It’s just a short drive from downtown Denver, but Lookout Mountain feels like another world. Once used as a lookout for the Native American Ute tribe that called the area home, the 7,300-foot (2,225-meter) mountain has miles of hiking and mountain biking trails throughout, from easy walking paths to strenuous switchbacks. From the summit, you can see the Denver skyline 12 miles (19 kilometers) away.
Most visitors to Lookout Mountain Park drive to the top of the mountain to explore the various trails that lead to and from the summit, but adventurous travelers can start from the bottom and climb up. The Chimney Gulch/Lookout Mountain Trail is one of the park’s most popular, offering the feel of backcountry hiking just a few minutes from downtown Golden. Once on the trails, look for elk, deer, birds, and other wildlife. At the top of the mountain, you can visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, where famous performer Buffalo Bill was laid to rest on the mountain’s summit.
Travelers can visit Lookout Mountain on a half- or full-day tour of Denver–area parks and foothills; most include roundtrip transportation to and from Denver.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lookout Mountain is a great spot for nature and outdoors lovers.
- Although the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave requires an admission fee, admission to the park is free.
- On the drive up, you’re likely to see cyclists in colorful training gear pushing the limits of their endurance on the narrow, winding road, so use caution.
How to Get There
Lookout Mountain is about 20 minutes west of Denver by road, just outside the town of Golden. Major highways lead into Golden from every direction, and visitors can also travel from Denver and Denver International Airport (DIA) to Golden via the RTD light rail using the West Rail or W lines.
When to Get There
Lookout Mountain Park is open year-round from dawn until dusk. Nature trails attract hikers and mountain bikers in summer, and snowshoers and cross-country skiers in winter. The Buffalo Bill Museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm in summer and from 9am to 4pm in winter.
Things to Do in Golden, Colorado
Lookout Mountain is only a few minutes from charming downtown Golden with its wonderful restaurants, scenic views, festivals, and locally owned shops and galleries. Clear Creek runs right through town, and in summer, you may see the US Olympic kayaking team training on the whitewater. You can also take a free tour of the Coors Brewery.