Rock climbing at the Garden of the Gods has a long and rich history. Climbers should respect the style in which routes were originally done and protected.
Climbers are required to register at https://parks.coloradosprings.gov/cat/explore-play/attractions/garden-gods/2016-rock-climbing-permit. Registration is free and is effective for the calendar year. The hiking rules are available at this site also. Climbing guides are available for purchase at the Visitor Center.
The rules are typical except it’s important to note that chalk is not allowed. An artificial `chalk’ ball is available for purchase at Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center.
Climbers should note that climbing at Garden of the Gods is on sandstone – which means that handholds may break, loose rocks may be present, and protection may be sparse and not secure. Also, climbers should refrain from climbing routes soon after rainstorms have caused the rock to become water soaked; in this case, rock can be damaged and safety is compromised due to an enhanced risk of holds breaking. Finally, be aware that sandstone typically does not provide many opportunities for natural protection, so many routes are “sport” routes, protected only with bolts. Others use mixed bolt and natural (cams and nuts) protection. Guidebooks provide some detail by route on this situation. If there are loose or otherwise dangerous bolts or rappel anchors, and you know how to replace them in sandstone, please do so. If you prefer, contact the Visitor Center with the information on the bolt situation.
The Garden has a specific definition of “scrambling” in an attempt to discourage visitors from getting in trouble climbing up the rock formations. “Scrambling” is defined as climbing higher than 10 feet on the rock formations without being a registered climber with proper climbing equipment. Climbers can aid in preventing tourist accidents and rescues by prominently displaying their climbing gear when approaching climbs (for instance, up the Tourist Gully)
Garden of the Gods tries to carefully protect both flora and fauna in the park, so please check at the Visitor Center for rock face closures for raptor nesting and use established access trails to get from the main trails to the rock faces.
Mountain biking is allowed on designated mountain biking trails in the Garden of the Gods Park. Remember, you will be sharing these trails with equestrian users and hikers. In addition, all one-way roads in the Park have paved biked lanes.
Mountain Biking Regulations:
• Stay on the trail when riding or walking your bike
• Always yield. Let others know of your presence well in advance. Dismount and move to the side when a horse is approaching. Be cautious, and dismount to walk your bike around blind corners or in areas with poor visibility.
• Control your speed. Prevent accidents to other trail users and to yourself by riding cautiously and under control.
• Leave no trace. No shortcuts or cross-country riding. Avoid riding during or after rain or snow storms. Pack out more than you pack in.
• Be alert for wildlife. Give them a chance to move away from the trail. It’s their park, too!
Biking Trail Map PDF
For guided horseback rides in the Garden of the Gods Park contact Academy Riding Stables at 719-633-5667.
Private horse trailers can be parked and unloaded at South Spring Canyon Picnic area. Get a trail map from the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center for trails open to horseback riding.
There are two uncovered picnic areas in Garden of the Gods Park; SCOTSMAN PICNIC AREA with 11 picnic tables AND THE SOUTH SPRING CANYON PICNIC AREA with 13 picnic tables. The picnic areas are used on a first come-first serve basis, and reservations are not taken for picnic areas. Bar-B-Q Grills are available for use with charcoal or you may bring a propane grill into the park for use in the picnic areas. *Alcohol is not permitted in the park.
Free full-color park maps are available at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center information desk which show the locations of the picnic areas in Garden of the Gods Park.