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    Denver hiking

    Hikes in Denver

    Region in Colorado, United States

    Denver Hikes

    Denver hikes are the perfect way to get outside and explore the rugged landscape of Colorado. Nestled close to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is the gateway to one of the best hiking regions in the world. With trails that extend right up into the Colorado Front Range, you’ll find an incredible diversity of hikes close to the city, with some truly jaw-dropping views. Surrender to the stunning beauty of this remarkable part of the world and set out on one of the many Denver hikes on offer today!

    Denver hikes offer pure joy, with some epic and iconic trails for hikers of all skill levels. The Front Range is known for its large number of ‘14ers’ (peaks rising above 14,000 feet), and Colorado is actually home to 15 mountain peaks that meet this category. If you’re a keen hiker anxious to get some 14ers under your belt, Denver is an excellent jumping-off point into the mountains. The views from this altitude are simply epic, and make the strenuous climb well worth the effort.

    Hiking in Denver brings associated challenges, not least of which is the potential impact of altitude on your ability to enjoy your hike. It’s important to take precautions when attempting to scale a high peak, and to know your limits. However, hiking in this region is a great training ground if you’re planning a big trekking adventure at altitude in the future.

    The Rocky Mountain foothills don’t just contain epic, high peaks. You’ll find lush parks, strange areas of bare red rock, natural amphitheaters and glittering lakes. Wander through magical forests or go wildlife watching in beautiful areas of pure wilderness. This is the place to enjoy those quintessential Colorado landscapes, and discover yet another side to the Rocky Mountains.

    What are you waiting for? Choose one of the many amazing Denver hikes and start exploring this beautiful region today. To give you a little inspiration, we’ve put together a list of all our favorite Denver hikes, to suit all ages and ability levels. Happy hiking!

    15 Greatest Hikes Around Denver

    There are so many different types of Denver hikes, there’s sure to be a trail to suit every visitor. Just outside the city, you’ll find plenty of beautiful parks, some of which have their own distinctive features and characteristics, such as Red Rocks Park. Although you’re still close to town, you’ll feel as though you’re out in the backcountry, with lots of accessible and easy trails, just perfect for families. Further afield, you’ll find everything from easy forest strolls to epic mountain hikes, and plenty in between. If you’re an experienced hiker, Denver is the perfect playground to improve your fitness, train for hiking at altitude, and explore new trails, all with epic views across the Colorado Front Range. However, if you’re a beginner, don’t worry – you won’t need to climb too high in Denver to experience some incredible panoramic views.

