Ever wondered what Cheyenne Mountain is all about? Where did it gets its name? What’s its history? What do you know about Cheyenne Mountain? What are those towers on top? Is NORAD still in Cheyenne Mountain?
Just some of the answers to the questions above:
Where did Cheyenne Mountain get its name?
Named for the Cheyenne people. Native Americans found that Cheyenne Mtn was a good wood source for teepee poles. It was also visited by the Arapaho people. They sought spiritual inspiration from the mountain’s waterfalls. The Mountain was also used by the Ute Tribe to safely cross from the plains and benefit from its steep slopes and hidden valleys.
Its history – what do you know about Cheyenne Mountain?
Cheyenne Mountain is a triple-peaked mountain. The mountain serves as host for military, communications, recreational, and residential purposes. It was designed to withstand bombing and the fallout from a nuclear attack.
The underground operations center for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was built in the 1960s during the Cold War to monitor the potential intrusion to North American airspace Soviet missile launches and military aircraft.
Homesteading activity began in 1867. The mountain was the site of resorts and retreats beginning in the 1880s. Spencer Penrose, who built and widely promoted The Broadmoor in 1918, bought several properties on the mountain.
Penrose built the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Highway, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a lodge on one of the mountain peaks, and a retreat at Emerald Valley.
The site of the lodge recently became the wilderness Cloud Camp. Emerald Valley is now the site of The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. Land on The Mountain once owned by The Broadmoor is now the site of numerous luxury homes.
The two parks on and at the base of Cheyenne Mountain are Cheyenne Mountain State Park and North Cheyenne Cañon Park.
What are those towers on top?
You cannot miss the noticeable tower feature on the top of one of Cheyenne Mountain’s peaks. Those features are an antenna farm with transmitters for cellular phones, radio, television, and law enforcement transmitters. They are not related to the military installation in the mountain. They are obviously hidden from public view.
During the 1950s, an antenna farm was built on the middle peak of the mountain when Bert Swisher deeded ten acres to Bud Edmonds and several backers and Swisher signed a non-compete agreement. Edmonds, John Browne, and Buck Ingersoll agreed to replace the trails to the area with a real road, which was opened in 1960 by the Cheyenne Propagation Company.
Currently there are 700 cell phone, television, radio, and law enforcement transmitters on the antenna farm. The Cheyenne Mountain radio repeater site, 145.160, covers south central and southeast Colorado along the Interstate 25 corridor from Monument to the New Mexico border. Since 2002, it has been operated by Cheyenne Propagation Company.
Is NORAD still in the Cheyenne Mountain?
NORAD used to offer public tours, but due to security concerns they were suspended after 9-11. Most of the center’s operations moved to Peterson Air Force Base in 2006,. Then in April 2015, the Pentagon reported that some operations would be moving back.
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