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Garden of the Gods

posted Jul 13, 2018, 4:27 PM by Justin P   [ updated Jul 13, 2018, 4:27 PM ]

Saturday was our last day in Colorado, but our flight home wasn't until the late afternoon. So before leaving Colorado Springs, we headed to Garden of the Gods.  Arriving a little after 8, it wasn't too crowded yet.  We started off hiking the Gateway Trail, following Gateway Road to the loop road around the garden.  Turning right on Bretag Trail, we followed it to the main parking lot and then followed the paved trails through the garden.  Right away, we passed the Kissing Camels high above - it was clear how they got their name.  Passing around North Gateway Rock, there were some rock climbers ascending.  Heading into the Central Garden, the red rock formations were just amazing.  And to think that this is a Colorado Springs City Park.  We climbed around for a while a got some pictures from different angles.  After a while, we continued on, taking Scotsman Trail past its namesake rock.  Here we crossed the street and picked up Siamese Twins Trail.  This was my favorite of the rock formations.  Two spires were connected at the bottom and middle, making a window between them.  Looking through the window, Pike's Peak was visible.  I really enjoyed this one.  Looking down below, I could see Red Rock Canyon past the highway where we had hiked the evening before.  We finished up the loop, stopping for some nice views of the Pike's Peak and the Front Range.  Heading back, we took Palmer Trail, which parallels the loop road.  The Giant Footprints was another cool rock formation we passed along the way.  From here, the trail ascended and we had great views of the Central Garden from above.  Looking across to Kissing Camels, they still looked like their namesake.  We finished up Palmer Trail back at the main parking lot and took Bretag Trail back towards the visitor center.  We made a short detour on Dakota Trail.  It's closed towards the end, but passes by some cliffs and rock outcrops that were white in color.  We were hoping to see some wildlife, but no such luck.  So we headed back to the visitor center and did a final packing, before heading back to the airport.