Located just 10 miles northeast of downtown Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,000-acre tract of land that is a reminder of what the area used to be like before man left his mark. The Refuge will close at 12:30 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. In 1996, after a lengthy process in which site investigations were conducted and completed, an approach to remedy the chemical contamination at the Arsenal was set forth by the US Army. After driving through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver and witnessing this beautiful beast, Stephanie wrote out this postcard: Hi Sage, I wanted to introduce you to our new BFF, best bison friend! The tour will take you an average of 45 minutes to an hour depending on how often you stop and if a herd of bison decides to cross your path. The photo opportunities are amazing. The Wildlife Drive road conditions may be icy or snow packed in the winter, as the route is not always plowed. There are some that only provide a tattered map and ... Visit the Black-Footed Ferrets. Like I stated previously, the visitor center is amazing. Find cheap deals and discount rates among them that best fit your budget. For additional information please call the Visitor Center at 303-289-0930. Bring a camera, preferably with a telephoto lens. There are plenty of wildlife viewing areas and you can even check out a pair of binoculars at the visitor center for free. The refuge has 10 miles of trails. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida. Whose preserve we visited while vacationing in Ft. Myers. The park is fully accessible for only half the year, so few of the park's almost three million visitors come in the off season. Hello! We visited the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and was surprised by how close it is to Downtown Denver! The refuge boasts over 15,000 acres and over 300 species of wildlife. This wildlife refuge has quite a historic background. Most of them are easy, which is an added bonus when hiking with children or just out of shape like me! We are not full-time travelers, just the everyday family that makes the most of each day off. Guests can go in and see how the park is reintroducing these furry friends back into the wild. The Lakes Loop Trail at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge is a 1.7 mile loop that winds along the shores of two lakes in the park, Lake Mary and Lake Ladora. If you want to hike in the Bear Lake Road corridor and plan to arrive after 10, your best option, and on some days your only option, will be to take the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center. Pets are not allowed but assistance dogs are welcome. You won’t be sorry. If you see buffalo moving in the direction of your car, wait it out. Note the Refuge is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day, and closes at 12:30 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.Visitor Center: The Visitor Center is located just inside the Refuge entrance at the crest of the hill and overlooks the short-grass prairie. Trail maps and a wildlife drive guide are available at the main entrance. After you roll on into the bison area keep a close eye out for the herd. I love the idea of visiting the Black-Footed Ferrets. They have them in Spanish as well! If going counter-clockwise grab a number of gravel trails heading to the west that ultimately turn you north onto a paved section abeam Quebec. It’s also a great place to find Colorado specialty items. How fun! The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was a United States chemical weapons manufacturing center located in the Denver Metropolitan Area in Commerce City, Colorado.The site was completed December 1942, operated by the United States Army throughout the later 20th century and was controversial among local residents until its closure in 1992. Not all visitor centers are created equal. Turn right at Prairie Parkway and travel 0.6 miles to Gateway Road. The taxidermy animals, including the bison, were a Soph favorite.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'consistentlycurious_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_3',112,'0','0'])); While my husband and I enjoyed the exhibits on the fascinating history behind the refuge. Turn left at Gateway Road. Call in advance to be sure they are open. The busiest time is from mid-June through mid-August -- essentially during school vacation -- so just before or just after that period is best. Wildlife Drive. This was the highlight of the park for us. It's simple to book your hotel with Expedia It is a place not many know about or have visited even though a metropolis of more than two million surrounds it. It has transitioned from farmland, a war-time manufacturing site, to currently a wildlife sanctuary. This park is a hiker’s paradise — it offers up some of the best alpine scenery in the world accessible by a series of phenomenal trails. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was placed on the National Priorities List of Superfund sites in July 1987. Take the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Self-Guided Wildlife Drive. They have an incredible discovery center aimed at kids of all ages. Located just northeast of Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, approximately a 15,000-acre expanse of shortgrass prairie, has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland to war-time manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary. We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with these majestic animals during our motor tour of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is home to dozens of native species including burrowing owls, bison, white-tailed deer, and hawks. Turn right at Prairie Parkway and travel 0.6 miles to Gateway Road. These nature trails are the two most popular trails in Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge. Both are rated easy to moderate and is open year round but best used from March until October. 6550 Gateway RoadCommerce City, CO 80022From I-70 exit at Quebec Street and go north. Contact RTD for informatio… As you begin your tour you will pass Mary’s Lake where you can stop to get out to hike, fish or just relax.