COBWEB CORNERS: More on the balanced rocks

By Mel McFarland

       As I wrote in this column Sept. 8, 2011, the region has more balanced rocks than the famous one in the Garden of the Gods. I recently found a 1919 newspaper story about several of them, and it set me out looking for the ones I have not seen. There must be a half dozen balanced rocks within a hundred miles of Colorado Springs.
       One I have only seen from a distance is up on Cameron's Cone. About the size of a motor home, it is almost as big as the one in the Garden, but this one is made of granite. It is sitting on one end in some other rocks, and the other is out in the air.
       There is another balanced rock west of Woodland Park, on what used to be the Skelton dude ranch. I was treated to a ride to it a couple of years ago. It is not easy to get to, even though there is an old road through the ranch. It sticks up, but it sits solidly on another set of rocks.
       The one I find most interesting is east of Woodland Park, toward Palmer Lake., According to pictures, it is about 65 feet tall and looks like a huge nose. There is a road above Palmer Lake called Balanced Rock Road, and although it supposedly goes almost right past this rock I have not yet found it. I was told the trees have grown up around it now. There is a popular book of regional trails that has a picture of this balanced rock, along with the comment that the author would like a "modern" picture.
       Others I have heard about but haven't seen are located:
  • Near the road to Canon City from Cripple Creek.
  • Near the Red Rock Canyon west of Highway 115 near Fort Carson. I was told that this one was like the one in Garden of the Gods, but was knocked down about 75 years ago.
  • Along US 24 as you come down toward Buena Vista. I even have a post card of this one.
           I have heard of others in the mountains around the San Luis Valley. So when you say Balanced Rock, there sure are more than the "common" one.