A Ride to the top of Mt. Morrison

The Walker years were colorful years in the Garden of the Titans, and Walker himself did his best to make sure of it! The lyrical descriptions of the Garden’s many attractions in his literature are exemplary, even in a day of impressive modes of expression. Grandiose gestures marked his attempts to guide others to share his dreams, and for a time, he may have succeeded. The little town of Mt. Morrison (as he renamed it) never quite became “another Colorado Springs” but he certainly left his mark on the town as well as the Park. His dreams are, even today, not forgotten.

Go to part 1: Construction of the Mt. Morrison Funicular

“Magician’s wand seen in road built to top of peak”
Describing a ride to the top of Mt. Morrison, 1909

A speck of white shining on the distant mountain top, a slender, almost imperceptible thread stretching straight up the mountain side-that is the first view you get of the Mount Morrison railway as you sit upon the broad veranda of the Mount Morrison hotel and look upon the lavish splashes of color with which nature has painted the scenery of one of the most beautiful realistic art settings in the world.

That is the first impression—but the wonders of the mountain pictures, unfurling with the changes and splendor of a moving panorama as you make that wonderful ascent up-up into the air, clinging involuntarily with that moving car to the mountain side, make you gasp at the daring that has placed this wonderful incline railway with its powerful and intricate machinery in the very midst of rugged and primeval nature, lording over the massive shape of Titan caves and upheavals, glinting in the red distorted sandstone in the Park of the titans below.

The new road just opened by John Brisben Walker up Mount Morrison, bringing the work of two years to a successful finish, has given to Colorado one of the wonders of the modern world and has laid in the lap of Denver or perhaps we might say, has tied to her apron strings a veritable jewel casket of exquisite scenic effects which the busy Denverite has been accustomed to travel miles and miles to distant mountain resorts to duplicate only in part.

Ten miles from Denver—an hour’s ride—lies a wealth of scenery with the most commanding point of observation—the top of Mount Morrison, giving the full sweep unimpeded, unmarred on all sides. A veritable top-of-the-world, and the feeling comes to you that some giant force of mythologic times, when the Titans whose caves in the stupendous sandstone formations gleam red below, battled with the forces of the world, must have constructed that wonderful bit of almost magic railroad.

The walk through the Park of the Titans, past those stupendous formations where the very Titans themselves might be concealed in labyrinthine caves, is the most perfect foreground for the railroad that every person blessed with even the faintest glimmer of imagination could wish.

—Walker’s promotional brochure, circa 1909

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