Garden of the Gods in Winter: Best Hikes, Activities, & Tips

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Colorado is an adventurer’s paradise and if you’re there during the colder months, you will absolutely love visiting Garden of the Gods in winter if you’re around Colorado Springs (or even Denver)!

Planning your trip to Garden of the Gods last minute?

Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

Top Experiences and Tours in Garden of the Gods:

Top Hotels Colorado Springs:

This is a guide about what to do in winter in Garden of the Gods, a famous Colorado landmark saturated with gorgeous trails and scenery and one of the best day trips from Colorado Springs.

About Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a popular natural landmark that is situated close to Colorado Springs and close to Pikes Peak… and you can get a stellar view of the mammoth of a mountain when you’re there!

Situated west of Colorado Springs, you can see the vibrant red rocks of the park and there are several unique formations within Garden of the Gods. It really is one of the most special places in the United States.

ABOUT THIS LAND

Garden of the Gods is on the unceded land of the Tséstho’e (Cheyenne) and Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) people. We ask you to join us in acknowledging their communities, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.

We also acknowledge that Garden of the Gods was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples, including those on whose land these designated parks are located.

⇒ Do your research before visiting City, State, and National Parks and places in the US. Native Land and Whose Land are good starting points.

⇒ Hire Native guides when possible and encourage parks and government organizations to start hiring them.

⇒ Donations matter. Part of the proceeds from this blog is donated monthly to the Native Women’s Wilderness.

The park was previously owned by Charles Elliot Perkins, a railroad mogul, who had purchased land containing many of the spectacular formations within the park in 1879.

Later, he gave the property to the city of Colorado Springs under one condition – the land remains forever free to the public.

Garden of the Gods in Winter
Garden of the Gods in Winter

Garden of the Gods is no stranger to tourism and it receives a hefty number of tourists annually.  That is why visiting Garden of the Gods during winter is such a brilliant idea! Over 2 million people visit Garden of the Gods annually.

How to Get to Garden of the Gods

Most people visit Garden of the Gods from Colorado Springs (where it is, more or less, part of the city) or as a day trip from Denver. Below are the best ways to visit from each city. 

From Colorado Springs

From Colorado Springs, take Exit #146 (Garden of the Gods Road), go west (towards the mountains) for 2.5 miles, turn left onto 30th Street and the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center will be on the left (a little over a mile).

Getting to Garden of the Gods
Getting to Garden of the Gods

From Denver

If you are heading to Garden of the Gods from Denver, then there are few ways to get there. It takes approximately 2h 39m to get from Denver to Garden of the Gods, including stops or bus transfers.

So you can either drive for 1h 15 min which is the shortest option or simply take a bus (2h 42m) or the Amtrak Thruway operated by Greyhound (2h 39m). 

Tours to Garden of the Gods

If you’re not renting a car and visiting that way, you can easily join a tour to Garden of the Gods. Here are a few diverse tour options to visit Garden of the Gods in winter: 

When is it Winter in Garden of the Gods?

The primary winter months at Garden of the Gods are December, January, and February. But you can expect snow also during November and even in March and into early April. 

Fresh snow at Garden of the Gods
Fresh snow at Garden of the Gods

Winter Temperatures in Garden of the Gods

  • November: High 52°, Low 25°
  • December: High 46°, Low 19°
  • January: High 45°, Low 18°
  • February: High 46°, Low 19°
  • March: High 51°, Low 25°
  • April: High 58°, Low 31°

Does it Snow at Garden of the Gods?

It snows 29 days annually, so you will likely see snow if you head there during the winter. However, while it may be cold, it is still totally possible to partake in activities at Garden of the Gods in winter. There is also a great probability of snowing even during November and April.

Annually, the park receives about 57 inches of snow. But, there is plenty of sun during the winter making it still an easy place to visit!

Garden of the Gods snow
Garden of the Gods with snow

Garden of the Gods Visitor Center

The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is open daily from 9am until 5pm and is ready to receive any of your questions and help you plan your trip within the park!

Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to Garden of the Gods in winter is $0. Both the park and Visitor & Nature Center are FREE and open to the public.

Things to Do in Garden of the Gods During Winter 

Winter Rock Climbing in Garden of the Gods 

Visiting Garden of the Gods and not attempting rock climbing will make your trip an incomplete one!

Those unique sandstone formations are waiting to be explored and the Colorado Climbing Company creates the perfect conditions for both beginners and seasoned climbers to experience the thrill of rock climbing at its best.

In the winter months and when the weather cooperates, you can even try ice climbing in North Cheyenne Canyon for everlasting memories! 

Winter Solstice Hike on December 21

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and it offers the perfect opportunity to admire the starry winter sky.

On December 21st, you can soak up the opportunity to join an exciting event organized by Garden of The Gods and the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

Hiking in winter in Garden of the Gods
Hiking in winter in Garden of the Gods

Take part in a guided 1.5-hour night hike through Garden of the Gods to learn more about winter skies, the winter solstice, and its significant role in culture and in the observation of the stars.

After the hike, you will get the chance to view the moon and the winter skies through a telescope. It really is one of the best things to do in Garden of the Gods in winter!

Bean Sprouts Cafe

If you are visiting Garden of the Gods with the kids, then Bean Sprouts Cafe should definitely be on your itinerary! This is a hip and healthy eatery that offers an award-winning Imaginibbles children’s menu which motivates children to make their own healthy meals.

