Garden of the Gods

COLORADO SPRINGS // NOVEMBER 2016

PREHISTORIC PLAYGROUND

Early November, Greg and I made a quick weekend trip to Colorado. It was a wonderful few days full of laughs, good conversation and quality time with family and friends. On a Friday morning we flew into Denver and made the short drive south to Colorado Springs, a town very dear to my heart. For me, the Springs is a place of healing, hope and restoration where I can fully be myself, the good and the bad, and am loved regardless. It is also a place of great joy, celebration and promise, as Greg proposed to me at The Broadmoor in the summer of 2015. I have gone through ups and downs here, and each time I visit I find myself reflecting on this crazy thing we call life with a thankful heart. During this trip I once again found myself in a state of reflection while surrounded by the natural beauty of the area as Greg and I snuck away for a few hours to explore Garden of the Gods. 

Situated at the base of Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods is a geological wonder. Voted by TripAdvisor as the Top Park in the United States, this prehistoric playground is home to 300ft tall towering red rock formations so dramatic and unique they almost seem unreal. It truly feels as though you've stepped back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth! 

With more than 15 miles of trails and numerous ways to experience the park, you can spend a full day exploring or simply take in the scenery without stepping a foot out of your car. Between hiking, biking, rock climbing, or even Jeep and Segway tours, there's something for everyone. Since we only had a few hours before catching our flight home, we grabbed the camera and opted for the 1.5 mile trail that runs through the heart of the park. Each corner we turned left us in shock and awe at the surreal, unearthly beauty. 

You wind among rocks of every conceivable and inconceivable shape and size... all bright red, all motionless and silent, with a strange look of having been just stopped and held back in the very climax of some supernatural catastrophe.
— Helen Hunt Jackson

While this popular trail is a must-do, next time we visit I want to see the park by horseback. It seems like the ideal setting for a ride! After an hour of sightseeing we made our way back to the visitor's center and packed up. We happened to leave as the sun was setting, which was quite magical, and made for the perfect ending to our Colorado trip!

If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend making a stop at this national natural landmark.  You won't be disappointed! And if you have time to spare, check out these nearby attractions:

Manitou Cliff DwellingsWalk through rare, authentic cliff dwellings built over 700 years ago. 

Trading Post- Visit Colorado's largest gift shop and have lunch overlooking Garden of the Gods.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway- The ride up the world's highest cog railway offers amazing views of Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs.

Historic Manitou Springs- Enjoy the region's greatest shopping and dining at the base of America's Mountain- Pikes Peak.

The Incline- For an incredibly intense workout, challenge yourself to the Manitou Incline- over 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile.