There’s a small parking lot right by the trailhead. Many of the hikes near Denver listed here are inside parks, be it city, like Chautauqua Park in downtown Boulder, or national and legendary, like Rocky Mountain National Park about 90 minutes northwest of Denver. Dog-Friendly:... 2. While the hike is relatively on the shorter side, the elevation gain of nearly 2,000 feet makes the hiking difficult. When hiking, especially if you’re climbing a 14er, go slow, take deep breaths when needed, and drink plenty of water. Dogs are allowed in Staunton State Park as long as they’re leashed. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Colorado 14ers. The 7.9 mile round-trip hike takes you up to 13,233 feet with an elevation gain of 2,789 feet. But if you want a slightly easier hike, ascend the Red Rocks Trail, then descend the Morrison Slide Trail. You can also take a secondary loop around the base of the rock itself. The Lookout Mountain Trail will take you to the top of the mountain to — you guessed it — look out over the mountainous surroundings. Elevation gain: 650 feet. These include Elk Meadows Park, Glendale Open Space Park, and Cherry Creek State Park, to name a few. While there are some rocky sections of trail, the trail climbs gradually, making for a not too difficult hike. Difficulty: Moderate The Davis Ponds Loop trail is another option that is much less intense and perfect for families. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike — looking at all the beautiful lakes will surely make you thirsty. Sugarloaf Mountain is this tall little bald rocky mountain that sits about 30 minutes west of Boulder. If you visit during the off-season, you can use the winter hiking trail for a snowshoe or nordic ski option. It is wide and flat, and there is a picnic area here as well. Sure, this trail is close enough to make a day trip. We’d recommend good hiking shoes and hiking poles. After approximately 1.5 miles, turn left (south) onto 21st Street, and then shortly thereafter, right (west) onto Lower Gold Camp Road. The trail is part of the Round Mountain National Recreation Trail system that includes the Foothills Nature Trail, which is only a mile long and perfect for kids. For something more intense try the six-mile Red Rocks trail. The city is named for the massive rock formation resembling a castle at its edge. If all else fails, there is also limited street parking available. If that lot is full, you can park in the other many Red Rocks lots. Dogs are allowed, but they need to be leashed. Just climbing the steps from the stage to the top a few times is quite a workout, and the views are amazing. When the parking lot is full, they will turn you away. The view from the top is beautiful, however, with panoramic mountain vistas, as well as Denver and Golden spread out below. However, Colorado is home to many open space dog parks. Distance: 2.5 miles Here are some of the best short day hikes near Denver, CO, in no particular order: ... it also boasts some of the Front Range’s best day-hiking options near Denver. You should get a parking spot, plus you’ll beat the intense afternoon sun’s rays. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as the majority of the trail is directly in the sun. Boulder has great hiking in the early spring. The main symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. Or, if you have a Colorado State Park Pass, you won’t need to pay the day-use fee. Located near the eastern base of the Rocky Mountain, Denver is home to some incredible hiking destinations. Now for the intense stuff. There aren’t many trails where dogs are allowed to be unleashed. So if you find yourself wanting to cut it short, you can easily turn around at any point. Keep an eye out for wildlife — maybe you’ll see a wild turkey or, as the name suggests, a mule deer! If you want to experience the beauty of Colorado aspen trees in the autumn and the serenity of this open space in any season, this trail takes you through dense pine forests and open meadows of this state park. You can even find some waterfalls hikes by Denver. There are numerous restrooms at each parking lot. As a 14er, Longs Peak comes with its own set of risks and should never be taken lightly. And these cater to all styles of outdoor enthusiasts-from families with small children looking for an easy loop to more adventurous types hoping to challenge themselves on steep and rocky high alpine terrain. It also has some great spots to stop for a picnic lunch along the way. Along the way, kids can even learn to fish in the ponds you pass. With beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and many trails within easy driving distance, there’s no shortage of great hikes near Denver to explore. Location: Staunton State Park If you want to stop at 2 miles, you can make your final destination Dream Lake. And, sure, you can see a lot of gorgeous views from the comfort of your vehicle, but there’s nothing like experiencing the Colorado wilderness on foot. Location: Red Rocks Mountain Park The best way to avoid altitude sickness is by allowing your body to acclimatize as you gain elevation. Distance:  14.5-mile out-and-back Drive time: 50 minutes from Denver Distance:  9.7-mile out-and-back Note: Due to COVID-19, there may be additional closures, regulations, or reduced amenities. To hike, you need to set out around 3am so you avoid late afternoon thunderstorms that can be deadly. https://www.jeffco.us/1332/Mount-Falcon-Park. One of the best places to hike near Denver, in my opinion, is the city of Boulder. The 10 Best Hiking Trails Near Denver 10. Take the distance that it takes to walk from the lot to the trailhead into account. Drive time: 45 minutes from Denver A free shuttle bus runs from the parking lot to the Bear Lake trailhead