Since we moved here in 2014 I have had a few nieces and nephews come out to visit from California. While they were here, I had a great time getting to play tour guide. We had fun going to such places as the Garden of the Gods, Hammonds Candies, and Celestial Seasonings. However, I took two of them to a local attraction that actually was quite close to home for them. We visited the grave of Buffalo Bill who was their great or great-great uncle on their mother’s side. Since I am into genealogy, I thought this was so cool. They both seemed interested and enjoyed visiting his gravesite and museum.
Before I share more about our visit, I wanted to share a little bit about Buffalo Bill, his life, and how he ended up buried here in Colorado on Lookout Mountain. He was born William F. Cody on February 26, 1846, in Le Claire, IA, and was one of the most colorful figures of the American Old West. Later known as Buffalo Bill, he l started performing in shows that displayed cowboy themes and episodes from the frontier and Indian Wars. He founded Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1883, taking his large company on tours in the United States and, beginning in 1887, in Great Britain and Europe.
In 1895, Cody was instrumental in the founding of the town of Cody, Wyoming, Cody first passed through the region in the 1870s and was so impressed by the development possibilities from irrigation, rich soil, grand scenery, hunting, and proximity to Yellowstone Park that he returned in the mid-1890s to start a town. Streets in the town were named after his associates: Beck, Alger, Rumsey, Bleistein, and Salsbury. The town was eventually incorporated in 1901.
Upon his death, Cody’s wife stated that he had always said he wanted to be buried on Lookout Mountain, which was corroborated by their daughter Irma, Cody’s sisters, and family friends. However, the family members of Cody said he should be buried in the town he founded. The controversy continued, however, on June 3, 1917, Cody was buried on Lookout Mountain, on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, overlooking the Great Plains. It is a truly amazing area to visit and I can see why he would want to be buried there.
It is so amazing to be able to go up to Lookout Mountain and say our respects to Buffalo Bill. Being able to do it with my niece made it even more special. Today they state that there are more than 400,000 visitors each year. There is also a museum in his honor that illustrates the life, times, and legend of William F. Cody. It includes exhibits about Buffalo Bill’s life and the Wild West shows, Indian artifacts, and firearms. See Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill’s show outfits, and many other objects from the Old West. We had a nice time walking through the museum and I will do another post of the museum in the future. In the meantime, hoped you enjoyed our visit, and please check out their website for more information.
Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum Visitor Information
987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road, Golden, CO 80401
November 1 – April 30 (closed the month of December)
Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Monday – Thursday)
Closed Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day
August 31 – October 31
Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Monday – Thursday)
Open Labor Day (September 7th) 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Seniors (65+): $4.00
Children 6 – 15: $1.00
Children age 5 and under: free
Take I-70 W. to exit 256. Turn right at the top of the ramp, and then an immediate left. Follow this to Lookout Mountain Road. Turn right and travel approximately 4 miles. The Museum will be on your left following an open park and picnic area.
Take 19th Street west, toward the mountains. This will turn into the Lariat Loop Historic Byway. Follow this to the top of the mountain. The Museum is the first possible right driveway at the top of the hill.
Go south on Hwy 93 to Golden. At the intersection of 93/Hwy 6/Hwy58, go straight onto E. Hwy 6. The next stoplight is 19th Street. Turn west, toward the mountains. This will turn into the Lariat Loop Historic Byway. Follow this to the top of the mountain. The Museum is the first possible right driveway at the top of the hill.
From the West:
Take I-70 E. to the Genessee exit (#254). Turn left at the top of the ramp and cross over the highway. Turn right onto US 40 (first right after the highway offramp) and follow this to Lookout Mountain Road. Turn left and travel approximately 4 miles. The Museum will be on your left following an open park and picnic area.
Public Transportation / Tour Companies
At this time there is no public transportation to the Museum site. It is less expensive to rent a car than to take a taxi. Those not interested in renting a vehicle may consider one of the following tour companies. Both contain a standard tour package that includes the Museum as one of their stops.
The Museum offers free parking, accommodating cars, campers, trailers, and buses.
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