Garden of the Gods is located between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. It provides a variety of great photography opportunities year round. The city park is rightfully rated to be one of the best in the nation. This Garden of the Gods photography guide will show you some specific photo spot suggestions.

The park hours are  from 5:00 am until 9:00 pm. Each entrance has a gate and they will be locked when the park is closed.

A variety of photography locations inside Garden of the Gods. Map provided by Google Maps.

1. Mesa Road Overlook

The overlook is located outside the park. When you drive up Mesa Road you will eventually see a paved parking area on the right. From there you have one of the best views of Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak right behind the rock formations. The parking area also has a gate and is closed at night.

Recommended lens: 24-70mm or 24-105mm

Best Time: This location is good for sunrises or sunsets.

Garden of the Gods from Mesa Road Overlook by Lars Leber

2. Cathedral Valley Overlook

Parking area 3 is located just past the main parking lot. There is only enough room for a few cars and it is difficult to find a spot here especially in the summer.  Right from the parking area you have a nice overlook of Garden of the God’s center.

Recommended lens: 24-70mm or 24-105mm

Best Time: This location is good for sunrises or sunsets.

Garden of the Gods at Night by Lars Leber

It is worth your time walking down the road from this location to get a slightly different view as well.

Garden of the Gods Colorful Cloud Formation by Lars Leber

 

3. Palmer Trail

This trail starts at the main parking lot. There is just enough elevation gain to provide you with an overlook of the park looking east. A great location for sunrises.

Recommended lens: 16-35mm or 24-70mm

Best Time: This is a great sunrise location.

Garden of the Gods Sunrise by Lars Leber

 

4. Central Garden Trails

The main trail is worth your time as well. It is paved and great for strollers and wheelchairs. Take your time and keep an eye out for the numerous leading lines in this area.

Recommended lens: 24-70mm or 24-105mm

Best Time: Any time. I would suggest walking here after you have gotten your sunrise photo or before you take a sunset photo in a different location.


Winter at Garden of the Gods by Lars Leber

5. Siamese Twins

Parking area 14 is the start of the Siamese Twins trail. One classic photo is to get close and frame Pikes Peak through the twin’s window.

Recommended lens: 24-70mm or 24-105mm

Best Time: This location is good for sunrises or sunsets

Siamese Twins and Pikes Peak at Sunrise by Lars Leber

6. Balanced Rock

This is another location you can drive to. Just head to the west end of the park and stop at parking area 15.

Recommended lens: 16-35mm or 24-70mm

Best Time: Any time. I would suggest walking here after you have gotten your sunrise photo or before you take a sunset photo in a different location.


Balanced Rock at Night by Lars Leber

7. High Point Overlook

Parking lot 9 provides a good view of Pikes Peak as well as the park’s rock formations from the south side.

Recommended lens: 24-70mm or 24-105mm

Best Time: This location is good for sunrises or sunsets

Summer Storm Clouds by Lars Leber

8. Valley Reservoir

Several hiking trails are in this area formerly occupied by a reservoir. It has been dry for decades but flooded in 2013 and 2015 providing photographers with a unqiue view. If you have seen photos of a ‘lake’ at Garden of the Gods they were taken during that time.

Recommended lens: 16-35mm or 24-70mm

Best Time: Any time. I would suggest walking here after you have gotten your sunrise photo or before you take a sunset photo in a different location.

Garden of the Gods Reflection Sunrise by Lars Leber

Even without the pond the trees in the area provide a good foreground element. They look especially great with fall foliage in October or hoarfrost-covered in the winter.

Garden of the Gods Fall Foliage by Lars Leber

 

Of course, there are countless more photography locations in or around Garden of the Gods.

Explore and find your own favorite spot! 🙂