Eldorado Springs and Eldorado Canyon State Park History
Ute Indians were the first known inhabitants into this area that is nestled against the foothills of Boulder. They may have lived near the entrance of the canyon because the warm water springs were useful in the harsh Colorado winters. Euro-American settlers soon followed in search of gold, timber, and grazing land for domestic animals. Extensive coal deposits were discovered in nearby Marshall.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the town of Eldorado Springs was established and was known as a resort for the elite. The town offered visitors warm artesian springs and lush hotels including the Crags Hotel, the Eldorado and the Grand View. Numerous celebrities and Denver residents enjoyed the beautiful getaway until individual fires tragically destroyed them all. The town also received considerable attention between 1906-1949 when Ivy Baldwin performed tight rope acts across the canyon 580 feet in mid-air. Like Ivy Baldwin, many visitors enjoy the spectacular views of the park from a higher perspective, but these visitors prefer rockclimbing to a tight rope.
Eldorado Canyon has an amazing geologic history displaying more than one billion years of history. East of the park is a Dakota formation ridge, going westward one encounters the Lyons and Fountain formations, all three of which are varieties of sandstone. The pre-cambrian metamorphic stone near the park's visitor center is primarily quartzite and is estimated to be more than 1.5 billion years old.