West Highland Urban Hiking Denver
The story of West Highland is very similar to Highland (notice no “s”, according to the official list of Denver neighborhoods.) Like its eastern neighbor Highland, West Highland formed out of the desire for folks to get out of the smokey bottom lands of Denver and find cleaner air. So it’s no wonder the neighborhood is filled with turn-of-the century Victorians, a few TB sanitariums, and smaller homes that filled in where the larger homes gave way.
The First Female Zookeeper
Also “out in West Highland”, rose the famous Elitch’s Zoological Gardens. Run by Mary Elitch, the first female zookeeper, botanic gardener, and theatre owner in the US, this once a booming entertainment complex with live shows, amusements, carousels, and concerts, its theatre and famous labyrinth remain. Sadly the gardens are gone, but the amusements and rides are now in the Central Platte Valley, also known as LoDo (Denver.) The Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation now owns and runs the current venue.
Tony Lived Here!
While walking the neighborhood, be sure to pass through what the locals hope is a future Packard Historic District between Lowell and the alley between Perry and Osceola, 32nd and 35th. This area is where many famous women used to live, including Antoinette Perry, namesake of the “Tony Awards”.
The Alleys Are Fun, Too
You’ll find some treats along this walk, including a bedpost art display, hanging tapestries, and fanciful painted homes. It’s 3 miles of historic fun.
Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.
What did you like best about this walk?
~See you on the trail