Red Rock Canyon was a Quarry and Landfill

Red Rock Canyon has a history of not always being a place where Nature was preserved.

A large section of it was a quarry that had huge equipment removing rocks from it central core.

This is a picture of the quarry as viewed from the Lions Trail. Closer View of Quarry in Red Rocks Canyon

On one of my hikes this year, I will walk up the stair step area, or down it, depending on from which side I approach it.

And I will take photos that give a better idea of the scale of that mining operation then.

Can you find the quarry in the above picture?

You can read more about the quarry by going to the Friends of Red Rock Canyon web site. In Manitou Springs, Lyons sandstone from Red Rock Canyon was used for Red Crags, the two round spring buildings on Manitou Avenue, and elsewhere. Because of the premium price of this stone, it was often used only for architectural accents in buildings built of less expensive Dakota sandstone or brick.

Another section of Red Rocks Canyon was a deep valley that was a landfill area for many, many years.

At one point in time, investors wanted to purchase that area and turn it into a golf course. I actually thought that was an interesting idea, but the government agencies they had to work with feared the possibility of methane gas and other toxins leaking out.

As my Dad was a golfer, and I have walked on many beautiful golf courses with him on various vacations in year’s past, I can easily see why investors thought this would be a beautiful piece of land for a golf course.

Reclaimed Landfill at Red Rocks Canyon

Yet now we all hike around it, just not en-mass, nor right on top of the main area.


Red Rocks Canyon Landfill reclaimed

The trails on both sides of it connect with Section 16. 

These trails can be accessed from both Red Rocks Canyon or Cheyenne Canyon.

And I have found myself hiking along it from both directions.

And I am sure I will be hiking on some parts of them later this year.


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