COLORADO SPRINGS — In our exclusive new series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
This week, we visit Garden of the Gods, and get the opportunity to experience this popular park in a whole new light.
Our adventure begins at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, where we connect with Adventures out West to give their Segway tour a try.
Our 90-minute Segway tour covers 5.5 miles, and offers unobstructed views of the park at a relatively mellow top speed of 12 miles per hour.
Like most adventures, our day begins with safety training from our tour guide Kevin.
We're given plenty of time to get used to driving the Segway, and Kevin makes sure that we're comfortable with balance and steering before we hit the road.
The tour begins with a brief history lesson from Kevin, and this guy is like a Garden of the Gods encyclopedia of knowledge.
The Ute Indians we find out once called Pikes Peak, Sunrise Mountain, because it was the first landmark that the sun would touch in the morning.
From our location on the edge of the park, Kevin is quick to point out three of the five giant rocks that we can see.
Climbing aboard our Segway, we make our way along Juniper Way Loop to the main parking lot at the base of kissing camels.
This is probably the most visited area in the park since it's just past the main entrance.
With a stunning view of kissing camels, Kevin tells us how the park officially came to be in 1909 when it was donated by the Perkins family to the city of Colorado Springs.
He also points out super cool geological patterns found in the rocks.
Now back on our Segway, we travel around the north end of the park, stopping along the way as Kevin continues to quench our thirst with nuggets of knowledge.
Taking a quick break at the Grand View Look Out, Kevin points out the park's Central Garden. The Ute Indians once considered this section of the park to be "hallowed ground", meaning that no war and no weapons were allowed here.
The park today stretches for almost 1,500 acres, and features stunning red rocks and some of the most gorgeous views anywhere in the Pikes Peak Region.
Seeing Garden of the Gods this way is eye opening, and completely immersive from start to finish.
As we wind our way back to the visitor center, I have a newfound appreciation of this geological wonder.
For more information regarding the Segway tour that we took, or any of the other tours Adventures out West offers, check out their website - Adventures out West.