Lookout Mountain is a 110-acre playground for outdoor enthusiasts in Golden, Colo., approximately 20 minutes west of Denver. The park is maintained by Jefferson County Open Space and offers free admission. The park is popular with bicyclists and rock climbers and features hiking trails as well.
Road bikers can take Lookout Mountain Road for a paved road with elevation gains. Drivers should watch out for bikes on the winding road as it nears Highway 6. Mountain bikers can navigate the Chimney Gulch/Lookout Mountain trail, which starts on Highway 6 and goes to the top of Lookout Mountain.
For rock climbers, Lookout Mountain offers bolted routes rated 5.7 - 5.10c in difficulty. Bring your own ropes, harnesses and other climbing equipment for the routes.
At the top of Lookout Mountain, visitors can enjoy a view that looks out over Denver. Buffalo Bill's grave and memorial museum both lie atop the mountain. The museum offers a glimpse into the life of William F. Cody, buffalo hunter extraordinaire and star of the Wild West Show.
History of Lookout Mountain
Golden City, now known simply as Golden, was established in 1859 at the foot of Lookout Mountain as prospectors searched for gold in the Colorado hills.
Charles Boettcher, who founded Great Western Sugar Company and the Ideal Cement Company, owned the majority of Lookout Mountain. He built a luxurious mountain lodge in 1917 on top of the mountain, which now is known as the "Boettcher Mansion." The mansion can now be rented out for weddings and other special occasions.
After Boettcher's death in 1948, the family continued to use the lodge. Charline Breeden, a granddaughter of Charles Boettcher, donated 110 acres of land and the lodge to Jefferson County a few years before she died in 1972.
Hours and Admission: The park is open from 8 a.m. until dusk year-round. There is no admission for the park and trails, but the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum charges admission of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for children.
Directions to Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain can be accessed from either I-70 or Highway 6. The access from I-70 is more straightforward, but some biking trails are closer to Highway 6.
Directions from I-70: From Denver, travel west on I-70. Take exit #256 and follow the brown signs to Lookout Mountain.
Directions from Highway 6: From Denver, travel west on Highway 6 until you reach Golden. Turn left onto 19th Street, which briefly goes through a residential neighborhood. Then follow Lookout Mountain Road to the top of the mountain. For newcomers to Denver, the road is a winding road with a posted speed limit of 20 mph.