The Geologic Column

Have you visited the Geologic Column in Monument Valley Park? It is a bit hidden from the more frequented areas of the park, yet is one of the highlights of this natural centerpiece of our city.

The Friends of Monument Valley Park group recently completed the repair and restoration of the entire Geologic Column area, including two round overlooks, stone bridges, and stairs.  

Erosion of the hillside area had taken it’s toll and the stairs and trail were almost impassable. Repairs and refresh of the stonework around the geologic column was completed in October, 2020. Four State Historic Fund grants for a total of $500,000 have been used for stonework throughout the park. $150,000 was used on the area around the geologic column, and it shows nicely!

This updated interpretative sign was recently installed near the geologic column

“An open and verdurous space…”

General Palmer donated over 2,000 acres for parkland between 1871 and 1907. He stipulated that Monument Valley Park be “An open and verdurous space free from the dust and noise of the streets and roads, yes readily accessible from all parts of the town.”

verdurous (comparative more verdurous, superlative most verdurous) Freshly green; verdant; covered with verdure, or consisting of it. The hill was blanketed in verdurous grasses. —- You’re welcome! —

Colorado Springs’ founder, General William Palmer, initiated this creative way to display the fascinating cross-section of layers under our feet after receiving the idea in a letter from his engineer, Edwin C. van Diest.

These natural layers may be easily seen in the parking lot of Red Rock Canyon Open Space or in the roadside cuts driving up Highway 24 above Manitou Springs.

The best way to visit the geologic column is to park at a distant parking lot and leisurely explore your way through Monument Valley Park to the discovery. The quickest way is to take Fontanaro Street west from North Nevada Avenue. Park in the parking lot at the dead end that will put you right on top of this historic site.

A waterfall adjacent to the wall would run below the column and under the stone bridge into a nearby lake. Today, only storm water flows down the fall and the lake is now a meadow west of the column.

Thank you to Teri and Doyle with the Friends of Monument Valley Park for taking the time to verify my facts. Visit their website at for more information on the Monument Valley Park.

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