Earn your stripes with this classic hike in Colorado! A good portion of this hike has no shade, so plan accordingly. It is about a 90-minute drive from Denver to the Estes Park entrance of the park (Estes Park is also a cute town, with restaurants and accommodation and, in the fall, lots of elk). This list of the 11 best hikes near Denver without crowds includes trails for all abilities. This hike gives you not only breathtaking views of the Rockies to the west but... Upper Mule Deer Trail. Once you've started walking, you'll cross the Continental Divide and have stunning views of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, and the Twin Sisters, among other lofty highlights. The Lariat Loop is a 40 mile trip that has several interesting pit stops along the way, including the towns of Golden, Morrison, Idledale, Kittredge, Evergreen, and a number of state parks. If distance is something you’re after, the Centennial Cone Trail has a … To hike, you need to set out around 3am so you avoid late afternoon thunderstorms that can be deadly. My 50-year-old mother — who loves nature but doesn’t hike often — had a wonderful time hiking this trail. The Eldorado Canyon Trail does have some rocky sections and steeper inclines, all of which are very manageable if you take your time. Drive time: Almost 2 hours from Denver There’s an upper parking lot and a lower parking lot; both require a $9 parking pass. For the first hour or two, you’ll likely share the trail with a number of people. 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. HIKES NEAR BOULDER, COLORADO. For something challenging, check out the strenuous (like a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10) Mount Audubon Trail. Take the distance that it takes to walk from the lot to the trailhead into account. If you're up for traveling from Denver for a couple of days I've been doing a lot of hiking in Chaffee County. To get closer to the base of the falls, try the 12-mile loop trail that opened recently. This is not a hike for anyone looking for a strenuous workout, but if your toddler is just learning to hike, it is perfect for them. The lot does fill up, so it’s best to get your day started early if you want to snag a parking space, especially on the weekends. Be aware that there’s a constant change in elevation throughout this hike — pace yourself accordingly. Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Roosevelt NF 1.3 miles RT 439 feet elevation gain. Sharing in-depth conversations between the world's adventurers, athletes, and outdoorspeople, The GearJunkie Podcast is your inside look into the outdoors industry. Take it slow and you’ll be just fine. The initial ascent on this loop is moderate, so you’ll want some good quality hiking shoes. Keep an eye out for wildlife — maybe you’ll see a wild turkey or, as the name suggests, a mule deer! As an out-and-back hike, you can turn around at any point to customize the length of your hike. It’s less crowded than most trails at Staunton, making for a peaceful yet challenging hike near Denver. Try the Dushanbe Tea House for something truly unique-the landmark teahouse was shipped piece by piece from Boulder's sister city in Tajikistan. rough terrain. 10 Best Hikes Near Denver, Colorado Green Mountain along with Hayden Trail Loop. If you park at the Rooney Lot at Green Mountain, you will have access to temporary restrooms. The 10 Best Hiking Trails Near Denver 10. In total, the excursion up and back will take you anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. (Danika Worthington, The Denver Post) I recently found some old … When hiking in Colorado, be aware that lightning storms that can happen fairly often in the summer months. Distance:  14.5-mile out-and-back 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. At Lower Maxwell Falls, explore a gorgeous 4-mile-hike, passing by two cascading waterfalls along the trail. The strenuous hike begins at Lily Lake. For those of you that enjoy your history, the Buffalo Bill’s Museum and Grave will be right up your alley. Going hiking near Denver inevitably means that some people will get altitude sickness, whether with extremely mild symptoms or potentially serious symptoms. While there are no restrooms right by the trailhead, you can drive to the Red Rocks Amphitheater to use the restroom if needed. But if you want a slightly easier hike, ascend the Red Rocks Trail, then descend the Morrison Slide Trail. If you pay attention to how you’re feeling as you gain elevation, you can more than likely bypass any serious symptoms. There are restrooms at the upper trailhead near the camping areas. Nearby Evergreen is a great place to start when navigating the best family hikes near Denver! Happy hiking! ), I settled on Sky Pond. View of the Flatirons from Chautauqua Park. Location: Rocky Mountain National Park So pack your day hiking essentials, and get ready to explore the Colorado Front Range. 