There are also ample adult options and a coffee bar. Bean Sprouts Cafe features healthy, organic, and sustainable food that is served in compostable packaging and they even offer an eco-friendly design for takeaway. 

By following clean ingredient guidelines, Bean Sprouts offers the perfect options for those having food allergies, plant-based diets, or those who are simply particular about their food and where it is sourced from.

Garden of the Gods Winter Hikes

One of the top things to do in Garden of the Gods, regardless of the season, is to go hiking! There are many amazing trails in Garden of the Gods and they can almost all be accessed year-round!

These are some of the best Garden of the Gods winter hikes for outdoor enthusiasts.

South Gateway Rock Formations
South Gateway Rock Formations

Gateway Trail to Palmer Trail and Scotsman Trail Loop 

Level of difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 423 ft
Trail type: Loop

The Gateway Trail to Palmer Trail and Scotsman Trail Loop is a 3.9 mile, moderately trafficked loop trail that will reward you with the park’s rich flora and fauna scenes.

This trail is mainly used from April to September for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching… but if you dress accordingly and prepare, you can definitely embark on a hike during winter.

The Gateway Trail section spans Camp Creek and passes through Gambel Oaks, offering a great opportunity for winter solitude and gorgeous views. 

Susan G. Bretag Trail and Palmer Trail Loop 

Level of difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 321 ft
Trail type: Loop

The Susan G. Bretag Trail and Palmer Trail Loop is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that is perfect for the whole family.

The trail passes through the park’s most amazing features and allows you to take in the magnificent views of White Rock, Kissing Camels, Siamese Twins, and North Gateway Rock along the way.

Big Horn Sheep in Garden of the Gods
Big Horn Sheep in Garden of the Gods

The trail is accessible all year and has a variety of recreational possibilities. The Palmer Trail section of the loop trail offers stunning views of the Central Garden area and is a great hike for anyone eager to explore the area’s flora.

The trail is partially paved and dogs are permitted if they are on a leash.

Siamese Twins Loop Trail 

Level of difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 104 ft
Trail type: Loop

Located at the southwest corner of Garden of the Gods, the Siamese Twins Loop Trail is a 0.5-mile heavily trafficked loop trail that will take you right to the bottom of park’s unique rock formations.

The loop trail is connected to Cabin Canyon and Palmer trails and leads to Balanced Rock trail.

Balanced Rock Garden of the Gods
You can find the Balanced Rock trail from here

Get ready to take in the up-close views of Siamese Twins formation and stunning vistas of Pikes Peak framed by the latter’s “window”.

The well-marked trail starts from Spring Canyon Trailhead, features a gradual incline and decline, and continues back to the parking lot.  Just note that this trail is not wheelchair-friendly despite being short and considered easy on a difficulty scale. 

Cabin Canyon Trail via Balanced Rock Trail Loop 

Level of difficulty: Moderate
Length: 1.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 137 ft
Trail type: Loop

The Cabin Canyon Trail via Balanced Rock Trail Loop is a moderate, 1.2-mile low trafficked loop trail that provides you with Garden of the God’s best hits!

The trail begins off of the Siamese Twins trail and is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and nature trips.

The scenic Garden of the Gods hiking trail will make you appreciate the full splendor of the park, including diverse flora and a vibrant color palette that will lead you to admire the stunning views of the snow-capped mountain range, including breathtaking Pikes Peak.

Perkins Central Garden Trail (Wheelchair Accessible)

Level of difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 88 ft
Trail type: Loop

Perkins Central Garden Trail is a 1.1-mile, fully paved, and wheelchair-accessible loop trail that starts from the northern end of the Garden of the Gods’ parking area.

Central Garden Trail
Central Garden Trail

The trail takes you through the heart of the park’s most unique rock formations, while also passing through several locations where you can witness rock climbing and even try it (with a permit).

Expect to see the Kissing Camels, White Rock, and other stunning views of Sentinel Rock, Three Graces, and South Gateway Rock along the way. 

What to Pack

Here are some essentials that you should pack for an active day trip to Garden of the Gods in winter:

Hiking boots: I swear by my Keen Targhee hiking boots and they are an excellent choice for traipsing the wild trails at Garden of the Gods, even during the winter months. Click here to see the Keen hiking boots I use.

Reusable water jug: Water is so essential if you’re on one of the hikes in Garden of the Gods and you definitely need to remain hydrated. I always tote along a Klean Kanteen water jug with me for the journey.

Garden of the Gods
What to pack for winter

Sunscreen: Lather on up even though it is winter! This area still receives over 230 sunny days annually! is ruthless and you definitely need to put sunscreen on your face before your hike!

Park map: I recommend downloading an offline map from Alltrails before taking to the trails in Garden of the Gods. Better safe than sorry!

Where to Stay in Colorado Springs

You will find many diverse places to stay in and around Colorado Springs.  Below are a few of the top-rated hotels (3-4 stars) in the city that are great choices for accommodation:

Are there any amazing places we missed when planning a trip to Garden of the Gods in winter? Let us know in the comments! Thanks!

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Are you planning to visit Garden of the Gods in winter? This guide details the best things to do, amazing Garden of the Gods hikes, and more! Learn more here! | Winter in Garden of the Gods | Day trips from Denver | Day trips from Colorado Springs | Places to visit in Colorado | Winter in Colorado Springs | Winter in Denver | Winter in Colorado | Colorado springs things to do | Garden of the Gods Hiking | Garden of the Gods Trails

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