For more than 100 years, Denver’s Mountain Parks have provided a place for people to play in some of Colorado’s most scenic landscapes. At 14,000 acres, 22 accessible parks and 24 conservation areas make the city’s “backyard” park system one of the most unique and expansive in the country. Extending across three counties and spanning altitudes of 13,000+ feet, these parks offer hiking, fishing, golfing, picnicking and other outdoor adventures, including historic cultural institutions such as the Mt. Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, and world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
For more than 100 years, Denver’s Mountain Parks have provided a place for people to play in some of Colorado’s most scenic landscapes. At 14,000 acres, 22 accessible parks and 24 conservation areas make the city’s “backyard” park system one of the most unique and expansive in the country. Extending across three counties and spanning altitudes of 13,000+ feet, these parks offer hiking, fishing, golfing, picnicking and other outdoor adventures, including historic cultural institutions such as the Mt. Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, and world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Denver Mountain Parks also provide unique wildlife viewing opportunities and are home to two.
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.
Download the Bergen Mountain Park map(PDF, 284KB)
Corwina Park was acquired in 1916 and its 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.
A second parking area directly across the road provides fishing access and a short walk to a historic stone picnic shelter built in 1918.
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.
With a dense forest of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir, Corwina Park provides a wonderfully wooded setting for small picnics.
Download the Corwina Mountain Park map(PDF, 426KB)
At 1,000 acres, Daniels Park is characterized by its unique sandstone ridge and spectacular view of the Front Range extending from Pikes Peak to the south, all the way to the Mummy Range near the Wyoming border. The park is within a larger regional open space system of 11,000 acres that protects the unique rim-rock landscape that stretches from Sedalia to Highlands Ranch.
Daniels Park is also home to one of Denver’s bison herds which roams on prairie grasslands in the park’s upper elevations. Most of the park is closed to public use due to their presence, but visitor access along the sandstone mesa provides scenic views and can be found along the Daniels Park Road at a historic shelter and two other viewing areas.
Download the Daniels Mountain Park map
Dedisse Mountain Park includes Evergreen Golf Course and Evergreen Lake. The City of Denver acquired Dedisse Ranch in 1919, after the town of Evergreen, Colorado was already established as a popular summer retreat.
The Dedisse Trail weaves through the western and northern portions of the Park, connecting to multiple use trails in Jefferson County’s Alderfer-Three Sisters Park. Dedisse Park offers views of Elephant Butte, Hicks Mountain and Bergen Peak—all of which are protected as Denver Mountain Park Conservation/Wilderness areas.
A historic log and stone structure characteristic of Denver Mountain Parks sits on a hillside overlooking Evergreen Lake and is available to permit for activities.
Download the Dedisse Mountain Park map(PDF, 330KB)
Echo Lake Park
At an elevation of 10,600 feet, Echo Lake Park is the only Denver Mountain Park within the sub-alpine zone. The 24-acre natural lake at the base of Goliath Peak is popular for fishing and reflects wonderful views of Mt. Blue Sky. Visitors are requested to stay on trails, as a 10,000-year-old fen (wetland) at the east end of the lake provides important wildlife habitat. The lake is part of the Echo Lake Potential Conservation Area and has high biodiversity significance for its rare and globally vulnerable sub-alpine plants, including reflected moonwort, Mingan moonwort and western moonwort.
Trails from Echo Lake Park connect to the Chicago Lakes and Bear Track Lakes trails, accessing the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area and the summit of Mt. Blue Sky.
Echo Lake Lodge is a historic log building that was built in 1927 and is a seasonal gift shop and restaurant. In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, DPR maintains Mt. Evans Road and scenic byway which leads to Summit Lake and recreation area during warm-weather months.
Download the Echo Lake Mountain Park map(PDF, 365KB)
Echo Lake Lodge
As Echo Lake Lodge approaches 100 years old, Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) will be undertaking a planning process to evaluate the structural and preservation needs, and the right combination of potential uses for the building and the park as a whole. The department will use both the Game Plan for a Healthy City, our 20-year strategic plan, along with the Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports Master Plan to guide decisions on how the lodge can best serve the recreational interests of Denver residents and visitors for the next 100 years. The planning process for Echo Lake Lodge dovetails with a series of planning efforts and capital improvement projects that DPR has implemented to better program and activate Denver Mountain Parks and make them more accessible, such as the recently renovated Red Rocks CCC Camp, the new basecamp and Patrick House trailhead at Genesee Park and docks at Evergreen Lake in Dedisse Park. The first phase in the planning process for Echo Lake Park includes a thorough facility and needs assessment of the lodge. Funding for the initial part of the process is earmarked in DPR’s proposed 2023 Capital Improvement Project (CIP) budget.
