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Garden of the Gods

August 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Garden of the Gods is a free public park donated to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909 by the children of Charles Elliott Perkins, the head of the Burlington Railroad. The park consists of several dramatically shaped ridges (also know as “hogbacks” and “fins”) of red sandstone, surrounded by tall grass and green vegetation.

In August 1859 two surveyors were exploring nearby locations for a new townsite and came upon a beautiful area of sandstone formations. M. S. Beach suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden" when the country grew up. 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.

The afternoon and following morning we were there were extremely cloudy. After scouting the park in the afternoon and hoping for a nice sunset opportunity, we left disappointed. We came back the next morning hoping for a sunrise with Pikes Peak in the background, but again we were greeted by dark clouds when it got light. That early in the morning, we were among only a handful of people there and were able to get some photos without the throngs of people climbing on the rocks. As we were making one final lap around the park, the sun started to break through the clouds, casting beautiful light on the east side of the fins and creating amazing contrast with the dark clouds to the west. A magnificent, and unexpected, ending to our visit.


Garden of the GodsGarden of the Gods The Three GracesThe Three Graces Garden of the Gods from ridge to the east (Pike's Peak not quite visible)Garden of the Gods from ridge to the east (Pike's Peak not quite visible) White Rock and Signature Rock (with Kissing Camels)White Rock and Signature Rock (with Kissing Camels) Garden of the Gods SunriseGarden of the Gods Sunrise Garden of the Gods as the sun breaks through the cloudsGarden of the Gods as the sun breaks through the clouds


As we left to go back to the hotel, with the sun still shining on the hogbacks of the Garden of the Gods, we could clearly see how the hogbacks extended beyond the park to the north. They were the bright red color as in the park, but the shapes were just as interesting.


Hogback formations extend north of the parkHogback formations extend north of the park


Next stop: Great Sand Dunes National Park


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