To us, nothing goes together quite as well as a good hike and a great beer. Last year we created a list of our favorite combos near Denver, and we decided it was time to do some more recon. There are SO many new breweries popping up along the Front Range, so we did our homework, hiked some trails and drank some beer to create this year’s edition: Views and Brews 2.0.
Here is our go-to list of quick day hikes that are a short distance from one of Colorado’s must-visit breweries. Hit the trail, grab a brew, tip your bartender. That’s what we call a full day.
1. North Table Mountain Park | New Terrain Brewing Company – Golden, CO
The hike: North Table is one of the first trails to dry out in the spring time. It offers a big, rolling loop at the base of the mesa with options to climb to the top for some of the best views in the Front Range. View the city of Golden down below, the Coors Brewing plant and mountain views as far as the eye can see. This is a great place for a sunset hike and full moon viewing. The entire mountain park is exposed, so pack your sunscreen!
The brewery: New kids on the block, New Terrain Brewery, offers easy trail access to North Table Mountain from the east side of the park, ample patio space and always fresh and exciting beer styles. Try the Hoppatropica for a refreshing take on the IPA.
2. Green Mountain/Gregory Canyon | Walnut Brewery – Boulder, CO
The hike: Boulder is ripe with trails. To pick a favorite would be to pick a favorite child, and we simply cannot be responsible for such decisions. For this choice, we’re going with Green Mountain because it’s beautiful, forested, offers insane views of Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park and gives you tons of options to explore. Boulder’s trail network is extensive, so you can go as far as you’d like here. Enjoy!
The brewery: Boulder’s original brewpub, Walnut Brewery, has a full food menu so everyone’s happy and fed. Don’t leave without sampling their seasonal brews!
3. Chicago Lakes | Westbound and Down Brewing Company – Idaho Springs, CO
The hike: Chicago Lakes is a seasonal favorite for many. The trailhead at Echo Lake may be packed because it has fishing, camping, and family picnic areas, but don’t fret. Once you’re an hour or so off the main drag, you’ll have this pristine wilderness area to yourself. Chicago Lakes trail is awesome year-round, but the views of Mt. Evans in the summer months cannot be beat. Don’t forget to pack your fishing pole!
The brewery: Westbound and Down is a great pit-stop along the I-70 commute home from any weekend adventure. They share space with The Buffalo restaurant to serve up some tasty post-hike treats. Grab a growler for home!
4. Deer Creek Canyon | Grist Brewing Company – Littleton, CO
The hike: Deer Creek Canyon is a hiker’s dream. From short trails, to long trails, from easy loops to strenuous loops, from dense forest to exposed ridges, Deer Creek has a little bit of everything. There are a few hiker-only trails here, so this is also a great option for kids and dogs. There is ample parking, clean bathrooms and picnic areas at the trailhead.
The brewery: Grist takes a “science balanced with creativity” approach to many of their beers. Don’t worry, they’re all easy drinking and approachable. Near the Platte River Trail in Littleton, Grist is easy to find, and easy to love, but hard to leave.
5. Red Rock Canyon | Manitou Brewing – Manitou, CO
The hike: Red Rock Canyon offers a ton of options when it comes to hiking near Colorado Springs. There are two off-leash dog trail systems, over 80 official climbing routes in the park, and is prime recreating space year-round. Trails range from easy to difficult in ability, which makes it ideal for everyone. Hikers, bikers, climbers, kids and dogs will have fun here.
The brewery: Manitou Brewing is the only craft beer joint in historic Manitou and has a great selection of rotating guest taps along with their own wonderful offerings. Try the ‘Wit it and Quit it,” before you go. Pro tip: sit on the patio and share a basket of rosemary, pepper fries!