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Do You Need Hiking Boots for Garden of the Gods? | 3 Options for You

You would agree that Garden of the Gods offers the best hiking trail in the entire Colorado Springs. And why this is our obvious pick as “the best” is because of the “unreal” and majestic natural formation around this hiking site.

However, going on hikes here can usually cause a bit of confusion about the need for hiking boots, especially as a first-time hiker here. Nevertheless, we can assure you that this article will answer your questions about what’s needed and unneeded in the Garden of the Gods.

We are going to give our opinion regarding the question on many new hikers’ lips in Colorado, “do I need hiking boots for Garden of the Gods.” Then, we will give a few tips on what you should know before hiking here and answer some more frequently asked questions.

But, before we proceed to these answers, you might want to get a full breakdown of Garden of the Gods. This breakdown involves its terrain, natural conditions, environment, and animal sightings.

So, let’s get started!

Garden of The Gods | Ultimate Breakdown

Garden of the Gods, one of nature’s finest rocky red sandstone formations. This unique hike site has the best trails for hikers to thrill themselves to a good time. Plus, it sports scenic and panoramic views of Pikes Peak, primarily through the natural window of the Siamese Twins.

Honestly, this park’s major rock formations are superb and breathtaking; even while driving through, you can spot them. And if you are like us, then you probably have wondered why the rocks are red. According to our research, we discovered the rocks get their reddish color from hematite in it.

So, how does this rock-filled hiking zone affect hikers? Well, let’s talk more about Garden of the Gods and its elements in four categories.

1. Terrain

terrain in garden of the gods

The terrains at Garden of the Gods are extremely suitable and generally okay for hikers to move through. Although you get rocky, rough, and sometimes slippery terrains at Garden of the Gods, it is mostly enjoyable.

In Garden of the Gods, some of the trails have paved and marked terrains that are even wheelchair accessible. But, then, some other trails are more likely to stress you out and are unadvisable for wheelchair users due to their ruggedness.

For example, this park’s famous Central Garden trail has one of the easiest terrains for hikers. This hiking trail has paved terrains and has stroller and wheelchair accessibility. Then, you have the more challenging Palmer Trail in the park.

This trail has a way of captivating you with its rock formations and spectrum of terrains. Furthermore, you get to perform more strenuous hikes here because of the more rocky and rugged terrains.

However, the terrains at Garden of the Gods depend on the trail you choose. Some are flat and paved, while others are bumpier and filled with lots of deep-red sandstones.

2. Natural Conditions

rocks in garden of the gods

The natural conditions at Garden of the Gods are scenic. From the naturally balanced rocks to the window view at Siamese Twins and the deep-red monolithic of the terrains, Garden of the Gods genuinely has a divine presence.

At Garden of the Gods, you would see an unmissable massive balanced rock that looks like it would almost topple, but it remains stable. Additionally, the type of rock formations at Garden of the Gods have different compositions; gravel, coarse sand, hematite, and silica.

Then, there is the Cathedral Valley, which has some unusual holdback formations. Plus, you get a good view of Pikes Peak while hiking at Garden of the Gods, especially from the Siamese Twins natural window trail.

3. Environment

The temperature changes in the Garden of the Gods. Even in the winter, you can have sunny days, and the spring season tends to bring out more snow than the winter.

This article’s section will help you fully understand the weather and environmental conditions at Garden of the Gods. But, first, according to the different seasons, let’s see the varying weather and temperature conditions in Garden of the Gods.


fall in garden of the gods

Fall tends to be the most predictable of all the seasons in Garden of the Gods. Plus, you can almost refer to the fall season as one of the pleasant periods in Garden of the Gods, Colorado. This is because the days are warm, while the nights can be pretty cool.

The fall seasons span from September to November and have varying temperature changes. However, the change in temperature during these three months ranges from -1.1°C to 15.6°C (30°F to 60°F).

Precipitation during this season is pretty low; nonetheless, you could get windy conditions for the entire three months. Therefore, your dressing pattern during this season can be T-shirts and shorts. However, as we move closer to October, you might want to consider packing long pants and jackets.


spring in colorado garden of the gods

This is the season that makes Garden of the Gods weather conditions confusing. You’d expect winter to offer the most snow, but no, it’s spring. The spring season (from March to May) offers the heaviest snowfall, and it is usually wet during this period.

