Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garden of the Gods


This morning we pulled out of Taos, New Mexico and drove 200 miles north, traveling on a high mountain plain ranging from 7,000 feet in Taos to over 10,000 feet elevation just before we dropped down to the east side of the Rocky Mountains. Low temperature at the top of the pass: 32!


We stopped shy of Colorado Springs where we deposited the Arctic Fox in a campsite, then drove the truck half an hour further north to see the Garden of the Gods.


In 1879 Charles Elliott Perkins, then head of Burlington Northern Railroad, purchased 420 acres intending to make it his home. It encompassed the land which is now Garden of the Gods. He never built, preferring to keep it in its’ natural state, and after he died in 1907 his children donated the land to the City of Colorado Springs, in keeping with his stated wishes.


Today the park charges no admission and is open 24 hours a day according to a volunteer Park Ranger we talked with, though the park signage indicates otherwise.


There are paved walking paths among the rocks, bike lanes, mountain biking trails, and people who arrive with the appropriate equipment and seek a permit are allowed to climb some rocks designated for such purpose. Look closely at the top left side of the right-most rock in the photo above.


The rock is red or white sandstone and has been shaped by water and wind for millions of years. This constitutes the most spectacular City Park we’ve ever seen, and we very much enjoyed wandering the pathways and driving the loop roadway.


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