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20 Best Hikes in Denver for Epic Views (From a Local)

20 Best Hikes in Denver for Epic Views (From a Local)

Visiting Denver? The Mile High City is fantastic, and it has so much to offer its residents and visitors. It’s easy to get swept away by all of our museums, sporting events, breweries, restaurants, parks, and historical sites, but you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t make time to take a hike during your stay.

After all, the Rocky Mountains are what Colorado is all about, and they’re right there. They may look far from downtown when you’re in the thick of the city, but I assure you – they’re not!

The foothills are just twenty minutes from Denver proper, and you can feel very deep in the mountains if you go a little further. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can be in the woods if you put in even minimal effort. You don’t have to go to Rocky Mountain National Park or deep into the high peaks to enjoy epic views on incredible hikes.

You’ll find plenty of fantastic day hikes near Denver for you to enjoy during your visit – and if you’re without a rental car, you’ll find that many of the closest trailheads are even accessible by taxi or ride-share.

I’ve lived in Denver for over a decade, and I love getting into nature and the mountains whenever possible. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Denver, and I know I’m not alone.

Here, I’ve put together a list for you of hikes near Denver with epic views. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in and around the city, and so many of them will blow you away.

You can enjoy views of the mountains, the city, the plains, rock formations, and more just minutes from your hotel or vacation rental. These memories will stay with you forever, and you’ll head home with dozens of incredible photos to show your friends.

TL;DR

Category Trail
Best Hike for Families Coyote Song Trail
Best View Lake Isabelle via Pawnee Pass Trail
Most Scenic Hike Chicago Lakes Trail
Most Challenging Hike Gray’s and Torrey’s Peak
Best Quick Hike Red Rocks Trading Post Trail

Best Hikes In Denver & The Suburbs

1. South Platte River Trail

View of South Platte River Trail in Confluence Park, Denver, Colorado
BLAZE Pro / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Various
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance (Point to Point): 11.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 111 feet

The mountains are calling – and like I said, they’re super close – but if your schedule during your time in Denver is packed, then you may not have time to get up there to even the closest mountain trails. Though not all is lost, the South Platte River Trail runs right through the city, and it’s an easy alternative for city-bound travelers.

As the name suggests, the South Platte River Trail runs along the South Platte River – for 11.7 miles, so you can hop on it anywhere from Vanderbilt Park in Denver to Chatfield State Park in Littleton. If you’re keen on walking the whole thing, it will take about three and a half hours, but even a little bit is enough to give you a taste of this lovely urban trail.

It’s paved all the way, and it’s almost entirely flat. You’ll find many Denver locals using this trail for exercise, too!

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Denver? Things to Know

2. Colorado Front Range Trail

Colorado Front Range View and mountain range
Charles Goudy / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Various
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance (Point to Point): 800 miles
  • Elevation Gain: Various feet

The Colorado Front Range Trail is an 800-mile-long trail that is currently in development, but it also already exists – in pieces. This trail will eventually go from Wyoming to New Mexico across Colorado from north to south, passing through 15 cities, 14 counties, and many smaller towns.

The project was approved in 2003, and since then, 300 miles have been completed. Cities and towns are working to connect existing trails – like the South Platte River Trail – to other existing trails to create a contiguous trail that goes all the way.

Much of the existing portion of this trail is paved; other sections are gravel. A lot of it is flat, and bicyclists are expected to use the completed trail just as much as hikers. Since this route will pass through cities like Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Longmont, Greeley, and Fort Collins, the mountains’ views will be spectacular.

It’ll be quite a while before this trail is completed end-to-end, but if you hike some of it now, it’ll be fun to do the rest of it sometime in the future.

3. North Table Mountain Park

North Table Mountain Trail Golden in Colorado
Nina B/ Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: North Table Loop Trailhead
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Loop): 6.0 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,023 feet

North Table Mountain is a very cool mesa that overlooks the town of Golden and separates Golden from Denver. Although you’ll pass through heavily residential areas on the way to the park, the mountain itself is all park and is a protected area. The top of Table Mountain is 6,555 feet, and there are several beautiful hikes in this area – all rated moderate or difficult.

