A Travellerspoint blog

May 2013

A few days in Summit County, Colorado

Trip up to the mountain house with visits to a religious shrine, a mountain railroad and a silver mine plus sightings of wild buffalo and bighorn sheep

semi-overcast 16 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

For the first few days of my stay in Colorado we travelled up to my cousin's mountain house at Keystone in Summit County high up in the Rockies. On the way up into the mountains we stopped to visit Mother Cabrini's Shrine near Golden just off the I70 Freeway. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was born in Italy in 1850 and originally planned to do missionary work in China but the Pope asked her to go to the USA instead. The religious order of nuns she founded provided a lot of support to Italian immigrants and after her death she became the first American citizen to be canonized a saint by the Catholic Church.

The main building at Mother Cabrini's Shrine at Golden

The main building at Mother Cabrini's Shrine at Golden


Inside the Chapel of the Mother Cabrini Shrine

Inside the Chapel of the Mother Cabrini Shrine

Mother Cabrini is credited with founding 67 religious institutions across the USA and Americas. Her national shrine is in Chicago where she was based with this smaller one on a hill top on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. It amused me seeing my name in large white letters on a nearby hilltop although I am sure they should have spelt FRANCIS the female way with an 'E' rather than the male way I do with an 'I'.

The steps up to the big statue at Mother Cabrini's Shrine

The steps up to the big statue at Mother Cabrini's Shrine


Close up of Mother Cabrini's Statue at Golden

Close up of Mother Cabrini's Statue at Golden


'ST. FRANCIS' written on the hill on the way up to the shrine

'ST. FRANCIS' written on the hill on the way up to the shrine

Bison (also known as American Buffalo) roam right up to the fence beside the I70 Freeway out of Denver. We didn't seen any last time I visited a few years ago so I was keen to try and see them again as we made our way up into the mountains. At first it looked like I would again be disappointed but just as we decided to give up looking any further - there they were! Then a bit later it was bonus time as we passed some Bighorn Sheep on the hard shoulder, again something rarely seen.

Bison grazing on a hillside next to the Interstate 70

Bison grazing on a hillside next to the Interstate 70


Bighorn sheep on the hard shoulder of the Interstate 70 on the way up into the mountains

Bighorn sheep on the hard shoulder of the Interstate 70 on the way up into the mountains

We then passed through the 1.7 mile (2.7 kilometre) long Eisenhower Tunnel to go under the Continental Divide and entered Summit County. Summit County with its well developed ski-resorts such as Breckenbridge and Keystone is the busiest of Colorado's mountain areas. Although the local ski season had largely ended with spring just around the corner there had been a heavy fall snow only the week before I arrived so we weren't quite sure what conditions to expect.

Entering the Eisenhower Tunnel under the Continental Divide

Entering the Eisenhower Tunnel under the Continental Divide


Lake surrounded by mountains in Summit County, Colorado

Lake surrounded by mountains in Summit County, Colorado


Mountain view over Breckenbridge with the Colorado Flag flying above a building in the foreground

Mountain view over Breckenbridge with the Colorado Flag flying above a building in the foreground


Mountain view in Summit County, Colorado

Mountain view in Summit County, Colorado

The epicentre of Summit County is Lake Dillon (a reservoir which supplies Denver with fresh water) which was still largely frozen. Avalanche tracks could be seen on the nearby mountains where they had crashed down flattening trees in the forests below. Unfortunately there were a lot of felled trees since the last time I visited that had been lost recently to a pine beetle infestation which will take decades to recover but many had been saved by spraying. One thing that hadn't changed however was the beauty of the alpine meadows.

High mountains and a frozen lake in Summit County, Colorado

High mountains and a frozen lake in Summit County, Colorado


Avalanche tracks on the slopes of Buffalo Mountain near Dillon, Summit County

Avalanche tracks on the slopes of Buffalo Mountain near Dillon, Summit County


Alpine meadows in Keystone, Summit County, Colorado

Alpine meadows in Keystone, Summit County, Colorado

While in Keystone we went for a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad from Devil's Gate Station to Silver Plume and back again. The railroad was originally built during the local silver mining boom of the 1880s but closed down in 1939 before being re-opened by railway enthusiasts in 1984. During the summer the railroad runs 1920s steam trains which would have been a sight to see but unfortunately we were several weeks too early in the season to ride on one of them.