    • Matthew/Winters Park Hike: This relatively easy trail is a local favorite, as it’s a good way to get your heart pumping but not so long or strenuous that it will take up the whole day. You’ll pass along the Red Rocks Trail, and into Cherry Gulch, before ascending a series of switchbacks with wonderful views. Watch out for snakes along the trail!
    • Red Rocks Park Hike: Red Rocks Park is a geological marvel, littered with beautiful sandstone monoliths, and lovely hiking trails. This route passes around some of these beautiful natural rock formations, and taking in the remarkable amphitheatre, the site of regular concerts. If you can, time your visit to take in a show – this is a truly memorable experience on any trip to Denver!
    • Bear Creek State Park Hike: Bear Creek State Park is a wonderful place for a family outing, and this peaceful trail is suitable for all hikers, whatever their age! The route is shaded and runs alongside the river, and there are plenty of other activities on offer, including swimming, camping and horseback riding.
    • Enchanted Forest Trail Hike: As the name suggests, walking through the Enchanted Forest is like stepping into a fairy tale. The sights, sounds and scents of this atmospheric forest are simply magical, and older kids will love this trail. The route is relatively long but not too strenuous, and the nearby Heritage Amusement Park is also a great place for families to visit for a post-hike treat!
    • Grays Peak and Torreys Peak Hike: This popular route is one of the best day hikes in Denver, and will allow you to tick off two of the famous Colorado 14ers (peaks over 4267m) in one day! You’ll need to be well prepared, fit, and acclimatized to the altitude, as this hike will take you high up into the mountains. However, the rewards are absolutely thrilling – incredible views over dark, looming peaks.
    • Elk Meadow Park Hike: Looking for a beautiful day hike in Denver with plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting? The Elk Meadow Park hike will take you through fragrant pine forest and expansive meadows with stunning mountain views. Keep your eyes open and you may catch a glimpse of an elk or two along the way! Don’t miss the opportunity to spend a little time in the quaint nearby town of Evergreen.
    • Mount Falcon Park Hike: This challenging route is unique, offering stunning views and a set of intriguing historical ruins amidst the beautiful landscape. These ruins might look like an old castle, but they are actually the remains of the Walker Ranch, built by entrepreneur John Brisben Walker in the early 20th century. You’ll need plenty of energy, as this hike involves some steep ascents, but there’s plenty to distract you along the way.
    • Mount Bierstadt Hike: This wonderful route is one of the best challenging hikes in Denver, and is deservedly popular. It’s a challenging trail but you’ll enjoy some beautiful, expansive views over the wild countryside, and it’s an excellent introduction to the famous Colorado 14ers. The steep climb is well worth the effort, giving you panoramic views over the Colorado Front Range and Mount Evans.
    • Chicago Lakes Hike: This wonderful hike, deep in Colorado’s high country, is one of the best hikes in Denver if you’re looking for a little peace in the wilderness. The trail runs parallel to Chicago Creek, before ascending high up to the base of Chicago Lakes. The upper lake is surrounding by a striking cirque, offering spectacular mountain views.
    • Mount Evans Hike: This epic route is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying hikes in this part of Colorado, climbing all the way to 4348m at the summit of Mount Evans. The trail is somewhat challenging, involving a steep climb, high altitude and some scrambling in places, but the rewards are truly jaw-dropping. At the summit, you’ll have a mountain vista that will take your breath away.
    • St. Mary’s Glacier Hike: This short hike is an excellent option for families, involving a fun hike through the dense pine forest. You’ll pass alongside Saint Mary’s Lake until the start of Silver Creek, before arriving at St. Mary’s Glacier – which is, in fact, not actually a glacier but a permanent snow mass. Climb up to the lovely alpine meadow at the base of James Peak for a wonderful view over the Colorado Front Range.
    • Beaver Brook Trail: The Beaver Brook Trail is a Colorado classic – beautiful scenery, wild flowers, rocky trails and exciting river crossings, all in one route! Older kids will love this trail, and there really is something to please everyone along the way. Keep your eyes open for the buffalo herd that can sometimes be seen close to the trailhead.
    • Lair O’ The Bear Park Hike: This moderate hike is an excellent option for beginner hikers looking for a little challenge and some stellar views. You’ll pass alongside a lively river, through dense forest, and finally ascend all the way to Panorama Point for some epic views. Don’t miss the beautifully restored Dunafon Castle, which can be seen from the section of the hike that passes along the Bear Creek Trail.
    • Centennial Cone Park Hike: This popular park is a firm local favorite, and it’s not difficult to see why. You’ll find 24km of trails passing through beautiful scenery, which can be adapted for short out-and-back trails or longer loops. Don’t forget to check the calendar, as on alternate weekends hikers and horseback riders are prohibited to allow bikers their turn on the trail.
    • North Table Park Hike: North Table Mountain Park is situated just outside Golden, CO, providing access to the beautiful surrounding foothills. This loop hike offers lovely views and varied, satisfying terrain, with something to please all hikers. You’ll finally emerge at the Cottonwood Canyon Trail, taking you all the way to the top of the mesa for a fabulous view.

    When Is The Best Time To Hike In Denver?

    Denver’s climate is slightly warmer than other areas of Colorado, particularly the Rocky Mountain National Park, which gives slightly more flexibility when it comes to hiking. That said, the main hiking season runs from late spring to fall, depending on which trails you choose and how high you expect to climb. The snows clear early in the Rocky Mountain foothills close to the city, but higher elevation trails may still be covered in snow in early June. July and August often experience a somewhat unpredictable rainy season, with heavy showers in the afternoons, and this can cause problems if you get caught in the rain out on the trail. Try to avoid popular public holidays, as many trails can become extremely crowded, especially when the weather is good!

    Other Outdoor Activities In Denver

    Colorado is an ideal destination for adventurous travelers, and in addition to the numerous Denver hikes, there are lots of other fun outdoor activities to do in the area! From hiking and backpacking, to rock climbing, road biking, mountain biking and horseback riding, there’s something for everyone here. You’ll also find opportunities for white water rafting, kayaking, and plenty of excursions into the Rocky Mountain National Park. In winter, it’s time to throw yourself into winter sports, with cross country and downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing all on offer.

    How To Plan A Trip To Denver

    If you can hear the Rocky Mountain foothills calling, it’s time to put Denver on your hiking bucket list! The good news is that we’ve done all the hard work so you can focus on dreaming about your trip. Check out our guide to planning a trip to Denver, complete with recommendations for where to stay and eat in and around the city. We love this beautiful corner of Colorado, and we’re sure that you will too.

    Frequently-Asked-Questions About Denver

    How can I hike in Denver without a car?

    One of the best things about hiking in Denver is that there are many hiking trails that can be accessed via public transport, without the need for your own car. For example, the hikes listed above at North Table Mountain, or those close to Golden, can be reached by public transport from Denver.

    How should you prepare for high elevation hikes?

