Mike Nelson's Colorado -- Garden Of The Gods

Red Rock Formations Were Untouched By Waldo Canyon Fire

When the Waldo Canyon Fire started, parks across Colorado Springs were closed.

On Day 4 of the fire, just as Gardens of the Gods was planning to reopen, the fire exploded.

"We saw it jump Queen's Canyon, and started tearing downhill. We started screaming. We just jumped in our cars and just ran," said Garden of the Gods operations director Bonnie Frum.

For days they watched neighborhoods burn, wondering if the same fate was in store for their beautiful park.

Then the smoke cleared and the striking red rock formations, green trees and brilliant blue skies were still there, waiting for visitors to return.

Walking the paths, you would barely know the area nearby was even touched by a wildfire.

You'll have to be shown to even see where the fire is," explained Frum.

The burn area is up a hill, barely visible in the distance.

Within days, visitors were back with cameras, kids with their bikes and rock climbers, both the pros and beginners, were enjoying the park again.

"Garden of the Gods is untouched and as beautiful as ever," said climbing guide, John. "Everything is open and this place is as beautiful as always."

"It's only 7 miles round trip to see the whole park," said Frum. "Lot of beauty parked in those 7 miles."

Gardens of the Gods was saved because of a fire road at nearby Glen Eyrie Castle.

"On Glen Eyrie, they have a road that goes up to a reservoir," explained Frum. "That road is the critical thing that saved this park, because they could get the fire trucks up there."

Without the fire road, it's very possible that both Glen Eyrie and Garden of the Gods might have been consumed in the fire.

"We are just so grateful that not a drop of fire has touched the park," said Frum.

Learn more about Garden of the Gods park. Admission is free, but guiding services offer rock climbing, Segway tours and horseback riding for a fee.

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