 385-5940.