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Location:

Red Canyon Park is located 10.4 miles north of Canon City in the Garden Park Area.    Take Reynolds north to Fields then north to County road 9,  travel past the Cleveland Dinosaur Quarry and the Marsh Quarry Trail Head and past the one room school house.

History

From Canon City Daily Record dated 1/23/2012:  F ormer Cañon City Daily Record Publisher and Colorado Congressman Guy U. Hardy is responsible for developing the Royal Gorge area, Temple Canyon and the Garden Park ranch area into beautiful local parks. If it had been up to Hardy, the entire area surrounding Cañon City would be declared a national park, which was his effort for 14 years.

In 1923, while serving as a Colorado Congressman, Hardy acquired for Cañon City the 600-acre park of red sandstone formations, sheer cliffs and yawning canyons, which overlook Four Mile Creek.  Read More in the daily record.

Many local clubs and groups gathered in 1951 to restore Red Canyon Park road, which originally was constructed in 1924. The group also rebuilt picnic tables and fire pits.

Many local clubs and groups gathered in 1951 to restore Red Canyon Park road, which originally was constructed in 1924. The group also rebuilt picnic tables and fire pits.

 Geology

In Red Canyon Park, the rocks of the Fountain Formation are deeply carved and sculpted by weathering and erosion into the picturesque narrow canyons and spectacular monoliths that you see here.  The bizarre shapes have counterparts in the exposures of the Fountain Formation at numerous sites in Colorado’s Front Range, for examples, at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and at Roxborough State Park, Red Rocks City Park near Denver, and the Flatirons at Boulder.

 

Red Canyon Park

Red Canyon Park

Site Description

There is a picnic area and restrooms (seasonally maintained) along with a number of short hiking trails including walks to the spires shown in the picture above.

Red Canyon Park area (looking northwest)

Red Canyon Park area (looking northwest)

Future Options

This site is well set up and offers good access to a rather beautiful location near Canon City.   As with a number of underfunded public facilities it would make sense to increase local parks budgets to ensure that the existing facilities/roads/trails  are in good condition.  The park also offers opportunities for geological and wildlife interpretation with turkeys and other wildlife that regularly visit the park. There is also a plaque on one of the spires that has a listing of original settlers in the area offering some opportunities for historic interpretation of this valley (both settlers and our previous indigenous people).