These Before And After Pics Of Garden Of The Gods In Colorado Show Just How Much It Has Changed
One of the most iconic and beloved spots in all of Colorado is the Garden of the Gods: the Centennial State’s go-to for both outdoor recreation and photography! Comprised of red rock formations with deposited red, pink and white sandstone, conglomerate, and limestone that were created millions of years ago during a geological upheaval, the Garden of the Gods is a true geologic wonder that has captivated humans for thousands of years, with evidence of prehistoric tribes once inhabiting the area.
Though much of the “Gardens” has stayed the same, a lot has changed through the years, as evidenced by these stunning before and after pictures.
For generations, the Gateway Rocks – made up primarily of Lyons Formation – have been a favorite of tourists, as evidenced by this shot from the 1880s.
In the 21st century, the Gateway Rocks are still as popular as ever, but are now surrounded by ample trees and shrubs, making them all the more beautiful!
Once privately owned, tourists could climb the Steamboat Rock formation at the Garden of the Gods, making for one epic photo opportunity (c. 1950).
Though the stairs atop Steamboat Rock are still visible, tourists are no longer permitted to climb. But you can still get some beautiful shots of both Steamboat Rock in the foreground and Pikes Peak in the back.
Before it was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971, the roads and trails around the Garden of the Gods were unpaved and unkempt. But that didn't stop these folks (c. 1900) from making the trek to the area.
Fortunately for Coloradans today, visiting the Garden of the Gods is as easy as can be thanks to designated roads amidst the formations.
In 1882, it was more common than not to see horses bringing people to the Garden of the Gods, thanks to both the lack (and expense) of cars and the area's dirt roads.
It is both easier and smoother to maneuver about the formations today, and for that, we are grateful!
There has never been a time in history when the Garden of the Gods hasn't dazzled tourists. However...
...we can't help but think that the landscape now looks even more jaw-dropping than it did in the 1880s.
Though some of the Garden of the Gods has changed through the years, there is still much that remains the same.
Do you see what we mean?
As always, a huge thank you to our friends at
History Colorado for sharing their collection of photos with us! Do you have a place that you would like to see featured on Only in Colorado? Tell us about it here. You can learn even more about the Garden of the Gods by clicking Your Summer Isn’t Complete Until You Have Taken This Colorado Sunrise Hike.
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Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO 80904, USA