Q: Can I bring my dog into the museum?
A: No, pets are not allowed in the museum. Only service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are allowed in the buildings, including the museum, gift shop and café. For more information see the section on Accessibility. Pets on leash are allowed on the museum grounds including the trail to the gravesite and picnic area.
Q: Is there a guided tour of the museum?
A. The museum is self-guided with directional arrows on the floors suggesting a route that incorporates all the exhibits.
Q. How much time should I allow?
A: Although visitors tour at their own pace, the average visit is around an hour including viewing the exhibits and watching the 22-minute introductory video. Allow another 10 – 15 minutes to visit the grave and enjoy the views, and still another 15 – 30 minutes to explore the gift shop. The café cooks all food to order, so those anticipating a lunch or snack stop need to allow sufficient time.
Q: Can I take photographs for personal use inside the museum?
A: Photography is allowed in the museum if no flash is used. In addition to the exhibit area, the site has panoramic mountain views and many photo opportunities.
Q: Can I film or photo shoot at the museum, gravesite, or in Lookout Mountain Park?
A: The museum, gravesite, and park are owned by the City and County of Denver and are considered public property. If you are hoping to film or planning a photo shoot learn more at the Office of Special Events page.
Q: What is the altitude?
A: Set on a mountain top at 7375 feet, the altitude can affect some visitors. Make sure you drink plenty of water to counteract some of the effects.
Q: Do you have facilities for weddings or corporate retreats?
A: At this time the museum cannot accommodate private functions.
Q: Can we reserve picnic areas?
A: The picnic tables on the museum observation deck and at the Pahaska Tepee Gift Shop and Café are available on a first come, first served basis.
The historic stone Lookout Mountain Park Picnic Shelter is located right outside the gate to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. The picnic site can be reserved May 1 through September 30 and is available on a first come, first served basis in the winter season. Please visit the Denver Parks and Recreation Rentals and Permits page for more information.
Q: What is the museum about and what’s inside?
A: The museum was established to tell the story of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody four years after his death and burial on Lookout Mountain west of Denver. Our mission has evolved to tell a broader story of Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show, including the legendary men and women who performed with the show (such as Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Black Elk), Cody’s support of women’s equality, and background on American Indian oppression in the West. The museum tells an important story of advocacy and reconciliation that is perhaps more powerful today than ever before.
The museum is visual arts-based and we feature a collection of around 8,000 items, which includes western American art, period textiles and show costumes, an eagle feather headdress gifted to Buffalo Bill by Sitting Bull, western saddles, historic show posters from the late 1800s through early 1900s, a full-size mounted bison, and a range of other art and objects that relate to the Wild West show. We also have a hands-on kid’s activity area that is popular with families and features a life-size galloping horse.
The museum begins with a film about the history and significance of Buffalo Bill and his Wild West, after which guests tour the exhibits at their own pace. Our gallery exhibits include information on Cody’s life and burial on Lookout Mountain, Lakota performers, the Wild West show, Wild West firearms, and examples of the use of Cody’s image in pop culture.
Q: Can I leave my car parked at the museum after hours or overnight?
A: The park is day use only and the gates close (and lock!) one hour after sunset. Any vehicles left in the parking lot after hours will be ticketed and locked in overnight.
Q: Can I fly drones or other aircraft on museum property at Lookout Mountain Park?
A: No. The City and County of Denver prohibits the use of flying objects (including drones) on park property. The exception to this rule includes frisbees, kites, and non-motorized model airplanes as specified in the City and County of Denver’s Park Rules and Regulations.
Q: Where can I find a full list of rules and regulations for Lookout Mountain Park?
A: The City and County of Denver’s Park Rules and Regulations are available at Denver Park Rules and Policies.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: It is free to visit the park, grave, café/gift shop, and viewing deck. Admission to the history museum is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $1 for children ages 6 – 17 (ages 5 and under are free), and $2 for active-duty military.
Q: Do you allow group visits and youth field trips?
A: Group visits and youth field trips are available with advanced reservations. Please see the Group Tours and Field Trips and Youth Groups pages.
Q: Are there hiking trails in the area?
A: Yes. This map shows available hiking trails near Lookout Mountain Park and the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave. Windy Saddle and Apex Parks also provide recreational hiking within Jefferson County Open Space properties.
Q: Did Buffalo Bill kill all the buffalo?
A: Buffalo Bill killed relatively few buffalo, most during the 17 months he was contracted to supply meat for Kansas Pacific Railway workers. Once the railroad was completed in 1869 his buffalo hunting services were no longer needed. Afterwards, he occasionally hunted buffalo as a part of his scouting duties for the Army and took part in celebrity buffalo hunts. The near extinction of the bison happened after his meat hunting days. By featuring bison in his Wild West show Cody introduced bison to the American people as real creatures which helped influence conservation efforts.
Q: Are Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill the same person?
A: While often confused for the same person William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody and James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickock were separate people whose lives crossed paths many times. They both were scouts, buffalo hunters, actors, and were immortalized through dime novels. Hickock was born nine years earlier than Cody. Cody looked up to Hickock and considered him a mentor; however, Hickock’s life ended much sooner than Cody’s when he was killed while playing cards in a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota. If you want to learn more read The Two Bills handout.