Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.
The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sedimentary beds of deep-red, pink and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted into “fins” by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Rocky Mountains and the Pikes Peak massif. The following Pleistocene Ice Age resulted in erosion and glaciation of the rock, creating the present rock formations. Evidence of past ages can be read in the rocks: ancient seas, eroded remains of ancestral mountain ranges, alluvial fans, sandy beaches and great sand dune fields.
The resulting rocks had different shapes: toppled, overturned, stood-up, pushed around and slanted. Balanced Rock, composed of the Fountain Formation, is a combination of coarse sand, gravel, silica and hematite. It is hematite that gives the large Balanced Rock its red hue. Balanced Rock was formed as erosive processes removed softer layers near its base, eventually leaving the precarious-looking formation seen today. The Gateway Rocks, Three Graces, and other outcroppings are sedimentary layers that had been pushed up vertically. The largest outcroppings in the park, “North Gateway”, “South Gateway”, “Gray Rock”, and “Sleeping Giant” are composed primarily of Lyons Formation, a stone made of fine sand from ancient sand dunes.
The Garden of the Gods Park is a rich ecological resource. Retired biology professor Richard Beidleman notes that the park is “the most striking contrast between plains and mountains in North America” with respect to biology, geology, climate, and scenery. The skull of a dinosaur was found in the park in 1878, and was identified as a unique species, Theiophytalia kerri, in 2006. A subspecies of honey ant not previously recorded was also discovered in 1879 and named after the park. Mule deer, bighorn sheep and fox are common. The park is also home to more than 130 species of birds including white-throated swifts, swallows and canyon wrens.
According to expedia; en.wikipedia. Source of photos: internet