Last month, my aunt, Joan, and I hopped aboard a 7:00am flight to Denver, Colorado. We had a rental car lined up, a hotel reservation, and a train ticket to the top of Pike’s Peak. After that, she and I had zero plans. Each of us had a single pair of clothes to change into and warm coats. We were prepared for anything. I knew that the Rocky Mountain National Park wasn’t too far from Denver, so it was on my list of things to do. Aside from that and our ticket to Pike’s Peak, we were planning to wing it.
Upon our arrival to the city, we immediately began to ask the locals what we should do. In my travel experience, I have found it best to ask the locals for their suggestions of things to visit. Sometimes, they know about hidden gems that the guide books will not tell you about. The gentlemen on the rental car bus told us to go to the Garden of the Gods. In my hasty Google research, I had seen images of this area, but I didn’t look heavily into it. On the bus, I looked it up in location reference to Pike’s Peak. They were only about twenty minutes apart, and Garden of the Gods was on the way! I told Joan it would be a great place to kill some time.
Once we had our rental car, we drove south towards Colorado Springs. Towards the west we could see giant snow capped mountains. To our left (looking east) the land was very flat and wide open. I remember being blown away at the wide space beside us. I understood the phrase “big sky” at that point. After about an hour and a half in the car, Joan and I came upon Garden of the Gods. We pulled into the visitor center expecting a simple here’s-what-your-looking-at type place, but instead we found an interactive and educational center!
Joan and I wandered through the visitor center for about twenty minutes looking at the interactive posts, reading signs, guessing who’s poop belonged to what animal (sounds weird but it was actually really fun!). The visitor center was set up so well with information for people of all ages to enjoy. They had a viewing platform overlooking the entrance to the Garden with Pike’s Peak looming in the background. She and I hopped back into the car and began to drive through the Garden of Gods.
The only way I can describe what we saw is that it’s similar to the Red Rock State Park in Arizona. Giant red boulders grew out of the earth in varying shapes. Rocks balanced on top of each other as if placed perfectly by God himself. Joan and I pulled off in a parking area and explored some of the rocks.
We were amazed at how beautifully laid out it all was. And to think, she and I would have missed it if we hadn’t asked the gentlemen on the bus! We drove through the Garden of the Gods in awe of natures creation. The Garden of the Gods isn’t a hidden gem in Colorado but it is a lesser known gem. I’m more than happy to be able to share such a wonderful experience with our time there. It was amazing, and you should all try to get there to see the Garden of the Gods!