Garden Of The Gods In Colorado Reveals Secrets Of Ancient Environments

Last Updated on – Garden of the Gods in Colorado, United States is a remarkable place full of incredible red rock formations that were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago.

In the distant past, this was an astounding place where huge dinosaurs walked freely among tropical plants and trees. Sea serpents swam in shallow waters and mammoths trudged through deep snow in May.

The rocks reveal secrets of ancient environments to those who know their language. When you walk here, you’ll find spectacular views around almost every corner,

Why is the place called the Garden of the Gods?

Garden of the Gods was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. The area was first called Red Rock Corral.

Later, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site.

Garden of the Gods

One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden”.

His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”

Geology – ancient rocks and their secrets

A billion years ago, molten rock cooled to create Pikes Peak granite and the Ancestral Rockies.  Approximately 310-270 million years ago, the ancestral Rockies were worn down bit by bit.  About 250 million years ago, Garden of the Gods had sandy beaches and an inland sea.  The 300 foot orange sandstone rocks in the Garden of the Gods were once sand dunes.  They may have looked similar to those at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in southern Colorado.

Balanced rock at the Garden of the Gods

Balanced Rock at the Garden of the Gods. Image credit: Ahodges7

An inland sea once again covered Colorado about 225 million years ago.  Around 155 million years ago (the Jurassic period), dinosaurs roamed the Garden of the Gods.

Garden of the Gods

The formation known as the Three Graces. Image credit: Ahodges7

About 65 million years ago, mountains rose and tipped the rocks that today we see today vertical and beyond.  This was an intense period of mountain building caused by the old Pacific plate slamming into the North American plate.

Garden of the Gods

A sandstone formation n the Garden of the Gods. Image credit: Ulrich Koberg

As the Front Range Mountains rose, the overlying sedimentary rocks were bent upward. Over time, the softer rocks eroded and valleys were created leaving harder rocks standing as the tall ridges in the Park.

See also:

Sacred Ancient Lake Waiau – Where Water Mysteriously Disappeared And Was Later Restored

Unraveling The Mystery Of The Ancient Giant Columns Along Crowley Lake

Bohol’s Mysterious Cone-Shaped Chocolate Hills

A natural wonder and popular tourist attraction

Garden of the Gods is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain’s eastern Front Range. All five of Colorado’s life zones can be viewed from the Park’s unique vantage point.  Distinctive vegetation is found at different elevations. The overlapping life zones make up a crossroads for plants and animals from the plains to the mountains, thus creating a natural wonder that many visit every year.

It is perfectly understandable that these distinctive formations draw millions of people annually who come to enjoy the beauty of the Park and learn the secrets of this unique place filled iwht ancient wonders.

Friends of the Garden Of The Gods