Elevation: 6,378 ft
GPS: 38.879, -104.87 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 521,146 total · 2,336/month
Shared By: Tim Stich on Mar 15, 2002 with improvements by Jes Meiris and 1 other
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: 2020 Seasonal Closures Details

Description

Situated right next to Colorado Springs off of US Highway 24 lies a small park aptly named Garden of the Gods. The acreage of the park is rather modest, like Red Rocks, but the sandstone formations are quite striking and memorable. Several massive rocks are decorated with jagged profiles with colors ranging from white, mild orange and rich reds. Spires of up to two pitch height are scattered behind these larger rocks. The park is highly developed and has cement trails in places. Climbing is almost exclusively trad, though there are many routes with drilled angles that don't require gear other than draws. Rock quality varies from formation to formation and can be very crumbly. For Front Range denizens who want to get used to soft desert sandstone, this is a great place to experience it. Get used to an audience, as the crowded park has hundreds of visitors on weekends (in fact 5.8 million visitors came in 2017).

Note: as of 2018, gates have been added to the entrances of the park. They are closed at 9pm during the offseason (November 1st to May 1st) and closed at 10pm during peak season (May 2nd- October 30th) .The park opens at 5am year round.

Getting There

From the south, from I-25, take a left on US Highway 24 (Exit 141). Drive past 21st Street and then take a right on either Ridge Road or Garden Ave, depending on which lot you want to park at. The visitor center is on 30th Street, which is to the right of the park facing North.

From the north, from I-25, take the Garden of the Gods Rd west to 30th St. Go S on 30th St. to the visitor's center. Climbing permits are required and can be obtained online

Rock Considerations

There are regulations specific to climbing at this city-owned park, see the Visitor's Center for your permit & list of rules. The phone number is 719.634.6666.

The rock here is a very porous, fragile sandstone; however, the exact qualities of the rock vary from formation to formation. Kindergarten Rock (lighter color) has probably some of the strongest of the weak sandstone here. Beware after any significant rain storms that it can take up to days to dry out. Rock edges here are known to fail without warning. Also, some of the hardware is old, and fixed hardware has been known to fail due to metal stress over time. Make sure to always backup your anchors and key pieces of protection.

Regulations, Online Permit, Map, & Closures

This park is city-owned. Thus, there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed. Each calendar year, you are obliged to fill out a free permit (no longer at the visitor center) that you can get it online. There is now a mandatory video to go along with the free online permiting.
 9327 complied in 2019 and 8,222 complied in 2017. Bouldering is also regulated here: rock scrambling, defined as climbing on a rock formation more than ten feet above its base without proper equipment (again, defined as UIAA standard rope), is prohibited. Also, bouldering is not permitted on Sentinel Rock, Red & White Twin Spires, Signature Rock, & the South face of North Gateway Rock. Certain formations are closed to climbing including, sadly, climbing atop the Kissing Camels and Balanced Rock.

Also, those accessing the climbs need to have gear and permit and be hiking to the base of the chosen route. When a family member or child or non-climbing member of a permitted group is visible to the public, this creates a conflict. The rangers do not enjoy disrupting a climbing party because we cannot identify climbing gear and believe we are seeing an illegal scrambler. Please do not invite all your friends if they are not actively climbing.

As of 2018, climbing on part of the West side of Kindergarten Rock (aka Grey Rock) is NOT permitted due to wildlife issues for the brown bats, nesting raptors, great horned owls, red tailed hawks, and Cooper's hawks. Also, all climbing on Keyhole Rock (aka Sleeping Giant) is NOT permitted. Finally, walking/hiking is NOT permitted between Kindergarten Rock and Keyhole Rock (and Sleeping Giant).

Also, note the park is closed to visitors after 9pm. The 2019 park hours are: May 1 to October 31: 5am - 10pm / November 1 to April 30: 5am - 9pm.

2019 Trail map.

Page 1.

Page 2.

Raptor considerations

"Climbing near raptor nesting [sites] is prohibited. Seasonal clusters of [routes] near nesting [sites] will be posted at the trailhead leading to the climb."

White Chalk is not allowed!

The Park staff want to remind the climbing community that white chalk (calcium carbonate) is prohibited in the park due to visual impact. While any chalk use is discourage, chalk substitute that does not discolor the rock may be used. Eco balls are sold at the Visitor Center.

When placing closure signange/notifications, our park rangers noted chalk stains on several routes in the closure area (Anaconda and Grapefruit Dance), as well as the Blowouts bouldering area (which were cleaned last year, meaning all the chalk here is new). We are again hoping that the community can come together and address this issue before it requires any action on our part. Access may come into play! We'd also like to thank the PPCA for their efforts to remove chalk stains in these areas last year and hope that local climbers might consider helping them remove chalk stains from the rock this season- check their website for more info on upcoming events- pikespeakclimbersalliance.o….

Food

There are an assortment of places to eat in the Colorado Springs area which range from fast food to 4 star dining at The Broadmoor. You can find many options heading south along 30th Street then east on Colorado Avenue. Also, located just SE of the Garden of the Gods is the old-fashioned Mason Jar.

Website

There is a new website that is being created for information on this park. It even has topos of routes on some of the formations.

Rock After Rains

Remember that the soft sandstone of Garden of the Gods is particularly fragile after rains. You should strongly consider refraining from climbing after rains for a few days. Thanks!

Dogs must be in direct physical control by owners

Please keep in mind that climbing locations are close to nesting sites and are often located in erosion-prone areas. As with all other users in the park, visitors must always have physical control (leash in hand) of their dog. Dogs should not be left unattended or tied to a tree with a two-person climbing team, as this typically leads to barking, wildlife disturbances, and other problems. We’re sure your dog would appreciate a walk on a designated trail much more than sitting at the base of a climb.

174 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Garden of the Gods

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 139
Cowboy Boot Crack
Trad, TR
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 125
South Ridge
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 422
North Ridge
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 242
Potholes
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 226
New Era
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 119
Finger Ramp
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
 136
West Point Crack
Trad 3 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 111
Bob's Buttress Crack
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 99
End of an Era
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 130
Crescent Corner
Sport 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 135
Credibility Gap
Sport 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 97
Alligator Soup
Sport 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 89
Mighty Thor
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 87
Diesel and Dust
Sport 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 52
Anaconda
Trad 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Cowboy Boot Crack N Gateway Rock > W Face
 139
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
South Ridge Twin Spires > White Twin
 125
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
North Ridge Montezuma Tower
 422
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Potholes Twin Spires > Red Twin
 242
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
New Era Kindergarten Rock > E Face
 226
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Finger Ramp N Gateway Rock > Southwest Face / Fing…
 119
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
West Point Crack S Gateway Rock > W Side
 136
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Trad 3 pitches
Bob's Buttress Crack Kindergarten Rock > E Face
 111
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
End of an Era Kindergarten Rock > E Face
 99
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Crescent Corner S Gateway Rock > E Side
 130
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Credibility Gap S Gateway Rock > W Side
 135
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Alligator Soup Kindergarten Rock > E Face
 97
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Mighty Thor S Gateway Rock > E Side
 89
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Diesel and Dust Kindergarten Rock > E Face
 87
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 2 pitches
Anaconda N Gateway Rock > N Face / N End
 52
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Garden of the Gods »

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