Lookout Mountain is a pleasant park system near Golden, Colorado. It includes picnic areas, restrooms, interpretive trails, nature preserve, and a nice visitor center that has informative exhibits and hosts guided nature programs. This is the perfect place to bring the family for an afternoon in the outdoors.
Most of the grounds are shady ponderosa pine groves interspersed with small meadows of grasses and wildflowers. The only drawback to the natural forest type is that would-be vistas are often blocked by trees, but you can still catch good views of Denver and the Front Range hills between gaps in the canopy.
As a nature preserve the area is rich with wildlife, even though it is so close to human development. Squirrels and songbirds are plentiful. Keep a sharp watch for the brilliantly-blue Stellar's Jay or elusive forest hawks. Evening is the best time for mammal sightings, when you are fairly likely to find raccoons, skunks, mule deer, or maybe even elk. Predators inhabit these hills as well, though you probably won't see them, and foxes and mountain lions roam secretly during the night.
From Lookout Mountain Park, the walking trails connect with Windy Saddle Park, which has really spectacular views and its own set of hiking and mountain biking trails. This is also the place to watch hang gliders launch from nearby Mount Zion and soar high over Golden.
When driving up the windy road from Golden or from Interstate 70, be careful of cyclists and runners who frequent this road for its challenging gradient.