A wildlife drive through this prairie reserve is like safariing in the wilds of Africa — and it’s free.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was once a chemical weapons manufacturing site and has since become one of Denver’s most remarkable natural treasures. Its transformation is a testament to a dedicated public-private partnership that took the time and effort to rehabilitate this land to its natural state, and it’s now home to a variety of critters, including bison, coyotes, bald eagles, burrowing owls, black-footed ferrets and waterfowl.
This place is a must visit for anyone interested in nature, but it also is great for families with young kids. The 11-mile Wildlife Drive offers plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife as you travel through prairie and open fields.
You may not be able to see all of the animals, but if you keep an eye out you will probably see at least some. You should also stop in the visitors center to check out their exhibit on the history of the area and watch a movie about bison.
A lot of wildlife is in the area, so you should expect to see bison, coyotes, deer, and some hawks. The area has a good amount of wildflowers and grasses that are perfect for the birds that visit in the spring.
There are also lots of trees and shrubs to look at. This place is very peaceful, and you can really relax and enjoy the scenery.
The area is also great for running and hiking. There are trails that run through it, and there is a nice visitor center with lots of information about the area, a ferret exhibit, and some great photos.
You will see some eagles at the Refuge as well, and if you are lucky enough to be there in the winter, you can catch a glimpse of the massive bald eagles that are here during this time.
If you want to explore more of the site, there are some great trails that take you to a waterfall and around lakes. There is also a small museum that has a great deal of information on the area.
This place is definitely a must see and should be on everyone’s list when they visit Denver.
A lot of people visit the wildlife refuge just to see the bald eagles and there is a good chance that you will also see other wildlife as well. We saw some bison, deer and a snake, so it’s pretty cool to be able to see all of them in one place.
It is a little off the beaten path and I would recommend getting a map and taking your time when you are driving through the park. It is about an hour to drive through and you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the city, the mountains and the wildlife.
The RMA has a very long and interesting history that goes back to 1942 when the U.S. Army acquired 17,000 acres of farmland outside of Denver to manufacture chemicals for use during World War II and later in the Cold War. The Army and Shell Oil Company continued to operate the facilities after the war, but the chemicals produced were not environmentally sound and they ended up contaminating the soil, groundwater and structures on-site. The Army and the State of Colorado worked to remedy the contamination of the soils, groundwater and structures. In 1996, the Army and EPA approved a remedy that involved removal of contaminated soils to 10 feet deep, disposal of hazardous waste at two landfills on-site and the construction of a remedy containment structure for the contaminated groundwater.