Visiting Garden of the Gods with Kids


Garden of the Gods, one of Colorado’s National Natural Landmarks, makes for the perfect day trip for Denver families. This FREE natural attraction is great for photography, hiking, biking and even rock climbing and is just an hour from Denver in Colorado Springs.

How to Get to Garden of the Gods from Denver

Take I-25 South from Denver to exit 146 for Garden of the Gods. Drive toward the mountains on Garden of the Gods road and 30th Street to Gateway Road.

What to See and Do at Garden of the Gods

Visitors Center

You first stop should be the Nature and Visitors Center where you can pick up a full color trail map, fill up your water bottles at the refilling station, and use clean bathrooms. You can also visit the exhibits on geology, flora and fauna, people and history and even learn about a new dinosaur discovery at the park.

Hiking Trails

The Garden of the Gods has over 21 miles of trails. The most popular is the Perkins Central Garden Trail, a 1.5 mile loop. You’ll see the major rock formations and highlights. You can also try the Ridge Trail, a hilly 1/2 mile loop that gives you the feeling of being in the rocks. Check out our hiking with kids tips before you go.

You can also hook up to a free audio tour as you walk, listening with your car radio or headphones. Get the tour here.

Guided Vehicle Tours

Travel back in time with an open-air trolley tour that fits 14 visitors. Reserve your spot online for $21/person.

Junior Ranger Program

You can pick up your Junior Ranger workbook at the Visitors Center for $2. After completion of your activities, you can choose to have your child’s name announced over the PA system in addition to your child receiving a signed certificate and patch or badge.

Take the Perkin’s Challenge

This family friendly escape room style challenge is a timed adventure where your team will solve puzzles and complete challenges while competing with other teams. The activity costs $25/persona and can be reserved online. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Younger children (6 and under) are allowed but must be in a stroller or carrier.

Take a Selfie with the Balanced Rock

On your way out of the park, you’ll see the infamous Balanced Rock right by the road.

Book a Rock Climbing Adventure

With a little planning ahead, Garden of the Gods is a great place to grow your climbing skills. Family friendly private climbing tours are available in 4 and 6 hour packages. Find out more here.

Park Rules

Dogs are allowed but must be on a 6′ leash.

Do not carve or mark any of the rocks in the park.

Leave no trace: pick up all your waste, stay on the trails and leave what you find.

What to Bring

  • Refillable water or hydration backpacks
  • Headphones for free audio tour
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking shoes
  • Writing utensil for Junior Ranger books
  • Blanket for picnic lunch or sunset dinner
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Sarah McGinnity
Sarah is owner of Denver Mom Collective and is passionate about encouraging and connecting moms - we weren't meant to do this alone! She graduated from Kansas State (Go Cats!) in journalism, worked for newspapers and for several marketing departments, and eventually got her master's in urban administration. Sarah and her husband Shea have four kids - Henry (11), Clark (8), Lucy (7) and Caroline (the dessert baby). She enjoys reading historical fiction, beating her kids at board games and traveling as much as possible.


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