Perhaps the best of the bunch of the North Table Mountain Park trails and the most inclusive is the North Table Mountain/Cottonwood Canyon/Mesa Trail, a six-mile loop of a collection of trails in this park. If you have three hours to tackle this moderate hike, you’ll see all sorts of beauty.

You’ll see excellent views of Golden, the bigger mountains across the way, and Denver. You’ll pass by beautiful rock formations and walk through a canyon.

You’ll experience 1,023 feet of elevation gain along the way, and in warmer weather, be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. This trail has it all if you’re up to it, and if you start early, you can be back by your hotel by lunchtime.

See Related: Things to Do in Colorado & Places to Visit

4. Red Rocks Mountain Park/Trading Post Trail

Trading post trail at red rocks
Demi / Adobe Stock
  • Trailhead: Red Rocks Trading Post
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Loop): 1.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 357 feet

No trip to Colorado is complete without a trip to Red Rocks Park. Of course, it’s wonderful to see a concert at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater if you’re able, but it’s still possible to immensely enjoy this extraordinary place without seeing a show. The park around Red Rocks Amphitheater is spectacular, and the trails within Red Rocks Park will take your breath away.

There are several trails in Red Rocks Park, but the most iconic trail is the Red Rocks Trading Post Trail. This trail is only a mile and a half long and will take you under an hour to complete, so you can easily knock it out between the other Denver-based activities you have planned.

The Trading Post Trail loop starts and ends at the Red Rocks Trading Post, so you can take it clockwise or counter-clockwise; both directions will take you through the towering red rock formations and up and down several sets of stairs.

There’s not much shade, so be sure to bring lots of water. If you want to take a peek inside the venue, it’s open to the public until 1:00 p.m. on event days and until dusk on days without concerts.

5. Clear Creek Trail

Clear Creek Trail in Golden Colorado.
Links Productions / Adobe Stock
  • Trailhead: Various
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance (Point to Point): 19.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 223 feet

The Clear Creek Trail starts along Clear Creek in Golden and goes to Westminster, 19 miles away. This flat, paved trail is simply lovely, and you’ll love walking along any part of it. It’s accessible to walkers, runners, bikers, wheelchairs, strollers, and dogs, so you’ll likely have much company no matter where you pick it up.

Still, this trail weaves through some beautiful, wooded areas in the Denver suburbs, and it will give you a good taste of what urban trails in the Denver metro are like and what this area may have looked like before it became so heavily populated and suburban.

Read Also: Cabin Rentals Near Denver

North of Denver

6. The Boulder Mesa Trail

Boulder Mesa Trail in Boulder, Colorado
FueledByMatcha / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Chautauqua Trailhead
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Distance (Loop): 12.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,208 feet

If you’re eager to get close to the famous Boulder Flatirons, then the Boulder Mesa Trail that starts in Boulder’s Chautauqua Park is a superb option. This trail is not an easy one in any way – it’s steep, long, busy, and even hard to find parking most days, but you’ll find it quite worth it anyway.

The entire trail is almost 13 miles long and will take even very fit hikers most of the day to complete; it’s technically a loop trail, but there is some out-and-back on it, too. Along the way, you’ll gain over 2,200 feet of elevation.

Still, even though this is a very challenging hike, you’ll love the views of Boulder, the mountains, and the unique Flatirons red rock formations, and you’ll be enthralled by the wildflowers you get to wander through along the way.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Boulder, Colorado

7. Royal Arch Trail

Royal Arch Trail Near Boulder, Colorado
Steve Boice / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Chautauqua Trailhead
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Distance (Out & Back): 3.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,469 feet

Can’t get enough of the Flatirons? They are pretty special, indeed. If you want to see them up close, then you’ll love the Royal Arch Trail.

Like the Boulder Mesa Trail described above, this hike departs from the Chautauqua Park Trailhead in Boulder. It’s shorter at just 3.4 miles out-and-back, and you’ll “only” have to deal with 1,469 feet of elevation gain along the way.

This trail is extremely popular with visitors and locals, so expect some trail traffic, but this trail is not to be missed. Walking through thick pine forest and up what will feel like a million flagstone stairs will lead you to a view that will blow you away and stay with you forever. This trail is the stuff that dreams are made of, and you’ll love it – despite all the hard work it entails!

