The Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods: A Spectacular Showcase of Nature and History

If you are looking for a place to enjoy the stunning scenery and rich history of Colorado, you might want to visit the Garden of the Gods, a 1,300-acre park located in Colorado Springs. The park features dramatic red rock formations that rise from the green landscape, creating a striking contrast and a breathtaking view. The park also offers a variety of activities, such as hiking, biking, climbing, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. The park is also a National Natural Landmark and a registered National Historic Place, with a long and fascinating history that spans millions of years.

The Garden of the Gods was formed by a series of geological events that started about 500 million years ago, when the area was covered by a shallow sea. The sea deposited layers of sand, silt, and limestone, which later hardened into sedimentary rock. About 300 million years ago, a mountain-building event called the Ancestral Rocky Mountains uplifted the rock layers, creating folds and faults. About 65 million years ago, another mountain-building event called the Laramide Orogeny pushed up the present-day Rocky Mountains, including Pikes Peak. This event also tilted the rock layers along a fault line, exposing them to erosion and creating the vertical and slanted formations that we see today. The most prominent formations in the park are the Kissing Camels, which resemble two camels kissing, and the Balanced Rock, which looks like a large boulder precariously balanced on a smaller one.

The Garden of the Gods was also shaped by human history, dating back to the prehistoric times. Archaeological evidence shows that the park was visited by Native Americans as early as 1330 BC, and was considered a sacred place by several tribes, such as the Ute, the Apache, the Cheyenne, and the Comanche. The park was also a popular stop for travelers and settlers who used the Ute Pass Trail, a historic route that connected the plains to the mountains. The park got its name in 1859, when two surveyors, Melancthon Beach and Rufus Cable, explored the area and were amazed by its beauty. Beach suggested that it would be a great place for a beer garden, but Cable exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why, it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”

The park was privately owned until 1909, when it was donated to the city of Colorado Springs by the children of Charles Elliott Perkins, a railroad tycoon and friend of the city’s founder, General William Jackson Palmer. Perkins had bought 480 acres of the park in 1879, and had intended to make it a public park before he died. His children fulfilled his wish, and gave the park to the city with the condition that it would remain free to the public and free from any buildings or structures, except those necessary to protect and maintain the park. The park has since expanded to its current size, and has been improved with trails, roads, facilities, and a visitor center. The park also hosts educational programs, guided tours, and special events throughout the year.

The Garden of the Gods is open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The admission is free for everyone, and the park is accessible by car, bike, or bus. The park is located at 1805 N. 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. For more information, visit their website or call (719) 634-6666.

The Garden of the Gods is a must-see destination for anyone who loves nature, history, and adventure. The park is a spectacular showcase of the geological and cultural heritage of Colorado, and a place where you can experience the beauty and wonder of the natural world. The park is more than just a garden, it is a place where the gods and humans meet.

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