Are you new to Denver? Looking for a quick hike near the city? Start here, and get outside!
These 9 great hikes near Denver cover different towns, terrains, and difficulty.
1. Chimney Gulch – Golden, CO
This hike offers a steep start, but great views midway through your climb up to Lookout Mountain. While rattlesnakes are worth keeping an eye on during the warm months, great proximity to Golden affords you the opportunity for a fantastic post-hike beer or meal. Look out for paragliders!
2. Green Mountain – Lakewood, CO
This hike is probably the most “urban” on the list, but it’s proximity to the city makes it a favorite for hikers and mountain bikers alike. There is a lot of sun exposure, but the trails are relatively easy by Colorado standards. This might be the quickest path to a summit in the Denver-metro area. Excellent for full moon hikes!
3. Mt. Falcon – Morrison, CO
You can approach Mt. Falcon from the East or the West. If you start on the East side of the mountain near Morrison, you’ll have the benefits of a shorter drive time. If you start from the West side, you’ll cut out a lot of the climbing. Bonus: this is one of 2 hikes on the list with a castle!
4. Trading Post Trail/Red Rocks – Morrison, CO
Red Rocks offers some of the best near-Denver hiking options. Check the show schedule before you head out, but the views are great, and on non-event days parking is plentiful. These trails connect with Matthews/Winters Park, and a plethora of other trail networks, which can make for a hike as long as you’d like to make it.
5. Waterton Canyon – Littleton, CO
Waterton Canyon boasts the start/end of The Colorado Trail (depending on which end you begin!) This is an extremely moderate trail, and paved in some sections. Also, this is the only hike on the list where dogs are not allowed. Otherwise, this hike offers great views, and a great opportunity to view some wildlife.
Another installment to the Golden hiking collection, North Table offers a relatively short/steep climb, and then levels off to offer an easy stroll with some great views of Golden and Denver. You may see some climbers along the way. Rattlesnakes can be pervasive, so please keep the pup on a leash.
7. Centennial Cone – Golden, CO
This hike is located in between Golden and Idaho Springs. As a moderate trail, it affords some world-class Colorado views at the top. The entire loop is approximately 12 miles, which makes it a favorite among the mountain bike community. NOTE: Because of the traffic and multi-use nature of this trail, it has an alternative hike/bike schedule on the weekends. Check the JeffCo parks website for details.
8. Lair o’ the Bear – Morrison, CO
Another castle? This one is still an active residence, but makes for an interesting site along the creek. This hike offers great views, and is a little more off-the-beaten-path than some of the other hikes on the list. Stop in Morrison for dinner on the way home.
9. Chautauqua Park – Boulder, CO
This truly is the place to start. Now that construction on 36 is nearing completion, the drive to Boulder is more palatable. This trail network is extensive, and a big reason that Boulder is the trail running mecca of the United States. You can get just about any hike that you’re looking for in this park. Crowds and parking can be obtrusive on the weekends, but the variability of the trail offerings is hard to match.