Visiting Garden of the Gods in Winter, snowy path
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Visiting the Garden of the Gods in Winter

Oh, yes. Visiting the Garden of the Gods in winter is an absolute must and a hidden gem this season. The stunning red rocks against white snow is a view you will never forget, and snow is possible from November through April in Colorado Springs, where the Garden of the Gods is located.

We would be remiss not to admit that the Garden of the Gods is a quality stop during any season, and most certainly in the summer for peak season, but it is hard to know if something is attractive during the off-season (in this case in winter). This one is!

What you will like about visiting the Garden of the Gods during the cold of winter is that it feels more remote with fewer cars and tourists. It’s a more relaxing experience. If you like Sedona, you will love Garden of the Gods. Both are similar with their red rocks and the awe you will feel.

Winter in Garden of the Gods

The benefits of a snowy visit

  1. The snowy or icy landscape is stunning. This is the #1 reason!
  2. Fewer cars on the road and less congestion.
  3. More available parking, which can be an issue.
  4. Off-peak pricing for nearby hotels and accommodations.
Summer vs winter at Garden of the Gods, compare seasons to visit
Garden of the Gods in Winter vs Summer

Average winter temperatures

In Colorado Springs, average winter temperatures typically range from the low 20s to the mid-40s Fahrenheit (around -6 to 7 degrees Celsius). December through February are the coldest months, with occasional colder snaps.

Snowfall is common, which can add to the chill, but snow on the landscape is one of the main reasons we recommend you see the Garden of the Gods in winter.

Our snowy visit was in February, confirming this weather summary and the possibility of snow.

Monthly winter average temperatures

  • November (winter fringe): Highs around 52°F (11°C) and lows around 27°F (-3°C)
  • December: Highs around 43°F (6°C) and lows around 18°F (-8°C)
  • January: Highs around 44°F (7°C) and lows around 18°F (-8°C)
  • February: Highs around 46°F (8°C) and lows around 20°F (-7°C)
  • March (winter fringe): Highs around 52°F (11°C) and lows around 26°F (-3°C)

In winter, check road conditions

Roads leading to and inside the park are accessible. However, visiting the Garden of the Gods in winter weather can make driving conditions more hazardous, so check local weather reports and road conditions during your visit.

You may want to rent a 4×4 vehicle if the roads are the slightest bit icy. We saw many unprepared vehicles slide around a bit during our icy visit.

Driving Garden of the Gods in winter and snow

Hiking the Garden of the Gods in winter

When visiting the Garden of the Gods in winter, consider focusing more on sightseeing than extensive hiking. The winter weather can be unpredictable, so if you encounter a clear, calm day, take advantage and explore the trails more thoroughly. On days when the weather is less favorable, you can still enjoy many of the park’s scenic highlights without straying far from the main paths.

This approach is particularly advisable if you are traveling with young children or anyone less able to handle longer hikes. In contrast, summer offers more reliably pleasant weather, making it the ideal time for longer hiking adventures. Regardless of the season, the spectacular viewpoints at the Garden of the Gods are always worth the visit.

About the Garden of the Gods

Admission

The admission to Garden of the Gods is free and will remain this way — the story itself is interesting. The free policy was established to honor the wishes of Charles Elliott Perkins. His family gifted the land to the city of Colorado Springs on the condition that it would remain open and free to the public.

The impact of free admission is a stress-free stop for which you will be grateful. Your time here is worth it.

If you would like to donate to the park, Garden of Gods has a donation page.

Hours and locations

Visitors & Nature Center

Address: 1805 N. 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Days of Week: Daily

Hours: (Winter and Summer are separated by Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend)

  • Winter months: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Summer months: 9 am – 6 pm
  • Closures on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Garden of the Gods Park

Point your GPS to the Visitors & Nature Center, or towards the Main Parking Lot to begin your journey.

Main Parking Lot: 1423-1427 Juniper Way Loop, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Hours:

  • November 1 – April 30: 5 am – 9 pm
  • May 1 – October 31: 5 am – 10 pm

Getting to Garden of the Gods

From downtown Colorado Springs, take West Colorado Avenue, which becomes West Pikes Peak Avenue. Turn left on North 30th Street and continue for about 2.5 miles. The entrance to the park will be on your left and you will see the Visitors & Nature Center entrance on your right.

If you’re flying in — To get to Colorado Springs via air, you can fly into the mega-aiport, Denver International Airport (DIA), and drive about an hour and a half. If you’re lucky, you can fly right into Colorado Springs Airport (COS) for a drive under 30 minutes. Flying into COS is our recommendation unless it is cost-prohibitive based on your point of origin.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Garden of the Gods depends on the goal of your visit.

  • If you want long hours of hiking = choose summer.
  • If you want scenic pics with a chance of snow on the rocks = choose winter.

Hiking map

The best maps are available online from the Colorado Springs official site. They offer a Garden of the Gods location map and a Garden of Gods trail and parking map. These maps are zoom-enabled. Keep these links handy on your visit.

*Free, full-color trail maps are available at The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center information desk.

Stops we recommend you keep on top of your list:

  • Central Garden Trail – All visitors should do a walk here. It’s easy, paved, and iconic!
  • High Point Overlook – This nice overlook has areas to climb around the rocks without fully getting on a trail. A small parking lot is available.
  • Kissing Camels – Park at Main Parking Lot 2 (this lot is good for pictures even if you don’t hike to the Kissing Camels, which is not far down the trail). It’s easy to get to on a paved trail.
  • Balanced Rock – Iconic photo spot, with it’s own small parking lot.

Tips

Be flexible. If parking near where you want to go is packed, see something else first or worst case skip it and find a new spectacular spot. It’s all beautiful!

Where to stay near Garden of the Gods

It’s quite easy to recommend beautiful stays in Colorado Springs. It’s not too large of a city, so all of these will be convenient no matter your plans.

  • Cliff’s House at Pike’s Peak – The Cliff’s House is our top recommendation. The location is right by Pike’s Peak and near the Garden of the Gods, with unique charm. Book as early as you can.
  • Cheyenne Mountain Resort – This was where we selected to stay. We loved the larger floorplan for our family, and the indoor pool, etc.

Shuttle information

No-go for the Garden of the Gods winter-goers — no shuttle during this season. If you are going during the summer, check the official Summer Shuttle site for hours and details on parking.

Adding in a visit to Pike’s Peak

If you make it to Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods in winter, you should consider adding in a visit to Pike’s Peak. Make sure to check the roadways in advance and you will be able to tell how far up you can drive based on road conditions. The COG Railway is still open in the winter and is a fun way up to the vistas.

If you want to do Garden of the Gods with Pike’s Peak Railway, there is a combined tour to consider.

Final Takeaways

A visit to the Garden of the Gods is a perfect, low-effort excursion during the colder months. Getting here from Colorado Springs, which has good air service and connectivity through Denver International Airport (DIA), is a breeze.

The trip itself offers a peaceful and awe-inspiring experience. With fewer tourists and less traffic during the winter, the park feels more secluded, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of its stunning landscapes. The red rocks dusted with snow create a memorable visual contrast that’s not to be missed. While winter may limit extensive hiking, the park’s accessible trails ensure that you can enjoy the incredible views effortlessly. Happy, breezy travels to the Garden of the Gods in winter!

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