In the interim, DPR anticipates that the lodge will continue to provide some limited visitor services during the planning period and that some services will likely be available after implementation of the plan. Echo Lake Lodge is a well-loved historic building and DPR’s goal is to ensure that it can continue to be accessible to Denver residents and visitors well into its second century.
Acquired in 1914, 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.
Download the Fillius Mountain Park map(PDF, 284KB)
Denver’s Mountain Park system began forming in 1912 with the acquisition of Genesee Park. At 2,413 acres, it is the largest Denver Mountain Park and offers large picnic areas, hiking, outdoor recreation programming and camping at Chief Hosa Campground, along with an event rental space at Chief Hosa Lodge. Genesee Park is also home to one of Denver’s bison herd, providing unique wildlife viewing opportunities for both park visitors and travelers on Interstate 70.
At the 8,284 Genesee Mountain Summit, park visitors can enjoy a panoramic view from the Continental Divide to the city and plains.
Download the Genesee Park map(PDF, 655KB)
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.
Download the Little Mountain Park map(PDF, 426KB)
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 great figures of the American west.
Lookout Mountain Park is entirely within the extensive Deadman Gulch Potential Conservation Area and has high biodiversity significance with grassland communities that supports our diverse butterfly species along with other wildlife.
The historic Lariat Loop Scenic Byway also runs through the park, 66 acres of which was set aside as a key resting spot for the popular drive in 1915.
Download the Lookout Mountain Park map(PDF, 426KB)
O’Fallon Park’s 860 acres was donated to the City of Denver in 1938 and 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. Learn more about how to reserve picnic site.
Download the O’Fallon Mountain Park map(PDF, 722KB)
Pence Park provides a trail head 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.
Download the Pence Mountain Park map(PDF, 280KB)
Red Rocks Park
Red Rocks Park is named for its towering sandstone rock formations along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. The park is home to the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, considered one of the greatest outdoor music venues in the world. It is also a popular destination for tourists, photographers, exercise buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.
Red Rocks Park boasts a 200-mile panoramic view of Denver and plains with hiking trails on which to observe the striking geologic features of the park. Due to the large number of visitors the park receives and its sensitive natural areas, all park visitors must stay on designated trails. Off-trail use and rock climbing are strictly prohibited.
Download the Red Rocks Park map(PDF, 393KB)
Summit Lake Park
At an elevation of 12,840 feet, Summit Lake Park anchors the high-altitude end of Denver’s Mountain Park system and is the headwaters of Bear Creek. A road to the top of Mt. Blue Sky is typically accessible from Memorial Day to Labor Day and provides stunning views of Colorado’s highest peaks.
Summit Lake Park’s 160 acres are surrounded by National Forest and the Mt. Evans Wilderness area. Fees charged to access the park and road help maintain services and facilities at this high altitude.
A short growing season makes life a challenge for the park’s slow-growing tundra wildflowers. Park visitors are asked to stay on trails to avoid adding to their challenging environment. Look for “spring” in early July at this elevation, with fall following quickly by mid-August. By September, the road to Mt. Blue Sky summit is closed but access to the park is maintained until major snowstorms impact safety and prohibit travel.
An accessible trail offers a short hike to the Chicago Lakes Overlook where park visitors can enjoy spectacular mountain views. The Summit Lake parking area provides access to climb Mt. Blue Sky or fish in the high alpine lake. Mountain goats and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep may also be spotted throughout the park. Cross-country travel on the tundra is prohibited and park visitors are asked not to feed or follow wildlife onto the tundra.
Download the Summit Lake Park map(PDF, 836KB)
As Echo Lake Lodge approaches 100 years old, Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) will be undertaking a planning process to evaluate its structural and preservation needs, along with the right combination of potential uses for the building and the park as a whole. DPR will use its long-term strategic plan, Game Plan for a Healthy City, along with the 2008 Denver Mountain Parks Master Plan and the Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports Master Plan to guide decisions on how the lodge can best serve the recreational interests of Denver residents and visitors for the next 100 years.
The planning and outreach process for Echo Lake Lodge dovetails with a series of planning efforts and capital improvement projects that DPR has implemented to better program and activate Denver Mountain Parks in order to make them more accessible. The first phase in the planning process for Echo Lake Park includes a thorough facility and needs assessment of the lodge.
Find more details, including frequently asked questions about Echo Lake Lodge.
Enhancing the Legacy of Lookout Mountain Park and the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
Lookout Mountain Park, home to the popular Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, is visited by more than 500,000 people per year and holds immense historical significance with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. As part of an ongoing effort to enrich the visitor experience to Lookout Mountain Park, Denver Parks and Recreation remains committed to preserving the park's natural beauty, protecting its historic buildings, and honoring its historical significance.