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'consistentlycurious_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',113,'0','0'])); You will need a permit to fish. Visiting the Refuge is free! • Lake Mary Learning Center/Environmental Education Facility• Floating boardwalk at Lake Mary, and Lake Ladora, • Fishing and observation piers at Lake Mary, • Observation viewing area at Lower Derby Lake. Located in the Visitor Center’s backyard is the Ferret exhibit. DENVER (CBS4) — Sen. Cory Gardner stopped by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Friday. Whether you decide to spend your time on the wildlife drive, fly fishing or hiking be sure to bring your camera. The thing we loved most is that it was toddler-friendly. To protect wildlife, please stay on designated trails and roadways. You never know what nature has in store for you during your visit. Families of prairie dogs can be caught scurrying about and playing for those with a keen eye and can spot them. Thanks for stopping by. Travel approximately 2.8 miles to Prairie Parkway/64th Avenue. Check out the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Visitors Center. There are several free parking options just before crossing into the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (no bicycling inside of the Refuge allowed). The young explorer adventure zone was perfect for our little one as she could build with the tree blocks and check out the puppets. 6550 Gateway RoadCommerce City, CO 80022From I-70 exit at Quebec Street and go north. There is an 11-mile motor tour that takes you through the preserve. The Visitor Center opened to the public in 2011. The Visitor Center is currently closed. The best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park is from June to September when the snow is (mostly) melted and the hiking trails and attractions are accessible. What a great idea! eBird Trail Tracker. • Black-footed ferret exhibit featuring two live ferrets (open Wednesday - Sunday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm) - Indoor exhibit is currently closed. We got to witness the herd pictured below stampede into the woods after being spooked by a motorcycle. An arsenal turned into a Wildlife Refuge. And at nearly 12,000 feet, the Trail Ridge Road is one of the most incredible scenic drives in the entire country! Take a self-guided hiking tour around the grounds or hop in your car to ride around the park. Focus this time. Death by bison is not the best way to go out. It comes complete with nature games, wildlife activities and discovery tools you will need before venturing into the park. Please note the Visitor Center is currently closed. Turn left at Gateway Road. Roam amongst the wildlife! Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, is located in Commerce City, Colorado. Begin your visit at the Visitor Center, located inside the Refuge entrance, open Wednesdays through Sundays 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed on federal holidays). The park is also situated about 30 miles to the southeast of the well-known town of Boulder and over 60 miles to the south of Fort Collins. and took a gazillion photos. Another visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR 8 months ago 5 ... Another nice image that I blew. This center was a history museum level. We came at a time where there wasn’t one which was a bummer! Pay attention to the side of the road and you may just happen to see one of the smaller, yet most adorable little critters you will lay eyes on. Come explore the 11-mile auto wildlife drive loop to see bison, deer, hawks, coyotes, waterfowl, birds and more! Hey there! Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge 6550 Gateway Rd. It is approximately 8 miles (13 km) northeast of downtown Denver. • Lake Mary Learning Center/Environmental Education Facility. You can read more about the arsenals history here if your interested. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,988-acre (64.70 km2) National Wildlife Refuge located adjacent to Commerce City, Colorado, in the United States. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see anything before you get to the bison entrance, because once you enter it is truly a sight to behold. Check out the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Visitors Center, Take the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Self-Guided Wildlife Drive, Take a Hike At The Rocky Mountain Arsenal, All Aboard for a Day Trip to La Grange, KY, Visiting Garden of the Gods with a Toddler. The goose that you see as the symbol of the national wildlife refuge system was designed by J.N. You may get the opportunity to see these exquisite animals up close and personal. If you happen to plan your visit during a nature tour or program it comes highly recommended. (You will appreciate this if you ever had to hover over a”toilet”.) They will then proceed to take their sweet time to cross the road in front of you, but you will not care, I promise. His visit was intended to explain how the Great American Outdoors Act … While at the Visitor Center, stop by Nature’s Nest Books & Gifts operated by the Friends of the Front Range Wildlife Refuges for nature gifts, games, guide books and more. On the "wrong direction of travel" if running west, there's a broad paved sidewalk. It’s a place where wildlife thrives and where visitors can reconnect with nature and experience the many wildlife-dependent opportunities the Refuge has to offer. National Park Passes. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Visit Early or Late - See 340 traveler reviews, 370 candid photos, and great deals for Commerce City, CO, at Tripadvisor. Refuge Video. Stephanie, Afshin and Sophie. We were able to see two of these little cuties sleeping, but that was all the action we got. Sophie could toddle around and feel and touch things until her heart’s content. Public parking is located on the south side of the building. The Refuge is open sunrise to sunset daily. If you ever find yourself in Denver, Colorado allot a few hours to explore the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The building features the latest in “green” design, has an interactive exhibit hall, and a discovery room with hands-on activities that changes each season for all ages. ... Are you searching for the best image quality in the smallest package? We were even able to take a stroller on some of the trails as it was soft gravel. Contact RTD for information about bus route 62, which is located near the Refuge. We almost turned around when we saw the sign that it was 11 miles, but we were so glad that we didn’t. They will run you over and not think twice, so its best to observe from the safety of your car. Check the park schedule to see if they have a special ferret program going on. