Hiking and trekking in Colorado and Denver offer plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. From easy trails near Denver to more challenging, overnight backpacking trips in the mountains of Colorado, there is something for every hiker’s skill level.
The best way to find good hiking spots near Denver is to look for local trail guides or websites that list popular trails in the area. Many websites also provide reviews from other hikers who have used a particular trail. This will help you get an idea of how difficult a trail might be and what kind of scenery you can expect along the way. You can also contact local outdoor stores or visitor centres to ask about good places to go hiking.
If you want more challenging treks, Colorado has many opportunities for multi-day backpacking trips in its National Forests, such as Rocky Mountain National Park, White River National Forest, San Isabel National Forest and Pike National Forest. Many of these locations are accessible via public transportation from Denver and have plenty of options for camping along the way. Before embarking on one of these longer trips, it’s important to understand your skill level and experience with multi-day hikes so you know what type of terrain you will be able to handle safely.
No matter where you decide to hike or trek in Colorado and Denver, make sure to come prepared with all the necessary supplies such as food, water, clothing layers according to weather conditions, first aid supplies and maps or guidebooks if available. And while exploring nature’s beauty is half the fun, always practice Leave No Trace principles so we can all enjoy our wilderness areas for years to come!
Red Rocks Park is one of the most popular hikes near Denver. Located just 15 miles west of the city, it features stunning red sandstone formations that have been formed over millions of years and still attract visitors today. The park also provides a variety of trails ranging from easy to difficult, allowing hikers to find the best fit for their skill level.
South Valley Park offers spectacular views of mountain peaks and wildflowers that bloom in warmer months, making it an ideal spot for those looking for a more leisurely hike.
Meanwhile, Mount Galbraith Park in Golden is a favourite among experienced hikers due to its steep sections and rugged terrain. It also boasts beautiful panoramic views at the summit that reward those willing to make the climb. Other mountain parks in the foothills provide excellent opportunities for multi-day hikes, backpacking trips, or day treks for those who want to explore further afield. With a variety of terrain and landscapes, these areas offer something unique and enjoyable for everyone—from beginner campers looking for a simple overnight excursion to seasoned adventurers seeking out remote vistas high in the Rocky Mountains.
Denver and its nearby surrounds offer a wealth of opportunities for day hikes, whether you’re taking in the majestic Rocky Mountains or the rolling prairies just east of the city.
Here are 10 great day hikes from Denver that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized:
1. Hanging Lake Trail & Spouting Rock Falls: Located near Glenwood Springs, this 4-mile round-trip trail features lush foliage and two stunning waterfalls. It’s the perfect spot to take in Colorado’s natural beauty.
2. Mount Sanitas: This popular 3-mile climb takes hikers up a steep route filled with rocky switchbacks, offering breathtaking views of Boulder Valley once you reach the top.
3. Roxborough State Park: Just southwest of Denver lies this picturesque park with moderate trails for all skill levels, making it ideal for families looking for an easy hike with plenty of photo ops along the way.
4. Cheyenne Mountain State Park: Named after the Native American tribe that inhabited nearby lands centuries ago, this park offers several trails ranging from 1 mile to 8 miles in length. You’ll be able to explore meadows, ponds, and woodlands while marvelling at panoramic views of surrounding mountain ranges and Pikes Peak.
5. Golden Gate Canyon State Park: This 12,000-acre park is full of trails for all skill levels—from easy strolls along well-marked paths to more challenging treks that traverse rugged terrain. Trails offer views of meadows, forests, aspen groves, and streams throughout your journey.
6. The Devil’s Head Lookout Hike: This short but strenuous 2-mile loop culminates at the Devil’s Head Lookout Fire Tower, where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping 360-degree views from 9500 feet in elevation above the Pike National Forest below.
7 . Mount Falcon Open Space Park Trail System: Meander through meadows filled with wildflowers or take winding trails through dense pine forests while exploring this nearly 3000-acre open space park located just west of Denver. With over 35 miles of trails to choose from there is something for everyone here!
8 . Castlewood Canyon State Park : Explore limestone canyons carved out by Cherry Creek over millions of years on this picturesque 5 mile trail located 30 minutes south of Denver . Waterfalls , deep gorges , ancient Native American cliff dwellings , and stunning rock formations await those brave enough to venture through this undiscovered gem!
9. South Table Mountain Parks Trails : A short drive from Denver , these two parks feature moderately difficult trails that will reward you with a peaceful outdoor experience away from city life . Keep an eye out for deer , hawks , eagles , elk , foxes , and other wildlife while enjoying expansive views across Clear Creek Valley !
10 . Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve : Follow Along paths filled with historical sites such as old homesteads at Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve just outside Golden . Enjoy spectacular overlooks as you ascend 600 feet up Lookout Mountain before reaching Windy Saddle where 360 degree vistas await !
Colorado is a paradise for those who love to hike and trek. The Rocky Mountains offer some of the best hiking experiences in the country, with trails ranging from easy to challenging. Popular hiking destinations include Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, San Isabel National Forest, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and more. Each destination offers its own unique scenery and terrain, ranging from high alpine meadows with abundant wildflowers to stunning vistas from 14-ers (peaks over 14,000 feet). Hikers can also find a variety of wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats while trekking through the Colorado wilderness. Additionally, Colorado offers numerous outdoor activities that pair perfectly with your hike such as camping, fishing, rafting and more! Whether you’re looking for a short day hike or an extended backpacking trip, Colorado has something for everyone.
The best time to go hiking in Colorado is typically from late spring to early autumn. Generally speaking, the months of May, June, July and August are the most popular times for hiking in the state. During this period, temperatures are generally mild, and the snow cover has melted away exposing lush terrain for hikers to traverse. The average day temperature during these months can range from 50-80°F (10-26°C), making them ideal for outdoor recreation. Additionally, many of Colorado’s high alpine trails open up during this period after being covered by several feet of snow. This is when wildflowers start to bloom and streams start rushing; making it a perfect time for nature lovers to explore and embark on scenic hikes!
Colorado is home to some of the best mountain hiking in the world. The Rocky Mountains dominate the landscape with their snow-capped peaks and rugged terrain providing plenty of challenge and adventure for hikers. Denver, in particular, is renowned for its close proximity to the mountains and its selection of trails to suit all levels. Some of the top hikes around Denver include Mount Evans, Mount Bierstadt, and Quandary Peak while nearby Boulder boasts Royal Arch, Bear Peak, and Green Mountain as some of its more challenging trails. For those looking to push themselves further afield, there are stunning routes like Maroon Bells near Aspen or Longs Peak in Estes Park that offer incredible views and unforgettable experiences. Join us on a MULTI DAY TRIP