At the end of 2024, Pahaska Tepee, the gift shop and café located next to the Buffalo Bill Museum, will temporarily close. This temporary closure will facilitate operational changes, reduce lodes impacting the building’s mechanical systems, and will provide access for historic preservation efforts. The historic building was constructed in 1921 and is owned by the City and County of Denver. Interim uses and operations within the Pahasaka Tepee building and surrounding site may be implemented depending on the condition and limitations of the space.
The adjacent Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave will continue to remain open to visitors and to operate as usual. The museum is considered a top cultural destination in Denver and receives up to 80K visitors per year. To learn more about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and to plan a visit to the museum, please visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave website at www.buffalobill.org. The museum will continue to operate seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm in the summer, and 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday in the winter.
Generations of Denverites have made lasting memories on Lookout Mountain, and Denver Parks and Recreation will ensure that future services meet the evolving needs and expectations of visitors. Denver Parks and Recreation remains committed to the public, ensuring that Lookout Mountain Park and the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave continue to be cherished destinations.
Burn Area Advisory | Elephant Butte Conservation Area
REMAIN ON TRAIL: The Elephant Butte Tract is restricted to use by trail only due to potentially hazardous off-trail conditions caused by the 2020 Elephant Butte fire.
Denver Mountain Parks works with community partners on a variety of projects to improve and maintain forest health while protecting park resources and nearby communities. Find additional resources and learn more about current projects below:
Fillius Park & Pence Mountain Forest Health Treatment
Project Overview & Timeline
Denver Mountain Parks is partnering with Evergreen Fire/Rescue to accomplish fuels reduction work on 115 acres of mixed conifer forest. Starting winter 2022/2023, Evergreen Fire fuels module will be conducting tree felling operations in the Eastern portion of Fillius Park. The module will be piling the slash into piles to burn winter 2023-2024. The remaining 50 acres at Fillius Park will be treated using heavy machinery in areas of dense Douglas-fir dominant regeneration.
During use of heavy equipment, portions of Fillius Park Trail will be closed spring/summer 2023.
Fillius Park Management Objectives
The Fillius Park project area is a 50-acre treatment in primarily Ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forest. The management objectives for this area include:
- Create a mosaic of forest conditions and structures that allow for wildfire and other insect/disease disturbances to occur within a natural range of variability
- Favor retention of Ponderosa pine and lesser amounts of Douglas-fir
- Retain trees on all slope positions, with fewer trees on ridges and more on southern-exposed slopes
- Retain larger diameter Douglas-fir on northerly aspects and existing Blue Spruce, Aspen, and Ponderosa pine
- Break up tree crown continuity by creating gaps and openings within forest structure
- Retain at least one wildfire snag per acre where naturally occurring
Pence Mountain Management Objectives:
The Pence Mountain project area is a 65-acre treatment in primarily lodgepole pine forest and upper montane mixed conifer forest. The management objectives for this area include:
- Protect the development of larger, more established trees (greater than 15" dbh)
- Create a mosaic of forest conditions and structures that allow for wildfire and other insect/disease disturbance to occur within a natural range of variability
- Enhance aspen components of the treated areas by enhancing available growing space through the removal of stagnant, unhealthy conifer stands
- Retain individual or groups of live vigorous trees and create openings between groups
- Remove all unhealthy lodgepole pine of all sizes, as well as small diameter Douglas-fir (<12" diameter)
Download the full project description(PDF, 2MB)
More Forest Health Information & Resources:
Legault Mountain Forest Restoration & Wildfire Mitigation
Download infographic text(PDF, 154KB)
Denver’s bison herd has been important in protecting genetic diversity and supporting population recovery, and for connecting Denver residents and visitors to an important part of our native ecosystem. Learn more.
Some of the land within the Denver Mountain Parks system were acquired for their open space value and never intended to be developed. Prominent mountain tops, dense forests and riparian corridors provide critical wildlife habitat, watershed protection and dramatic scenic backdrops.
Many of the highly visible peaks and ridges along main routes including US 285, Highway 74 and Interstate 70 are Denver Mountain Parks. Much of this land is surrounded by private properties and limits public access. These conservation parcels continue to fulfill their intended role of protecting the natural and scenic character of the Denver foothills.
The Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave is located in Denver's Lookout Mountain Park. Born in 1846, William F. Cody experienced the Old West to its fullest. His skill as a buffalo hunter gained him the nickname "Buffalo Bill." Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows traveled the world leaving a lasting vision of the American West.
The Museum illustrates the life, times, and legend of William F. Cody. It includes exhibits about Buffalo Bill's life and the Wild West shows, Native American objects, and firearms. See Sitting Bull's bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill's show outfits, Frederick Remington's "Portrait of a Ranch Hand," and many other objects from the Old West in the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave.
Find more information
With heavy use and exposure to high-altitude elements, volunteer teams are an essential component of Denver Mountain Park operations.
Join a volunteer project