The average temperature during the spring ranges from -1.1°C to 18.3°C (30°F to 65°F). April tends to have the highest precipitation during this season, so expect wet and muddy terrains if you choose to hike in Garden of the Gods during this period.

We’d advise that you bring along any wet weather gear like a raincoat while hiking in Garden of the Gods this season. Then, long pants, jackets, T-shirts, and gloves might be a good idea.


summer in garden of the gods

This is the hottest season throughout the entire year in Garden of the Gods. And trust us, you will need the most breathable clothing you can find. Nevertheless, summertime in Garden of the Gods mostly welcomes the most guests due to its mild weather conditions.

From June to August, the temperature ranges from 15.6°C to 35°C (60°F to 95°F). However, sometimes in August, the temperature can spike as high as 37.8°C (100°F), coming with dry heat and low humidity. Nevertheless, you will experience the mildest weather conditions in June.

We’d recommend that you bring refillable water bottles, sunglasses, breathable clothing, and hiking boots. Regardless, to truly enjoy the toasting heat of the summer, you might want to visit the Garden of the Gods in late July or August.


winter in garden of the gods

Are you expecting snow? Well, you might want to keep your expectations low. Of course, it’s cold during this season, but not enough to bring the snow like spring. Even as winter is the “coldest season” in the Garden of the Gods, the days sometimes get to 15.6°C (60°F).

The winter season in Garden of the Gods usually spans from December to February with temperature averaging from -6.7°C to 10°C (20°F to 50°F). December is the coldest month in the season and often where you might see temperatures at 15.6°C (60°F).

What to wear? Long pants, coats, gloves, jackets, and lots of layers for the cold. Expect the coldest months in January and February, as you can even get days of consecutive overcast.

Some information is referred to Pikes-Peak.

4. Animals

bighorn sheep in garden of the gods

While at Garden of the Gods, you don’t only get to see the scenic rocks and landscapes, but some of nature’s finest animals. For instance, you get to see large mammals, crawling creatures, and hundreds of bird species in the park.

The most common animal here is the Bighorn Sheep, which you can spot from the main parking lot. But then, other mammals include Mule Deer, Cottontails, Bobcats, Coyotes, Black Bears, and Elks.

While for the crawling creatures, you get to see rattlesnakes, fence lizards, garter, and bull snakes. Nonetheless, we advise that you don’t engage these animals during your hike – for your safety and that of your hiking group.

Some information is referred to Wildlife Viewing Areas.

Do You Need Hiking Boots For Garden of The Gods?

The need for hiking boots at the Garden of the Gods is often debatable by many old hikers here. However, based on our time on this famous site, we have opinions about using hiking boots.

First off, you already know Garden of the Gods is home to highly rocky terrains that can be uneven for the feet. And the wetness of the spring and winter months tends to create slippery terrains. Then, the hot temperature of summer requires breathable boots.

For us, all these stated slight obstacles in Garden of the Gods call for one significant footwear, the hiking boots. We find hiking boots pretty much needed at Garden of the Gods. Even though some trails are easy and paved, they can become hard on the feet.

Do I need hiking boots for Garden of the Gods? Yes.

Do some people hike without hiking boots on paved trails in Garden of the Gods? Yes.

Do we advise you to hike without hiking boots in the Garden of the Gods? No.

Essential Features of Hiking Boots For Garden of The Gods

So, what makes hiking boots our most recommendable footwear for hikes in Garden of the Gods? Let’s see some of those unique features in this section, making hiking boots the better option.

1. Non-slip Outsoles

This hiking boot feature is one of its major selling designs because it prevents slips and falls while on slippery terrain. In addition, this non-slip outsole in hiking boots creates friction for your feet, even on wet trails.

For instance, in spring or winter at The Scotsman and Buckskin trail, the already “not easy” terrain gets slippery and dangerous for hikers. Falling and hitting a rock can be fatal to hikers’ health and hiking adventures.

