A Unique Colorado
Bishop’s Castle is a unique Colorado destination, located in the San Isabel National Forest. The first time I visited was many years ago, with my mom and three younger daughters. All my memories of that day are clouded by the concern/fear that someone was going to fall. Recently I decided to go back and make a good memory, taking those same 3 younger daughters, who are now all teens. If you visit Bishop’s Castle with young children, I recommend a 1:1 adult to child ratio. There are steep staircases and some sway to the structure.
There is the interstate/highway route that one can take to reach the castle, but for the long exhale and beauty of a mountain drive, I suggest that you take the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway. It is about an hour and half drive, and stunningly beautiful. Pack a picnic, or plan to stop at one of the few towns along the way for lunch. You probably need about 2 hours at the castle, but definitely could make the visit in a shorter space of time.
Bishop’s Castle is situated in the forest, and while you can see it from the road, views are obscured by the trees. It is an open construction site, and you will find plenty of evidence that the project is not yet completed. Being married to a Builder Man, I recognized many things, and especially the atmosphere of creativity and never-ending inspiration.
On that note I do want to mention a couple of things. The castle is in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 9000 ft. and there is quite a bit of steep stair climbing and “sway” as I mentioned earlier. If you are not accustomed to the altitude or deal with anxiety, take it easy! During our recent visit we met a cute young couple and chatted with them a bit. One of them was from out-of-state and had a little trouble with the altitude as the rest of their group bounded around the castle. Add to that, a certain measure of anxiety, and she gave some of us a little scare. Know that is this a high altitude site and come with an adventurous spirit!
You can read much more about Bishop’s Castle here. There is a gift shop, with some snacks and bottled drinks.
The Castle Tour
This iron globe is at the top of one of the towers. It is accessed by a long winding staircase. By way of a shorter stairway from the globe, a visit to this outer tower can be made.
On the other side of the globe, there is the iron bridge to nowhere. It doesn’t connect to anything, and definitely has some sway. Look close at the expression on my daughter’s face and the knees that might be knocking. Miss Fearless, who often delights in scaring me by dangling off the side of cliffs, found this to be a little unnerving. Look beyond her, air and further away trees and a hill. The bridge to nowhere.
Throughout the castle you will see incredible stonework and beautiful ornamental iron work. The windows are being finished with stained glass. Some windows have lovely themed scenes like the trio below. Other windows appear to being completed pane by pane with memorial type stained glass.
There is a castle dragon, and visits in the summer might provide the viewing of some fire-breathing excitement. Hopefully we’ll get back up there in early June to check that out! If you visit Bishop’s Castle, please let me know what you think in the comments!