A Colorado December Morning

Photo by Ryan Callahan (12-20-19), Daniels Park, Douglas County, CO

Today was the first day of Christmas break for our kids, so I took them up to Daniels Park this morning.  Many of you may recognize this area from the main photo at the top of my blog homepage.  I have also posted many Scripture pins with photos from this area.  All of my past photos from the park have been from the summer, but I have always wanted winter photos, so I was pumped going out there today.  It was a perfect crisp blue sky morning and it is such a peaceful place to take in the full beauty of the Rocky Mountain front range.


Daniels Park is located in Sedalia (next to Castle Rock) just 21 miles south of Denver.  We are about 26 miles southeast of Denver, so the park is only about a 15 to 20 minute drive from our home.  The area is rich in Wild West history and it is actually a 1,000 acre protected historic preserve complete with a roaming bison herd.  Kit Carson is said to have stayed in this area and cooked his last meal here before his death in 1868.  It is also home to the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds cultural area, which is 70 acres of private Native American land.


“The land that is now Daniels Park is bisected by a ridge known as Riley Hill, which runs roughly north-south to reach Wildcat Point at an elevation of 6,600 feet.  Long before Daniels Park was established, the area’s prominence and clear views made it a popular rendezvous point and route for traveler’s.  In the late 1850s or early 1860s, what is now Daniels Park road along the ridge was already the path of one of Colorado’s first Territorial Roads.  In 1868 noted trapper, scout, and army officer Christopher “Kit” Carson traveled south from Denver over Riley Hill and supposedly made his last campfire at Wildcat Point; he died soon thereafter at Fort Lyon.”


“In the 1970s, a Cheyenne Indian named Richard Tall Bull started to push for a place where Denver’s Native American community could come together for ceremonies and celebrations.  He picked a seventy-acre site at the northern edge of Daniels Park, and in 1977 Denver agreed to grant exclusive use of the land–called the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds–to a consortium of local Indian groups later known as the Tall Bull Memorial Council.  For most of the year the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds is open only to Native Americans, but on Labor Day weekend the Tall Bull Memorial Council hosts a powwow that is open to the public.”


“The picnic area is located on Riley Hill, which was rumored to be a lookout for robbers plotting to rob stagecoaches in the days of the Wild West.  Kit Carson cooked one of his last meals on Riley Hill before he died in the area in 1868.”

-Nina Snyder, TripSavvy.com

The area I took all these photos from today is Riley Hill right next to the picnic area.  I also got a great shot of Denver from the part of Daniels Park road that goes through the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds.  I actually went to a powwow there when I was a kid in the 80s.  I met a young Native boy my age.  I was about 8 or 9 at the time.  Upon meeting me, he promptly grabbed me and wrestled me to the ground.  We wrestled for a bit in the hard dirt and rough sticks, then we stopped and we both started laughing.  After that, he threw his arm around my shoulder and gave me a hug and we were friends.  We ate together and laughed and hung out the rest of the powwow and it ended with us sitting quietly at the edge of the cliff enjoying the view.

As you see, this area is rich in history for both Colorado and my family.  Enjoy the photos!

“For the LORD is the great


the great King above all


In his hand are the depths

of the earth,

and the mountain peaks

belong to him.”

Psalm 95:3-4






Looking north towards Long’s Peak.
Long’s Peak in the center. You can also see the bison herd at the bottom of the photo.
Long’s Peak up close. I climbed that 14,259 foot mountain and stood on the summit in the summer of 1998.



Our kids were loving it out there.  You can see the long ridge we were on called Riley Hill and the road that runs along it that was once a Territorial Road in the 1800s.  The entrance to the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds is just a bit north up that road.  Here is the zoom shot I took of Denver when we drove up there.

Denver, CO. If you look close, you can see the gold dome of the state capitol.

