Colorado gardens offer challenging hikes, stunning views, and calming ponds

Colorado is one of the best states to visit if you enjoy nature. I returned for a second time this year and was so glad that I had a rental car this time to explore all of the amazing places in and around Denver.

On my bucket list was the Garden of the Gods, and it didn’t disappoint. Upon entering the park I was stunned to see these amazing rocks in all sizes and shapes. I stood and imagined what it must have felt like to own the land in 1879. What an incredible story. 

Traveling in the summer does have its downfalls, there were many other tourists on the roads and some of the points were a bit crowded. So I’d recommend going in spring or fall. The only reason I went in the summer was that I was traveling for work.

Garden of the Gods 27w SIG

There are some great trails in the park that are moderately challenging. I did the Chambers, Bretag, Palmer trail, which is a moderate, 3-mile hike with less than a 250-foot rise. Views from above the roads offered a different perspective. Here’s a link to more trails. You can also spend time in the education center and learn more about history. And an entire day full of activities could offer more exploration. I enjoyed wandering on the trails and capturing some of the amazing views along the way.

In addition to the Garden of the Gods, I visited the Denver Botanical Gardens for an afternoon of lingering in and around the aromatic scents of more than 70,000 specimens collected across Colorado and the greater Southern Rocky Mountain Region.

Denver Botanical Gardens 57 sig

Just walking around in the botanical gardens, I was really impressed with the combination of art and careful consideration for incorporating plants into the artwork theme. Included in their collections are the Alpine, Amenity, Aquatic, Native, Steppe, Tropical, Cactus & Succulents. Individual plants within these collections are grown for aesthetic purposes, research and/or conservation efforts.

This garden is worth the visit. Although it’s a bit expensive if you’re on a budget, so make it worth it and spend the entire day enjoying the grounds, finding a moment to meditate and find some peace, this is a great place to feel present.


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