8. Brainard Lake Recreation Area/Lake Isabelle via Pawnee Pass Trail

Pawnee Pass Trail in Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
Sean Xu / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Brainard Lake Recreation Area
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Loop): 6.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 672 feet

Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a very popular hiking destination northwest of Denver, and with good reason – it’s incredible. This recreation area is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and offers some of the most scenic hiking trails in the entire state.

Because of its popularity, you’ll have to pre-book parking for this spot on Recreation.gov, but as long as you plan, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a reservation.

All the trails in Brainard Lake Recreation Area are spectacular and worth trying; they’re all rated extremely high by hikers from all over the nation and the world.

It’s hard to narrow it down to the best of the bunch, but the Lake Isabelle via Pawnee Pass Trail is a great place to start. This 6.6-mile loop trail is rated moderate; there are only 672 feet of elevation gain along the way.

You’ll see lakes, streams, waterfalls, mountains, snow, wildflowers, and wildlife as you hike. This hike has everything and offers the best of Colorado in a two-and-a-half-hour adventure.

West of Denver

9. Mount Falcon Castle Trail Loop

Mount Falcon Castle Loop in Colorado
Becca in Colorado / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Mount Falcon Park
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance (Loop): 2.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 259 feet

Mount Falcon Park is a lovely park not far from the city and suburbs, but far enough that you’ll feel like you’ve stepped deep into the mountains despite the short drive. This 2,252-acre park has 16 trails that cover 12.2 miles, and there is something for every skill level among them.

The moderate-rated Mount Falcon Castle Trail is one of the park’s most popular at 7.4 miles in length, but if you’re looking for an easier trail that still is on part of it, the Castle Trail to Meadow Loop Trail in Mount Falcon Park is only 2.2 miles long and will take you only an hour to complete.

It’s reasonably flat, but it offers incredible mountain views. There’s some shade but not a lot, so keep that in mind, though – you’ll want to start early and bring water with you. You can also check out the ruins of a house from 1909 along the way.

If you’d rather explore Mount Falcon Park with a guide, perhaps you’d like to try this excursion: Falcon Mountain Guided Hike with Views of Red Rocks Park

See Related: Things to Do in Dillon, Colorado

10. Chicago Lakes Trail at Mount Evans

Chicago lakes near Mount Evans Colorado
Nina / Adobe Stock
  • Trailhead: Mount Evans Wilderness
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance (Out & Back): 10.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,257 feet

Many visitors to Colorado drive to the top of Mount Evans during their stay. After all, the road to the top is the highest in North America, and the parking lot is at 14,130 feet.

Like with Brainard Lake Recreation Area, you’ll need to make a reservation on Recreation.gov to get up there, and it’s only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day annually. On your way up, stop at the Summit Lake parking area at 12,830′ and hike to the Chicago Lakes on the Chicago Lakes Trail!

This high-elevation trail is 10.6 miles out and back, and you’ll gain 3,257 feet of elevation along the way. This is not easy and is not for the faint of heart. Even experienced hikers may struggle on this route – take it easy if you’re not acclimated or not familiar with high-elevation hiking.

This is one of the most challenging hikes on our list. But the payoff is huge. Chicago Creek and the Chicago Lakes are beautiful, and this is a hike that you’ll remember forever.

11. Evergreen Mountain Trail in Alderfer Three Sisters Park

Sunset view in Alderfer Three Sisters Park Colorado
bwolski / Adobe Stock
  • Trailhead: Alderfer Three Sisters Park
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Out & Back): 4.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 816 feet

Alderfer Three Sisters Park is a fantastic mountain park with 26 trails for all and incredible views, lots of wildlife, and plenty of shade all around.

The Evergreen Mountain Trail is a fun, 4.2-mile trail with about 800 feet of gradual elevation gain. It’s an out-and-back trail, so you’ll return the same way you came, but it will feel like an entirely different trail when you marvel at the different vistas in opposite directions.

It’s popular with trail runners and mountain bikers, so stay alert and remember to stay to the side of the trail so they can pass you. This trail is also a bit rocky, so watch your footing.

