Colorado Springs, CO: Garden of the Gods - Backpacker

Colorado Springs, CO: Garden of the Gods

Tour a rock garden of giant proportions on this 4.8-mile loop, passing towering redrock monoliths, golden hillsides, and views of Pikes Peak.

-Mapped by Kim Phillips and Tim Shisler

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.9



Location: 38.878666, -104.870102

Follow paved trail across from visitor center through underpass. In .1 mi., straight @ 4-way on Gateway Trail


Location: 38.877209, -104.873001

Cross bridge; wind through tunnel of twisted oaks. Look SW: Pikes Peak's snow-capped crown provides dramatic backdrop to golden juniper-dotted hills and giant copper-hued rock faces


Location: 38.877052, -104.877739

Turn hard R @ 5-way onto Bretag Trail. Four groups of red sandstone slabs jut 300 ft. into the sky from grassy plains


Location: 38.880997, -104.877777

Stay L @ Y. Across expansive meadow on L, aptly-named White Rock starkly contrasts the ruddy tones of North Gateway Rock. In 550 ft., R @ Y, then climb stone steps


Location: 38.881695, -104.880409

Bear R @ Y. Trail circles around the park's N tip, offering intimate views of the Tower of Babel, a behemoth red rock pillar


Location: 38.881157, -104.883728

Look down onto park-from this bird's-eye vantage, rock formations resemble the plates on a stegosaurus's back. Next, descend to dry stream bed


Location: 38.87722, -104.884262

Bear R @ Y (stay on Palmer Trail). In 400 ft., R @ Y. Next 2 mi., views of rocks formations become scarce


Location: 38.869877, -104.886581

Turn L @ Y; cross road. In 100 yds., stay L @ two Y-jcts.


Location: 38.871624, -104.884537

Follow Scotsman Trail to the R. In 400 ft., climb stairs


Location: 38.874252, -104.882957

Turn hard R (SE) @ 3-way


Location: 38.872486, -104.882187

Bear L @ Y, then continue SE


Location: 38.867851, -104.879471

Turn L @ 4-way. Next 350 ft.: Turn L onto road, then keep R @ fork


Location: 38.870953, -104.878502

Bear R onto Ute Trail, paralleling road; squint to find climbers scaling vertical rock face on L. Follow grass-lined trail N to close loop @ WPT 3; retrace route

View from Visitor Center

Location: 38.879772, -104.871613

Road Sign

Location: 38.879211, -104.871613

Gateway Trail

Location: 38.877472, -104.872437

View of Pikes Peak

Location: 38.877029, -104.874802

Red rock slabs rise in front of Pikes Peak rocky crown.

White Rock and Gateway Rock

Location: 38.877708, -104.877426

White Rock and Kissing Camels

Location: 38.87933, -104.877106

Tower of Babel

Location: 38.881809, -104.88002

Red Rock View

Location: 38.882725, -104.881737

Garden of the Gods

Location: 38.881424, -104.883385


Location: 38.880451, -104.884659

Bird's Eye Views

Location: 38.879684, -104.884392

Trailside Rock Formations

Location: 38.878593, -104.884659

Road Walk

Location: 38.868294, -104.878281