The Mile High city is beautiful, but we could see the inversion layer (also known as the brown cloud) over it today.  Most days are much clearer.  Sometimes air coming over the Rockies traps the air over Denver.  It’s only like that over the city at times.  The mountain air is always crisp and fresh here in Colorado.  It’s cool being far enough away from the city where we have plenty of wide open spaces, but being close enough to enjoy city life too.  The neighborhood where I grew up is just a few miles southwest of Denver in Littleton.


When we went back to the picnic area, we were blessed to see a hawk soaring along the ridge line.  It really is beautiful to witness God’s majesty in His creation!  We can truly see His glory from what He has made!

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Romans 1:20







Looking south at the summit of Pike’s Peak.







The rails were not there last time we visited and we were able to climb down on the rocks.  Guess they don’t allow that anymore.  Probably best for people’s safety anyway.

Hope you enjoyed our little trip to Daniels Park!  Always remember, Jesus loves you and He was born to set us free from sin and death!  That is what Christmas is all about!  God is offering everyone in the whole world eternal life and that is the greatest gift any of us could ever receive!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus speaking in John 3:16

Grace and peace to you all and Merry Christmas!

Author: Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an independent Christian author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life), blogger, and evangelist for Jesus. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, God bless you! Copyright © 2023 Ryan Callahan. All rights reserved.

22 thoughts on “A Colorado December Morning”

  1. Great pics! There’s a large hill right outside of my town that we occasionally climb. We see kangaroos there. (We suspect that there’s a cryptid – not sure whether it’s Dinosaur or Nephilim – a little bit further out of town, at a conservation park. Some friends mentioned their friends getting chased there by a large creature with glowing eyes at night. Probably a good thing I only went there a couple times – in the day.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful pictures and post, Ryan. I love that area. Your pictures of Long’s and the hawk are amazing. I laughed out loud when you recalled your time with the Native American boy. Ha! A cool memory. That was a great day, a favorite memory of mine, too. I had forgotten he wrestled you. I’m so glad we were able to find it again. Do you remember us going on the gravel road to get to the Pow Wow (I was just following a sign that was nailed to a telephone pole that someone had written on a piece of cardboard… “Pow Wow turn here”)? I had no idea where the Pow Wow was or what place I was looking for. There was a truck way ahead of us and it was kicking up dust from the gravel. You pointed and said, “Smoke signals! We must be close, Mom.” While we were there and you were playing with the boy, I was talking to a man who had a booth, and I told him what you said on the gravel road. He got a chuckle out of that and said, “My son watches too many cartoons”. ha I thought it was pretty clever. We did have a great time. I remember watching two eagles sore over the valley that day. It was very interesting to me to read the history of the Pow Wow at Daniels Park, too. Looks like you guys had a really nice time out there today! I still want to go out there one evening at watch the stars. Too bad about the railing. Maybe that protects people from the bison? I’ve seen pictures where they have wondered up there. Great post, Ryan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mom! Yeah, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad you took me out there. That’s funny about the smoke signals. I remember that well. There was hardly anything out there back in the 80s. There are a lot more homes around the area now. Not sure where the bison are most of the time. The guardrails were placed at steep drop offs. People could still climb down where we were last time if they wanted to, but it’s off limits now. We should definitely go watch the sunset over there someday and watch the stars come out. It is a very famous place to watch the sunset. Love ya!


  3. Thanks for the beautiful photos, Ryan! It’s pretty flat here in Rochester, N.Y. along the banks of Lake Ontario. We have some hilly terrain south of us but nothing like those majestic mountains in your backyard.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I really enjoyed this historical journey through this area of Colorado. I’ve never been that far west so I love seeing photos.

    The story about the Native American boy was funny. That seems to be how boys bond. I know it’s how my son bonds with his friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lisa! Such great history out here. Yeah, it was a lot of fun hanging out with him. 🙂 That is how my friends and I grew up too. We were always punching each other and wrestling just for fun. 🙂 God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

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