Train crossing the High Bridge on the Georgetown Loop Railroad

Train crossing the High Bridge on the Georgetown Loop Railroad


Our train makes its way over the High Bridge on the Georgetown Loop Railroad

Our train makes its way over the High Bridge on the Georgetown Loop Railroad


At the back of the train there was an open boxcar

At the back of the train there was an open boxcar

We were in one of the comfortable parlour cars instead of the open boxcar and had a very enjoyable ride through the mountains as the track gained more than 600 feet (183 metres) in elevation over a distance of 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) twisting and looping through trees and across several bridges to cope with the steep gradient. On the return trip to Georgetown we stopped at a small halt for a visit the Lebanon Silver Mine.

Our train makes it way around a bend in the track

Our train makes it way around a bend in the track


We cross one of the railroad's four bridges over Clear Creek

We cross one of the railroad's four bridges over Clear Creek


Our train stopped at the little halt for the Lebanon Silver Mine

Our train stopped at the little halt for the Lebanon Silver Mine

Work on the Lebanon Silver Mine began in 1869 and by 1876 there were 76 miners with 19 lodes under development although the really big seam it was originally excavated for 1,110 feet (335 metres) from the portal (entrance) wasn't reached until 1881. Our tour lasted about an hour and a half and took us over 900 feet into the mountain during which time we had many of the working practices and superstitions of the mine described to us and saw naturally occurring “silver pearls”, calcified hobnail boot prints and stalactites from over 100 years ago.

Me stood by the entrance to the Lebanon Silver Mine

Me stood by the entrance to the Lebanon Silver Mine


The mine shaft into the mountain

The mine shaft into the mountain


Winch down to the lower levels of the mine

Winch down to the lower levels of the mine


Naturally occuring 'Silver Pearls' on the mine floor

Naturally occuring 'Silver Pearls' on the mine floor

A lot of the miners came from the tin mines of Cornwall back home in the UK and I particularly liked the story about how the crusts of the Cornish Pasties they took down with them to heat up and eat were superstitiously left behind for the "knockers". Traditional Cornish Pasties were made by miners wives filled with beef, potato, onion and swede. They had thick crimped crusts which served as a means of holding them with dirty hands without contaminating the meal and were then discarded in the mine.. as an offering to the "knockers" or little people to not cause mischief and watch over the miners.

Black bleeding on the side of the tunnel indicates a silver lode (seam) close by

Black bleeding on the side of the tunnel indicates a silver lode (seam) close by


An abandoned drill inside the Lebanon Silver Mine

An abandoned drill inside the Lebanon Silver Mine


A colapsed tunnel inside the Lebanon Silver Mine

A colapsed tunnel inside the Lebanon Silver Mine


Daylight and a mine truck as we emerge from the Lebanon Silver Mine

Daylight and a mine truck as we emerge from the Lebanon Silver Mine

Afterwards we looked around Georgetown itself which is an elegant little Victorian mining town that feels like it has been left behind in time. It was founded in 1859 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush and started to grow rapidly following the discovery locally of silver in 1864. Georgetown's main shopping street is 6th Street and the whole town is peppered with heritage listed buildings many of which have painstakingly restored such as the Town Hall/Police Station with its white bell tower, the Hotel de Paris and a couple of firehouses.

6th Street, Georgetown, Colorado

6th Street, Georgetown, Colorado


Town Hall/Police Station, Georgetown, Colorado

Town Hall/Police Station, Georgetown, Colorado


Hotel de Paris on 6th Street, Georgetown, Colorado

Hotel de Paris on 6th Street, Georgetown, Colorado


Alpine Hose No.2 Firehouse and Tower, Georgetown, Colorado

Alpine Hose No.2 Firehouse and Tower, Georgetown, Colorado


The Snetzer Tailor Shop and the Grace Episcopal Church on Taos Street

The Snetzer Tailor Shop and the Grace Episcopal Church on Taos Street

The following lunchtime before we made our way back to Denver on the I70 Freeway, there was just enough time to add another brewery to my list and sample the ale at the local brew-pub, the Dillon Dam Brewery.

