All of the planning in the world won’t change the weather. When we arrived in Colorado Springs, we found ourselves under a heavy cloud deck. With a limited amount of time for exploring, we weren’t about to let it dampen our spirits. It had been quite a few years since our last visit and we had a long list of places to see and adventures to enjoy. This meant that we didn’t want to be waiting on the sun to brighten up our vacation. Time to make the most of what we had, so we made our way to our lodging before heading to the Garden of the Gods for some hiking.
Buffalo Bicycle Lodge
When selecting lodging, we have a lot of boxes to check. As I researched options, I spotted a locally-owned motor lodge that caters to cyclists. While we don’t do a lot of riding, we were intrigued by some of the daily options. The clouds followed us to our destination, but rain seemed to be holding off for now. We were hoping it would be overnight showers that left us free to roam during the day. Buffalo Bicycle Lodge is just a few blocks from the Garden of the Gods Park entrance. What a perfect home base for exploring this region. They even offer loaner bikes for those who want to do some pedal-based exploring.
After a refreshing dinner at a nearby restaurant, we decided to do a little reconnaissance in the park. The park is designated a National Natural Landmark. I wasn’t able to uncover what the Native tribes named this place, but the early Europeans called it Red Rock Corral. In 1859, a couple of surveyors were exploring the site and one of them decided it would make a good beer garden. The other stated that it was a space fit for the gods to assemble. During this quick visit, we made a couple of stops to take in the majesty. It seemed like we were always in the presence of Pikes Peak, which sits about 10 miles away. Since the rain was still waiting, we even found time to scramble among some of the more popular outcroppings.
The next morning we found the sun had returned. Our first stop was at the lodge for breakfast. With a day of hiking and scrambling ahead of us, we fueled up with plenty of protein. Buffalo Bicycle Lodge includes breakfast in their room rates, so it makes the price even more appealing. They also have live entertainment on weekends, so we were excited to check it out later in the week. With our bellies full, as well as our coffee mugs, we headed back into the park for more adventure.
The Sun Breaks Out
Since Garden of the Gods is a free attraction, we knew we would use it as a filler if we had free time open up during our stay in Colorado Springs. We started with a visit to the Visitors Center. Here we found trail maps, food and beverages, souvenirs, and bathrooms. It’s a good place to take a break from hiking and grab an ice cream cone. (Yeah, we did that!) Heading into the park, we soon found a parking lot that led to a series of trails. Time to grab our backpack and head out on foot. As we made our way along some paved paths, we spotted a climber on one of the rock features.
A small crowd had assembled to watch the progress. He slowly made his way to the top and we wondered how he would get down. Before he could even begin, another climber appeared. It quickly became apparent that the first climber was setting the path upward. We paused for a moment longer before finally heading back down the trail. There was a lot of the park to explore and daylight was burning. The majority of the roads are one-way, so we found ourselves doubling back at times. No problem there, as it gave us another view of the amazing landscape.
Waiting On The Sun
Scrambling among the red rocks reminded us of our visit to Arches National Park (Read about that trip here). The Garden of the Gods has a lot of accessible spaces, so it is truly user friendly. The sunshine quickly escalated the temperatures, so we curtailed our hiking by lunchtime. We knew that there would be more chances in the evenings and early mornings. In the meantime, we had plenty more to explore around Colorado Springs. Have you ever visited garden of the Gods?