Round Trip Distance: 0.5-2.0 miles
Elevation: 6391 - 6469 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: P2 thru P7
Attractions: Scenic geology
The Central Garden trail is located in the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trail makes a loop around the grassy wooded area on the west side of the iconic sandstone fins for which the Garden of the Gods is famous for. This post also includes a section of the Gateway trail that is on the east side of the Central Garden rock formations.
Parking can be difficult at times in the Garden of the Gods Park. The largest parking area is P2, at the top of the Gateway trail. There are several other places along the loop road. When all else fails you can park at the Visitor Center and take the Gateway trail to the Central Garden trail as well as a few other trails that are nearby.
The Central Garden trail is wheelchair accessible and the P4 parking lot is reserved for just such visitors.
The paved trail makes a loop around a grassy wooded area. This photo is of the passageway between North Gateway Rock and South Gateway Rock with White Rock in the background. The green tones of the grass and trees contrasted by the reddish colored sandstone cliffs creates an appealing scene.
Interpretive signs provide interesting facts about the history of the park as well as other topics like its geology.
All of the prominent rock features have their own names. The different colored peaks in the background are known as Gray Rock, a.,k.a. Cathedral Rock.
White Rock is another one that's color makes it standout from the rest.
Kids like climbing on the smaller rocks around the Gateway area. With that said, climbing on the rocks over 10 feet off the ground requires a climbing permit without which can result in a fine of up to $500 dollars and/or 90 days in jail.
Near the southeast side of the Garden Loop the trail splits and offers a shorter and a longer route to choose from.
The longer loop has a little elevation gain but it is still paved. At the top of the loop is where the unpaved, and somewhat primitive, Upper Garden Loop begins.
The elevated position of the longer loop provides another perspective from which to take pictures of the Central Garden Area.
All is not lost if you opt for the shorter loop as most will find the Garden of the Gods is a great subject for photographs no matter where you are standing or whatever the weather might be.