It's about time we made it over to Garden of the Gods! Last summer, Baby and I practically lived here. She was too little for a backpack, so we were limited to paved walkways with the stroller. I thought it might be a neat experience for a newborn to look up from her comfy nest in the stroller and see red rocks against the blue sky.
Today was my first time exploring other, less tourist-infested areas of the park. We took the Palmer Loop (3.7 miles, 600 ft. elevation gain), a combination of trails suggested by The Gazette. To be honest, you can catch most of the same views with the easier Chambers/Bretag/Palmer trail circle (3 miles, 250 ft. elevation gain) featured on the Garden of the Gods website.
Our hike began across the street from the North Gateway Rock parking lot with the Palmer Trail. Check out this deer we came across; my camera is not zoomed in at all, and this guy had absolutely no qualms about our presence.
We crossed paths with a couple at a point when one of the babies was getting a little cranky. I overheard the couple approaching ask "Is that a baby or an animal?". That would be one scary animal making noises like that. The couple also asked if we were the "Mommy Parade".
The Siamese Twins rock formation.
Here is a picture of Pikes Peak in the distance. Just below and to the left of the peak is a nearly vertical line etched into the mountainside: The Incline, our next hike.
Just kidding! I'm pretty sure that would be the death of me.
Once you pass the Siamese Twins, take your next opportunity to cross the paved road nearby and join the Scotsman trail. You'll soon cross another dirt road and begin some serious elevation gain. I think Baby started complaining because Mommy wasn't going fast enough. She kicks those little feet against my sides like a horse rider. Giddyup, Mommy!
You can see the Kissing Camels formation in the background.
After the big hill, the remainder of the hike winds through the more popular areas of the park.
Art students sketching the rock formations.