Hikes Near Denver – Our Top 10 Favorite Hikes. Where are the best places to hike near Denver? Over the years we’ve profiled over 140 hikes, and I’ll tell you that it’s hard to pick favorites–but we did. Below you’ll find ten of our favorite hikes near Denver. Actually, we cheated a bit. We’ve included some parks and trail networks, so some include two or more hikes Destination Hikes Near Denver, Colorado Hiking Trails to Waterfalls Near Denver, Colorado Hikes in the State Parks of Colorado Hiking Trails to Lakes Near Denver, Colorado Hiking Trails to Mountain Range Views Near Denver, Colorado Hikes Near Denver By Difficulty Easy Hiking Trails Near Denver, Colorado Medium Hiking Trails Near Denver, Colorado Difficult Hiking Trails Near Denver, Colorado.
Denver Post file Roxborough State Park is in the south metro area. Hikers left to right: Jack Davison, his wife Nancy Davison, and Jack's sister Lee Cook look out over the massive rock formations from the Lyons Overlook while doing the Fountain Valley Trail in the park on Monday, September 29, 2014.
• Colorado is all about majestic beauty, and there are truly memorable hikes in places like , but there are also lots of great day hikes near Denver, featuring everything from alpine lakes and wildflower meadows to red-rock formations and panoramic vistas. 1. Mills Lake The hike to Mills Lake is one of the most scenic in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a moderate 5.3 mile round-trip trek that winds past Alberta Falls, a mesmerizing 30-foot waterfall that’s one of the parkâ€™s most popular features, with people gathering to snack on backpack picnics while sitting on rocks near the tumbling waters.
The trail crosses the footbridge over Glacier Creek, and when you reach Mills Lake, itâ€™s a good place to picnic and savor the view. The alpine lake is fringed by such peaks as the 13,497-foot Pagoda Mountain, the 12,668-foot Thatchtop Mountain and the 13,579-foot Chiefs Head Peak. 2. Ouzel Falls The rare and delicate calypso orchid can be spotted on a wildflower hike to Calypso Cascades and Also called the fairy slipper orchid, this wildflower isnâ€™t always easy to find â€” it often hides beneath trees, tucked into shady spots.
Fellow hikers who find them are eager to show them off. Late June and early July is the best time to see the calypso orchid. But there are dozens of other wildflowers to see on this round-trip hike, which is about 3.6 miles to Calypso Cascades and 5.4 miles to Ouzel Falls. This moderate hike starts on a relatively flat path, passing meadows with wildflowers, then winding up a gentle incline. Eventually the trail gets steeper, with steps and risers to help hikers ascend to Ouzel Falls, a 40-foot waterfall that sits at an elevation of 9,370 feet.
Thereâ€™s lots of shade, easy flat trails, woodlands and the cool burbling waters of Bear Creek, which attracts anglers. There are also lots of wildflowers growing near the creek alongside cottonwood and box elders.
Itâ€™s also got picnic tables and permanent charcoal grills. 4. Royal Arch Trail For many hikers, the destination of this trail is The Royal Arch, a 20-foot span of sandstone that soars overhead. The view from this spot gives a birds-eye view of Boulder, along with the plains and foothills of the Front Range.
Related Articles • June 5, 2016 • April 28, 2016 • April 18, 2016 • July 31, 2015 Located in Boulderâ€™s Park, the is a 3.4 mile out-and-back hike thatâ€™s rated moderate to difficult.
It’s often crowded in summer, so hiking on a weekday or early mornings on weekends is a smart way to avoid human traffic jams. But if the Royal Arch Trail seems too ambitious, there are easier trails in Chautauqua Park, located at Grant and Baseline streets. The Ranger Cottage has maps, brochures and information about the various trails, which include the Chautauqua Trail that cuts through a meadow and heads toward the Flatirons and the Mesa Trail that has many different terrains, from meadows to forests.
Denver Post fileRoxborough State Park is in the south metro area. Hikers left to right: Jack Davison, his wife Nancy Davison, and Jack’s sister Lee Cook look out over the massive rock formations from the Lyons Overlook while doing the Fountain Valley Trail in the park.
