Garden of the Gods Trading Post is your one-stop shop for Colorado souvenirs and collectibles. Constructed in the 1900’s, the trading post has grown to serve over 400,000 visitors a year.

The trading post has a little bit of everything—food, souvenirs, clothing, artwork, crafts and even a massive Kodiak bear who won my heart immediately. (he’s stuffed)

Garden of the Gods Trading Post is certainly a unique experience. I’d recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.

The Birth of Colorado’s Largest Trading Post

Garden of the Gods Trading Post has been around for a long time. Charles E. Strausenback founded the trading post in the 1920’s. The idea was to give visitors an opportunity to experience (and purchase) a bit of Native American culture.

Walking through the Trading Post today it’s neat to look back on the history of the place. There are many vintage photos displayed throughout the building that tell the story. (hint: The best spot to find these is near the cafe)

Garden of the gods trading post expansion plans

Trading Post Expansion Plans (photo taken at Garden of the Gods Trading Post)

Garden of the Gods Trading Post Grows Up

Over the years, the Trading Post expanded significantly. There have been at least six expansions since those early days.

I appreciate that in spite of all the growth the trading post has kept a unique feel. The structure has certainly grown larger, but there’s been an effort to keep the character of the place intact.

In terms of location, you can’t beat it. The trading post is nestled into the southwest corner of Garden of the Gods. The area has an almost magical feel.

Giant jagged red rocks jut out from sloping hillsides. Juniper and sage thrive in the area. In the distance, Pikes Peak rises triumphant. It’s really quite beautiful.


Shopping at Garden of the Gods

If you’re in the mood to shop, Garden of the Gods Trading Post has you covered and then some. There are mugs and signs, t-shirts and jewelry, games, notebooks and much more. If you can think of it, Garden of the Gods Trading Post has a Colorado branded version of it.

There’s also food. Thank goodness! If you’re hungry after hiking around the park (or waiting for your spouse while they browse the trading post), grab a bite to eat at the Balanced Rock Cafe.

Located inside the trading post, the cafe features a wide variety of sandwiches and burgers, including the “world famous” Buffalo Burger.

I ate breakfast there and it was good. There’s also a peaceful patio area where you can sit and enjoy your meal in the fresh Colorado air.

Garden of the Gods Trading Post Shopping

Other Amenities

Garden of the Gods Trading Post also features amenities for group gatherings. The grounds are suitable for a wide variety of meetings and even weddings.

The group area is called the Peak View Conference Center. The center, also located at the Trading Post, has room for up to 120 guests with a private garden and views of Pikes Peak.

For smaller gatherings there are also two outdoor venues.

Final Thoughts

I’ve personally visited Garden of the Gods Trading Post on multiple occasions. I’m always struck by the experience. It’s just a fun place to visit.

The location is beautiful and the offerings are plentiful. If you’re in the area it’s definitely worth a visit.

For more info visit the official Garden of the Gods Trading Post website.


Summer hours: 8 am – 8 pm.
Winter hours: 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Open all year.


324 Beckers Lane
Manitou Springs, Colorado 80829