August 1859: Surveyors M.S. Beach and Rufus Cable were sent out from Denver to check out nearby land for a soon-to-be-established Colorado City. Coming across an area of sandstone formations, Mr. Beach exclaimed it “would be a capital place for a beer garden.” Replied Mr. Cable: “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods!”
The Garden of the Gods was destined never to become a beer garden, no matter how capital of one it might have been, because when the family of Charles Elliot Perkins ceded the Garden of the Gods to the city of Colorado Springs for use as a park in 1909, their wishes were that “it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park.”
The Garden of the Gods continues to have free admission. While there is a cafe on site, it does not sell, make, or dispense “intoxicating liquors.” Plan accordingly.
You can donate to the Garden of the Gods Foundation to ensure free admission so all can enjoy these natural wonders in the future. See here.