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Named after Kathryn Lee Bates' poem, the park is a sprawling property with trails, manicured lawns, 40-foot tall obelisks and other installations. America the Beautiful Park overlooks Pikes Peak and at night the obelisks glow. The park is also popular for those interested in UFO sightings. Scores of visitors come with transmitters, trying to contact the other world; it's like a party out there. Opens everyday at 5a.
The Garden of the Gods is a public park and United States National Natural Landmark that was deemed a "fit place for the gods to assemble" by Rufus Cable, one of the two surveyors tasked with identifying a site for Colorado City in 1859. With its towering spires of red sandstone pitted against the incongruous greenery of its surrounds, Cable's inspired choice of name is an apt summary of the wonders that it contains. The jagged pinnacles, mammoth needles, and precariously balanced rocks strewn across the landscape are glorious monuments thrust upward, sideways and slanted by tectonic undercurrents, subsequently whipped by the wind into curious shapes. From the biological perspective, the Garden of the Gods is a remarkable merger of the vegetation typical of both highlands and lowlands creating a kind of chronicle of the evolution of planet earth. The land was bequeathed to the City of Colorado Springs by the children of Charles Elliott Perkins who originally owned this parcel of land. The only stipulation was that it must remain “free to the entire world.” Riddled with nature trails and hiking paths, the Garden of the Gods is a popular spot for outdoor activities like horseback riding, rock climbing and hiking that is always free, in keeping with Perkins' wishes.
Partially encased by a one-mile canyon, the sight of seven separate falls splashing together down 181 vertical feet borders on stunning. Picturesque by day, dancing with color at night, this is not to be missed. Ride the elevator to the Eagles Nest observation platform for an great view or climb up 224 steps to reach the one-mile nature trail offering a panoramic peek of the city below. Parking is limited and scarce after 6p. Timings are subject to monthly change.