Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lake Pueblo State Park and Bishop Castle

In the spring of 2009, Doug and I drove out west, visiting several national parks in Colorado and Utah. I've shared a few pictures from that trip, specifically of Great Sand Dunes National Park, here. But there were so many other places and sights worthy of mention.

By the time we reached Pueblo, Colorado, we'd been on the road long enough that we were ready to stay there for a second night, giving us a day to explore the area.

We awoke refreshed and enthused at the prospect of doing a little sightseeing.  We replenished the ice in our cooler, picked up a couple of Subway sandwiches for a picnic lunch later, and headed for Lake Pueblo State Park.

Pueblo Dam
Cactus at Pueblo Dam
Prairie Dog at Lake Pueblo State Park
After spending a few hours at the state park, we took a drive through the beautiful surrounding countryside. The terrain in Pueblo State Park had been very arid. Within minutes of leaving it and heading into the mountains, though, we found ourselves in very lush, green terrain.

Old buildings in a lush green valley

One of the most fun discoveries of the day was Bishop Castle. The castle has been built by one man, Jim Bishop, who reportedly bought the property and began construction when he was 15 years old, back in 1969.

There is a Grand Ballroom
Stained Glass Windows

A 160-foot tower and a fire-breathing dragon on the castle's peak
My afraid-of-heights husband climbed that 160-foot tower and even walked out on the walkway. I waited in the ballroom. My mama didn't raise no fool.

This castle is really amazing...just to think that one man could have accomplished that. We just happened to stumble upon it on our drive through the countryside, but it was one of the highlights of our trip.


  1. First of all, I have to tell you that I got confused (surprised?). Apparently the picture that looks lush and green DOESN'T also include a picture of the castle. As I read under the picture about how it had been built over many years, I was under impressed and thought, it looks like a shack! Then I went on to the next picture and realized that you were talking about THAT picture. MUCH more impressed. :)

  2. Hi Linda, WOW---what a fabulous castle... I would love to see that one. And I'd be with your hubby --walking up and then out there on the walkway... ha

    Thanks for sharing more of your trip with us... I'd love to see more.

  3. Great finds but you missed out not climbing the tower.Pueblo is a high desert so fun to see cactus and lake side by side.Elberta peaches are grown not to far away.

  4. Sandra - My new blogging goal seems to be to keep you confused. :) Anyway, I'm glad you figured it out and enjoyed the castle.
    Betsy - I might have tackled the tower on another day, but it was getting late and I was tired. And I've never really liked climbing stairs.
    Steve - Okay, okay! You and Betsy are making me feel badly about not climbing the tower. Maybe next time.

  5. Wow amazing photos. The lush photo looks like it should be from Ireland or something, same with the castle. Neat that it's all right here. I can't wait to do some traveling and see some of these places for myself.

  6. Wow.. what a beautiful spot. I love the scenery and that castle is just amazing. Perplexing Sandra is a new fun feature of your blog, too. ;)

  7. Linda, I just have one thing to say to you and Miss Hilary both. "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature" ... and it's not nice to perplex Sandra either!! :)

  8. Thanks, Hilary. The change in scenery in just a few short miles was really amazing. Perplexing Sandra, not so much. :)

    Seriously, though, I could see how I confused her. I went in afterward and put the caption under the image of the old buildings, to help make the transition a little clearer.

  9. Sandra - I was trying to post my response to Hilary at the same time you were posting your "Mother Nature" comment. Yours made it through first. Ya gotta love Hilary. Her comments are so funny, even when they're at your expense.

  10. Elizabeth - There is so much to see in this country that I've never really felt the need to travel outside our borders, with the exception of our neighbor, Canada. We haven't really traveled in the northeast, but we understand there are some beautiful areas there, as well. Maybe someday.

  11. The castle is just amazing, and I might have thought it was older if you wouldn't have mentioned l969. Wonder if it was as many steps as the cave in the Smokey Mountains? Doug never ceases to amaze a person!

  12. Wow - I really thought for a minute that you had jumped on a plane and were touring Ireland - that green valley is unbelievable! But the castle!!!!!!! Good grief, how is it that I've never heard of that thing before? To think that it was all built by one man - just staggers the imagination. And what a crazy mixture of architectural styles - really, I guess it's Mr. Bishop's OWN unique style...influenced by medieval and Victorian eras, Mediterranean, Turkish, Russian, and contemporary architecture, and a geodesic dome and bit of fantasy thrown in for fun! Absolutely amazing.

    And next time you go, I'll go with you and stay below. I ain't no fool, either.

  13. KD - I don't know how the steps in the tower would have compared with the steps in the cave, but I agree with you that Doug is full of surprises.
    EthelMae - I'd never heard of it, either. But, if you're ever out that way, it's an interesting thing to see.

  14. Dear Linda,

    This is an amazing photo of the lush valley. My fiancee and I are looking for a place exactly like this to get married. Would you have any, more specific information on where the picture was taken? We would love to find it ourselves. Thank you so much!


  15. Rick,

    Please e-mail me at, and we can "chat" about this.



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