1. The first half of the hike is the most challenging. Enjoy this easy start as the upper portions of the trail are rocky, and you’ll have to watch your footing. Running through downtown Golden, the Clear Creek Trail is an easy, 1.8-mile round trip and a family favorite, especially with young children. You will take the FF1 or FF2 (Flatiron Flyer) bus from the RTD Bus Station which is connected to Denver’s downtown Union Station. The final part of this hike requires a lot of bouldering to reach the top, so this is really not the hike for beginners or anyone not in excellent shape. Elevation gain: 633 feet. To see it from above, you'll want to do the difficult 10.8-mile loop trail to the Elk Falls Overlook. She loves all things photography, film, and poetry. Just 25 minutes west of Denver near the town of Morrison, there are a number of hikes in Red Rocks park to check out, depending on your fitness level and whether you are traveling with kids. Elevation gain: 650 feet. Get an early start, even on weekdays, to secure a parking spot at the upper trailhead. More experienced hikers can continue past Lake Isabelle to the Isabelle Glacier. Drive time: 30 minutes from Denver As you continue on from Nymph Lake to Dream Lake, you will be treated to endless wildflowers, in season. The trail is best between April and October. Who says you need an entire day to get out into the mountains? The Red Rocks Amphitheater is surrounded by the towering red rock formations it takes its name from and is famous for its acoustics. The 7.9 mile round-trip hike takes you up to 13,233 feet with an elevation gain of 2,789 feet. If hiking the Red Rocks Trail first, you will start your hike on a steady incline. Drive time: 50 minutes from Denver One of the best places to hike near Denver, in my opinion, is the city of Boulder. The trail covers 7,800 feet of elevation, and you really need to be acclimated to the altitude before you try. Joybeth is a brand new resident of Denver, Colorado, recently graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in English and Entertainment & Media Studies. Elevation gain: 2,398 feet. From next-gen tech to ingenious innovation, our weekly peek at emerging products examines the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design. or this hike, you should go all out with sun protection. If all else fails, there is also limited street parking available. This is a long, grueling hike that can take anywhere from six to ten hours to complete. Colorado is the place to be for hikes that will challenge you. This hike begins at the Grays Peak Trailhead. Pikes Peak may not be the closest 14er to Denver, but it’s certainly one of the most picturesque and one of the best hikes near Denver! The list includes Mount Elbert, Capitol Peak, San Luis Peak, and others. And on the hike to Lake Isabelle, there are waterfalls and wildflowers. Denver is one of the hottest urban destinations in America right now, and one if its greatest assets is the easy access to natural attractions like hiking trails. First and Second Flat Iron But if you want an extended outing or maybe just a full night’s rest before venturing up the mountain, there are a few dispersed camp spots at the upper trailhead. The Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks is short, sweet, and easy, covering a 1.4-mile loop. 10 Beautiful Hikes to Take Near Denver Mayflower Gulch Trail. WHERE TO FIND THE BEST HIKES NEAR DENVER SKY POND VIA GLACIER GORGE TRAIL This challenging and popular hike will take you past waterfalls and lakes, offering up gorgeous views over Colorado. You’ll start this hike through meadows and wildflowers, traveling alongside a stream. The trails are very well-marked. If you want to stop at 2 miles, you can make your final destination Dream Lake. 10 Best Hikes Near Denver, Colorado Green Mountain and Hayden Trail Loop. The Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National... 2. More than half of the trail is above the tree line, and you will encounter a slew of steep switchbacks and some bouldering near the top. Below is a guide to the best hikes near Denver. Difficulty: Moderate 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. The main symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. So if you find yourself wanting to cut it short, you can easily turn around at any point. Hikers enjoying the view from the summit of Pikes Peak. From here, you'll have views across the city, as well as the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains-Long's Peak will be to the northwest and Pike's Peak to the southwest. Of course, there may be some mud after it rains, so be careful not to slip. If you ascend the Morrison Slide Trail, this hike will be moderately difficult. But when you reach the summit, you are in for absolutely stunning views across the Front Range. 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