Gain mountain top views without having to ascend a mountain at Daniels Park in Sedalia, Colorado. This south suburban park, resting on the outskirts of Highlands Ranch, is well-known for its expansive views of the Front Range, historic bison herd and scenic sunsets. The Denver mountain park spans 1,000+ acres and is easily accessible, making a great day trip from the city.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Daniels Park is home to a historic ranch and is said to be where Kit Carson made his last campfire in 1868. What used to be the home and working ranch of a wealthy couple back in the early 1900s, the park displays its past with several historic buildings – the red barn and silo – representative of early 20th century rural architecture. But long before it was a working ranch, prior to the 1860s, Daniels Park Road was called the first Territorial Road. A wagon and stage route that led travelers south from Denver.
From Long’s Peak to Pike’s Peak, the views from Daniels Park are one of the best for sunset viewing near Denver. Perched at 6,250 feet, the park offers vista views of the Front Range and downtown. Take in the scenic landscape from the lookout points at the main parking area and pavilion or take a seat at one of the cozy benches that line the edge of the bluff.
While the park does not have an extensive trail system, it does provide a two-mile trail parallel to the road for walking and running. Following the edge of the cliffside, the path offers incredible views and is easy to explore as little or as much as you would like. The park’s trail starts at the pavilion and extends atop the bluff, alongside Grigs Road. Eventually, the trail will connect with the Douglas County East/West Regional Trail. In its completed state, this trail system will eventually connect Chatfield State Park to the Town of Parker at the Rueter-Hess Incline.
One of the park’s most unique attractions is the local bison herd. Direct descendants of the 1914 herd from the Yellowstone area, the herd is a result of splitting the Genesee Park bison herd, which had become too large. In the 1930s, roughly 20 bison were relocated to Daniels Park, where today the herd roams over 800 acres. A large fence line protects visitors from the bison but makes viewing from your car or up close possible.
The bison can be viewed from both sides of the road. They typically are found grazing in the area of the park directly across from the street from the Shelter House or next to the historic barn at the Florence Martin Trailhead.
How to get there
From Denver, take I-25 south and exit the Castle Pines Parkway (exit 188). Then turn right on to Monarch Boulevard and continue on to Grigs Road until it intersects with Daniels Park Road. Visitors will find the main parking area and picnic pavilion near the intersection of Grigs Road and Daniel’s Park Road.