Overall, though, the Evergreen Mountain Trail is fun, fairly easy, and beautiful, and I think it’s one of the best hikes near Denver for out-of-towners who want to get a good overview of what hiking trails in Colorado have to offer.

See Related: Best Ski Resorts in Colorado

12. Mestaa’Ehehe Pass Trail

Mestaaehehe Pass, formerly known as Squaw Pass, in Colorado during autumn.
Cathy McCray / Flickr
  • Trailhead: Arapaho National Forest
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Out & Back): 2.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 433 feet

The Mestaa’Ehehe Pass Trail is a quick and moderate 2.5-mile, out-and-back trail near the town of Evergreen. Formerly known as Squaw Pass, this pass and mountain were recently renamed something more appropriate.

It’s not very busy and will only take you over an hour to complete. This trail is great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and at any time of the year, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible views of snowcapped peaks that look close enough to reach out and touch.

There’s a fire tower at the top that you can climb for even better views of the surrounding mountains. There’s not a lot of elevation gain on this hike, but you’ll feel super high above everything on it.

Be aware, however, that there’s a shooting range about halfway up; the people shooting are not shooting in your direction, but it may sound like it at times – don’t freak out; just keep going to the top! You’ll be glad that you continued.

13. St. Mary’s Glacier

Saint Mary's Glacier in Colorado Covered in Snow
TaylorLBlake / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Arapaho National Forest
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Out & Back): 1.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 528 feet

Do you want to see a glacier right here in Colorado? Who doesn’t, right? Well, you’d better hurry because glaciers everywhere are melting, but you can check out St. Mary’s Glacier before it’s gone without going more than an hour from Denver.

The trail that leads to it is just 1.6 miles long, and you’ll only have to ascend 528 feet to where you can see it across St. Mary’s Lake. It’s really beautiful, and it’s there all year – for now. The parking lot can get quite busy, so get there early.

Parking also costs $20, so keep those things in mind before you head out that way. But, if you don’t mind paying for parking or battling some other tourists, this hike is worth it.

Stop in quaint and lovely Idaho Springs for lunch on the way back. If you’d rather do this hike with a guide, you might consider this Glacier Hike and Geothermal Cave Pools tour, which also stops at Indian Hot Springs for a dip and includes lunch at local favorite Beau-Jo’s Pizza.

14. Windy Saddle Lookout Mountain Trail

Windy Saddle Trail golden lookout mountain in Colorado
STORM INSIDE PHOTOGRAPHY / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Windy Saddle Open Space
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Out & Back): 4.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 787 feet

Lookout Mountain is a wonderful place to get into the mountains while hardly even leaving the metropolitan area behind. This 7,377-foot foothill is in Lookout Mountain Park in Golden. There’s a nature center that’s worth a visit, and you’ll also be able to check out the exterior of the 1917 mansion built by Denver entrepreneur Charles Boettcher that’s used for events today.

The Windy Saddle Trail is one of several trails in this area that’s worth a closer look. It’s a 4.4-mile out-and-back trail that’s shaded almost all of the way, but at the same time, it offers memorable views of the surrounding mountains. The first mile is a bit of an uphill workout, but then it levels off, so stick with it and take breaks if you need to.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in Colorado in the Winter

15. Genesee Mountain Trail Outer Loop

A bison from the Genesee Park, Colorado highlands
Kari / Flickr
  • Trailhead: Genesee Park
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Loop): 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 456 feet

Genesee Park is just off I-70, and it’s a lovely mountain park nestled between sparse residential areas nearby. Some of it is developed with recreational facilities, but much is simply forested; many people flock here to see elk and check out the onsite buffalo herd. There are five trails in this park, and they’re all excellent, so if you have time, try more than one.

Again, this park will make you feel like you are deep in the Rockies even though you are just a short drive from the city. The Genesee Mountain Trail Outer Loop is a moderate loop that most people can finish in about an hour and a half.

Most of the trail is gravel; there’s only a gentle incline, and shade seems to pop up right when needed. You’ll find lots of other hikers and trail runners here, but it’s not overwhelmingly packed, either. You can enjoy plenty of wildflowers here in the springtime.

