The Ute Trail

The trail which the Indians followed to the Garden of the Gods was traced by a Pikes Peak pioneer of 1860 named Irving Howbert. Howbert spent many years studying the Indians, their habits, and their trails. In later life he wrote a book: The Indians of the Pikes Peak Region.

Howbert said that this Indian trail through the Garden was a branch of the old Ute Trail. It came in from the northeast through Templeton Gap, crossed Monument Creek near present Fillmore Street, the went over the Mesa, most likely descending to Camp Creek by way of an easy incline. It passed through the Niobrara Ridge over the natural saddle that is now filled by the Chambers dam. The trail then climbed to the site of the old Visitors' Center, crossed Ridge Road just below, and descended to a meeting with the main trail at Becker's Lane. From Becker's Lane the combined trails continued to the springs of Manitou, then into the mountains around the north side of Pikes Peak.

This old Indian trail through the Garden was probably more in the nature of a corridor than a narrow track. Certainly it followed the easiest route possible. There remains no physical evidence of the trail today. There is, however, a stone marker placed on the trail corridor in 1935 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The marker reads in part: "THIS STONE MARKS THE INDIAN TRAIL USED BY THE PLAINS INDIANS TO UTE PASS."


DAR Marker


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