Rock Stars: A Day in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Have you ever wondered if Mother Nature played favorites? A stroll through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs will clear that right up. Spoiler alert: she totally does. Picture it: 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations set against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak. It’s like walking into a Western movie, only better, because you’re not being chased by outlaws—you’re being chased by squirrels, and maybe your own awe-struck shadow.

The first thing you’ll notice (after the jaw-dropping scenery, that is) are the names. They’re not just rocks; they’re celebrities in their own right. We’re talking about the Kissing Camels, Cathedral Spires, and Balanced Rock. They didn’t just come up with a cool-sounding name and call it a day—each formation tells a story, much like Beyoncé’s albums, but far older and less inclined to break the internet.

Let’s talk activities. You’re in the wild, but this is no mere walk in the park. There are over 15 miles of trails to conquer, ranging from leisurely strolls to ‘am I a mountain goat now?’ levels of hiking. Climbing? Oh, it’s encouraged. Just make sure you’re not trying to scale any rocks without a permit, or you might find yourself becoming too close friends with the local ranger station.

And for those who prefer rubber tires to hiking boots, the park’s loop road offers a drive you won’t forget. It’s like the VIP tour of geology – no walking required. For the cyclists, this loop is a challenge worth accepting. Just remember, the altitude is not just a setting on your spin class bike; it’s real, and it will take your breath away—literally.

Don’t forget to pop into the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. It’s not your typical visitor center. Think of it more as the Garden’s hype man. It’s there to get you pumped about the geological marvels you’re about to see, and it does a fantastic job. Plus, the view from the terrace is like standing on the edge of the world—if the world were a beautiful, never-ending painting of mountains and sky.

So, there you have it. Garden of the Gods: where you can hike, bike, climb, and drive your way through one of nature’s most impressive art galleries. And remember, while it may feel like stepping onto another planet, it’s all Colorado, baby. The wild west at its finest, with a touch of geological magic sprinkled in for good measure. Just remember to pack water, wear sunscreen, and for goodness’ sake, keep an eye on those cheeky squirrels. They’re the true rock stars here.