If you’re planning on taking a trip to Denver to enjoy the great outdoors, you’re in luck. Northern Colorado is home to some of the most scenic, breathtaking hiking trails in the US.
At the same time, if you’re not familiar with the area, it can be hard to determine which day hikes to add to your schedule.
But don’t fret.
The local outdoor experts at Denver Digital have you covered—and we’ve complied our Top 5 favorite list, which is bound to bring a smile to the face of anyone who chooses to enjoy them.
This hike is located along the Mayflower Gulch trailhead. It may only be 4-miles roundtrip, but don’t let the low mileage fool you. Located 90 minutes outside of the Mile-High City, it boasts a steep, 2,500 elevation gain. The trail is a favorite among more adventurous hikers who are looking to combine rugged terrain with high-altitude beauty.
This hike is set along the St. Mary’s Glacier trailhead and the total distance is approximately 8 miles, roundtrip. It’s an hour outside of Denver, and the elevation gain climbs to 3,000 feet. Hikers will have the chance to traverse St. Mary’s Glacier, which has year-round snowfall. The glacier is always jam-packed with hikers; those who choose to hike the far-more-difficult James Peak say it’s a refreshing path to return to.
This hike is set along the Spruce Creek trailhead, and the round-trop (which goes around both lakes) is about 6.5 miles. It may be a 2 hour drive out of town, but the trip is definitely worth it. Hikers will climb upwards to 1,700 feet and will see mining cables and mining remains along a path that’s often filled with some of the most colorful wildflowers in the region. The lake, of course, is the highlight, as it sits on the side of Mt. Helen.
This hike is set alongside the Mt. Bierstadt trailhead and it’s about 6 miles, roundtrip. It’s about 90 minutes from downtown Denver, and it reaches an elevation gain of 3,500 feet. Hikers have two options—they can either leave their car parked at the top of Evans. Those who are wanting to skip the car shuttle can descend Evans to get back to the trailhead. Option two is the 10-mile roundtrip option.
This hike is also set alongside the Mt Bierstadt trailhead (which places it roughly 90 minutes from the city), but the 7-mile roundtrip hike only gets to an elevation gain of 2,380 feet. It may not be as popular as the nearby Mt. Bierstadt, but that’s not to say that hikers are losing out. Why? Because they’ll get the same heart-thumping climb, the same views and the same scenery as those who want to descend upon the other peak. It’s also less crowded than Mt. Bierstadt, which can be an added bonus.
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