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The Pikes Peak Region is home to many natural and entertainment attractions- (Check this out … Colorado Springs Info). One of my favorite places is Garden of the Gods. Today I took a personal field trip to the “Garden”- a beautiful collection of enormous red rock formations nestled in the foothills of of Pikes Peak. I took some pictures (shown here) and basked in the Serenity of the Awe of Mother Nature.
What IS the Garden of the Gods?
- About One Thousand Million Years ago, the Ancestral Rocky Mountains (Rockies I) began to form. Then, about 180 million years ago, they erode and become buried in their own debris. (No more mountains!)
- The dinosaurs become extinct and another “uprising” of the Rockies begin- and the “sedimentary formations of the Garden of the Gods” begin tilting up. This is known as Rockies II. This all happens about 70 million years ago.
- The final stage (Rockies III) of Rocky Mountains began about 12 million years ago – with the final erosion (what we see today) of the Garden of the Gods beginning about 10,000 years ago.
There have been archeological findings that dates tribal life around the Garden of the Gods to over 3,000 years ago. More recent tribal activity belongs to the Ute Indians, who regarded the “Garden” as a Holy Land- well before the name “Garden of the Gods” ever came to be.
- In 1859, two surveyors from Denver were scouting out land for “Colorado City” when they stumbled across this natural monument. One exclaimed that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden” and the other one replied with, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”
- In 1871, General William Jackson Palmer founded Colorado Springs, Colorado- and helped extend the railroad through Colorado. The head of the Burlington Railroad, and friend of General Palmer, Charles Elliot Perkins “bought” 240 acres that included what we know today as the Garden of the Gods in 1879. He never built anything on it, but did add more land to it. Perkins always wanted it to remain in it’s natural state so the public could enjoy it. He died in 1907, and in 1909 his children conveyed all 480 acres to the City of Colorado Springs, “where it shall remain free to the public” – like Perkins had always wanted.
What does the Garden of the Gods Offer?
The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center offers information on the creation and history of the Garden of the Gods, as well as great classes for all ages, a gift shop and restaurant as well as stunning views of Pikes Peak and the Garden.
- Check out the Garden of the Gods Trading Post – Here you will love all the Native American jewelry, rugs and Southwestern artwork. There is also a great souvenir shop and cafe- serving Buffalo Burgers…Yum!
- There are hiking and technical rock climbing adventures for everyone and every skill level. There are paved as well as natural trails- and many horse and dog friendly trails as well!
- Photo Opportunities around every corner! Look for the “Kissing Camels”- at the right angle, from MANY parts of the city, 2 rock formations look like 2 camels …kissing! Another favorite of mine is Balanced Rock. Erosion took away much of the base of this rock- leaving it precariously “balanced”.
- Many people choose to get married in the breath-taking settings of the Garden. There are areas that truly feel like God’s Chapel! …In fact, WE were married in the Garden of the Gods in the Spring of 1995!
Alone, with friends or family, or with a guided tour, your Garden of the Gods experience will etch in your memory forever.