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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

Garden of the Gods Stargazing Park: My Summer Trip Adventure

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

As a veteran traveler, I know how exhilarating it is to find that perfect location for your next great adventure. When I was looking through my stargazing to do lots of different parks, one particular spot caught my eye: the Garden of the Gods Stargazing Park in Colorado Springs. This summer I decided to take on this breathtaking natural wonder and let me tell you—it exceeded all of my expectations! From various hiking trails offering incredibly scenic views to the starlit night sky that will leave you speechless—this park really does have something for everyone. So join me as we explore all there is to love about this magical place!

Garden of the Gods Stargazing Park

Start By Learning About This Natural Wonder

Have you ever thought about visiting a natural wonder at night? Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO is an amazing place to visit during the day, and it’s even more spectacular after dark. On my recent trip to Garden of the Gods, I was able to experience the wonders of stargazing up close and personal. In this post, I will share with you some highlights of my trip and why you should consider a visit.

What Is the Garden of the Gods?

Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark located in Colorado Springs, CO. It’s known for its stunning red sandstone formations that were formed millions of years ago by forces from within Earth. The park has been designated as a “dark sky park” due to its excellent viewing conditions for stargazing.

What is the Best Time of Day to Go to the Garden of the Gods?

For many, the best time to visit Garden of the Gods is late at night, when darkness allows the night sky to take center stage. With its clear skies and far-reaching view of the stars, stargazing is a popular activity among late-night visitors. Clear skies also make it an ideal place for a late night sky watch; its unique rock formations against a sparkling night sky provide a spectacular visual experience. If late-night visits aren’t your style, consider stopping by during sunrise; its array of astounding colors paint an unforgettable picture that you can't help but marvel at. There really is no bad time to visit Garden of the Gods, but late at night or in the wee hours of morning offers up some truly unforgettable views.

Garden of the Gods

Can You Get Into the Garden of the Gods at Night?

Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center winter hours are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily. Summer hours (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend) are 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. daily. Garden of the Gods Park opens at 5:00 a.m. year-round with a closing time of 9:00 p.m. November - April and 10:00 p.m. May - October. Both the Park and Visitor & Nature Center are FREE and open to the public.

What to Pack for a Stargazing Trip

Gear Up With The Right Equipment

If you’re planning on taking pictures, I recommend bringing along binoculars or a small telescope so that you can get closer looks at certain stars and planets. But even if photography isn't your thing, it's still important to bring items such as blankets, flashlights (with red filters), bug spray, snacks, water bottles- anything that will make your stargazing session comfortable and enjoyable! After all, what good is getting amazing views of space if you're too cold or uncomfortable? Additionally, if there are other people joining you on this excursion, consider downloading a star charting app so everyone can easily identify constellations without having to carry around bulky books or charts.

sunset in Garden Of Gods

Look Out For Other Wonders In The Sky

When out in nature admiring the stars and galaxies above us, remember to also look out for other wonders in the sky such as shooting stars! Keep an eye out for meteor showers as they often occur throughout summer months. If luck is on your side during these months then happy spotting! It's also worth noting that sometimes there are special events like lunar eclipses which can be equally as mesmerizing when viewed through binoculars or telescopes (or even just with our naked eyes). Just make sure to do some research before heading out so that you know exactly when these events take place!

As I mentioned before- whether it’s your first time or tenth time- packing for a stargazing trip requires careful planning ahead of time so that everything goes smoothly once night falls. By following these simple tips- finding an ideal spot away from light pollution; packing essentials such as blankets and snacks; bringing binoculars/telescopes; downloading star charting apps; keeping an eye out for shooting stars/special events- I guarantee that anyone can have an incredible evening filled with endless possibilities under starry skies! Good luck!

The Binoculars I Used for Stargazing at Garden of the Gods

My recent trip to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs was full of adventure and exploration. What I didn’t know was that my camping trip would turn into an amazing stargazing experience. To get the most out of this breathtaking view, I needed a pair of binoculars that could help me explore the stars in greater detail.

Binocular Size & Type

I had to consider several factors when choosing a pair of binoculars for my stargazing adventure. The first factor was size and type, which can affect how much light your binoculars can gather from distant stars and other celestial objects. For example, if you want to look at star clusters or galaxies, you will need larger binoculars with bigger lenses like 50 mm or 60 mm models that can collect more light from distant objects. Smaller ones are better suited for closer objects such as planets or moons.

