Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Burro Trips to Crystal Park

Before there was a road to Crystal Park, many tourists chose to take a burro trip.  There were a number of  "burro lines" from which to choose.  They offered trips to Rainbow Falls, the Cave of the Winds, Williams Canyon, the Garden of the Gods, Crystal Park and a two day trip to the summit of Pikes Peak and back.  There were other burro trips available to tourists in other locations that would take them up Cheyenne Canyon and other points of interest.

This photo (courtesy of the Manitou Springs Heritage Center), is notated on the back, "Burro Party to Crystal Park", with the date July 12, 1906, and the names of all the participants.  These trips did not follow the route of the future auto road, but rather the "Pawnee Trail" from the top of Pawnee Ave.

Below are two pages from a Manitou tourist brochure with a highlighted section regarding the burro trip to Crystal Park from the Pioneer Livery Stable, at a cost of $1.50.

This photo below is of a group leaving for Pikes Peak on July 24, 1910.  It shows the "Burro Line" barn, located on Manitou Ave. (in what is now the 700 block, south side)The barn is gone now, but it's location was to the east of the little alley (visible in the photo) that's still there, now lined with small shops.

Below is a photo of a group leaving the Cliff House for trip  in the late 1800's, probably to the Garden of the Gods or Williams Canyon.  Note the older couple in a cart on the left.  Carts couldn't be used on the trip to Crystal Park, as there was only a narrow trail.