    Preparation is key when tackling a high mountain, and many of the peaks close to Denver reach high elevations where you’ll need to spend some time adjusting to the altitude. Make sure that you understand the risks and the signs of altitude sickness, take time to acclimatize by building in rest days at altitude, and take it slow, especially at first. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and during your hike.

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    Best Hikes in Denver

    Showing 81 to 100 of 115
      Open details for Buffalo Bill and Beaver Brook Trail

      Buffalo Bill and Beaver Brook Trail

      Hard
      21.4 km
      713 m
      5.5-8h

      The Buffalo Bill and Beaver Brook Trail is a demanding adventure near Denver. Reserved for intrepid spirits, this hike is not for the faint of heart. If you are seeking a lengthy expedition that reveals the diversity of the Colorado wilderness, then the Buffalo Bill and Beaver Brook Trail will be right up your alley.

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      Open details for Maverick and Sawmill Hike

      Maverick and Sawmill Hike

      Easy
      3.9 km
      111 m
      1-1.5h

      The Maverick and Sawmill Hike is a wonderful adventure that appeals to outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts! Hike, bike, snowshoe, or horse ride, this path offers plenty of activities. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and escape into the wilderness on the Maverick and Sawmill Hike in the White Ranch Open Space Park.

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      Open details for Green Mountain Summit Hike

      Green Mountain Summit Hike

      Easy
      7.4 km
      274 m
      2-3h

      The Green Mountain Trail guides adventurers through the exposed grassy terrain atop the mountain which reveals incredible 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. This epic journey can be hiked or biked in the summer months, and in winter, strap on those snowshoes! Versatile and scenic, this path is a must-add to your Denver itinerary.

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      Open details for Green Mountain Novice Loop

      Green Mountain Novice Loop

      Moderate
      10.1 km
      327 m
      2.5-4h

      The Green Mountain Novice Loop is a must-add to your Denver day hike itinerary. Trek through the grassy terrain whilst admiring the beautiful scenery. This route is one of many possibilities of the Green Mountain’s network of trails, but this one is perfect for those seeking a longer, more time-consuming day hike.

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      Open details for Rooney Valley Hike

      Rooney Valley Hike

      Very Easy
      5.5 km
      126 m
      1.5-2h

      The Rooney Valley Hike is a charming nature walk that the whole family can enjoy. Hike along the base of Green Mountain which reveals epic views that you would think would only be accessible by a summit hike. Enjoy sights of the sandstone ridges and the Front Range foothills as you blow off some steam on the Rooney Valley Trail.

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      Open details for Cherry Creek Pipeline Trail

      Cherry Creek Pipeline Trail

      Very Easy
      2.3 km
      4 m
      0.5h

      The Cherry Creek Pipeline Trail presents the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature. You will be lulled into a state of relaxation as you hike along the gurgling waters of Cherry Creek and through lush woodlands. Enjoy this peaceful oasis among the busyness of the state’s capital.

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      Open details for South Platte Greenway North Trail

      South Platte Greenway North Trail

      Very Easy
      8.2 km
      18 m
      1.5-2h

      The South Platte Greenway North is a charming urban nature walk near Denver’s city center. This lovely nature walk guides its adventures along the north side of the South Platte River while revealing sights of the cityscape and the mountains that line the horizon. Perfect for families, dog-walkers, and lunch breakers, this short, but scenic hike will get you a much-needed dose of fresh air.

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      Open details for Lee Lateral Ditch Trail

      Lee Lateral Ditch Trail

      Very Easy
      7.9 km
      16 m
      1.5-2h

      Perfect for families, the Lee Lateral Ditch Trail is an enjoyable excursion packed with stimulating sights and fun activities. Hike past several playgrounds, past tree carvings, statues, railroads, and along a babbling creek. A perfect trail to blow off some steam, the Lee Lateral Ditch Trail is sure to excite the little ones.

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      Open details for Tallman Ranch Hike

      Tallman Ranch Hike

      Very Easy
      4.7 km
      160 m
      1.5-2h

      The Tallman Ranch is a charming woodland adventure in the Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Short but scenic, this path is a great introductory hike for novice explorers and families with children. Walk beneath the coverage of towering pines interspersed with aspens up to the luxuriant meadow where sits the Tallman Ranch.

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      Open details for John Frazer Cabin via Blue Grouse Trail

      John Frazer Cabin via Blue Grouse Trail

      Easy
      6.8 km
      226 m
      2-2.5h

      The John Frazer Cabin via Blue Grouse Trail features stunning scenery, wildlife, dispersed campsites, and a historical cabin. Hike beneath towering pine trees, through aspen groves, and up to a luxuriant meadow often dotted with deer. Though the beautiful nature hike is incredible, the pièce de résistance is the John Frazer Cabin, the cabin of a Pennsylvanian rancher turned Colorado homesteader.

