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Denver Off The Beaten Path: 47 reviews and 52 photos
the Rockies from Green Mountain
Green Mountain is the first mountain to rise from the plains and become the foothills of the Rockies. This mountain is practically in the city of Denver which makes it a popular destination for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. The area is protected from devolpment but the large number of users are leading to erosion issues - so stay on the trails. After the 2.7 mile trail takes you to the top you have a commanding view over Denver and a front row seat to the Rockies. To get there take 6th ave west from Interstate 25, take the Kipling street exit and head south on Kipling. From Kipling take a right onto Alameda and you are now heading west again. Alameda takes a soft left around Green Mountain. You will not have much warning that the parking area is coming up but a sign does exist. It will be on your right. Remember to remove all valuables from sight inside of your car.
they are all dead, dead, dead...
Not that you will likely go here. Knowing about Alfred and his story will likely make you sound a little closer to a native from Colorado.
On Febuary 9th, 1874 Alfred Packard as guide led five other men into the mountains of Colorado in search of gold near Breckinridge, Colorado. Not long after departing - the group was engulfed by a massive blizzard.
Packard next straggled into civilization on April 16th of the same year - alone. By many local accounts he subsequently became a big spender in the local saloon. Stories began to swirl and soon Packard made a confession - that he had killed one of the men in self-defense after the man had attacked the other members of the party. Packard admitted to eating the resulting human flesh out of desperation.
Earning him the nickname - "the Colorado Cannibal." Just to let you know if you are ever in a desperate situation - eating human flesh is not illegal in the States, you just better convince the judge you were damn hungry.
The judge didn't buy Packard's story. Judge Melville B. Gerry pronounced that Packer "be hanged by the neck until you are dead, dead, dead..." .
The verdict was eventually overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court and later in life he was let out. By most accounts he lived as a model citizen in Littleton (a suburb of Denver). In 1907 natural causes got the better of him and he became "dead, dead, dead..."
Here he is in Littleton Cemetary. I decided to visit him one cold January day.
Dinosaur Ridge is part of the hogback that is the front line of the Rockies. This place is along Alameda Parkway - the same directions as for Red Rocks Park but the visitors center is only about 300 meters west of the freeway overpass. Stop in here to pick up a trail guide. The ridge is part of 100 million year old sandstone that is part of what is known as the dinosaur freeway. This used to be a beach along the intercoastal waterway and dinosuars left their prints in the mud. Take the 2 hour interpritive hike over the small ridge. A great hike for the kids!
Red Rocks park
The Red Rocks park is run by the City and County of Denver as a park and Amphitheatre. The setting is amongst 70 million year old Sandstone tilted at a 60 degree angle. This makes for impressive and colorful spires when the sun is shining. Concerts are held here from June to September but anytime of the year is perfect to just walk around. Directions - Take Alameda West along the South side of Green Mountain. From here Alameda takes a 90 degree right at a stop light with Jewell Ave. Take the right onto Alameda Parkway at this light. Go over a freeway and climb over what is known as the hogback. On the west side of the hogback you will come to a four way interesction with Jefferson County Highway 93. Go straight through this and you are in Red Rocks Park! Total driving time from downtown is about 30 minutes.
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