For this reason, the non-slip outsoles in hiking boots provide superior traction like never before. Therefore, consider the non-slip outsole as a strong traction causing part of hiking boots.

2. Midsole and Insole

hiking boots for garden of the gods

These parts of hiking boots are responsible for the comfort of your feet. And foot comfortability is essential on any hiking adventure, especially at Garden of the Gods.

The midsole of hiking boots acts as the footbed for your feet and molds over the entire foot to create comfort. This comfort reduces whatever impact passed through plates underneath the hiking boot.

Then, the insole supplies the interior cushioning in your hiking boot. This refers to all the parts surrounding your feet in the interior compartment of your hiking boot.

3. Material

Hiking boots tend to be durable, making them one of the footwear that can withstand the rocky and not-so-good conditions at Garden of the Gods. For instance, the material used in the construction of the upper has abrasion resistance.

Majorly, the materials you will find used in hiking boots construction are leather (split-grain, nubuck, and full-grain), mesh, and synthetics (Denier Nylon and Cordura). And for a long time, they have all proven to withstand the conditions at Garden of the Gods.

4. Waterproof Membrane

waterproof hiking boots in garden of the gods

This feature of hiking boots comes in pretty handy during the spring and winter months. The precipitation during these seasons is on the high side and can often cause your feet to get drenched.

The waterproof membrane (or lining) acts as coverage against water, keeping the inside of the hiking boot dry. The waterproof feature provided by hiking boots keeps your feet dry, even on the wettest days.

Although this feature isn’t the best sometimes in some hiking boots, it does a good job. Meanwhile, the waterproof membrane is just appropriate for the rainy days in the Garden of the Gods.

5. Eyelets and Vented Holes

During the summertime in Garden of the Gods, Colorado, the temperature is usually high. And this high temperature almost certainly results in sweaty and uncomfortable feet.

Just like wet feet, having a sweaty foot can be bad for hikers moving over rocky terrains. So, to reduce and prevent sweaty feet, most hiking boots come with breathable designs.

The eyelets and vented holes in hiking boots allow the flow of air into the footwear. This allowed airflow to reduce the temperature in the hiking boot, thereby causing dry feet.

6. Shanks and Plates

Shanks and Plates of hiking boots in forest in garden of the gods

As earlier stated, Garden of the Gods has rock-filled terrains that are rugged and slightly bumpy. Walking over such a surface means you might often lose your balance when hiking on unpaved trails.

The uneven surfaces of the moderate to difficult trails might cause unbalance while you hike. But, the shanks help to bring about stability as you move over the trails, making it ideal for the terrains at Garden of the Gods.

Then, the plates that act as protective support usually lie between the midsole and the outsole of your hiking boot. This part of your hiking boot keeps your feet safe from sharp rocks and sandstones on the terrains that might pierce your boot from underneath.

Unessential Features of Hiking Boots For Garden of The Gods

Some features cause the debate about the need for hiking boots in Garden of the Gods. These features make going on hikes in Garden of the Gods with hiking boots a bit harder and uncomfortable, and they include;

1. High Collar

Although many hiking boots possess high collars, you don’t need the ones with this feature in Garden of the Gods. Why? High collar hiking boots mean stiff ankle support, which remains unneeded.

Of course, the terrains are rocky at Garden of the Gods, but they are not entirely bumpy. Also, you can hike with little to no ankle support at Garden of the Gods. So, having this feature will make hiking a bit uncomfortable because it tends to restrict the movement of your ankles.

2. Rigid Outsole

rigid outsole of hiking boots in garden of the gods

Although this is an excellent feature of hiking boots, there seems to be a bit of a let off with the design. Sure, rigid outsole often means slip resistance and traction; it also affects how well you feel your movement.

For instance, you can mostly feel your feet on the ground with regular shoes, but hiking boots make it a bit difficult. In addition, the thick and rigid outsole block this sensational feeling sometimes, which can be bad for hiking on rocky terrain.

How? You will often misstep and twist an ankle when you are unable to sense your stepping. Once this happens, it puts your entire hiking in jeopardy because you will likely suffer a sprained ankle.

