Sep 28, 2013

Scenes from the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colo.

After a week-long hiatus and business trip to Austin, Texas, I’m back to blogging and ready to pick up where I left off on my Colorado road trip last summer.  We pick up the adventure after spending the second night of the trip in Colorado Springs. 

Before embarking on a journey that would take me, Ken and Christine several hours along the Arkansas River, through a pass in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and eventually into a high desert plain to reach our destination in Crestone, we went with Ken’s suggestion to spend the morning exploring the Garden of the Gods just outside of Colorado Springs.  And I am very glad we found a few hours to go there.

Garden of the Gods Park and Visitor and Nature Center is simply one of the most imposing, breathtaking and beautiful spots I've ever been to in the Rockies.  Despite being property of Colorado Springs, it only achieved national Natural Landmark status in 1971.  The geological formations of the red rocks seemingly jutting up through the ground in every direction provide spectacular setting for everyone – from hiking trails to mountain biking, horseback riding and rock climbing. 

Accessibility to the park and its maze of trails is shockingly easy.  The park is located literally at the edge of town -- just follow the signs from historic downtown Colorado Springs; it’s not far off U.S. Highway 24.  Many trails are paved, although some of the rougher ones which we did not have time to explore are made of gravel.  And perhaps the most amazing aspect of the park is that it’s free.  It’s no wonder just as many locals as tourists take advantage of this natural treasure right in their backyard.     

And since no amount of rambling will do the scenery of Garden of the Gods justice, I’ll try to let me crappy amateur photography skills do the talking for me. 

I Instagrammed this photo near the park entrance. 

This was near our starting point.

I believe this formation is called the Tower of Babel.
Rock climbers were out in abundance.

The dots you see on the rocks are rock climbers. 

Trying to get my picture taken before a snake shows up.  
Plaque commemorating the park's dedication.

This was our turnaround point. 

Something's up there -- ram, mountain goat, longhorn sheep?  you decide.

Ken, Christine and some commoner -- I think the rocks are happy to see us.  
For all of its spectacular beauty, natural gifts, ease of accessibility and, yes, convenience, Garden of the Gods is a must-see if you’re ever in the Colorado Springs area.

Next stop:  Crestone, Colo.      

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