Thursday, July 30, 2015

North Cheyenne Canon Park

Sometimes I wonder about my tour guide.  John said we were going to see Seven Falls, but we ended up at North Cheyenne.  They both can be reached by Cheyenne Blvd in Colorado Springs.  Seven Falls is privately owned and requires an admission pass, whereas North Cheyenne is owned by the city and no fee is required for admission.  So maybe on the way to Seven Falls he saw this other park and we happened to wander into it, I do not know.  We had a beautiful drive through a canyon with striking rock formations, saw two tall tumbling falls and got a good hike in- I was satisfied and my tour guide redeemed himself!
The first falls are named after Helen Hunt, who came to Colorado Springs in 1873 because of ill health.  She is the author of Ramona and A Century of Dishonor.  She wrote of the beauties of Cheyenne Mountain. I will quote here a verse of the poem she wrote regarding the falls:  "Here in these water slides of North Cheyenne Canyon you shall see in one small space water moving from side to side in a stately minuet motion over a many-colored surface of rock more beautiful that a mosaic".
 From the lower falls we hiked to the upper one called Silver Cascade.  Even though there was a trail it was a bit treacherous with lots of loose rock.  Patches of wildflower made it all worthwhile.
John had noticed driving into the falls area a dirt road with caution signs.  He inquired about it at the visitor's center and was assured that it was all right to take for our return trip to the city.  My tour guide came through again, it was a bit of a scarey drive, but we saw some great scenery.
The road was mostly narrow, curvy and one lane with no guard rails. Fortunately there were few other cars on the road.  No one had warned us either that there were two short tunnels to go through.   Entering them we were not sure what was at the end of the tunnels.  The beauty of the canyon was still worth it.  Sometimes there were steep rock walls on either side of us, other places we could see large red rock formations in the distance.  A very rugged land indeed with a beauty all of its own.

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