5. Roxborough State Park A quick drive southwest of Denver, by the U. S. Department of the Interior because of its geological wonders, which include significant fossil remains, hogback ridges and awe-inspiring red-rock formations. The park, with almost 4,000 acres, has trails for hikers of all levels. One of the easiest is the Fountain Valley Trail, a 2.2 mile loop that goes through spectacular red-rock formations.
Thereâ€™s also Willow Creek Trail, a 1.4 mile loop that leads through oak forest and willow bush, with a creek where you can cool your feet before hiking onward. You can also check out special hikes led by naturalists who guide you on treks exploring the areaâ€™s geology that represents 1.2 billion years of history. Some of these naturalist hikes focus on single topics, like keeping a naturalist journal.
(For more information, check the listings at .) 6. Golden Gate Canyon This state park, just a 30-minute drive from Denver, stretches over nearly 12,000 acres with 36 miles of hiking trails for all different levels. It’s : scenic views of the snow-topped Front Range, thick forests, meadows fringed with aspen trees and peaceful creeks. Denver Post fileJim Hebert and his mother Peggy Hebert fishing at Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
Raccoon Trail, a 2.5 mile loop of moderate intensity, is one of the most popular trails, winding through groves of white fir, aspen, blue spruce and lodgepole pine. Perhaps the best part is that the trail starts and ends at Panorama Point, a scenic overlook with a breathtaking mountain view of a 100-mile span of the Continental Divide, and a map that identifies each peak.
To customize your hike, check in first at the friendly visitorâ€™s center (92 Crawford Gulch Rd., Golden, 303-582-3707) to talk with the helpful state park employees about the type of hike youâ€™d like. 7. Mount Goliath Research Natural Area Ancient bristlecone pines are among Coloradoâ€™s rare treasures â€” gnarled trees with twisted trunks, some about 1,600 years old, among the oldest tree species in the world.
You can hike among these trees in the Mount Goliath Research Natural Area, which is devoted to the study of the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine tree. Itâ€™s located on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, and the Pesman Trail leads 1.4 miles into the center of the ancient forest. There are also shorter loops, like the Bristlecone Loop and the Alpine Loop, a moderate hike that is a lovely wildflower hike through the ancient pine trees, from July through mid-August.
Also, the Denver Botanic Gardens offers free, guided wildflower hikes on Mount Goliath on certain dates in July and August, a wonderland of alpine forget-me-nots and fairy primrose. For more information, contact . Anya Semenoff, The Denver PostA hiker walks a trail that runs alongside the barn at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park in Evergreen, Colorado. 8. Alderfer/Three Sisters Park It’s just a few miles outside the charming town of , but it gives a sense of being away from all the urban bustle and has nearly 15 miles of trails on 770 acres.
You can walk through meadows rich with wildflowers in early summer, and spot a variety of birds, including red-shafted flickers, mountain bluebirds and Cooperâ€™s hawks. Alder Three Sisters Trail is a 6.9 mile loop with great views of Mount Evans and Mount Bierstadt. Thereâ€™s also a short scenic trail spur before you make the top that’s well worth checking it out.
There are lots of different trails to choose from, including the Hidden Fawn Trail, which is flat and features lots of wildflowers and mature pine stands. And the Summit Trail has lovely views of the Continental Divide. 9. St. Mary’s Glacier Loop near Idaho Springs, located in the Arapaho National Forest, is a 1.6 mile hike with beautiful views of the sparkling, glacier-fed lake thatâ€™s fringed with willow trees and wildflowers. The trail is often rocky, which makes it an easy-to-moderate hike, and hiking boots are recommended.
Once you reach the lake, you can hike the trail up to the glacier, which is basically a snow field, with bighorn sheep, mountain goats and elk often spotted in the area. There are so many picturesque views on this day hike thatâ€™s relatively short and easy, which makes it a favorite. Seth McConnell, Denver PostCarter Smith, 14 months, touches Cooper, a Bernese Mountain Dog, on the nose while the two take a break from playing at the Elk Meadow Dog Park in Evergreen. 10. Elk Meadow Park One of the things people love most about hiking in Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen is the chance to spot herds of elk grazing at the edge of the forests, just as they have in that area for centuries.
