Traveling south through the heart of Colorado, the Rocky Mountains form an almost impenetrable barrier to the west. Rolling away to the east a broken forest clings to the numerous buttes and bluffs that are a prelude to the big peaks.
This time of year the southern mountains are speckled with white snow as much of the powder has been whisked away by a relentless breeze. The frigid wind blows down across the corridor making outdoor activities utterly miserable.
Rising out of the rugged terrain, Garden of the Gods is a glorious gateway to the soulful Pikes Peak. The unforgettable scenery features red sandstone slabs that stand out sharply against the dark greenery growing below.
Dominating the view at Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak has been inspiring explorers, gold seekers and artists for over 200 years. It’s named after the accomplished adventurer Zebulon Pike who first beheld the majestic, purple mountain in 1806.
When gold rushing 59ers set out for Denver in a quest for mineral riches, they emblazoned their wagons in fresh paint with the famous words "Pikes Peak or Bust!" The rocky monolith still commands the southern skyline and has become a lasting symbol for the entire Front Range.
American songwriter Katharine Lee Bates was so influenced by the extraordinary vista from the summit that she wrote the lyrics to America the Beautiful. The popular anthem is actually a superb tribute to the unique beauty and vastness of the Colorado landscape.
|An impenetrable barrier|
|Speckled with white snow|
|Garden of the Gods is a gateway|
|Soulful Pikes Peak|
|Red sandstone slabs stand out|
|Dominating the view at Colorado Springs|
|A majestic mountain|
|A rocky monolith|
|A symbol of the Front Range|
|An extraordinary vista|
|Unique beauty of the Colorado landscape|