The best Hikes around Denver Colorado

Denver, the Mile High City, with a backdrop formed by the Colorado Rockies, is a premier destination for hikers of all experience levels. Whether walking in one of the many city parks, along their urban trails, or going on an excursion into the foothills or mountains there are miles of trails and the scenery is beyond breathtaking. With over 350area parks and parkways, covering over 4,000 acres, there are many places to walk, hike, and bike. Maps can be obtained through the Denver Visitor Center in the 16th St Mall.

Urban Hikes

Along with the many park trails, the Plan-It Denver team of the City’s Leadership Enhancement and Development program has, in cooperation with other groups and residents of Denver, mapped out 5 walking tours of Denver. Three are moderate and two are rated easy and they range from 1.6 to 3.5 miles and take in some of the most popular areas of the city such as, the Aquarium, Denver Skate Park, Coors Field, Union Station, the Children’s Museum, Skyline Park, the Denver Art Museum, and the Denver Public Library.

There are also over 85 miles of urban trails throughout Denver. They twist, turn, meet, and meander mostly along creeks, canals, and gulches in Denver and into the surrounding suburbs. They are well marked and Google mapped for the most part. There are a few exceptions. It is recommended that you obtain a map from the Visitor Center or online.

Outside of Denver

The Colorado State Parks website has a listing for all the parks; their trails, descriptions, and accessibility. These are well marked and maintained, family-friendly trails and there is always a ranger close by if you need anything.

Just over 21 miles south of Denver is the Roxborough State Park with over 10 miles of day-use trails winding through red rock formations and the Dakota Hogback. Trails are rated easy to moderate.

To the west about 17 miles is the Golden Gate Canyon State Park. There you can enjoy 12 trails that cover over 35 miles of breathtaking scenery. Most of their trails are rated moderate to most difficult. Hikers to this area should have some experience.

For a little easier time and ADA access the is Eldorado State Park 20 miles northwest of Denver. There are spectacular views of the canyon along Fowler Trail which is an easy walk and wheelchair accessible. The Eldorado Canyon Trail is moderate to difficult, but well worth the effort for the view. Rattlesnake Gulch Trail will take you to the ruins of a turn-of-the-century hotel that burned down in 1913.

Backcountry Backpacking

Just over 43 miles northwest of Denver is one of the most majestic National Parks in this beautiful country, Rocky Mountain National Park. There are 355 miles of trails ranging from three trails that are wheelchair accessible to the Longs Peak ascent which for most of the year requires technical climbing equipment, but from July 14 to September 15 it is considered a non-technical hiking path. Eight miles one-way with an elevation gain of 4,850 feet this is considered to be an extremely challenging hike.

South and east of Rocky Mountain National Park is the Roosevelt National Forest. Rising up to the peaks of the Continental Divide is some of the most spectacular wilderness anywhere. From glacial formations to volcanic eruptions, wild animals and mountain sunsets there is beauty and grandeur everywhere you look. There are numerous trails and forest roads for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The Indian Peaks Wilderness area is nestled between Roosevelt and the western Arapaho National Forest and straddles the Continental Divide. With elevations topping 13,500 feet, be sure you are in good shape before attempting most of the trails. There are 28 trails that cover over 133 miles of rugged wilderness.