Garden of the Gods from Horseback

Jerry Walch By Jerry Walch, 21st Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Colorado

The Garden of the Gods Park was designated a national natural landmark in 1971. Formed by a geological upheaval millions of years ago, it was first named Red Rock Coral. In August of 1859 two surveyors who surveyed Colorado City explored the site. The first surveyor, M.S. Beach thought that it would be “a capital place for a beer garden.” The second surveyor, Rufus Cable, exclaimed “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it Garden of the Gods.”

Donated to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909.

Over the years since the 480 acre Rock Ledge Ranch, owned by William Jackson Palmer, was donated to the city upon his death. Upon his death, the family of Charles Elliot Perkins, a close friend of Palmer, also donated their property to the city in 1909 with the understanding that it would become and remain a free public park. Since the city has purchased additional land until the park has grown to 1,364 acres that it is today. Helen Hunt Jackson, the widow of William Jackson Palmer, wrote of the park “You wind among rocks of every conceivable and inconceivable shape and size…all bright red, all motionless and silent, with a strange look of having been just stopped and held back in the very climax of some supernatural catastrophe.”

Free recreation for everyone.

The Garden of the Gods has become the most popular park in the Colorado Springs area for mountain and road biking, rock climbing and horseback riding. With over 15 miles of trails, the main trail, the Perkins Central Garden Trail, runs for 1.5 miles through the center of the park is paved and wheelchair accessible. The many steep rock formations make the park ideal for technical rock climbing. The rules surrounding technical rock climbing is strictly enforced and climber must purchase climbing permits every year. Although I have a permit and indulge myself in technical rock climbing several times a year, it is seeing the Garden of the Gods from horseback that I want to write about here.

Tour the Garden of the Gods From Horseback.

It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced rider or if you have never been in the saddle before, the Academy Riding Stables has a horse that is a perfect match for your skill. Your experience actually begins 45 minutes before your scheduled 1 or 2 hour tour at the stables. During those 45 minutes, you are matched with a horse, supplied with safety equipment, and received personal instruction as may be needed to ensure your safety and enjoyment.

Scheduled Trail Rides.

Trail rides are available throughout the summer months, right up to the Thursday before Memorial Day. Three hour perimeter rides, rides that go around the outer edges of the park are also available. The riding stables are open year round, weather permitting for indoor and outdoor coral rides. Although not required, making reservations ahead of time is recommended.

Riding Schedules

Summer
Memorial Weekend through Labor Day
One Hour

9:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
1:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m.
Two Hour
9:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
Fall/Spring Schedule
Day after Labor Day through October 31st
March 15 thru Thursday before Memorial Day
One Hour

10:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m.
1:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
Two Hour
10:30 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
Perimeter
(Approx 3 hrs)

9:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m.
Winter
Nov 1st through March14th
One Hour

11:00 a.m.
1:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
Two Hour
12:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
Perimeter
12:30 p.m.
Call toll free 888-700-0410 to make your reservations.

Tags

Colorado, Colorado Springs, Garden Of The Gods Park, Horseback Academy Riding Stables, National Natural Landmark

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Oct 2013 (#)

what a great piece for us to read Jerry...thank you

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author avatar Jerry Walch
23rd Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you for reading and commenting, carolina.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
22nd Oct 2013 (#)

My wife would love to do this I know, and she is a skilled horse rider, I would like to do it too but I would want a really gentle horse.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
23rd Oct 2013 (#)

they have a horse to suit your skills, mark.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd Oct 2013 (#)

So, uhm... Who's up for a road trip? ;)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
23rd Oct 2013 (#)

HiPhyl,
i would love to meet you at the stables.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
23rd Oct 2013 (#)

Good evening, Jerry. Thanks for another addition to my personal bucket list. Wonderful descriptions and images. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jerry Walch
23rd Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you for reading and for the wonderful comments, Marilyn.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
24th Oct 2013 (#)

I've never been there but Colorado looks like a lovely place to visit. I'd love to visit this park one day and ride a horse through it. Thanks for sharing and giving us all a taste of the beauty of Colorado, Jerry.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
24th Oct 2013 (#)

My pleasure, Connie.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
24th Oct 2013 (#)

Great post and interesting indeed!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
24th Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you for reading and commenting, Fern.

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author avatar Retired
25th Oct 2013 (#)

Sounds like a great place to visit.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you Starleena.

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