3. Insulating Materials

Don’t get us wrong here; hiking boot insulation is one of the many required features for hikes in Garden of the Gods. However, hiking boots aren’t the best at providing this feature or design.

Most times, they end up claiming to provide such a design and failing to execute the function. But, then, the ones that provide proper insulation for hiking during the winter in Garden of the Gods tend to be costly.

Let’s say this feature is more in the low-quality section than the unessential category. Nevertheless, hiking boots just don’t do it for us in terms of providing interior insulation.

insulated hiking boots

Hiking Boot Ratings for Garden of The Gods


Editor’s rating


How To Choose Hiking Boots For The Garden of The Gods?

Hiking boots tend to be pretty numerous, and that can make choosing the right one challenging. However, we understand that challenge because we were once like you.

Nevertheless, we will provide you with a guide on how to go about choosing the right hiking boot for Garden of the Gods.

1. Comfortability

This means everything while hiking, especially at the rocky terrains of Garden of the Gods. This comfort makes your hike more enjoyable and long-lasting because it cushions your feet irrespective of the terrains’ nature and shape.

How to spot the most comfortable hiking boots? For us, the most comfortable hiking boots are the ones having PU and EVA-type midsole designs.

They have provided the best cushioning material for hiking boots’ interior for a long time without failing in comfort. Nevertheless, we prefer the EVA midsole designs better because they mold your foot better and offer good arch support.

2. Durability

durable hiking boots in garden of the gods

Unless you like buying hiking boots continuously, then you need to ensure your desired footwear has a long durability. This will make your hiking boot reusable for more hikes over the years.

Personally, the features making hiking boots durable are the upper part and outsole design. We recommend hiking boots having their upper part as leather (full-grain, nubuck, and split-grain), synthetics (Denier Nylon and Cordura), and mesh.

However, the best upper part materials providing the most durability in hiking are full-grain leather and Denier Nylon design. Then, for the outsole, rubber seems to be the most outstanding material choice.

Read more: How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?

3. Traction

hiking boots with traction in garden of the gods

You might not care about your footwear’s traction during the dry season, but in the wet (spring and winter) months, it becomes paramount. While at Garden of the Gods during the wet months, you need to understand that slip resistance and traction are primarily important.

This traction comes from the non-slip outsoles in the boots that grip the wet terrains firmly. Personally, the rubber outsoles in hiking boots provide the best traction. And they are of two types; brown and carbon.

We suggest that you go for the carbon rubber outsoles as they are better grippers. Then, look for hiking boots with scattered tread patterns and enough deep grooves on their outsoles. These will increase the friction of your hiking boot, preventing you from falling.

4. Breathability

Breathability is all about making your feet dry in your hiking boot. This function becomes helpful during the summertime when the temperature is high, and hikers’ feet start to sweat.

To get the most breathable hiking boot, look for the ones with enough eyelets, vented holes, and a breathable lining attached.. Then, the material in the upper part should be nubuck leather, mesh, or Denier Nylon.

However, you might want to be selective of leather when considering breathability. Among the three options, nubuck leather is the least breathable and the most heavily weighted, so consider your options first before choosing.

5. The Right Fit

a man tie his hiking boots in forest in garden of the gods

Purchasing the right hiking boot size is a must. If you go for hiking boots of the wrong size, you risk your hike being uncomfortable and your feet suffering injuries.

For instance, you could have lots of blisters and wounds from wrongly-sized hiking boots because your feet will slap harder against the footwear’s walls. So, how can you determine the right hiking boot size?

Firstly, the right size hiking boot for you will fit snugly on your feet. But, you will still have enough space to feel comfortable. Then, in the toe box compartment, you should be able to wiggle your toes inside the footwear without much effort comfortably.

6. Weight

The weight of your footwear and other hiking gear affects your overall hiking journey, especially in Garden of the Gods. To enjoy your hike better at this hiking zone, you need to ensure that the weight of your footwear is moderate to low.

Besides, several factors of your hiking boot affect its weight. And some of these factors include the choice of material, the thickness of the outsole, and overall construction design.