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      Open details for Horseshoe Loop Trail

      Horseshoe Loop Trail

      Moderate
      8.0 km
      381 m
      2.5-3.5h

      The Horseshoe Loop Trail is a stunning adventure through the Golden Gate Canyon State Park. There is nothing better than a circuit trail because the scenery is new every step of the way. Hike beneath the coverage of towering pines, through aspen groves, and up to a luxuriant meadow where visitors can often spot grazing deer and elk!

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      Open details for Longhorn and Shorthorn Hike

      Longhorn and Shorthorn Hike

      Moderate
      6.9 km
      253 m
      2-2.5h

      Immerse yourself in the Colorado wilderness as you venture the Longhorn and Shorthorn Trail. Hike amongst like-minded outdoor enthusiasts as you trek this popular route. Whether you hike, bike, snowshoe, or run, you can enjoy this versatile trail year-round. Reconnect with nature and escape the stressors of city life on the Longhorn and Shorthorn Trail.

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      Open details for Sawmill and Belcher Hill Hike

      Sawmill and Belcher Hill Hike

      Very Easy
      5.0 km
      157 m
      1.5-2h

      Reconnect with nature and immerse yourself in the verdant wilderness along the Sawmill and Belcher Hill Trail. This exciting excursion is an awesome day hike or an even better overnight expedition. As adventurers trek along the meadow-cloaked paths, they will be rewarded with stunning vistas of the encompassing mountainous landscape. What are you waiting for? Lace up those hiking shoes and head out!

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      Open details for Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail

      Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail

      Easy
      6.8 km
      283 m
      2-3h

      Stunning overlooks, lush meadows, and gurgling streams, the Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail is a great nature walk near the city. Get in your daily movement while hiking up a unique geological feature that reveals epic panoramic views. Revel in the scenery of the Front Range foothills and sights of the cityscape from atop the flattop summit.

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      Open details for Cottonwood Canyon Trail

      Cottonwood Canyon Trail

      Easy
      8.5 km
      243 m
      2-3h

      The Cottonwood Canyon Trail is an exciting adventure up a steep-walled canyon. Hike along a gurgling creek and enjoy the sights of rock climbers and boulderers as you ascend the rocky terrain. Ideal for intrepid adventurers who don’t mind a bit of a scramble up to the summit of the North Table Mesa.

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      Open details for Clear Creek and Prospect Lake Loop

      Clear Creek and Prospect Lake Loop

      Easy
      12.1 km
      62 m
      2.5-3h

      The Clear Creek and Prospect Lake Loop is a lovely nature walk near Denver’s city centre. Meander past, not one, not two, but three shimmering lakes! Charming, easy-to-navigate and level, this hike is accessible to adventurers of almost all capabilities. The perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this trail is a must-add to your Denver itinerary.

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      Open details for Elk Range Trail

      Elk Range Trail

      Easy
      10.1 km
      246 m
      2.5-3.5h

      The Elk Range Trail is a lovely meadowland adventure around the base of the Centennial Cone. Revealing sights of the verdant Front Range foothills, and sights of the surrounding towns, the scenery along this path is unparalleled. Presenting the perfect opportunity to spot wildlife, children and adults alike will enjoy this wilderness excursion.

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      Open details for Meadow View Loop

      Meadow View Loop

      Very Easy
      5.0 km
      147 m
      1.5-2h

      The Meadow View Loop is a charming hike that presents the perfect opportunity to spot some wildlife. Weaving between lush meadowlands and old-growth pines, this adventure exhibits the beauty of the Colorado wilderness. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a newbie, the scenery along this path is sure to impress all who venture it.

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      Open details for Bergen Peak via Meadow View Trail

      Bergen Peak via Meadow View Trail

      Moderate
      15.3 km
      606 m
      4.5-6h

      The Bergen Peak via Meadow View Trail is an awesome summit hike located not too far from Denver. Hike through the Elk Meadows and up beneath the coverage of beautiful old-growth pines up to the summit. Those who conquer the trail and summit the peak will be rewarded with expansive vistas of Colorado’s mountainous landscape.

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      Open details for Founder’s Trail and Meadow View Hike

      Founder’s Trail and Meadow View Hike

      Very Easy
      6.0 km
      177 m
      1.5-2h

      Hike amongst elk and enjoy stunning views of Colorado’s mountainous landscape on the Founder’s Trail and Meadow View Hike. As the adventure’s name suggests, this charming excursion presents epic meadow views and presents the perfect opportunity to spot elk in their natural habitat. Located just outside the state’s capital, the Founder’s Trail and Meadow View Hike is the perfect escape into the wilderness.

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