The formal opening of the Mountain Parks by the Denver Park Commission on August 27, 1913, included a visit to ‘Genesee Mountain Park,’ where “an unobstructed view of mountain and plain” was had by all after a ¾ hour hike to the top of Genesee Mountain. This outing and the inclusion of Genesee Park in the ceremony was a sweet moment, because it had been the campaign to ‘save Genesee Mountain’ that catalyzed the first acquisitions for the Mountain Park system. Denver began efforts to purchase most of the current Genesee Park as its first Mountain Park in 1912, in collaboration with a group of Denver businessmen, saving the pine forest from becoming a lumber source for a sawmill.
At 2,413 acres, Genesee Park is the largest Mountain Park, offering the greatest diversity of experiences in the system. Families can hold a reunion and picnic at the large Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) historic shelter and picnic area near the summit of Genesee Mountain. Visitors can RV- or tent-camp overnight at Chief Hosa Campground. Kids can camp overnight for the first time or explore an exciting ropes course through Denver Outdoor Recreation Programs. Hikers can forget the city is nearby on the rugged, historic Beaver Brook Trail. At Chief Hosa Lodge, visitors can experience a major life event such as a wedding or bar mitzvah. Travelers can stop and see the bison herd along I-70, or venture to the top of Genesee Mountain where the panoramic view connecting mountain and plains is spectacular.
Today, the bison herd of about 20 head is a well-known and highly appreciated landmark along Interstate 70 Genesee Park has an undulating character of rolling hillsides, mountain valleys, thick pine forests, and open grassy glades. Its topography reaches to 8,284 feet at the summit of Genesee Mountain, extends to 7,988 feet at a prominent point on the Park’s north side, and meets Clear Creek Canyon at the Park’s lowest point at 6,280 feet. Stands of old growth Ponderosa Pine that provide important habitat for wildlife and contribute to overall forest diversity are found in Genesee Park.
With the completion of a new Park Improvements and Trail Plan in 2013 new trails and improvements to the ropes course are planned for 2014. A parallel I-70 trail is envisioned on the north side of I70 and construction may begin in 2014.