The Dillon Dam Brewery in Summit County

The Dillon Dam Brewery in Summit County

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged mountains lakes bridges churches trees snow trains beer tunnels colorado mines videos breweries outdoor_pursuits frontier_towns Comments (0)

Denver and the 'Colorado Rockies'

Sightseeing in Downtown Denver and then it's time to watch some baseball at Coors Field

sunny 28 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

A visit to the US Mint was actually on my bucket list having been unable to have a look around it last time I was in Denver. Sadly I was to be disappointed as it turned out we needed to pre-book the free tours about 3 months ahead! Fortunately tours around the US Mint's other location in Philadelphia don't need to be pre-booked so this item on my bucket list can wait until I get there later during my trip.

The visitor's entrance to the US Mint in Denver

The visitor's entrance to the US Mint in Denver

We then walked across the Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, past a copy of the Liberty Bell (the original is in Philadelphia) to the Colorado State Capitol. The building looks like a copy of the Capitol in Washington although sadly the gold plated dome itself is currently obscured by white sheeting while essential repairs are carried out. Denver has been dubbed the "Mile High City" and sure enough a step leading up to the main entrance is engraved as being precisely "One Mile above Sea Level" and I had the obligatory photograph taken of me standing on it.

Mounted Policeman in the Civic Center Park in front of the State Capitol Denver

Mounted Policeman in the Civic Center Park in front of the State Capitol Denver


A copy of the Liberty Bell in Lincoln Park outside the State Capitol Denver

A copy of the Liberty Bell in Lincoln Park outside the State Capitol Denver


The Civil War Memorial in front of the steps of the State Capitol in Denver

The Civil War Memorial in front of the steps of the State Capitol in Denver


Me stood on the 'One Mile above Sea Level' step leading up into the State Capitol in Denver

Me stood on the 'One Mile above Sea Level' step leading up into the State Capitol in Denver

A short distance from the Capitol is the History Colorado Center, an innovative new museum that first opened in April 2012. Their headline temporary attraction while I was there (and about the only exhibit we weren't allowed to photograph) was the Jefferson Bible borrowed from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. This bible is in effect a personal scrapbook of selected verses from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John pasted together in chronological order by Thomas Jefferson (principle author of the USA 1776 Declaration of Independence) to create a single narrative and then duplicated side by side in four languages (English, French, Latin and Greek).

The star of the museum for me however was the Anschutz Hamilton Hall with a map of Colorado for its floor on which we were able to push around a pair of seven foot high "steam punk" time machines to various hot spots on the map. The clocks on the time machines would then wind back and the video screens would tell quirky stories from the history of the location.

Moving the time machines around the Map of Colorado on the ground floor of the History Colorado Center

Moving the time machines around the Map of Colorado on the ground floor of the History Colorado Center


Close up of one the time machines in the History Colorado Center

Close up of one the time machines in the History Colorado Center

On the same floor as the time machines was Destination Colorado, a hands on recreation of life on the Colorado prairies in the 1920s. Here you could milk a virtual cow (the bucket lights up as you squeeze the teat!), drive a Model T Ford or visit a General Store - really something aimed more at school children than ourselves so surprisingly we didn't stay there long. A lot more interesting though was Colorado Stories on the top floor.

Me milking a cow in 'Destination Colorado' at the History Colorado Center

Me milking a cow in 'Destination Colorado' at the History Colorado Center

Colorado Stories contained galleries highlighting aspects of the history of about 8 localities around the state. I found the gallery on Bent's Fort, a prairie trading post from the mid nineteenth century, particularly interesting as included amongst the sample of goods from around the world it traded with local Indians was Stroud Scarlet from back home in Gloucestershire in the UK (Stroud Scarlet was the red cloth used historically for British Army redcoats).

Bent's Fort in 'Colorado Stories' - and amongst the goods being traded is Stroud Scarlet Cloth from back home in Gloucestershire!

Bent's Fort in 'Colorado Stories' - and amongst the goods being traded is Stroud Scarlet Cloth from back home in Gloucestershire!

Amongst the other exhibits in Colorado Stories were galleries on silver mining in Silverton (which reminded me of my trip down the Lebanon Mine a few days earlier), life in the WWII Amache Relocation Center for people of Japanese ancestry and the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Indians by local militia (probably one of the more tragic stories from Colorado's history).

