Trail views from Genesee Mountain Park near Golden, Colorado. Just a few weekends ago. My brother will be in Denver (and in Colorado for the first time ever) at the end of this month. I can't wait to take him to Golden to drive up Lookout Mountain, go see the protected buffalo herd at Genesee (and make him do a short hike), and then go tour the Coors brewery. It's gonna be a fun week!!
My favorite sight heading west on I-70. When you've had to drive through the entire state of miserable, boring, flat Kansas more times than you care to recall, the drive across the state of Colorado is like a field trip on the last day of school.
Yesterday I shared a photo of this mama bison and her baby calf, sharing a tender moment alone, away from the herd and resting peacefully against the enclosure. Here's the entire photo, going up the side of Genesee Mountain with the foothills and Rocky Mountains in the background. These animals are part of a herd of protected bison who were introduced to Colorado and descendants of the last original wild bison herd. They were bred from the bison inside Yellowstone Nat'l Park as well as from Native American Rez land. They get hundreds of acres of their own private land on which to graze and live safely, and they even have their own tunnel that goes underneath I-70 for safe crossing.
Mountain trails are ALWAYS happy trails.
They have the best views, too.
I pictured my home on the side of this mountain, facing the foothills and Rocky Mountains to the west. Coming out on a back porch every morning with a mug of coffee and every evening with a glass of cab sauv...if my traveling luxury RV doesn't come to fruition, my mountainside side home will suffice. 😁⛰
We finally went to go check out the Buffalo Herd Overlook off I-70 west near Golden. Sadly the buffalo weren't visible there (they even have their very own tunnel that goes under the interstate so they can safely cross back and forth), so we decided to venture into Genesee Mountain Park and got super lucky to spot a mama buffalo with her calf, just off the road and right at the edge of the enclosure. Everyone was respectful and didn't get too close to the fence (my camera is zoomed in quite a bit actually), and she seemed very content and peaceful, watching over her baby. They shared a few affectionate head nudges and face licks, which of course melted all the women's hearts. (Pretty sure Vic rolled his eyes at my squealing. 😂)...
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These bison, which have several hundreds of acres of open space on which to freely roam, are descendants of the last herd of wild buffalo in the US, bred from the ones inside Yellowstone National Park as well as from bison on Native American reservation land. And a fun fact I recently learned - Buffalo have never actually lived in N. America although early settlers called them that. We have bison in the US, and they do belong to the same cattle family as buffalo. We use the words interchangeably, but know there IS a difference in case you've ever wondered...
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The Buffalo Herd Overlook off I-70 is only about 20 miles west of Denver (exit 254), just as you're starting to pass through the foothills of Golden and enter the glorious Rocky Mountains. After you're done exploring Genesee Mountain Park, go back east just a tad and take a drive up Lookout Mountain in Golden. Another beautiful park with mountain trails (and an awesome mountaintop gift shop and cafe, next to Buffalo Bill's gravesite) await you.