16. Grays and Torrey’s Peak

Torrey Peak in Colorado
grenierb / Adobe Stock
  • Trailhead: Arapaho National Forest
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance (Out & Back): 8.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,599 feet

This challenging hike near Idaho Springs will take you to the top of both Grays and Torrey Peaks and on the way, you’ll gain 3,599 feet of elevation. This is an out-and-back trail, so you’ll also have to come down, too, and the whole thing will take you most of the day. After all, it’s 8 miles roundtrip, and it won’t be easy.

However, if you stay with and pull it off, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views and fantastic photo opportunities. Torrey Peak – with a top elevation of 14,267 feet, is the more difficult of the two, so you might want to do that one first to give yourself a break later, although Grays Peak is a smidge taller at 14,278 feet.

If you want to bag a 14er while you’re visiting Colorado, this hike will allow you to hit two at once. Take your time and take it easy, though – don’t rush and take breaks as needed – there’s no point in doing it if you don’t live to tell the tale!

17. Chihuahua Lake near Dillon

View of Chihuahua Lake Colorado in Colorado
Layla Lazouski / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: White River National Forest
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance (Out & Back): 7.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,879 feet

Like several of the other hikes described above, the Chihuahua Lake Trail near Dillon is not too far off I-70, which makes it fairly easy to access even on short visits to Colorado.

It’s 7.2 miles long when you consider the out-and-back journey, and you’ll gain 1,879 feet of elevation along the way. That may sound like a lot, but it’s comparatively a walk in the park after the Grays and Torrey Peak Trail above this one.

A 4WD vehicle will allow you to access the upper trailhead; otherwise, you’ll have to park a bit lower and walk to the start of this trail. However, all your efforts will be worth it when you reach spectacular Chihuahua Lake, an incredible example of a picturesque alpine lake above the tree line.

On your way out and back, you’ll walk along a bubbling stream, and you’ll be enchanted by the wildflowers and butterflies accompanying you along the way.

If you’d like to do this hike with a guide, that’s an option, too. This two-day Hiking and Camping to Two Beautiful Alpine Lakes tour includes Chihuahua and Grays Lakes, plus food and all the camping gear that you’ll need!

See Related: Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado

South of Denver

18. Roxborough State Park Fountain Valley Loop

Aerial View of Fountain Valley Loop in Roxborough State Park
Sean Xu / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Roxborough State Park
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance (Loop): 2.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 344 feet

Roxborough State Park is a gem! I’ve been to this park dozens of times, and it’s never overly busy – even on weekends and holidays. People know about it, but it seems most choose to enjoy their red rock formations at Red Rocks Park instead. This park is full of red rocks similar to those you’ll find there – but without the crowds – and it’s just 30 minutes south of the city.

There are ten different trails in Roxborough State Park, and they’re all impressive, but the Fountain Valley Loop Trail is an easy one that is great for families with kids who want to check out this park’s immense beauty. It’s a loop that’s only 2.6 miles long, and most of it is flat.

You’ll pass through the Lyons and Fountain rock formations as you make your way along the trail, and you’ll likely appreciate the fact that no mountain bikers are allowed on this one. No dogs are allowed either, so leave Fido back at the hotel.

19. South Valley Park Coyote Song Trail

Coyote Song Trail in South Valley Park, Colorado
Betsy / Adobe Stock
  • Trailhead: South Valley Park
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance (Loop): 3.0 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 321 feet

South Valley Park is another park where you can see and enjoy Red Rock formations up close. While this park is less busy than Red Rocks Park, it’s busier than Roxborough State Park due to its proximity to Ken Caryl Ranch, a huge housing development. Still, it offers ten worthwhile trails flanked by meadows, foothills, and lots of cool-looking rocks.

All the trails in South Valley Park are ranked easy or moderate, so you may have time and energy to tackle several of them during your visit. The Coyote Song Trail is just three miles long and is a very well-maintained loop. This is a solid choice for people who aren’t really hikers but who want to do some Colorado hiking and see some terrain that you won’t find elsewhere.

It’s perfect for families with children, too, and you may even see some horseback riding on it.