Explosives ready to be set in the Silverton Mine gallery of 'Colorado Stories'

Explosives ready to be set in the Silverton Mine gallery of 'Colorado Stories'


Re-creation inside 'Colorado Stories' of a WWII relocation center for people of Japanese ancestry

Re-creation inside 'Colorado Stories' of a WWII relocation center for people of Japanese ancestry

We then escaped the museum and went for afternoon tea at the Brown Palace Hotel which is considered the landmark hotel in Denver. Originally opened in 1892, my guidebook describes it as an "Italian Renaissance-style structure with elegant dining rooms and a common area based around a sunlit eight story atrium lobby with tiers of iron railings." Famous former guests at the hotel include the Beatles, various US presidents and the 'unsinkable' Molly Brown from the Titanic. Before making our way home we had afternoon tea with scones and finger sandwiches served on a 3 tier silver pedestal tray washed down with Earl Grey and Kir Royale - cousins that lunch!

The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver

The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver


The eight story atrium lobby inside the Brown Palace Hotel

The eight story atrium lobby inside the Brown Palace Hotel


Afternoon tea being served in the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel

Afternoon tea being served in the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel


Sidewalk plaque commemorating the Beatles getting struck in a lift at the Brown Palace Hotel in 1964

Sidewalk plaque commemorating the Beatles getting struck in a lift at the Brown Palace Hotel in 1964

I do enjoy watching live baseball and have been kindly taken to games on my last two visits to the USA. Earlier in my trip I had seen the LA Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers in double quick time while in Los Angeles but it was now time to see if I was going to be a good luck charm for the Colorado Rockies as well. So the following day we returned to downtown Denver to Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team, with me dressed in a purple Rockies "Dexter Fowler 24" shirt (Dexter is a Rockies centerfielder) to watch them play the San Francisco Giants.

Coors Field - home of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team

Coors Field - home of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team


Dexter Fowler at the plate for the Colorado Rockies

Dexter Fowler at the plate for the Colorado Rockies

The game started well with the Rockies taking a 5 run lead including a grand slam home run (i.e. a home run with all 3 bases loaded) but then the Giants came back with the Rockies eventually winning 10-9 in a nail biting finish (am I beginning to sound like I know what I'm talking about?). After the game we went looking for an Irish Bar in Lower Downtown (universally known as LoDo by the locals) to celebrate and found Scruffy Murphys, coincidentally exactly the same name (although no connection) as the Irish Bar I found in Sydney, Australia.

Grand Slam Home Run for the Colorado Rockies <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Grand Slam Home Run for the Colorado Rockies :)


Pablo Sandoval (aka Panda) at the plate for the San Francisco Giants

Pablo Sandoval (aka Panda) at the plate for the San Francisco Giants

Scruffy Murphys Irish Bar in Denver where we went to celebrate (didn't I visit its namesake in Sydney?)

Scruffy Murphys Irish Bar in Denver where we went to celebrate (didn't I visit its namesake in Sydney?)

Three days later I had another opportunity to see the Colorado Rockies play at home, this time against the Arizona Diamondbacks. By now it had dawned on me that US baseball fixtures are described the other way round to sports fixtures back home i.e. away team @ home team rather than home team v away team; trust the Americans to be different!

Me posing with my ticket by the player statue outside the stadium before the game

Me posing with my ticket by the player statue outside the stadium before the game


Everyone stands as the USA National Anthem is played before the game

Everyone stands as the USA National Anthem is played before the game


Me enjoying a 'Rockie Dog' while watching the baseball

Me enjoying a 'Rockie Dog' while watching the baseball

Although the Arizona Diamondbacks attracted a smaller crowd than the San Francisco Giants a few days previously it was no less exciting and I witnessed my first Major League Baseball game go into extra innings with the two teams tied at 4-4 after the usual 9 innings. We had to leave but listened to the game on the radio on the way back as the Rockies went on to win 5-4 in the 'bottom' (i.e. while the 2nd team is batting) of the 10th.

Another Home Run for the Rockies - perhaps I am a lucky charm at the baseball after all?

Another Home Run for the Rockies - perhaps I am a lucky charm at the baseball after all?


