About

This historic park system, now comprising more than 14,000 acres in four counties in the Colorado Front Range, came into being in 1912 as a result of legislation at the city, state, and national level. In 2012-2013, Denver will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Denver Mountain Park system. See our interactive timeline for detailed information on the many milestones of this unique park system.

The Denver Mountain Parks were established in 1912 when Denver citizens voted to fund the system and bought its first park, Genesee Mountain. It took an Act of Congress and State legislation. Farsighted Mayor Robert Speer and other civic leaders realized that scenic areas in the mountains near Denver had to be protected and preserved or they could be lost forever.

The Mountain Parks Committee wrote in 1911, “A Mountain Park for Denver will be the first step, and, perhaps, the greatest step, in the great movement of making our mountains available for the people. We believe the Mountain Park should be more than a picnic place; it should be a summer home for the people of Denver, and indeed for the tourists of the nation.” This visionary act of conservation predated the national open space movement by at least 50 years.

The rustic log and stone buildings and roads framing spectacular views (featured in some of our header photos) that make the Mountain Parks distinctive are the work of well-known architects and landscape architects. Denver has preserved this land for the use and enjoyment of generations to come. The system is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. On the morning of Saturday, June 9th, I took some out of town guests to see the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. They were so excited to see the natural beauty of the park they had heard so much about. We arrived to hundreds of people working out, which is typical these days, but is quite a distraction to such a beautiful place. What is completely out of line with the peaceful enjoyment of the park, is that the people working out were led by a energetic guy on a loud megaphone. We hung out for a while, hoping to enjoy the park without being bombarded by the drill sargeant, but this went on for an hour.

    It would be nice if Denver Mountain Parks would consider placing some restriction on the use of megaphones and such, so the people that are there to enjoy the beauty and history of the park, can do so in a peaceful manner that is more in line with nature. I would imagine, the people working out that were not a part of that class were also distracted and annoyed. I am an avid fitness person, but I miss the days when I could go to Red Rocks with my family, simply to enjoy the peaceful serenity of such a unique and beautiful place.

    • Thank you for your comment, Michael. We are sorry to hear that you and your guests were inconvenienced and unable to enjoy Red Rocks in peace and quiet. The Amphitheatre is a small, but important, part of this 640-acre park, but we hope you were able to show them some of the park’s other features. The Amphitheatre itself is managed by and under the control of Arts & Venues Denver, formerly Theatres & Arenas, and the rest of the park is managed by Denver Mountain Parks and patrolled by our rangers. We will pass your comment on to the appropriate contacts at Arts & Venues Denver. They have posted the rules for exercising at Red Rocks; and there is contact information also at that site.

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