See Related: Things to Do in Estes Park, Colorado

20. Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park in Colorado
Drew Wes / Shutterstock
  • Trailhead: Deer Creek Canyon Park
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance (Loop): 6.0 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,309 feet

Deer Creek Canyon Park in Littleton is next to South Valley Park, so you may want to visit both parks simultaneously. Even though they are right next to each other, they are quite different.

Deer Creek Canyon Park has a bit more elevation than South Valley Park, and you’ll find numerous moderate and two difficult trails in the former. Maybe do your warm-up at South Valley Park, and if you still have gas in your internal tank, hit up Deer Creek Canyon Park afterward.

The Meadowlark Plymouth Creek Short Loop Trail is only 2.9 miles long, and you’ll only gain 534 feet of elevation along the way, but you’ll see fantastic views of the suburbs and the mountains all around you. It’s about half sun and half shade, and there are lots of signs warning hikers to look out for rattlesnakes, so be aware of that.

It’s well-maintained and kid-friendly, and there’s a lot of variety in what you’ll see along the way. If you still want more when you’re near the midpoint of this one, you can branch off and continue on the connected Plymouth Mountain Trail Loop to climb to the top of Plymouth Mountain and back down.

Before You Go

Prepare Yourself for the Elevation

Before you head out on the best hiking trails near Denver, you should keep a few things in mind. First and foremost – and I don’t know where you’re from, but remember that the elevation here can get you.

For a reason, Denver is called The Mile High City, and anywhere you go into the mountains is just up from there. If you’re a coastal flatlander, you’re coming from zero, and even Denver itself can be a big adjustment, with serious consequences for the ill-prepared.

Water

That said, it’s also probably a lot drier here than you’re used to. Of course, it’s important to take water on any hike, anywhere, but you’ll probably need a lot of it here in particular.

Don’t forget to fill up your water bottle before you leave your hotel or vacation rental. You may have difficulty finding fill stations near most of these trailheads.

Dress for Success

Of course, you’ll also want to invest in the right footwear for your hikes – sneakers aren’t going to cut it on most of these. And, as temperatures can vary immensely from the beginning of these trails to the end, dressing in layers is always wise. That way, you can shed layers as you get warm and add more if you get cold.

Travel Insurance

Also, people get hurt on hikes, so it’s always wise to invest in travel insurance when you travel, especially when you plan to venture out into nature on your trips. TravelInsurance.com is a great place to go to see all the different types of plans available to you.

Photography

Finally, taking pictures with your phone is great, but if you want truly memorable photos, you’ll need a real camera. You can rent one from Lensrentals.com, and if you do – you’ll surely be glad that you did. Use our code VIATRAVELERS15 for 15% off your first rental.

FAQ

What is the best time of year for hiking near Denver?

People hike year-round near Denver, but you’ll probably like the autumn months best if you’ve never hiked in this area. Winter is too cold and snowy; summer is often too hot, even at high elevations.

Spring can be great temperature-wise, but it can be very muddy. September and October can be perfect hiking weather, but you never know when an early snowfall might begin.

When hiking in Colorado, ensure you are prepared with layers of clothing and lots of water. As you go up and come back down, the weather can change dramatically on a dime – at any time of the year.

Which hike near Denver is best for beginners?

Due to the elevation in Colorado, starting with EASY hikes is wise if you are new to hiking. Yet again, the elevation can be a doozy, even if you consider yourself physically fit.

Try a trail above that is rated Easy first, and if that goes well, you can upgrade to Moderate on your next one. It’s always best to start with something you know you can handle before getting yourself in too deep, and fortunately, in Colorado, even the easiest hikes are pretty darn spectacular.

Where should I stay for easy access to all of these trails?

There are so many great places to stay in the Denver metropolitan area. If you want to stay in the city proper, then you might like the famous Brown Palace Hotel and Spa if you like upscale options, Hostel Fish if you’re looking for something on the cheaper side, or Kasa Union Station Denver if you want something mid-range.

On the other hand, if you want to stay closer to the mountains themselves, you might prefer a hotel in the west Denver suburbs of Lakewood, Golden, or Westminster. In Lakewood, the Best Western Denver Southwest is lovely – and is dinosaur-themed! The Table Mountain Inn is a lovely choice in Golden, and the Drury Plaza is an excellent option in Westminster.

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