Also, we understand that the perfect hiking boot weight varies amongst hikers. However, after many surveys, we discovered that the average weight of your hiking boot is around 3 lbs and a few ounces. Anything more than this weight would become heavily weighted for hiking.

7. Protection

hiking boots with high protection

The trails in Garden of the Gods, Colorado, are rocky, even the paved ones. Although they might aren’t the most rugged, they will have traces of sandstones and paddle-like rocks around.

Having any form of heavy impact with these rocks will result in severe foot-related problems. For this reason, hiking boots tend to offer protective composite or rubber toe caps. These toe caps reduce the impact of collisions to the forefoot, keeping your entire feet safe.

Then, the gusseted tongues tend to prevent sand, stones, and rocks from entering the hiking boot. Without this part, your feet will likely feel discomfort should any stone enter while you hike. Then, the thick outsole and plates stop all sharp objects from piercing your feet from underneath as you hike.

8. Waterproofness

waterproof hiking boots for hiking in garden of the gods

As earlier stated, the waterproof membrane or lining is all about keeping water out of the boot. And most times, hiking boots tend to perform an excellent job at waterproofing.

For us, the best waterproofing membrane design for hiking boots are Gore-Tex and eVent linings. But, sometimes, we like to have a bias for Gore-Tex waterproof lining because it has proven to be excellent at waterproofing.

Then, for material choice in the upper part for waterproofness, you might want to consider full-grain leather or Denier Nylon. However, we suggest you go for Denier Nylon because full-grain leather might add extra weight to your hiking boot.

Essential Tips For Hikers At Garden of the Gods

As a hiker going to Garden of the Gods, there are a few things you might want to know. Based on the fact that we have hiked several times at Garden of the Gods, we can confidently share some expert tips with you that would make your hike a bit more interesting.

  1. Get a complete map of the Garden of the Gods.
  2. During the summertime, take along lots of water and sunscreen.
  3. Be on the lookout for rattlesnakes – they are venomous.
  4. Check out the visitor’s center.
  5. Visit the Balanced Rock trail at least once.

Is Garden of the Gods a hike?

Unarguably, Garden of the Gods is the best hiking zone in Colorado Springs and one of the most admired in the country.

Although hiking isn’t the only activity performed on its trails, it is often one of the most practiced. So, is it a hike? Yes and it has several hiking trails.

How hard is it to hike the Garden of the Gods?

From our time at Garden of the Gods, we can tell you that it offers easy and moderate trails to hike. The hikes in Garden of the Gods are not the hardest; they are pretty moderate.

However, the terrains can sometimes be rough and rocky to hike. For instance, the Palmer Trail offers slightly challenging terrains; nevertheless, you can hike comfortably with good hiking boots and gear.

How long do you need at Garden of the Gods?

The time required to hike the Garden of the Gods depends on you and your group at the site. For a car trip around the park, you might use about 60 to 90 minutes.

Then, for hikes, you might use an entire day across the six trails in Garden of the Gods.

Is the Garden of the Gods in the mountains?

The Garden of the Gods lies in Colorado Springs and has some mountain-like rocks that formed naturally.

Of course, it doesn’t exactly lie in the mountains, but you might want to consider the natural formations in Garden of the Gods as mountain-like.

Top 3 Picked Hiking Boots For Garden of The Gods

Although we have already provided you with a guide on picking the perfect hiking boot for Garden of the Gods, we have decided to offer you our top picks.

So let’s see our recommended top three hiking boots for use in Garden of the Gods.

1. Columbia Crestwood Hiking Boot

Columbia Men's Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot Shoe, Dark Brown/Dark Adobe, 7
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Columbia Men's Crestwood Mid Waterproof Wide Hiking Boot features our...
  • HANDY FEATURES: Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free with this boot's...
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: The Crestwood Mid Waterproof Wide Hiking Boot features a lace-up closure for an...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Columbia Crestwood hiking boot comes with a premium 100% leather and mixed textile design in its upper part. Although Columbia claimed this combination brings about high durability in its upper, many users have complained that it isn’t the most durable.

However, this hiking boot tends to perform above average in terms of comfort provision. Several users have commended the advanced midsole technology used in this hiking boot for maximum comfort.

