I stumbled upon a great freebie on our recent road trip – a Colorado National Natural Landmark that offers free admission, some spectacular scenery and a great accessible trail.
Located in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods Park offers dramatic views of sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak.
And as a condition of the land transfer from the original owners, there is no admission charge to the park and visitors center.
There is plenty of accessible parking at the visitors center, with level access to the building. Inside there are interpretive exhibits, a small gift shop and a snack bar. There is also level access and wheelchair seating in the movie theater, which shows a 14-minute HD film about the origin of the rock formations in the park. There is a small charge for the movie, but it’s well worth it.
There are also several trails in the park, including the nicely accessible Perkins Central Garden Trail. This easy 1.5-mile concrete path winds past some of the most dramatic rock formations in the park. For the most part it’s level, and there are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way. Plus, you can do as little or as much of the trail as you want.
And when you tire of hiking, just hop in your car for a driving tour of the park. It’s accessible, free and very scenic.
So next time you’re in the area, drop in at Garden of the Gods Park. You won’t be sorry. It’s one of those undiscovered gems of “fly-over” America.