Riverside Cemetery Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Riverside Cemetery is Denver’s oldest cemetery, though not its first. Cemeteries in the Cheesman Park and Highlands neighborhoods were closed, and the bodies of those interred were moved to Riverside shortly after it opened in 1876. At the time it was a welcome alternative to the neglected and damaged cemeteries in the city, but now Riverside itself is dying. The short version is this: Riverside has not been watered since 2003. It’s one irony on top of another: a place devoted to the dead was designed to attract the living with its parklike setting of shade trees and flower beds next to a river, but research in the 1980s determined the cemetery did not actually have water rights to the nearby river and the tap was shut off for this 77-acre cemetery. This designated national historic district is located just two miles from downtown and partially in the industrial zone of Commerce City.
Some of Denver’s earliest pioneers and most notable citizens who shaped the city and state lie here, as well as servicemen from the Civil War through the Gulf War, and various clusters of headstones devoted to different religious and ethnic groups are seen here. Rocky Mountain views to the west are visible from just about anywhere in the cemetery, and from other vantage points you will see the city’s skyline as you wander amongst the eerie and beautiful historic headstones."