We had a short weekend to visit with Mary’s parents and decided to meet in Woodland, CO near Colorado Springs. Neither of her parents, native Coloradans, had visited the Garden of the Gods, so that was a natural destination for us. We photographed it twice with mixed results. Here is what you might see.
The Garden of the Gods is just 15 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs and is easily seen from US Hwy 25. Because of this, it is very crowded. Even though we arrived mid morning, the parking lot at the visitors’ center was nearly full and the traffic on the Juniper Way loop was bumper to bumper.
The best thing to do is park and ride the shuttle or park and walk in.
We did what everyone else was doing which is the Perkins Central Garden Trail on concrete walkways and then added the half mile Ridge Trail for a total round trip of about two miles on relatively flat terrain.
When we left the park we also drove the entire Juniper Loop Way and Garden Lane which will take you out of the park on the west side and will put you on Colorado Hwy 24.
There are other hikes that are interesting, including seeing the “twins” and views of Pikes Peak. Afternoon thunderstorms were rolling in each day from 2:30-4 PM, so we decided it would be better to head hme for a shower and happy hour.
Postscript: the next morning I knew a full moon was going to set right behind Pikes Peak with the Garden of the Gods in the foreground. I had been dreaming of this shot for a couple of weeks. Mary and I got up at 5:15 AM. There was an orange moon blazing above Pikes Peak. We jumped in our Jeep and drove the 30 minutes down the mountain from Woodland to get in position at the right time. About half way down the hill a heavy fog set in and we never did see the moon again. That was one of my few disappointing mornings as a photographer.
To see more of (and buy) our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com.