'Dinger' - the Colorado Rockies Mascot - up to no good again outside the away team's dugout

'Dinger' - the Colorado Rockies Mascot - up to no good again outside the away team's dugout

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged museums hotels beer colorado sport city videos mints external_links Comments (0)

Cliff Dwellings and the Garden of the Gods

A day trip to Colorado Springs to see the Broadmoor Hotel, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, a re-creation of a western ghost town and the Garden of the Gods

sunny 24 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

Just over an hour's drive south of Denver is Colorado Springs, Colorado's second largest city and the gateway to The Pikes Peak Region. On the way we passed Castle Rock, a prominent castle tower shaped butte above the I25 Freeway. Colorado Springs itself is a pretty bland city with nothing much worth seeing, it's the home of the United States Air Force Academy and the North American Air Defence Command (NORAD) but the former only had the daily noon parade by its cadets to offer as a spectacle and the nuke proof headquarters deep within Cheyenne Mountain of the later understandably doesn't welcome visitors.

Castle Rock Butte beside the I25 Freeway to Colorado Springs

Castle Rock Butte beside the I25 Freeway to Colorado Springs


Freeway and railway both heading south towards Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak

Freeway and railway both heading south towards Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak


Mesas beside the I25 Freeway north of Colorado Springs

Mesas beside the I25 Freeway north of Colorado Springs

Our first stop was at the Broadmoor Hotel, a gigantic Italian-Renaissance style complex of 30 buildings built around its own purpose built lake. Originally completed in 1918, the Broadmoor Hotel prides itself on being the longest-running consecutive winner of the AAA Five-Diamond rating (there's only about 100 of them) and is probably the poshest hotel I have ever visited.

The main building at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs

The main building at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs


A view across the lake at the Broadmoor Hotel

A view across the lake at the Broadmoor Hotel


The view of mountains above the Broadmoor Hotel

The view of mountains above the Broadmoor Hotel

In addition to the central lake the hotel also has a Georgian ballroom, frescoed ceilings, 3 golf courses, 6 tennis courts and a stables. With the US Air Force Academy and NORAD Headquarters close by the Broadmoor Hotel appears a popular venue for military conferences and there were a lot of people in uniform around the day we had lunch there on the lakeside veranda.

Lounge area inside the Broadmoor Hotel

Lounge area inside the Broadmoor Hotel


A view across one of the golf courses at the Broadmoor Hotel

A view across one of the golf courses at the Broadmoor Hotel


The bridge across the lake back to the main building at the Broadmoor Hotel

The bridge across the lake back to the main building at the Broadmoor Hotel

Our next stop was the Manitou Cliff Dwellings just north of Manitou Springs. These were originally built more than 700 years ago by the Anasazi Indians in the south west corner of Colorado near the famous cliff dwellings in the Mesa Verde National Park. These particular dwellings were carefully moved 230 miles (370 kilometres) here brick by brick from Cortez in 1907 to protect them from being destroyed by treasure hunters while campaigners tried to put the National Park in place.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings


One of the houses at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

One of the houses at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings


The view of the mountains from inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

The view of the mountains from inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings


Stone tower at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Stone tower at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

The cliff dwellings are preserved underneath a protective red sandstone overhang and you are able to walk through them exploring the different houses and climbing the ladders. One of the more interesting buildings was the Kiva, which was a circular pit used by tribal men as a ceremonial chamber. In its day it would have had a roof made of cribbed timber covered in cedar strips and clay with a square entrance to climb down a ladder through the sacred smoke. It had a small hole called a Sipapu behind the firepit which was a symbolic passageway through which people's spirits were said to enter and exit at birth and death.

Inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings


A 'Kiva' (ceremonial chamber) complete with 'Sipapu' hole behind the firepit inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

A 'Kiva' (ceremonial chamber) complete with 'Sipapu' hole behind the firepit inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings


Another view of the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Another view of the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Just below the cliff dwellings there is a three-story pueblo-style building that has been built in the style of descendants of the Anasazi Indians. The Pueblo Indians would have built their buildings with adobe which is mud mixed with straw as a binding agent and would have needed re-plastering annually. The pueblo style building at the Cliff Dwellings is primarily used as a museum explaining the life of the Anasazi and didn't have the excitement of the cliff dwellings themselves but did have the best souvenir gift shop I had seen during my stay in Colorado.