Wildlife includes mountain bluebirds flitting through forests and red-tailed hawks soaring overhead. There are a mix of trails, from easy to strenuous. They include flat terrain, rolling hills, meadows with July wildflowers, and tougher hikes â€” like the Bergen Peak Trail, which has more than 1,700 feet of elevation gain and views of Pikes Peak, Mount Evans and the Continental Divide.
best dating denver colorado hiking trails near - THE 10 BEST Outdoor Activities in Denver
Best Hikes For Kids Near Denver Colorado What are the best hikes for kids near Denver, Colorado? If you have a young family like us, it can be challenging to find great hiking trails for both you and your kids. You need hiking trails that are easy, not too long, but offer opportunities for your kids to play and explore the beauty of Colorado.
If you are taking a vacation to Colorado and looking for activities to do with your kids, this set of trails will be perfect. Be sure to download our to help you prepare and pack smart for your dayhikes. • They would be hikes that even young children (3-5) could enjoy.
Our girls are 3 and 5, so this is based on first hand experience taking our kids hiking in Colorado. • These hiking trails have variety: castle ruins, streams, rocks, and some shade when you need it. • These family hikes would be closer to Denver. Time in the car can wear everyone out (sometimes more than the hike), so we’ve tried to keep these close. • Distance: 1.8 miles Round Trip Drive Time from Denver: 30 Minutes Difficulty: Easy The Clear Creek Trail in Golden, Colorado is one kid-friendly hike!
It has shade, the kids bike through it, and you can end the hike with a walk through downtown. When you have your kiddos with you, mornings can be hard to pass through the foothills and into the mountains but this one is easy to manage. It might not technically be called a “hike” though since it runs through the Golden commercial area. • Distance: .6 & .8 Mile Loops Drive Time from Denver: 30 Minutes Difficulty: Easy These hiking trails from Lookout Mountain Nature Center may be the perfect trails for families.
These are ideal if you’ve just gotten started hiking with your kids near Denver, Colorado. The Nature Center at Lookout Mountain is itself very awesome and you are guaranteed a good experience. If you want to see wildlife but need to say near to Denver, then this is the a great trail. Take a picnic lunch, just watch out for the squirrels; they’ll run of with your dessert if you don’t watch them closely.
• Distance: 1.7 miles Round Trip Drive Time from Denver: 30 Minutes Difficulty: Easy This is probably our favorite family hike near Denver because of the variety. It has open and shady areas along the trail, great picnic areas, and Bear Creek. Just keep an eye out for mountain bikes flying by on the wider trails.
At Lair o’ the Bear Park you’ll find great hike options with the cool waters of Bear Creek nearby, open and shaded parts, and a great parking. • Distance: 2.3-mile Loop Drive Time from Denver: 40 Minutes Difficulty: Easy How cool are castle ruins!
This one also works if you are taking a stroller. There is also a fire tower at Mt. Falcon that gives you incredible views of Denver, of the Red Rocks, and of the mountains. These are just some of the highlights of the Mount Falcon Trail. The trailhead is located in on the foothills just about a 40-minute from Denver.
• Distance: 1.3-mile Loop Drive Time from Denver: 40 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Ever Green Trail is just a fun place for your kids to play in and explore. There are places to fish and rent boats as well. Bring a picnic and make a day of it in Evergreen. This Colorado hike or stroll is a relaxing way to spend your Saturday mornings. During winter, the Evergreen Lake transforms into an ice skating wonderland so you better be prepared for that and include that in your itinerary. • Distance: 2.5-mile Loop Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour Difficulty: Easy The kids love this 2.5-mile loop Raccoon Loop Hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park!
The panoramic views of the snowcapped peaks are just spectacular from the Panorama Point viewing area. There are a lot of aspen meadows, shade, wildflowers and trickling brooks along this trail.
The drive from Golden to the park may be curvy so just watch out for cyclists. • Distance: 1.2 to 3.2 miles Round Trip Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour Difficulty: Easy to Moderate Pine Valley Ranch Park has become one of the best family-favorite parks near Denver. There are a lot of options to pick from the several hikes here. The park has it all: a beautiful lake, a rich history, a small island with a gazebo, and perhaps the best picnic area on the Front Range of Colorado.
Our children are not big enough to hike long distances yet. So, we usually we put the kiddos in child carrier backpacks. When we can though, we try to break out the Bob Stroller and hit a local trail. Here are 4 trails close to Denver that work great with a stroller. Criteria for these Denver Area Stroller Hikes ... This park in Evergreen, Colorado is a family favorite of some of our good friends.
