Perched an elevation of 6,035 feet at the base of Pikes Peak on the eastern edge of the southern Rocky Mountains, Kissing Camels Estates is possibly the most prestigious golf and tennis club in Colorado Springs CO real estate. Residents of the posh homes in Kissing Camels enjoy the sprawling, wooded 27-hole golf course at Kissing Camels Golf Club, the Garden of the Gods Club, splendid views of Pike’s Peak, and the amenities of a wealthy enclave. The gated community and country club is just off Mesa Road real estate in Colorado Springs.
Over 370,000 residents live in homes in Colorado Springs. Recently selected by Money magazine as the No. 1 Best Big City, “The Springs” rests at a convenient location off of Interstate 25—about an hour from both the recreational playground in the Rocky Mountains and the City of Denver. It is known for its beautiful open spaces, trail systems, and cultural attractions. A healthy economy is spurred by high-tech companies, government and military, and a strong presence of religious organizations in El Paso County.
Beginning as a resort and mining town, travelers have flocked to the area for 150 years. General William Palmer founded the posh resort community in 1871, which quickly became a popular travel destination. The town incorporated in 1886. Al and Margaret Hill purchased a scenic 1,600-acre mesa east of Garden of the Gods Park in 1949. They developed Kissing Camel Estates and the Garden of the Gods Club as a lure for prominent Texans seeking to escape the Southern summer heat.
The elite community of Kissing Camels embodies Margaret’s interesting combination of elegance and spunk to this day. Neighbors are known to speak up for what they believe in during community decision-making events. Topics like the building of bridges, the selling of the community, fees, the moving of tennis courts, and the preservation of existing stands of “incredible 60-year-old evergreen trees” along Kissing Camels Drive have been hotly debated over the years.
Margaret Hunt Hill is the daughter of Texas petroleum tycoon H.L. Hunt Jr., a man that Life magazine once termed, “the richest man in America.” As much as she hobnobbed with presidents and prime ministers, she herself worked a gift shop in the Seven Falls attraction in Cheyenne Canyon and bought clothes on sale. She grew up traveling the back roads of East Texas oil fields with her father and worked for him as a switchboard operator.
The founder of the Kissing Camels Garden Club, Margaret inspired a love of roses and gardening. In 1934 she was chosen Queen of the Tyler Rose Festival and a rose is named in her honor. She designed the landscaping for the Air Force Academy Football Stadium and her gardening legacy lives on with her daughter Lyda who built the $3.5 million Visitor and Nature Center at Garden of the Gods.