Magnification & Field Viewing Angle

The next factor to consider is magnification and field viewing angle. Magnification is usually represented by two numbers separated by an "x" (e.g., 7x50). The first number indicates the level of magnification while the second number represents its lens size in millimeters; this tells you how much light it can gather from far-off stars and objects in space. For instance, if you have a 7x50 binocular, it has seven times magnification power and its lens has a diameter of 50mm which makes it perfect for long-distance observations like stargazing at Garden of the Gods! Finally, it’s important to look at field viewing angle – this determines how wide an area you can observe at once through your binoculars; wider angles are better for observing constellations and star clusters since they allow you to see more than one star cluster or constellation without having to move around too much!

Packing & Purchase

Lastly, don’t forget about packing and purchase considerations when looking for your perfect stargazing binoculars! Make sure that your binoculars come with a carrying case so they won’t be damaged during transport; also make sure they have straps so they won't slip out of your hands while you're using them! As far as purchase goes, there are tons of great options available on Amazon - just make sure you read reviews before buying so you know what kind of quality to expect!

All in all, finding the right pair of binoculars for my night sky exploration wasn’t too difficult – but it did require some research and consideration beforehand! With all these tips in mind, I'm now confident that I made the right decision when picking out my ideal model for my adventures at Garden Of The Gods National Park! So whether you’re looking to take up bird watching or simply curious about exploring outer space up close through stargazing - keep these tips in mind next time you shop around!

This is the Binocular Model I Use:

Celestron Skymaster 25x100 Binoculars
Celestron Skymaster 25x100 Binoculars

Get it from Amazon now: $345.95 & FREE Returns

Helpful review: "This was my first pair of any kind of binoculars. After researching and combing reviews for 2 months in all sizes and configurations applicable to stargazing only, I purchased these knowing they might go right back...and three sessions with this thing was all I needed to get the refund process started. Why? BECAUSE THE VIEW IS GORGEOUS AND I WANT MORE LOL Honestly, I love these, but I knew that if binocular stargazing gave me a considerable experience to go with my Cassegrain, I would want more than 25X. Even at that power, these 100mm's made starscan sweeps that peppered your view with 10X more stars than you'll see naked eye viewing in remote locations. I'm positive that a smartphone holder and motor mount would have pulled up a few nebulas straight to my gallery, but it's already on its way back. 'm 6'4 with an IPD of around 68-70(?), quick pivot adjustment and I confirmed collimation was A+ out the box. That seemed to be the biggest complaint with these larger binoculars during my research, Celestron came through on that part. The nylon carry case is adequate and sensible, I see other brands with hard cases and as a 25+yr Pelican user, I honestly would get my own Pelican for something this big and valuable instead of trusting a no-name brand case to hold up. You need a parallelogram mount. I also lift and stay active regularly, I was able to hold these steady, but it was not as enjoyable as me mounting them and things being a lot smoother. Do not use a regular tripod unless it's something super heavy duty. I used a Bosch construction tripod meant for laser levels, it was overkill, but imagine this precious beauty smacking the ground. No lol All all in all, Celestron delivered here, my thing is for the size, weight, and mount/tripod integrity investment, once I personally commit to that level, I'm okay with spending a bit more to get more power. If all you want to do is stargaze and not view nebulas or planetary rings in real time, these are perfect and priced with considerable value in mind for that purpose. If you want more than that, you can stick to telescopes the same price or a little cheaper that will give you a bit more power or you'll no doubt jump up to the $1K-2800-5K+ binocular offerings that allegedly give you the best of both formats, accept 1.25 eyepiece variations, filters, etc. I conclusion, you're not losing here, there is value and quality, you will get an eyeful of stars and lunar mountain ranges...but once you get hooked, you will want more. I would have kept these if I felt I would get at least 2yrs satisfaction without any immediate urge or ability to upgrade before then.." - M. Eggleston

Get it from Amazon now: $345.95 & FREE Returns

My Experience Stargazing At Garden Of The Gods

When I arrived at Garden of the Gods after dark, I was taken aback by how dark it was compared to other places I had visited before. It was so quiet and peaceful too! I could see thousands upon thousands of stars twinkling above me in the night sky. The stars were so clear and bright that it almost felt like they were just within reach!

It was mesmerizing watching them dance across the night sky as if they were putting on their own light show for us visitors. It felt like time had stopped and I could just sit there forever taking it all in. After spending time marveling at the night sky, we ventured further into the park where we found ourselves surrounded by towering sandstone walls glowing orange in the moonlight. It was breathtaking! We stayed until sunrise watching as these ancient rocks changed color from deep orange to yellow under each new light source; a truly magical experience that I won't soon forget!

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