Columbia Men's Crestwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot Shoe, Dark Brown/Dark Adobe, 7
Click image for more info on Amazon

Plus, this hiking boot tends to sport the famous slip-resistant Omni-grip rubber outsole design, which has proven reliable over the years. And lastly, you will find this hiking boot pretty lightweight on your feet while hiking.

However, the Columbia Crestwood hiking boot doesn’t offer the best waterproofing membrane. In fact, past users have referred to it as more water-resistant than waterproof. Regardless, it is an excellent buy for hiking at the Garden of the Gods.


  • 100% leather and textile designs.
  • Advanced midsole technology for improved cushioning.
  • High traction Omni-grip rubber outsole.
  • Lightweight hiking boots.


  • Complaints about this hiking boot’s waterproofing ability.
  • The durability isn’t on the high side.

2. Skechers Relment Pelmo Chukka Hiking Boot

Skechers Men Relaxed Fit¿: Relment - Pelmo Chukka Boot, Khaki Suede, 9 US
  • Waterproof
  • Memory foam
  • Relaxed Fit for a roomy comfort fit at toe and forefoot

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Skechers Relment Pelmo Chukka hiking boot comes with an imported leather material design in its upper. And although this makes the boot appear stylish and nice, its durability can be pretty questionable.

Moreover, this hiking boot performs excellently in terms of traction on wet surfaces. For instance, many users have praised the manufacturers for a well-done rubber outsole design that provides maximum slip resistance on wet terrains.

Skechers Men Relaxed Fit¿: Relment - Pelmo Chukka Boot, Khaki Suede, 9 US
Click image for more info on Amazon

Furthermore, you might find this boot comfortable for walking on the trails in Garden of the Gods. The midsole has an air-cooled memory foam design that has proven effective in bringing comfort to wearers’ feet.

Then, it’s waterproof membrane performs beyond expectations, even during the wet seasons – according to users. However, the durability of the Skechers Relment Pelmo Chukka hiking boots is pretty questionable.

In addition, this might not be the boot for you if you are looking to spend less as it is pretty costly. Nevertheless, it is an excellent hiking boot to buy for hiking in the Garden of the Gods.


  • Sturdy rubber outsole design for maximum traction.
  • Highly comfortable air-cooled memory foam.
  • It comes with a waterproof membrane.
  • Imported leather design.


  • Several complaints about the hiking boots’ durability.
  • Pretty costly.

3. Merrell Yokota 2 Hiking Boot

Merrell Men Yokota 2 Mid Waterproof,Bracken,7
  • Suede and textile upper Metal hook and lacing eyelet for secure lacing Bellows tongue keeps debris...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Merrell Yokota 2 hiking boot comes with a leather and textile design as the material in the upper part. Then, in the outsole, it sports the carbon-type rubber design that gives it maximum traction.

This hiking boot comes with a rubber protective toe cap for your feet’ protection on the rocky terrains in the Garden of the Gods. This feature reduces the colliding impact force on your forefoot – preventing damage or bruises.

Merrell Men Yokota 2 Mid Waterproof,Bracken,7
Click image for more info on Amazon

This hiking boot offers highly breathable textile designs to wick moisture for hikes in the Garden of the Gods during the summertime. In addition, you will find the molded TPU heel design pretty essential for providing stability.

However, after purchasing the Merrell Yokota 2 hiking boot, you will discover that it runs pretty narrow on the feet. Nevertheless, it is an excellent boot to hike within the Garden of the Gods.


  • Leather and textile design.
  • Carbon rubber outsoles give traction.
  • Protective rubber toe cap.
  • Highly breathable lining.
  • Molded TPU heel for added stability.


  • Several complaints about the boot running narrow.


Do I need hiking boots for Garden of the Gods? Yes, you do. However, you might want to start considering the few downsides to using hiking boots before finalizing your decision.

Regardless, in this article, we have detailedly answered some of the frequently asked questions by hikers.

Then, we listed hiking boots’ essential and nonessential features, making them perfect and unsuitable for hikes in Garden of the Gods.

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