A Guide To Hiking and Biking in Denver

Ask any Denverite what makes the Mile High City so special and they’re bound to mention the beautiful landscape. With its rolling plains and gentle mountains, it’s arguable that Denver is best explored on foot or by bicycle. 

Don’t know which trails to tackle?

We’re happy to help! Check out these hiking and biking trails recommended by our staff’s outdoor enthusiasts.

Castlewood Canyon2

Hiking Trails

Castlewood Canyon:

  • Trails range from .5 to 4 miles.
  • Cherry Creek flows along the canyon floor.
  • Pets on a leash are welcome on most trails.

Deer Creek Canyon Park:

  • Hikers and equestrians have the Meadowlark Homesteader and Golden Eagle Trails all to themselves.
  • The prominent vegetation is Gambel oak, which provides food and cover for mule deer, elk, wild turkey and more.
  • “It’s steep at the start, but worth the climb,” says Nelson Laux, Concierge Director at The Seasons of Cherry Creek. “Take the Plymouth Trail to the top and do the 2.5-mile loop around Red Mesa Loop. You’ve got a great view of the city from the top. After the hike, drive down the hill and take a dip in Chatfield Reservoir.”

Lair o’ the Bear Park:

  • There are flat trails along Bear Creek for walkers and trout-minded anglers.
  • 28 tables with permanent charcoal grills make it an ideal place to picnic.
  • This park is also a great place to run, Nelson says.

Red Rocks:

  •  868 acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairie, geological wonders and spectacular vistas.
  • A unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains.
  • Climbing the steps at the amphitheatre is great exercise, says Tom O’Donnell, Assistant Community Manager at Cottonwood Creek.

Roxborough State Park:

  • Close to 4,000 acres.
  • The Fountain Valley Overlook offers views of several beautiful rock formations, including the Fountain Formation, Lyons Formation, and the Dakota Hogback.
  • To preserve the park’s natural state, no camping, mountain bikes, horses, or pets are permitted. You can now rent a motorhome for cheap and go out camping.

cherry creek trail

Biking Trails

Bear Creek Trail:

  • Connects Downtown Denver with the foothills of the Rockies.
  • The best place to start the trail in Denver is at Confluence Park, where Cherry Creek runs into the Platte River.
  • The path has several surface types, including dirt, gravel, asphalt and concrete.

Cherry Creek Trail:

  • 40-mile route that begins in Downtown Denver and connects Parker, Centennial and Franktown.
  • A paved path that begins near the Platte River Trail and Confluence Park.
  • Highlights of the route include Cherry Creek Shopping District and Four Mile House and Historic Park.

Clear Creek Trail:

  • Runs 20 miles from metro Denver through Wheat Ridge to Golden.
  • The Coors Brewing Company on the path’s western end is a highlight. 
  • Offers views of the North and South Table Mountains.

Platte River Trail:

  •  28.5-mile trail that follows the Platte River.
  • Has two disconnected sections: the northern portion begins at East 120th Parkway and ends before you reach the E470 toll road, while the southern section runs from the Elaine T. Valente Open Space in Thornton to West Dartmouth Avenue just west of US Highway 85 in Englewood.
  • Cafes, memorials, botanical gardens and parks offer plenty to see and do.

The Greenway Trail:

  • Paved trail that follows the South Platte River for almost nearly 30 miles.
  • Markers along the trail describe the Native Americans who once lived there, as well as the area’s wildlife and birds.
  • Riverside Cemetery —where some of Denver’s famous pioneers are buried— is a highlight.

For additional hiking and biking trails, check out our Colorado Hiking & Biking Trails board on Pinterest!

Images courtesy of Colorado Parks & Wildlife and Visit Denver

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