Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Garden of the Gods


 I had quite a few comments about the "Balanced Rock" formation at the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs in my last blog post--click here to read-- so I thought I'd catch up with the photos I took of this amazing place we visited when we stayed at the Broadmoor Resort and Hotel in September--click here to read that post.  This beautiful area of Colorado Springs is not to be missed!  (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


The Garden of the Gods is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs, comprised of giant red rock formations that were created during a geological upheaval along a fault line millions of years ago.  When two surveyors came from Denver City (now Denver), in 1859, to begin the Colorado City (now Colorado Springs) town site they came upon this beautiful area of sandstone formations. M.S.Beach, who related this incident, suggested it would be a "capital place for a beer garden." His companion, Rufus Cable, exclaimed, "Beer garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods." It has been so called ever since.


We began our visit at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. There, the complex geology, ecology, and cultural history of the park comes to life through new hands on interactive exhibits.  Both the park and the visitor center are free, and open to the public--click here to see the visiting schedule


I particularly enjoyed seeing the exhibit of the wildlife that lives in and around the park.


One can see many of the remarkable rock formations by driving through the park...


...so if one is short on time you can drive through the 1,367 acres of the park.


The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sedimentary beds of deep red, pink and white sandstone, conglomerates, and limestones that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak massif.


To truly appreciate the park, however, one must park the car and go walking on one of the many trails in the park!  The 700 hundred ton Balanced Rock is best viewed this way. Click on to enlarge the collage above to read interesting facts about this formation.


There are more than 15 miles of trails in the park, with a 1.5 mile trail, Perkins Central Garden Trail,  that runs through the heart of the park that is paved and wheelchair friendly.


There were still wildflowers blooming in many areas.


White sandstone in the Lyons Formation.


The "Three Graces" rock formation.


It was fun to see the "Cathedral Spires" and the "Sentinel Spire" rock formation close up and be able to touch something that was millions of years old!


In 1879, Charles Elliott Perkins, a friend of William Jackson Palmer, purchased 480 acres of land that included a portion of the present Garden of the Gods. Upon Perkin's death, his family gave the land to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909, with the provision that it would be a free public park. If you click on to enlarge the photo collage above you can see the plaque that has this dedication on one of the rock formations. Palmer also donated land upon his demise, and the city of Colorado Springs purchased more to make the park as large as it is presently.


Our last hike of our visit was along the Siamese Twins Trail to see the rock formation with the same name.  It's a gentle vertical climb of 150 feet, and well worth the effort.


When you get to the top of the trail you are facing the "Siamese Twins" that looks as if they are attached in the middle, as well as many amazing surrounding, giant rock formations.


Almost at eye level, right below where the twins are attached, is this natural framed view of another amazing sight---Pikes Peak!

My husband and I drove up to the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak, nicknamed "America's Mountain," this past summer--click here to read that post.


It is easy to see why two million people visit the beautiful and magnificent Garden of the Gods every year.  It is one of the most beautiful natural places to see in Colorado!



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49 comments:

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Yes...very easy to see why millions visit the Garden of the Gods every year! We so enjoyed our time there a few years ago. Good post...as always!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great pics, My sister and her husband live in the Springs and I am totally jealous of the Garden of the Gods. It is a great place.

Travelogue for the Universe said...

Great tour of the Park!

Barb said...

Your photos show the glory of Garden of the Gods beautifully, Pat. The last time we were there a few years ago, we rode our bikes through the park. I never realized it's so HILLY! From now on, I intend to drive and maybe take a hike. Especially love the framing of your last photo.

Linda W. said...

Wow, what a cool park! Love that Siamese formation! Someplace I'd like to visit if I ever get to that part of Colorado.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, there seem to be no shortage of beautiful sights to visit near you Pat. Of course it's easy to see why the Garden of the Gods is such a popular place with tourists.

The Gathering Place said...

What a beautiful place! Those rock formations were so interesting.

Gracie said...

Amazing landscapes...

Linda Kay said...

Wonderful photos.

Barbara said...

The Garden of the Gods is truly a beautiful place at any time of year. You captured it well with your camera.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I remember the balancing rock ( Scary ) from last week so this was so interesting. What an amazing place. I love the three graces !

NC Sue said...

What a beautiful series - thank you! And thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/11/basilica-shrine-of-saint-mary.html

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, your images of this park are beautiful. I am sorry that my hubby and I did not have time to visit this park during our trip there last year. It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing your visit. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Vee said...

