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Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive - Golden, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 44.429 W 105° 13.672
13S E 480475 N 4398978
Quick Description: This road was the original entrance to the Denver Mountain Parks System and initially designed by the Olmsted firm.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 11/5/2010 12:27:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMA2AY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Big B Bob
Views: 8

Long Description:
"The Lariat Trail is the scenic mountain drive which designates the northern entry to the Denver Mountain Park System. At the foot of the drive, just outside the City of Golden, there are two large stone pylons designating the Denver Mountain Park entry and preparing one for the scenic incline which is about to begin. The drive switches back and forth up the steep side of Lookout Mountain and provides incredible distant views.

The Lariat Trail meets the scenic mountain drive registration requirements listed in Section F of the Multiple Property submission form. The Lariat Trail has integrity of location, feeling, and association and has a number of original manmade elements which still exist. The drive is in its original location and exposes viewers to the same natural and visual features which were historically present and therefore expresses the same feeling while driving. Lariat Trail is the same design in terms of road alignments, radii, widths, and slopes and exhibits the historic careful grading and site preservation, and provides the same access to the Denver Mountain Parks as it did originally. The manmade elements which still exist include pull-offs, retaining walls and stone guardrails. Even the Spring House foundation and walls remain." (from NRHP Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive, Section 7, pg. 1)

"The Lariat Trail was originally planned by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and surveyed and designed in detail by S.R. DeBoer and, as such, is a work of master designers and eligible for the National Register under criterion C for Landscape Architecture and Engineering. The construction of the drive was a major technological accomplishment for its time and embodied the principal elements of Olmsted's idea of visual corridors placed in natural park-like surroundings. To accomplish the construction 100 men worked from the top and bottom of the site blasting through dense rock. Safety was considered from the beginning with attractive stone walls and guardrails or cables provided early. Visual corridors were a major consideration in the design of the scenic drive. There are six overlooks along the drive, each providing a unique view across the Colorado plains, mountains and canyons. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the road was the construction of a gently sloping drive up the face of a steeply sloping mountain using hairpin turns and switch-backs." (from NRHP Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive, Section 8, pps. 1-2)

Commonly called the Lookout Mountain Road, this narrow road has heavy use by bicyclists, runners and hikers. Remember that Colorado has a '3 feet to pass' bicyclists and that bicyclists must ride single file on a narrow road. The above coordinates are from the pylons that denote the entrance of the road into the Denver Mountain Park System. They were erected in 1917. This area does have residential housing, so please be considerate about parking.
Street address:
19th and Hwy 6
GOlden, CO USA

County / Borough / Parish: Jefferson

Year listed: 1990

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949

Historic function: Transportation

Current function: Transportation

Privately owned?: no

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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