Directions: From Denver head west on I-70 and exit at the Genesee Park exit. Turn left over I-70 and at the fork in the road turn right onto Genesee Mountain Road. As you make your way up the mountain, you’ll pass a picnic area with a large parking turnoff on your right. Park here
The American Bison Trail is a wonderfully scenic, short, and easy hike with tremendous views and gentle terrain. The trail circles the upper base of Genesee Mountain but you can add another .5 mile to the hike to climb up to the summit. However, the views from the western portion of the trail surpass those at the summit.
The trail is accessed by starting on the Genesee Mountain Trail and turning right at the first trail junction to cross Genesee Mountain Road following signs to the Genesee Summit. At the junction with the Summit trail, stay straight and follow the signs to the American Bison Trail. After a few more minutes of hiking, turn right up the steps to start the American Bison Trail. The trail skirts the western slopes of Genesee Mountain and provides great views of the Mount Evans Massif as well as James Peak and the Continental Divide.
The trail gently crosses this section and looks down into the Middle Bison Pasture so keep your eyes peeled for bison. After you round the base of the mountain, the trail re-joins the Genesee Mountain Trail and climbs back up to the trailhead.
This hike is short on mileage and elevation gain but big on views. This is a great hike for kids and great for quick hike without driving very far from Denver.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
American Bison Trail
Date Hiked: July 25, 2016
Distance: 1.4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 250 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 7,929 to 8,076 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 42' 09" N; 105º 17' 17" W
Managing Agency: Denver Mountain Parks