The Pueblo Indian style museum built below the Cliff Dwellings

The Pueblo Indian style museum built below the Cliff Dwellings


Indian cradleboard in the Anasazi Museum at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Indian cradleboard in the Anasazi Museum at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings


Me sitting cross-legged in the entrance of an Indian tepee

Me sitting cross-legged in the entrance of an Indian tepee

Having been inside an Indian tepee we now moved on to the Ghost Town Wild West Museum on the west side of Colorado Springs. Colorado is known to have over 1,500 ghost towns; they were abandoned when mines closed, or when new railways made stage coach stops redundant or just simply through rural depopulation. The whole area is in the shadow of Pikes Peak which at 14,110 feet (4,300 metres) is not the tallest of Colorado's mountains but is probably the most famous as it became immortalised by the slogan "Pike's Peak or Bust!" during the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush.

'Pikes Peak or Bust' covered wagon outside the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs

'Pikes Peak or Bust' covered wagon outside the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs


The street inside the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs

The street inside the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs


Me by the Stage Coaches inside the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs

Me by the Stage Coaches inside the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs

The concept might be corny but we had fun looking around the Ghost Town Wild West Museum and I proved to have quite a decent aim with a rifle in the shooting gallery! Founded in 1954, the museum primarily consists of a street of re-created wild west shops inside the disused workshops of the Colorado Midland Railroad. Included amongst the shops along the street was a general store, blacksmiths, newspaper printers, stage coach office, jail and sheriff's office; each filled with artefacts and small cameos of everyday life in the Wild West.

Blacksmith's Shop and General Store in the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs

Blacksmith's Shop and General Store in the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs


Wanted posters at the offices of the Pikes Peak Bugle

Wanted posters at the offices of the Pikes Peak Bugle


The local Wells Fargo Office seems unsure whether their next stage coach will arrive safely

The local Wells Fargo Office seems unsure whether their next stage coach will arrive safely


The Sheriff asleep in his office in the Ghost Town Museum

The Sheriff asleep in his office in the Ghost Town Museum

Our final stop of the day however was the most magical. The Garden of the Gods is a strata of red sandstone raised vertically by the lifting up of nearby mountains and then eroded over millions of years into the most amazing rock formations. From the Visitors Centre there is a terrific view of the North and South Gateway Rocks with the snow capped Pikes Peak in the background.

The Garden of the Gods 'Gateway' Rocks from the Visitors Center

The Garden of the Gods 'Gateway' Rocks from the Visitors Center


The Garden of the Gods 'Gateway' Rocks with snow capped Pikes Peak in the distance

The Garden of the Gods 'Gateway' Rocks with snow capped Pikes Peak in the distance

As we made our way around the park it was like driving through an alien moonscape with all the strange rock shapes each christened over the years with names such the Kissing Camels, the Siamese Twins and the Three Graces. One of the stranger rock formations for me was the Cathedral Spires with its narrow fins of rock pointing like church spires into the sky. As we got closer it was possible to spot rock climbers who had made their way to the top.

The Central Garden at the Garden of the Gods

The Central Garden at the Garden of the Gods


More amazing rock formations at the Garden of the Gods

More amazing rock formations at the Garden of the Gods

On the left it is just about possible to see climbers on top of the 'Cathedral Spires' at the Garden of the Gods

On the left it is just about possible to see climbers on top of the 'Cathedral Spires' at the Garden of the Gods


Close up of the climbers on top of the 'Cathedral Spires' Rock Formation

Close up of the climbers on top of the 'Cathedral Spires' Rock Formation


The 'Gray (Cathedral) Rock' at the Garden of the Gods

The 'Gray (Cathedral) Rock' at the Garden of the Gods


Stone marking the Indian Trail to Ute Pass just north of Pikes Peak

Stone marking the Indian Trail to Ute Pass just north of Pikes Peak

The most famous rock formation in the Garden of the Gods is the Balanced Rock, admittedly one of many so named in the Western USA but very photogenic as it appears to balance almost impossibly on a narrow stem. It did remind me of the Balanced Rock I saw on the Cars Land Ride at Disneyland California Adventure but the inspiration for this I understand was more likely to have been the Balanced Rocks in Arizona and Utah and not this one in Colorado.

The famous 'Balanced Rock' at the Garden of the Gods

The famous 'Balanced Rock' at the Garden of the Gods


Me stood by the 'Balanced Rock' at the Garden of the Gods

Me stood by the 'Balanced Rock' at the Garden of the Gods

Posted by FrancisRTW 03:00 Archived in USA Tagged mountains museums hotels ruins colorado rock_formations native_american videos frontier_towns Comments (0)

(Entries 7 - 9 of 11) Previous « Page 1 2 [3] 4 » Next