Garden of the Gods was established in 1909 according to the wish of Charles Elliot Perkins, whose children donated the land to the city. The 3,300 acres of public park feature magnificent, eroded red-sandstone formations sculpted more than 300 million years ago. The formations are the ancient sedimentary beds of red, blue, purple, and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Pikes Peak massif.
The two Gateway Rocks form a natural entrance to the Garden of the Gods. They both tower several hundred feet above the valley floor and are composed of fine grains of red-sandstone. Their color turns a deeper red immediately after a rainstorm, while the rays of a rising or setting sun seem to bring out softer hues of unsurpassed grandeur.