For people who enjoy the outdoors, Colorado is surely one of the most beautiful states in America. This state is home to some of the most famous and spectacular natural parks in the world. One of these must-see locations in the Garden of the Gods, which is a public park located in the vicinity of Colorado Springs. Here are a few interesting facts about this wonderful setting:
A brief history of the Garden of the Gods
The sandstone formations that constitute the natural park are believed to be older than 300 million years. The oldest sign of human presence in the area dates back to around 1330 BC when ancient tribes seem to have used this site as a camping location on their nomadic trips.
Native American tribes like the Apache, the Ute people, the Cheyenne, and the Comanche among many others have lived, camped or took shelter near the massive rock formations during their history. European settlers first came here in the 16th century, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century when the Colorado area started to expand that the Garden of the Gods became a popular sensation.
How the park got its name
The official story surrounding the name of today’s Garden of the Gods dates back to 1859 when two land surveyors named it a “fit place for the Gods to assemble.” The name quickly caught with the unusual collection of rock formations and stuck even after it became a protected National Natural Landmark in 1971.
What do the geologists say about the rocks?
According to geology studies, the Garden of the Gods is the result of hundreds of millions of erosion from ancient rivers, seas, and wind. Most of the rocks represent parts of a prehistoric sedimentary bed that was initially in a horizontal position, but which turned vertically after the Rocky Mountains and the Pikes Peak created an uplift effect during their ascent.
The park that surrounds the Garden of the Gods is a rich source of interest for both biologists and archaeologists. This location is home to various subspecies of animals, plants, and insects with a unique species of the honey ant being a remarkable feat of evolution due to the harsh conditions in which it has evolved. Still here, scientists have uncovered the skull of a unique species of dinosaur in 1878.
A present-day tourist attraction
People from all over the continent come to visit the Garden of the Gods. The area operates as a natural park just 20 minutes away from Colorado Springs. It has admission hours and requires rock climbers and campers to ask for a permit prior to undergo any of these activities.
The Garden of the Gods is the perfect location for hikers, trekkers or mountain bikers. You can visit the area with the family for a simple afternoon picnic and a stroll through the ancient rocks. More adventurous people can spend the night in the park, survive the cold conditions and admire the breathtaking scenery that occurs when the sun rises in the morning.