during the summer. We asked five pros how they made it work and what it takes to make a living in the outdoor industry "in real life.". The day-use fee to get into Eldorado Canyon State Park is $10 per vehicle fee, payable in cash or by card. This hike gives you not only breathtaking views of the Rockies to the west but... Upper Mule Deer Trail. It’s less crowded than most trails at Staunton, making for a peaceful yet challenging hike near Denver. For starters, you’ll need a first-aid kit, a headlamp, a trail map, hiking shoes, and plenty of food and water in order to successfully bag your first 14er. The climb to the top of Longs Peak is certainly one of the best “hikes” near Denver and arguably one of the most gratifying in the state. The overall verdict from those who have hiked this trail is that the first half is stunning while the second half is just alright. Elevation gain: 3,684 feet. If your dog is as fit as you are, go ahead and bring your best companion along for the hike — as long as they’re leashed. This hike begins at the Grays Peak Trailhead. Joybeth is a brand new resident of Denver, Colorado, recently graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in English and Entertainment & Media Studies. Pack your lunch and enough water so that you can stop at the falls in the middle of your hike and enjoy your surroundings. While there are no restrooms right by the trailhead, you can drive to the Red Rocks Amphitheater to use the restroom if needed. If you don’t have access to a car, Boulder is easily reached by public transit. After the hike, you can treat the little ones or yourself to ice-cream in downtown Golden. But when you reach the summit, you are in for absolutely stunning views across the Front Range. It also forms a loop and offers great views. View of the Flatirons from Chautauqua Park. Before or after your hike, you can take a walk through the quaint town of Eldorado Springs. While Red Rocks Park is best known for its world-famous amphitheater nestled between 300-foot-high rock formations, the 640-acre Denver mountain park also … The trail is best between April and October. © Copyright 2021 GearJunkie, All Rights Reserved, Multiple Skiers Injured, 1 Severely, After 2 Chairlifts Fall in a Month, Copper Mountain Expands Uphill Ski Program, The Bestselling Gear at Backcountry This Week, Waterproof Cushion and Flair: HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX Review, Playful, Aggressive, Yet Affordable AF: Ibis Ripley AF Review, Watch: Pro Skiers Surf the Season's Last Pow on Epic Road Trip, Action Filmmaking: Watch This Skier Make It Big, Watch: An Unconventional Bass Fishing Jig With Unlikely Beginnings, Fishing for Lines: Icelandic Snowboarder Pursues Passions by Sea and Summit, Ride Home: Lael Wilcox Closes in on One of Her Most Hallowed Objectives, The Bestselling Gear at Competitive Cyclist This Week, Today's Bargains: 3 Deals on Pants for Men & Women. There is also plenty of shade along the way, and you'll pass a few parks that are perfect for a picnic lunch. Distance: 7.5 miles out-and-back You’ll start this hike through meadows and wildflowers, traveling alongside a stream. If your car isn’t capable, you’ll need to park in the lower lot, which will add 3 miles to your hike. The Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks is short, sweet, and easy, covering a 1.4-mile loop. We've also listed a few stand-alone hiking trails we love for you to check out. Difficulty: Easy Hiking trail in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. The Best Day Hikes Near Denver to Avoid Crowds Sleepy Lion Trail from Button Rock Preserve. Difficulty: Hard There are restrooms and drinking water fountains at the Windy Saddle Trailhead and parking lot. Brainard Lake Recreation Area (Indian Peaks Wilderness), August 4th Is Now ‘Great American Outdoors Day’: NPS Announces Free Park Holiday, 14 Himalayan Hikes You Have to Experience. Elevation gain: 1,954 feet. Difficulty: moderate/difficult Nearby Evergreen is a great place to start when navigating the best family hikes near Denver! Most people know of Red Rocks for its iconic outdoor concert venue. Boulder, Colorado boasts hiking trails that start right in town at Chautauqua Park. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. First and Second Flat Iron For a slightly less intense hike, try the Enchanted Mesa Loop trail, which also features gorgeous mountain views and takes you through a variety of different terrain, including pine forest. Take the distance that it takes to walk from the lot to the trailhead into account. Lake Isabelle Trail is located near Nederland, Colorado, a small mountain town with a population of fewer than 2,000 people, that has numerous options for good food and coffee after your hike. It is a strenuous hike that includes lots of zigzags, as well as stream crossings, as the trail makes its way to the summit of Lookout Mountain-it joins up with the Beaver Brook and Lookout Mountain Trails to do so. Even better, it’s only a 25-minute drive from Denver. Typically, the more difficult hikes are farther away from Denver. If you’ve ever taken a day trip from Denver to Estes Park, you have driven... Centennial Cone Trail from Camino Perdido. Who says you need an entire day to get out into the mountains? You’ll find detailed information about each trail, including the location, difficulty, mileage and any red tape. No matter which way you choose to hike this loop, be sure to stop at the many overlooks to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Ll want some good quality hiking shoes and hiking poles the many famous Colorado 14ers point customize. Looking for a picnic lunch along the upper Mule Deer trail the two Peaks are.. 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