Monument, CO - 10 Great Things to Do (Part 1)
Monument, Colorado offers a variety of options for you and your family or friend to do. Some are as simple as taking a walk, some are going to require a little bit of driving to get there.
Here's my take on 10 of the top things to do while you are in Monument, CO.
1. Garden of the Gods Official Website
The striking orangish-pinkish red sandstone formations give the park it's striking beauty.
Garden of the Gods is county park! It's one of the biggest, and arguably the most interesting county parks in the U.S. It offers hiking, biking and climbing. And if you hate to get out of the car, although, I can't imagine why you wouldn't, you can simply drive through.
And don't for get to stop by the Visitor Center to learn more about the beautiful red rocks and their formation, but also to enjoy a great lunch in an fantastic outdoor setting.
History Behind the Park
There is evidence of people in the park dating back over 3,000 years. The park acquired it's name, it is said, because the early railroaders thought it would make a great beer garden, fit for the Gods. From there, it logically mutated to Garden of the Gods.
General William Jackson Palmer founded Colorado Springs in the 1870's. He purchased 280 acres in Garden of the Gods for his summer home. He died before he could will the land to the county, but his children, knowing their father's wished, turned the property over to the county with the stipulation, "where it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park."
Garden of the Gods has two distinct ecosystems. The Plains zone, which is cool desert at an elevation of 3,500 to 6,000 feet, and the Foothills-Transition zone that extends from 6,000 to 8,000 feet. The Plains zone typically as prairie grassland and cottowood and willow trees supported by an underground water system. The Foothills-Transistion zone consists of pinyon, junipers, mountain shrubs and ponderosa pine trees. This zone is more drought tollerant, making it easier for the vegetation to survive the summer, when most of the rains come quickly and heavily and just run off.
The rock holes in the face of the sandstone formations offer shelter for a variety of animals. Common are the white-throated swifts, which are probably the most spectacular, swallows, falcons, pigeons, wood rats, and bats can also be found lodging in the rocks.
If you are in the Monument area, you just can't miss this great park!
Tomorrow: The second great thing to do while you are in Monument!