Denver Mountain Parks: Family fun for Denver families
posted by: Mile High Mamas
Sure, you know Denver has some great mountains but did you know Denver has official mountain parks that offer unlimited fun for families? Denver Mountain Parks offer unlimited explorations in our area mountains! Scroll down for more family-friendly Denver activities.
Bergen Park is one of Denver’s smaller mountain parks at 25 acres. With open grasslands and a mature Ponderosa pine forest, Bergen Park has been a popular picnic spot since 1917 when a striking stone shelter was built in the center of the park. The regional Jefferson County Pioneer Trail runs along the western edge of the park, with other parks and recreation areas nearby.
30 miles from downtown Denver off I-70 in Evergreen
Buffalo Bill Grave & Museum
This site hosts the grave of the legendary showman William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. By his request, Buffalo Bill was buried on Lookout Mountain in 1917, overlooking the Great Plains and the Rockies. Feel the breezes from the high peaks of the Continental Divide, smell the Ponderosa pines, and see the incredible Cody Collection at the museum.
18 miles from downtown Denver in Golden
Corwina Park’s 298 acres are a key component of protected open space in Bear Creek Canyon, which includes a narrow strip of riparian habitat and other diverse plant communities. Highway 74 runs through the park, with three parking areas to access the park. Lower Corwina is on the north side of the highway and offers picnic areas and a restroom, along with a short nature trail. The Upper Corwina parking area serves as a trailhead for the Panorama Point Trail, which is a steep, pedestrian-only 1.5-mile trail leading to expansive views at Panorama Point. This trailhead also provides access to Bear Creek Trail just .7 miles away. Bear Creek Trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikes.
25 miles from downtown Denver / Highway 74 in Morrison
Daniels Park (featured image)
Most of Daniels Park is a bison preserve and natural area where visitors can view the animals in a high-plain habitat. The shelter
house and picnic areas offer a 100-mile panoramic view of the mountains. The historic Martin ranch buildings are a Denver Landmark Historic District.
20 miles from downtown Denver / I-25 exit 188
Dedisse Park is a beautiful 420-acre park nestled just outside Evergreen. The 35-foot high Evergreen Dam, completed in 1928,
creates the 55-acre Evergreen Lake. In 1925, part of the park became Colorado’s first mountain golf course, Evergreen Golf Course. Eat at historic Keys on the Green.
29 miles from downtown Denver / I-70 exit 252
Echo Lake Park
Echo Lake Park is nestled in a glacially-formed hanging valley at 10,600 feet in elevation. A shelter house and picnic facilities are near
the lake. The Echo Lake Lodge, open seasonally May – September, was built from native rock and timber. Views of the lake, lodge, and Mt. Evans are truly majestic.
46 miles from downtown Denver / I-70 exit 240
Fillius Park is located along Highway 74 and was an early resting spot for the popular scenic drive through the foothills. The 107-acre park has two short loop trails with picnic areas and a historic stone structure oriented toward beautiful views of the Continental Divide.
22 miles from downtown Denver in Evergreen off I-70
The first and biggest park in the DMP system, Genesee features recreation opportunities like a ropes course, hiking, camping,
volleyball, and bison viewing. Summer public camping is offered at Chief Hosa Campground, and the Chief Hosa Lodge and historic CCC shelter are available for events. Challenging hikers since 1917, the Beaver Brook Trail’s west trailhead is also in north Genesee Park.
20 miles from downtown Denver / I-70 exits 253 (chief hosa camp and lodge) & 254 (park & bison)
Little Park serves as the first trailhead on the Bear Creek Trail which connects Lair O’ the Bear, Corwina, O’Fallon and Pence Parks. Little Park’s 400-acres were acquired by the City of Denver in 1917 and are characterized by steep canyons and ridges covered with Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir forests. To help protect this sensitive landscape, no public access to the steep southern portions of the park is offered.
27 miles from downtown Denver off U.S. Highway 6 near Morrison
True to its namesake, Lookout Mountain Park boasts a panoramic view stretching from the Continental Divide to downtown Denver and the prairies beyond. It is also home of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave with exhibits that chronicle the life of one of the great figures of the American West. The historic Lariat Loop Scenic Byway also runs through the park, 66 acres of which were set aside as a key resting spot for the popular drive-in 1915.
18 miles/located off I-70 in Golden
A craggy peak looms over this special events park near Conifer, available only by reservation. Groups can be accommodated at
37 miles from downtown Denver
O’Fallon Park’s 860 acre connects Corwina and Pence Parks to create 1,487 acres of protected open space that sustains various habitats in the Bear Creek corridor. It is a popular spot for fishing and other recreational activities. O’Fallon Park is home to an extensive system of trails, all of which are closed to mountain bikes except Bear Creek Trail which connects to both Corwina and Pence Parks. However, there is no mountain bike access to this trail within O’Fallon Park. Picnic, vehicle parking and restroom facilities are available in the central portion of the park—it is a popular spot for family picnics and fills up quickly during the summer months.
24 miles from downtown Denver in Kittridge
Pence Park provides a trailhead for the popular Bear Creek Trail where it’s possible to hike or bike all the way through O’Fallon and Corwina Parks. Pence Park also offers a hiker-only experience on Independence Mountain Trail, which is a two-mile loop up the flanks of Independence Mountain.
25 miles from downtown Denver near Kittredge
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater
Red Rocks Park, along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, is named for the towering 300-foot sandstone formations within its 804 acres. The park also boasts a 200-mile panoramic view of Denver and the plains. Extensive hiking trails and natural areas surround the geologic formations. The Visitor Center has a restaurant, gift shop, and park interpretation.
15 miles from downtown Denver / I-70 exit 259
Summit Lake Park
The highest city park in the U.S., Summit Lake provides pristine natural beauty at 13,000 feet, near the peak of Mt. Evans. Arctic
and alpine tundra make up the park’s 160 acres, including a natural lake. Park visitors pay a fee to the U.S. Forest Service at the base of the scenic road, which supports maintenance and improvements at Summit Lake.
52 miles from downtown Denver / I-70 exit 240
Winter Park Resort
Opened for the 1939-40 ski season, Winter Park offers year-round activities on its three interconnected mountain peaks, including
skiing, snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking.
52 miles from downtown Denver / I-70 exit 232
For additional information, go to www.denvergov.org.
Colorado Summer Vacation Guide Additional Resources
Where to pull of I-70 when you’re stuck in traffic (fun activities and restaurants)