Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Garden of the Gods

Strange red rock formations that have been attributed to a higher power for hundreds of years. 

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Written and Photographed by Matt Payne

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Colorado is famous for its grand red rock formations, but no area is quite as impressive as the stratified stone towers and oddly uniform vegetation of the Garden of the Gods.

Made up of sedimentary deposits of sandstone and limestone which have been turned horizontally, vertically, stacked and slanted by ancient tectonic upheaval. The seemingly impossible formations such as the teetering “Balanced Rock” and the spires of the “Three Graces” have fascinated local Native American tribes who left a number of petroglyphs in the area and explorers later on who gave the stones their grandiose name. The sudden ridges that were squeezed into being a geologic age ago are now popular sites for mountain climbers and hikers.  


Know Before You Go

Be sure to stop at the visitors center across 30th street from the entrance. It features many displays and quite a bit of information about the formation and the life found in the area. The visitors center is very well done and will be a hit with adults and children alike. Like the park itself, the visitors center is free except for a movie experience shown in the downstairs theater.

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