Daniels Park Sunset
So often we are surprised to learn about simple little treasures in our own back yard. This is how I feel about Daniels Park, owned by Denver Parks and Recreation. It provides one of the most beautiful places to take your family and enjoy the sunset when in the Denver, Colorado area. Best of all, it is FREE! There are views of the snow-capped mountains, bison in the pastures of the park, and rock formations that are magnificent to see and explore. There are so few distractions, and this place has something for people of all ages.
Convenient and close
Many restaurants and bars in the Denver area claim to have the best place to watch the sunset over the Rocky Mountains. However, the biggest problem is your view can often be blocked by skyscrapers, a less than pleasant, busy interstate, apartment buildings, and general suburbia. Daniels Park does not have these distractions when viewing the sunset. The park sits at the top of a mesa, on 1000 acres of park. It has a clear view of the Rocky Mountains, canyons, and is set off in the “backcountry” just south of the suburbs. Therefore, you can get here fast without worrying about taking a drive to the middle of nowhere.
Something for everyone
We discovered this secret spot when we lived in the suburbs of Denver. It became a favorite place to go for a relaxing evening or when we had company in town. We loved taking our elderly parents, grandparents and our very young children who could not yet hike long trails in the mountains. Daniels Park is practically in the suburbs and has spectacular sunsets over the front range Rock Mountains! You can see Pike’s Peak to the south, Mount Evans directly to the west, and Longs Peak to the north. Out of all the places around Denver claiming they have the best view for a sunset, I would argue this place tops them all because you can be outdoors, there is somewhere to sit and relax, and you can take a hike.
How to get there
Daniels Park is actually owned by the City of Denver even though it is outside the city limits. It is more in Highlands Ranch/Sedalia than Denver. When giving directions, it does show up in the GPS. You are quick to feel lost because you are in the middle of suburbia and then make a turn onto a dirt road. When you hit the dirt road, don’t worry, as you are likely going the right direction! There is a shelter house and parking lot at the main area where most people park. However, there are plenty of spots to pull over and get out along the way as well. What makes it even more exciting, is if you are real lucky, you may see some bison on the drive in! They are usually in the open pasture across the street from the shelter house.
Address: Daniels Park – 8682 N Daniels Park Rd. Sedalia, CO 80135
Have a picnic and take a hike
To enjoy the best sunset in the Denver area, I recommend packing a picnic or grabbing something to go from a local restaurant, like Perry’s Pizza in Highlands Ranch. (The Son of Sam pizza is the best! Yes, I know cream cheese is weird on a pizza. Trust me.)
There are picnic tables for your use and easy trails around the top of the ridge. After having your picnic, you can take a hike around the area. There is no one designated trail, but there are small, undeveloped trails all along the top ridge. You can make the hike as hard or easy as you would like. Keep your little ones kind of close. There are plenty of safe trails, but as you get closer to the ridge, the drop offs do get steeper!
You can also take the dog with you on this local Denver hike. The park is dog friendly, just keep Fido leashed!
Grab some beautiful photos
For those who enjoy photography, you will also have plenty of opportunities when visiting Daniels Park. There are beautiful rock formations, views of the Rocky Mountains, and sunsets not cluttered by the city. When the bison decide to make their presence, they make great subjects for photos as well. It doesn’t matter your photography abilities, you will get pictures that you can take home and frame. I have received so many compliments on my photos from our sessions at Daniels Park, and I am far from a professional photographer.
Don’t miss out!
I had a friend visit Colorado with her young family recently. They were looking for something to do close to town, but they still wanted to experience the nature of this amazing state. I recommended they check out Daniels Park so they could watch the sunset. They were so happy with their choice! They got some amazing pictures, and they were able to get a grasp on the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains.
Do yourself a favor and go at least one hour before sunset. We have been to Daniels Park to watch sunsets during the dead of winter with tons of snow on the ground and in the hot summer, so don’t let the weather stop you! It is always gorgeous, at least on a sunny day, which we have plenty in Colorado. My kids have always enjoyed this location. We even had fun here on those long summer days when we did not quite make it to the late sunset, and bedtime came so early. The pictures as the sun is setting but before it tucks itself behind the mountains is still fabulous. It will not disappoint.
Check out other kid friendly attractions in the Denver area.