They have two young daughters and love to hike Alderfer and Three Sisters. The park has so many trails that the network can get confusing, so or pick one up at the trailhead. Scroll down for more information on this ... Lair o' the Bear is, in our family's opinion, the best family hike near Denver.
First, the drive into the canyon on Bear Creek road is beautiful. Once at the park you'll find great hiking trail options, the cool water of bear creek, great parking, and some good picnic spots. There are open areas as well as shade. Our one ... Bridal Veil Falls is best viewed from Water Wheel Park, a short and easy walk from the downtown of Idaho Springs, Colorado.
The legacy of steam locomotives and gold mining make this a historic hike in an historic Colorado town. Explore the full Bridal Veil Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions ... Want a hike to please everyone?
The Clear Creek Trail in Golden, Colorado is it! It's got shade, the kids can bring their bikes, and you can finish your hike with a stroll around downtown. We might get some flack for calling this a hike, because it runs through the business district of Golden, CO.But you can wear the soles ...
Best sunsets in Denver! You can see mountains upon mountains of Colorado's Front Range. Take a picnic dinner and pull off at one of the many picnic areas along Daniels Park Road. There are several hiking options detailed below for Daniel's park. To get all the details, scroll down and explore the trail snapshot, profile, and tips below.
Trail Snapshot: ... Colorado's Echo Lake is looped by an easy hiking trail and serves as a trailhead to even more classic Colorado hikes. When we have friends and family visiting Colorado from out of town, this is one of best destinations for a great views.
Go early to Echo Lake to get perfect photos of Mount Evans reflected in the water. Explore ... Boulder's Chautauqua park boasts some of the best hiking in Colorado, especially if you are looking for accessibility--many of the trailheads are right in town. The Enchanted Mesa trail lives up to its name. The dense pine forest and the wide curving path looks like something out of a fairy tale.
It's a fairly easy hike, with a surprising amount ... This Colorado hike (more of a stroll) is a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. You can rent canoes and sailboats from the nature center and warming house. In the winter, the Evergreen Lake transforms into an ice skating wonderland. Explore this hike profile for all the details.
*Notice: The north trail of this loop is currently closes, so ... The Fountain Valley trail in Colorado's Roxborough State Park is the Garden of the God's of Denver. It's more secluded than Red Rocks park, and features several trails that take you beyond the park boundaries and into the foothills.
The Fountain Valley Trail is a perfect place to start because it features the best part of the park, it's towering ... After the hike, I asked our 7 year-old daughter what she thought of it. Her reply said it all, “Dad, it was awesome!” Here favorite parts were the fairy pond, a small, moss-rimmed pool probably created by miners long ago to hold drinking water, and the gleaming minerals in the rocks she picked up along the trail.
I enjoyed the ... MORE TRAILS
Road this trail as a novice. Beautiful trail with a variety of terrain to see, and a nice view of Denver waiting for you at the reservoir. Homeless people do tend to set up camp closer to the downtown Denver area.
But, once you make your way further the trail is quiet. I went during the week so I can imagine it would get crowded on the weekend. Happy travels! Beautiful day to get the dogs out! First time on trail and you have to watch...lots of ways to get off the trail shown on the map above. Although, it’s just a beautiful area so I enjoyed exploring the different paths and connecting back to the main path.
The whole recreation area was well maintained. Lots of people and other dogs. I read a tip that sunrises were amazing here but sunsets were just as awesome. The sunset did not disappoint. I came with a dog I’m watching and she was much more excited than I was to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
We arrived around 6:45pm knowing that sunset was at 7:30. The views were beautiful. There were a lot of people there and plenty with dogs of their own. It was still lovely to enjoy. We set out to walk the entire lake. I let Abby waddle into the water a bit.
Golden retrievers are tough to keep out of water. So she got a little taste. She saw plenty of geese, ducks, and birds to keep her excited and wanting to barrow through the walk. We saw people fishing, jogging, cycling, strolling, picnicing, rowing and taking photos. At the end of the walk as dusk was transitioning to dark, it became windy and light rain came down.
But we made it to the car just in time. 2.6 miles of flat paved east trail.
TOP 15. Best Hiking Trails in Colorado