At a Glance
A few minutes outside of Denver, pull off I-70 at Exit 253 for wide-open views, easy hikes, a picnic area, and a paved biking/walking path adjacent to bison grazing grounds. It’s also accessible from the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway.
At the exit, follow Stapleton Drive to its dead end for parking, trails, vault toilets, a picnic table, interpretive signs, and bike path access.
What to Love
While the kids may adore a simple stop to see the local bison herd (access at Exit 254), Genesee Park itself is pleasantly under-utilized (access at Exit 253). Whether you choose a gently rolling paved trail or a dirt hiking path, your hiking companions may include hawks, deer, rabbits, birds of all kinds, and (on their fenced-in range) the iconic American Bison. One freeway exit westward, the easygoing town of Evergreen offers lodging, dining, sporting goods and outdoor supply stores, plus an RV-friendly Walmart.
Where to Sleep
Camping in this corridor is limited. At Exit 253 (signage says “Chief Hosa,”) you will find an RV-and-tent campground by the same name. It’s run by Denver Mountain Parks, and is often full despite freeway noise and universally tepid reviews.
The nearby town of Evergreen offers both a hotel and an RV-friendly Walmart at its exit, but no camping until the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area.
Wise campers may prefer an RV park in Golden (about 15 minutes down the hill) or pressing westward the toward campgrounds, RV parks, and boondocking opportunities in Idaho Springs and the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest.
Good to Know
Many Genesee Park roads, and Chief Hosa campground as well, are seasonally closed. Check their websites before you plan a visit.
If you come in spring stop at I-70 Exit 254 (signage reads “Genesee Park” and “Buffalo Herd Overlook”) and try for a glimpse of the rust-colored baby bison that usually are born in May. The Buffalo Herd Overlook is open year-round. Please do not provoke the bison, feed them, or throw rocks or objects into their preserve.
If hiking, be alert for elk. In the fall, bull elk are in rut and may be aggressive. In the spring, cow elk will protect their offspring. And, as always, remember this is bear country. Bears can be coming out of hibernation, protecting cubs, and overall particularly cranky in the spring.
Video by Colinda de Groen, RangeTracker – Colorado Wildlife: Bison in Genesee Park
Video by MaxTOYS – Visiting the Buffalo trip to Colorado Genesee Herd Overlook
More to Explore
Denver Parks & Recreation – Genesee Park Information and Map
Bison Viewing at I-70 Exit 254 – Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve
Denver Foothills Driving Tour – Lariat Loop National Scenic Byway
Recreation and Lodging from U.S. Forest Service – Interactive Visitor Map
Denver Parks & Recreation – Chief Hosa Campground