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was established, in part, to protect our national symbol, the bald eagle. The nearest town to the park is actually the suburb of Commerce City, which is located just to the west of the park's borders. Go north about a … There are over ten miles of scenic hiking trails throughout the refuge. All items were secured down so she couldn’t run off with them, thank goodness! Rocky Mountain Arsenal wasn't always a wildlife sanctuary, hence the word Arsenal in the name. There is a butterfly garden located directly behind the building that allows a guest to go in and appreciate the butterflies and their treats up close. Continue on Gateway Road until you pass through the Refuge entrance.Visitor Center: 303-289-0930Please note taxi service can be limited or intermittent. The best bet is to stop in at the visitor's center when you arrive and ask them where the bison have been spotted that day. That looks like such a great trip. The perfect trail for those who like to enjoy nature from the comfort of their air-conditioned vehicle with a latte in hand. We saw two lone bison when we first entered. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal, National Wildlife refuge is a great way to see local wildlife without ever having to leave the city. Come walk the easy hiking trails, take the self-guided Wildlife Drive auto tour, observe more than 330 species of wildlife. There is no fee to enter the park or enjoy the multitude of activities that it offers. It took years to find out. “Ding” Darling. Created to protect the Bald eagle, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal is now home to over 330 species of wildlife including bison, deer, coyotes, frogs, eagles, prairie dogs and more! Our family travel blog explores places off the beaten path that will spark your curiosity and provide inspiration for traveling families. Remember that the bison are wild and not domesticated. This brings me to my next point; patience will pay off. An inquisitive family seeking to discover, create and inspire unique adventures and experiences. So sad. The trails and Wildlife Drive are open, the Visitor Center is closed. Be sure to pick up your free explorer backpack while you are there! Here is a guide of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to help you make the most of your visit. Admission into this park is free! When we are not traveling we enjoy being a tourist in our hometown of Cincinnati. Take the Wildlife Drive. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the nation with more than 15,000 acres of land. We are the Taleghani family. Get the app ... You'll have some time on a wide, dirt shoulder that will eventually disappear. I went for years with severe pain and more plus a dozen misdiagnoses as bipolar or schizophrenic, neurosyphilis, TB, fibromyalgia, and many more. Are you ready to experience the soaring mountain peaks, abundant wildlife, and gorgeous vistas of Rocky Mountain National Park?! But winter is gaining in popularity, too, because it is the quietest time. This is coming from someone who hates surprises and has a tendency to perseverate when there’s something she doesn’t know and/or has to wait to find out! We tried to go another time and the gates were locked. For a closer look at the Refuge take the Visual Tour or view the Trail/Wildlife Drive map. While visiting, please practice social distancing by maintaining six feet between you and your trail mates. I was exposed to chemical warfare (probably Agent Orange) while working for Shell chemical at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (US ARMY) in the early ’70s. Best Trails & Photos. This preserve is located roughly ten minutes from the Denver Airport. It makes the perfect stop if you have some time before you need to check into your hotel or head to the Rocky Mountains. If you’re driving from downtown Denver to the airport, take I70 to the Central Park Blvd. Another notable thing about the Visitor Center is that they have clean bathrooms. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is located on the northeast side of the Denver Metro area, in central Colorado. Not all visitor centers are created equal. Travel approximately 2.8 miles to Prairie Parkway/64th Avenue. A wildlife sanctuary of 15,000 acres makes for great wildlife viewing and photography. Two of its interconnected trails- 1.80 miles long Ladora Lake Loop Trail (Wetlands Loop Trail) and 1.80 miles long Bluestem Loop Trail (Grassland Trail) are both designated as National Recreation Trails in 2005. There are some that only provide a tattered map and an outhouse and then there are others that are practically a natural history museum. Save on popular hotels near Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Denver: Browse Expedia's selection of 1485 hotels and places to stay closest to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. It's all free! Read more about our visit to the J.N. Newbie Phewbie's gear list: Newbie Phewbie's gear list. Only to realize that the best was yet to come. The Refuge is open and visiting the Refuge is FREE. It also hosts three lakes and Denver lake hikes. If you have 2-3 extra hours before checking in for you flight, stopping by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge is a great last stop on the way to the airport. Continue on Gateway Road until you pass through the Refuge entrance.Visitor Center: 303-289-0930Please note taxi service can be limited or intermittent. The refuge is home to more than 330 species of wildlife, and the nine-mile … This could be your only chance to see a herd of bison feet from your face, so be sure to include this in your itinerary. ... in Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge #36078 Overall. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Very nice & pleasant place to visit - See 340 traveler reviews, 370 candid photos, and great deals for Commerce City, CO, at Tripadvisor. The Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Trail conditions vary on the Refuge throughout the year so please be prepared. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Address: 6550 Gateway Rd, Commerce City, CO 80022, USA, United States ; Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Contact Number: +1-3032890930 ; Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Timing: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm ; Try the best online travel planner to plan your travel itinerary! This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Wildlife tends to be best spotted at dawn and dusk, however as you can tell from our pictures we were in luck at 11 am. A Surprise Visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge I love telling my kids that we’re going somewhere today, but not telling them where that is. Continuing, take 56th Ave to Central Park Blvd and turn right. 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