Some city parks have gazebos, lakes, fountains and jogging trails. Denver’s parks have those, plus: a 1,000-year-old fen, two bison herds, a ski resort, a lake at 13,000 feet in altitude and an amphitheater framed by 300-million-old sandstone monoliths.
Denver has 20,000 acres of parks and the bulk — 14,000 acres — are spread through the mountains west of the city.
Denver also boasts the country’s highest city park: Summit Lake Park at 13,000 feet, on the road to the summit of 14,264-foot Mount Evans, about 60 miles southwest of Denver.
Red Rocks Park, in the foothills 18 miles west of Denver, has picnic sites, trails, buildings constructed by the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps and a world-renowned amphitheater nestled between 300-foot, red sandstone formations that rise out of the ground, jutting toward the sky.
The Beatles took the stage there in August 1964. Rock group U2’s 1983 rain-drenched concert at Red Rocks spawned a famous video of their performance of “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
“Red Rocks is one of the places you take your cousins when they’re in town,” said Susan Baird, Denver’s natural resources planner.
Another top tourist spot is William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s grave and museum on top of Lookout Mountain in the west metro area, also a Denver city park.
Baird said even locals are often surprised that some of their favorite getaway spots are Denver city parks.
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