One-way Distance: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6326 - 6415 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Visitor Center
Fee: none
Attractions: Easy access to park

The Gateway trail is located in the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trail begins at the Visitor Center where it parallels the Gateway Road into the park. That makes the Gateway trail a great alternative for accessing the Garden of the Gods that helps relieve congestion on the loop road.

To get started look for the paved route near the southwest corner of the Visitor Center parking area that passes through a viaduct beneath the roadway. We are heading out at sunrise but note that if it is late in the day that the parking lot at the Visitor Center is locked at 5pm so plan accordingly so that your vehicle doesn't get locked in.

After passing beneath the roadway the route crosses the paved Foothills trail.

The Gateway trail continues over a hard packed path that is suitable for baby strollers.

One of the added bonuses for starting early is that the local deer haven't bedded down for the day. They should be easy to spot in various places along the trail.

The trail makes its way over to the Gateway Road and parallels it the rest of the way to its intersection with the Juniper Way Loop which travels around the Central Garden area.

Taking the Gateway trail into the park makes it easier to enjoy prolonged views of the scenic geological rock formations than is possible from a vehicle. The stop and go traffic at times might make getting around in a vehicle take longer than it does on foot but stressing over the persons bumper in front of you is probably less enjoyable.

At the intersection of the Gateway and Juniper Way Loop there are multiple trail options available. The crosswalk on the left leads into the mountain biking area of the park where a network of hiking and biking trails await. The Bretag trail begins on the right at this point where it leads around to the main parking area while providing access to the Dakota and Palmer trails.

Crossing the Juniper Way Loop Road at the intersection leads straight into the Central Garden Area. The Central Garden Area is restricted to foot traffic only. Dogs are permitted the same as in other areas of the park provided they are on a short leash and kept under control.

It seems that no matter what time of the day it is or what type of weather is occurring the iconic rock formations in the Garden of the Gods create a pleasant experience that soothes the mind. It is natures own therapy at its best.

The Central Garden Area lies between North Gateway Rock and South Gateway Rock. From here there are wheelchair accessible trails that navigate routes both on the east and west sides of the area with a handicap only parking lot available off of the loop road. For those that don't mind getting a little extra exercise the Gateway trail is a great option to consider when visiting the Garden of the Gods. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.