Palmer, Cabin Canyon, Strausenbach, and Central Gardens Trail Loop

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Garden of the Gods

Palmer, Cabin Canyon, Strausenbach, and Central Gardens Trail Loop is a 4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Manitou Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.0 miElevation gain593 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyHikingWalkingPartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo shade
Description
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Getting There

This partially-paved, family-friendly loop trail has great views of interesting rock formations such as the Siamese Twins. Accessibility: This entire loop is not wheelchair/mobility equipment/stroller friendly. The paved portions of this trail are accessible as they are wide and mostly flat, but the sections where the trail turns to gravel there are also steep estimated grades (10% - 14% between 1.4 and 1.8 miles, 2.1 to 2.3 miles, and 2.8 to 3.1 miles). There are also some stairs in the dirt trail sections. The fully accessible, all-paved section is called the Perkins Central Garden Trail and that trail page can be found here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/perkins-central-garden-trail

Stop by the Garden of the Gods Trading Post near the south end of the loop for a little air-conditioned break to check out souvenirs and maybe grab a quick bite too!

Take Garden of the Gods Exit off of I-25, go west to 30th Street, then south to Garden of the Gods Park.

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Reviews (467)
Photos (2,713)
Recordings (279)
Completed (2,719)
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Sertan Usanmaz
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Hiking

Did this hike on 1/15. Great trail with awesome views of the rock formations. The trail is very well marked and easy to follow. Wasn’t hard at all. There’s a couple spots along the way that make for some nice photo shoots! I would recommend this trail for anyone who is searching for a casual fun hike in Colorado. Follow my Instagram account for more dope hiking content! @sertanusanmaz

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Todd Hammerle
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Hiking
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Laura's Lost
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Hiking
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Gautham Kannan
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Hiking
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K ks
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Hiking
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Fernanda Kirk
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful set of trails with plenty of different sights to see. Stay for the sunset to see amazing views from the park and over the mountains.

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Holly Dachroeden
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Hiking

Absolutely beautiful!

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Jason Sydejko
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views. Busy though

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Rebecka Snell
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Hiking

The trail is incredible. The amount of people on a Saturday... not so much.

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David Dornbrack
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Hiking
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Sammi Kay
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Backpacking

Did this trail this morning with my pup and we had a good time! it's very crowded but that was to be expected.

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Alex Avila
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HikingGreat!

Excellent!!! I loved it

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MIKE KRENZKE
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Hiking
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Shannon Barnes
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Hiking

This is more than 4 miles long. We clipped the last part of the trail short and still did over 4 miles. I was under the impression the whole thing was paved, not so. I should have brought my walk stick. You also have to dodge horse dung.

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Jai Gandhi
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An incredibly unique and thoughtful combination of a few

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Mosh Rahman
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Walking

Very nice trail with gorgeous scenery. Many people there so it tends to get crowded but the Garden really nice. People should wear a mask inside

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Hunter Janis
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Hiking

Beautiful scenery, well taken care of

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Asaad Hossain
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Hiking
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Trevor F
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Hiking
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julie_journeys on instagram
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HikingGreat!

Beyond amazing park, this was my first hike in Colorado and I know it will be one that I remember for a very long time. Popular for a reason - I visited on a Tuesday got to the lot at 8:50AM and it was pretty quiet. After completing the hike, it was jam packed. The central garden has a huge wow factor, but is the most populated spot. There were some really great views from the far end of the loop - especially loved the siamese twins, a must see! Enjoyed seeing deer, rabbits, and prickly pear cacti. Follow my instagram for more adventures @julie_journeys

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Tamiko Escalante
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Hiking

Got to Main Parking lot at 7am and there was plenty of parking but get there earlier if you want to snag a parking spot under the few trees there. first part is all paved and great to get there early for lots of great photo ops before the crowds of people arrive. the trail is difficult to find since there is no signage so use your GPS to follow the route. the horses use the same trail in the beginning so watch out for their ! thats really the only downside since I was busy watching where I was stepping versus taking in the beautiful surroundings. we stopped by the Trading Post for a bathroom break and grab a quick bite to eat. then we kept going south to the Balance Rock Trail then we looped back around and followed the rest of this map. overall cant wait to explore more of Colorado!

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Gary Tindall
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Hiking

Did this loop back on 9-17-2018. Decided to go counter clockwise on Palmer Trail. Liked going this way as we did the actual dirt trails first, saving the sidewalks and crowds for the very last part. Also get to view the formations from a short distance before getting up close later. A good number of smaller formations on the route in the first half. Not much shade, so prepare for that.

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B H
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Hiking

This really isn’t a trail, it’s a paved sidewalk around the rock formations. Looks cool from a distance, but in my opinion a waste of time. Plus it’s stupid busy with tourists. My advice, drive around it, take some pics and then bail.

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Karen Witsell
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Hiking

Horses everywhere

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Mariana Goncalves
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Hiking

Horrible.. not sure why it’s even called a trail. Just a tourist attraction, take some pics and head back out. Overcrowded, concrete path, poorly marked (the path splits a million times), and parking a zoo - thumbs down.

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Cody Stewart
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absolutely gorgeous get there early in the morning the Rocks glow so beautiful

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Julia Kim
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HikingGreat!

Very easy and absolutely gorgeous. Oat milk latte was a great treat

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Amy Ruebeck
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Get there early, parking fills up quick.

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Travis Scherr
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HikingRocky
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KayLee Parson
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Walking

Garden of the Gods is a must see if your visiting from out of town, but because it’s such a tourist hot spot it’s always crowded and hard to find parking spots. This exact trail isn’t marked so following it precisely is a bit hard, but once you’re there you can really just walk around wherever and explore. If you have a stroller, stay inside the big main looped road that encompasses the largest rocks because those trails are mostly paved or easy gravel. This trail map starts you on paved sidewalk but when you get to a street crossing, the rest is rocky and not stroller friendly.

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