Hiking in Denver: Discover the City's Scenic Trails
Introduction: Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its picturesque landscapes, diverse trail systems, and pleasant climate, it's no surprise that walking, hiking, and running are popular activities among locals and visitors alike. In this article, we'll explore the top 10 places for hiking in Denver, where you can enjoy the great outdoors while staying active, healthy and making great use of your activity tracker.
- Washington Park: Washington Park, often referred to as "Wash Park," spans 165 acres in the heart of Denver. The park is known for its two scenic lakes, Smith Lake and Grasmere Lake, which are surrounded by a 2.6-mile loop that's perfect for walking or running. Within the park, you'll also find beautiful flower gardens, expansive lawns, playgrounds, and sports facilities, making it an ideal destination for families and fitness enthusiasts alike. The park's diverse flora attracts a variety of birds, providing excellent bird-watching opportunities for nature lovers.
- Cherry Creek Trail: The Cherry Creek Trail is a 42-mile-long paved path that meanders through Denver, offering a fantastic route for walking, running, and biking. The trail begins at Confluence Park, where Cherry Creek meets the South Platte River, and continues southeast through urban landscapes, residential neighborhoods, and natural areas. Along the way, you'll pass numerous parks, public art installations, and historic sites, providing plenty of opportunities to stop and explore. With its flat terrain and well-maintained surface, the Cherry Creek Trail is accessible to people of all fitness levels.
- City Park: City Park is Denver's largest and most iconic park, encompassing 330 acres of lush green space. The park offers stunning views of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains, making it a favorite destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts. With numerous trails and a 3.1-mile loop around Ferril Lake, you can enjoy a leisurely walk or an invigorating run. The park also features the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, playgrounds, and sports facilities, ensuring a fun-filled day for the whole family.
- High Line Canal Trail: Stretching over 70 miles, the High Line Canal Trail is one of the longest urban trails in the United States. The trail follows the historic High Line Canal, which was constructed in the 19th century to transport water from the South Platte River to the eastern plains. Today, the mostly flat, gravel path meanders through a diverse array of landscapes, including parks, golf courses, residential neighborhoods, and open spaces. The trail is home to an abundance of wildlife, such as deer, foxes, and more than 200 species of birds, providing a unique opportunity to connect with nature in the heart of the city.
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre: Red Rocks Park, located just outside of Denver, is a must-visit destination for its unique geological features, breathtaking vistas, and world-famous amphitheater. The park boasts a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy strolls along the Trading Post Trail to the challenging Morrison Slide Trail. As you traverse the park's trails, you'll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the towering red sandstone formations and the surrounding mountains. After working up a sweat on the trails, you can catch a concert or a film at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is renowned for its unparalleled acoustics and stunning natural backdrop.
- Mount Falcon Park: Mount Falcon Park, situated in the foothills just west of Denver, offers a variety of trails with spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountains. The park's diverse trail system caters to all skill levels, from the gentle Castle Trail to the more challenging Turkey Trot Trail. As you explore the park, you'll encounter remnants of historic structures, such as the ruins of John Brisben Walker's early 20th-century mansion and the cornerstone of a proposed summer White House for U.S. presidents. Mount Falcon Park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, making it a great destination for wildlife watching and nature photography.
- Green Mountain: Green Mountain, located just west of Denver, offers a network of trails suitable for various fitness levels. The park's trails range from the easy Rooney Valley Trail to the more strenuous Green Mountain Trail, which offers a challenging ascent to the summit. From the top of Green Mountain, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Denver skyline, the Rocky Mountains, and the surrounding foothills. The park's diverse ecosystem supports an abundance of plant and animal species, providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature appreciation. Using an activity tracker while exploring Green Mountain can help you track your progress and set goals for elevation gain, distance, or time.
- Bear Creek Lake Park: Bear Creek Lake Park, nestled in the foothills southwest of Denver, boasts a scenic landscape of rolling hills, dense forests, and sparkling lakes. The park offers over 20 miles of multi-use trails suitable for walking, hiking, and running. The trails vary in difficulty, from the easy Meadowlark Trail to the more challenging Mount Carbon Loop. Along the way, you'll encounter a diverse array of flora and fauna, as well as picturesque picnic spots and viewpoints. In addition to its extensive trail system, Bear Creek Lake Park also offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and birdwatching.
- Sloan's Lake Park: Sloan's Lake Park is Denver's second-largest park, encompassing 177 acres around a beautiful, 174-acre lake. The park offers a 2.6-mile paved path that circles the lake, providing a flat and accessible route for walking, running, and biking. With its stunning views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, Sloan's Lake Park is a favorite destination for photographers and nature lovers. The park also features playgrounds, sports facilities, and a boathouse, making it a popular spot for family outings and community events.
- Bluffs Regional Park Bluffs: Regional Park, located just south of Denver in the suburb of Lone Tree, offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park's 3.5-mile loop trail meanders through grasslands and ponderosa pine forests, providing sweeping views of the Front Range and downtown Denver. The trail is well-maintained and relatively flat, making it suitable for walkers, hikers, and runners of all skill levels. Bluffs Regional Park is also home to an array of wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, and a variety of bird species.
From tranquil lakeside paths to challenging mountain trails, Denver offers a wealth of scenic destinations for walking, hiking, and running. Whether you're a casual walker or a seasoned trail runner, there's something for everyone in the Mile High City. Don't forget to wear your favorite activity tracker, to help you monitor your progress and stay motivated as you explore Denver's great outdoors. Our breathable bands for Fitbit, Garmin or Samsung will keep you cool and comfortable on your hike or run!