Is located in Colorado Springs. The site is a National Natural Landmark, having been recognized by the Department of the Interior as “a nationally-significant natural area.” It’s also city-owned and free to the public, truly one of a kind. The Park has towering sandstone formations, a wonderful view of Pikes Peak, both paved and unpaved hiking paths, horseback trails, a mountain bike area, and several picnic areas.
The park was privately-owned until 1909, at which time 480 acres of land that includes the large rock formations was gifted to the city by the children of railroad magnate Charles Elliot Perkins. It was Perkins’ wish that the park be kept forever open and free to the public. Since 1909, other lands around the original 480 acres have been acquired by the city. Currently, the Garden Of The Gods Park is 1320 acres in size.
We booked a trolley tour from “Adventures Out West” to get us familiar with the park.
Adventure Out West’s open-air trolley tours seat 14 guests at a time and last 45 minutes. The trolley we rode in was a replica of the original one used at the park in 1909.
We came across a rock formation called “Pregnant Squaw”
This rock formation is called “Cathedral Spires”
Here is a rock formation called “Sleeping Giant”
“Steamboat” rock was once privately owned and tourists climbed upon the rock for photographs.
Our trolley ride ended and we walked to see other sights and sounds.
The rock formation on the left looks like a left hand with the thumb in the air.
Dave is checking our progress. . . We are here . . .
“After a day’s walk, everything has twice it’s value” G.M. Trevelyan
This rock formation, called Sentinel Rock, is a geologic treasure. It is composed of two types of rock – a fine sandstone and a gravelly conglomerate. The various layers in this rock were deposited 275 million years ago. During that time, ancient rivers flowed out of the ancestral Rocky Mountains and sand dunes were beginning to creep across the landscape.
The ripple marks you see on this rock represent a sandstone “cast” of one stream bed layer. Alternating layers of coarse and fine gravels were deposited when streams ran with high or low energy. The fact that the streambed is now vertical shows that the rock layers were tilted upward long after the sediments were turned into solid stone.
Since assuming their vertical positions, these rocks have continued to change shapes as water freezes in cracks and wind erodes the soft sandstone into unusual, bizarre shapes. Millions of years from now, the rocks may once again be a pile of sand and pebbles.
In 1935 a Jaycees civic group began a Garden of the Gods Park tradition by hosting Chuckwagon dinners at this site. The western style suppers proved to be very popular and within a few short years, hundreds of people were attending three times a week. As the event grew in popularity, the Jaycees constructed a covered patio that was soon named the Pavilion. Although the last Chuck Wagon supper was served in the 1980s, the outdoor structure remained as a picnic shelter in the Park until 1995.
That’s all that is left of the shelter, I can only imagine it was a great place to be!
This rock formation is called “White Rock”
Stopped back at the Visitor Center and off again.
Another formation known as “Keyhole Imagine” and “Sesame Twins”