Best Hikes Near Denver
Colorado is a mecca for outdoor fitness enthusiasts, but many people assume that all the worthwhile hikes are hours away from Denver. In fact, you don’t need to drive to remote mountains every time you want to enjoy a beautiful, relaxing, or challenging hike. Many fantastic trails are located within 40 minutes of the city, so you can easily take a hike before work, after school, or in the middle of a busy day. When you’re ready to explore the best hikes near Denver, explore our recommendations below.
Lair o’ the Bear
About 30 minutes away (in Idedale, west of Morrison)
Lair o’ the Bear may win the prize for most intriguing park name in Colorado, but it also offers a wealth of natural beauty and diverse trails. We recommend the Bruin Bluff Trail and the Bear Creek Trail, which combine elevation and beautiful views for a strenuous yet rewarding hike. This 392-acre park also offers many excellent spots for picnics, barbecues, and fishing. Keep an eye out for busy beavers and lush wildflowers, and be sure to check out the Fiesta en el Parque in July, which celebrates the park’s natural beauty and history.
Marshall Mesa Trailhead
About 35 minutes away (in Boulder)
The Marshall Mesa Trailhead provides a great starting point for hikers and runners, because it connects to many other trails. You could stay on the main trail (a breezy 2.5-mile loop) or veer off toward the Cowdrey Trail or Coal Seam Trail for more distance. The hike offers excellent views of the Flatirons, and while its simplicity makes it perfect for beginners, its versatility welcomes more experienced runners, bikers, and hikers.
Mt. Galbraith Park
About 30 minutes away (in Golden)
Mt. Galbraith Park may not be as sweeping or extensive as some of the other parks on our list, but its tough trails offer impressive views of Golden and Denver. There is a trail up the mountain (Cedar Gulch) and a loop around the mountain top (Mt. Galbraith Loop Trail). The full loop is 4.2 miles long and includes a steep, rocky section up the mountain, so be sure to bring a flashlight if you’re climbing at sunrise or dusk. This is a hiker-only trail, so you won’t have to worry about mountain bikes or horses. However, keep an eye out for elk, big-horn sheep, and red-tailed hawks.
North Table Mountain Park
About 25 minutes away (in Golden)
North Table Mountain Park, just a quick drive from the city, provides some of the best hikes near Denver, making it a popular and busy park (even with its massive parking lot). The mountain is shaped like a table, so expect to begin your excursion with an immediate climb. When you reach the top, select from amongst the scattering of trails, but be sure to check out Lichen Peak trail, which reaches the highest point on the mesa. Take it slow on the bits that rise and fall sharply, especially when moving downhill. North Table Mountain and nearby South Table Mountain were formed by lava flows about 60 million years ago, and we’re still enjoying the fruits of their labor today.
Red Rocks Park
About 25 minutes away (in Morrison)
Red Rocks may be known for its amazing amphitheatre and epic concerts, but the park also contains many geological formations and vistas with trails for hikers. The park is just 25 minutes away from the city, and it contains three trails. The Trading Post Trail is 1.4 miles long and traverses gorgeous rocks, valleys, and a meadow, while the Geologic Overlook Trail is short and moderate. Finally, Red Rocks Trail connects to two other attractions (the Dakota Ridge Trail and the Matthews-Winters Park), and the trail is open to mountain bikers and horseback riders as well.
White Ranch Park
About 40 minutes away (in Golden)
Beginners may wish to avoid White Ranch Park, but if you’re up for a challenge, drive north of Golden to this lovely park and its assortment of trails. Although most of the trails appear leisurely at the start, your heart will be racing before you know it. Perhaps surprisingly, the trails are also a haven for birders, who enjoy spotting peregrine falcons in the area. You will have to share the trail with mountain bikers and horseback riders as well, but it will be worth it when you see the park’s stunning meadows, foothills, buttes, and rock formations and the pristine canyon.
When you don’t have time to venture further afield, check out some of the best hikes near Denver. Just outside the city, you’ll find a great assortment of trails that combine excellent workouts with breathtaking scenery.
Finally, to ensure that you never miss a workout, invest in some home exercise equipment. For help, check out Fitness Gallery. We handpick each piece of fitness equipment sold in our stores, so you know that you’re getting high-quality products at a great value. To learn more, please visit our online store, or stop by our showrooms in Denver (CO) or Highlands Ranch (CO). Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect equipment for your fitness goals.