Genesee and Katherine Craig Parks
Genesee Park is best known for hosting one of two bison herds owned by the City of Denver. Acquired in 1914, the herd numbers approximately 50 and continues Denver’s conservation and stewardship efforts and provide a living link to western history. In addition to the bison, Genesee boasts expansive rolling meadows, mountain valleys and thick pine forests. The Chief Hosa Lodge, designed by one of Denver’s most famous architect Jules Jacques Benedict and built of native stone and logs in 1918 is also located in the park. The Lodge was named for Southern Arapahoe Chief Little Raven whose nickname was Chief Hosa.
Genesee Park provides access to the historic Beaver Brook Trail which connects to Lookout Mountain Park as well as the Braille Nature Trail, which offers interpretive signage in Braille. The new American Bison Trail provides opportunities not only for a great and gentle hike, but for up close bison viewing as well. There are also a large Civilian Conservation Corps picnic shelter and other picnic areas at the top of Genesee Mountain as well as camping at the Chief Hosa Campground.
Katherine Craig Park was acquired in 1935 and became the site of the Genesee Civilian Conservation Corp Camp SP-14. It has been used as a camp both by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as well as for Youth Corps. It is not currently open to the public.
For picnic facility reservations, call the Denver Parks & Recreation permit office, 720-913-0700. For information about youth programs at Genesee Experiential Outdoor Center, call Denver Parks & Recreation Outdoor Recreation department, 720-865-0680.
Fun Things to Do
Hiking: To reach the Beaver Brook Trail’s west trailhead, follow I-70 west to Exit 253. Turn right on Genesee Drive and take an immediate right onto Stapleton Drive. Follow this for approximately 1 mile to the trailhead parking. From the west trailhead, the trail descends along Bear Gulch through thick forest to Beaver Brook, and then climbs steeply out of the canyon to Garnet Point. Continuing east, the trail drops to gentler terrain; the last section is mostly level or slightly downhill. This is a rugged backcountry hike, remarkable for being so close to the City.
The 2-mile Chave Trail and the Braille Nature Trail (just under a mile long), also start at the Beaver Brook Trail’s west trailhead. The Braille Nature Trail offers waist-high guidelines and interpretive signs in Braille. At the bottom of the loop, hikers can pick up the Beaver Brook Trail.
- Scenic gateway view of the Front Range
- Bison overlook along I-70
- Chief Hosa lodge and historic Civilian Conservation Corps shelter (available for events_
- Summer public camping at Chief Hosa Campground (fee charged)
- Braille Nature Trail for the visually impaired
- Youth programs, ropes courses, Genesee Experiential Outdoor Center
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