A Geological Tour of Denver, Golden, and Colorado's Front Range

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The Lyons Formation

South Gateway Rock - Lyons sandstone in Garden of the Gods Park

South Gateway Rock, on the left, against a backdrop of Pikes Peak - Lyons sandstone in Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs.

Sand as far as the eye can see...

The impressive red sandstone pinnacle structures at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs suggest that they are part of the Fountain Formation, since, in size and color, they resemble the flatiron sandstones of Red Rocks Park to the north.  They are, however, not part of the Fountain Formation, but are made of Lyons sandstone. For some reason the chemistry of the Lyons formation, created a much stronger, erosion-resistant, bond in this region, than that of the Fountain sandstone.  There is Fountain Formation sandstone found in the southwestern part of the park, (i.e., behind and to the west of the formations in the picture above), but erosion has had a greater impact.