Stunning! Did your commenters wonder how those rocks stayed put? I wondered, My favorite view today is the framed view of Pike's Peak. The frame almost looks as if it is the continental U.S. Either that or a little boy wearing a cap with a feather in it. =D

LÖwin.g said...

Great mountains!

Minkamo said...

Stunning landscape - thank you for sharing these great photos with us!
Have a good week :-D

My name is Riet said...

Garden of the Gods, I believe you. What a beautiful country.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Spectacular! And those trails are a lot more challenging than the ones around here! heehee! Enjoy your week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

There are not many places on earth to match this. What a thrill it must be to experience it!

Thanks for playing today.
Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

Latane Barton said...

That is beautiful, beautiful country!! This time of year should be extra nice. Have a wonderful week. Hugs.

LV said...

Thankful I have had the pleasure of seeing several of things interesting sights. Colorado is simply a beautiful part of the world year round.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

Your photos are great! I love rock formations. I will get crazy taking picture sin this place.

Murthy said...

Wonderful rock garlands..Thanks for sharing.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful garden of rocks with lovely formations.

doodles n daydreams said...

This looks like a wonderful place to visit. Like you I would be fascinated to touch something that is millions of years old. I enjoyed the animal displays as well.

Diana

lotusleaf said...

What a beautiful place! I wish to visit it some time.

Margaret Adamson said...

the rock formations are incredible

carol l mckenna said...

It certainly is the 'Garden of the Gods' ~ and beautiful photography besides! thanks.

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We love Garden of the Gods .... Wonderful keyhole pic of THE Peak! All your photos are great ... Thanks for taking me along...

The thing that always amazes me is that this is a City Park! Not too many municipalities can claim a place like this !

fredamans said...

I can understand the name. Beautiful.

Marie C said...

Beer garden! Glad that travesty didn't happen! :-) Love the shot of Pikes Peak through the twin formations! Beautiful photos of all...we missed it last year but have been quite some time back. Need to go again!

Fun60 said...

It is the colour of the rock and all those different rock formations that are mesmerising.

Donna said...

I do regret not visiting this place when I was in the Springs so I hope to get back to it one...your photos are fabulous and really show its splendor.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

A beautiful place of God's creation Pat. You are lucky to haves many places of interest to visit in Colorado.

Shannon @saltlicklessons.com said...

These formations are SO cool--really awe-inspiring. I would love to visit some day. Have you been to Zion National Park? I think the rocks/formations are similar but I haven't been there either. Your pictures are, as always, fantastic!

Al said...

Yes, one of my favorite places, one that I visit several times every year and one of which I could never grow tired. Lovely photos!

DrillerAA09 said...

LOVE Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor. There is NO place quite like it. Great set of images that bring back some very fond memories. Thanks for sharing.

Sharon said...

What amazing rock formations! I love The Three Graces. A visit to The Garden of the Gods is going on my bucket list!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I loved this post! Thank you, Pat, for sharing your gorgeous photos and information. I especially love your shot of Pike's Peak. Now, I want to go back and see the Garden of the Gods again!

jeannettestgermain said...

Was there about 10 years ago, because hubby had a job in Colo. Springs. Our host insisted we go out there with him. Was glad he did. The rocks are quite striking! Interesting how all my pics are different captures than yours:) The only that is a similar sight is the one of the white lime stone. It's great to see it again, here!

Andrea said...

Thanks for that wonderful tour and beautiful images, as i might not be able to see those in this lifetime.

Rue said...

It looks amazing, Pat!

Your grandkids are completely adorable. I hope you enjoyed your Halloween :)

xo,
rue

ladyfi said...

Your rock formation photos are just lovely!

podso said...

Thanks for the photos of an amazing place. It looked like a warm day. And now we here CO has snow!

ellen b. said...

Wowzers! So beautiful. Love the rich greens and browns!

Ida said...

What a truly amazing place. The rock formations are so grand. I've never visited here but did visit Arches National Park (where there is also a Balanced Rock formation) They are fascinating. The museum sounds cool and how neat that it's (Free). I enjoyed your photos very much.

retriever said...

Wonderfull park in Colorado and photos.

Greeting from Mons in Belgium http://louisette.eklablog.com

Jayanthi Sindhiya said...

Wonderful garden I like the white sandstone rocks and the flowers the most

Jann Olson said...

A beautiful place that I would like to go to again some day. Thanks for sharing your great photos with SYC.
hugs,
Jann