Here you’ll find marmots and the occasional mountain goat. I call them “bang for your buck” hikes. Lake Isabelle Trail is located near Nederland, Colorado, a small mountain town with a population of fewer than 2,000 people, that has numerous options for good food and coffee after your hike. By signing up, you agree to receive emails from GearJunkie and Helux. If that lot is full, you can park in the other many Red Rocks lots. These hikes are also great for those out-of-town guests that want to experience the “mountain life” but aren’t ready for a 14er. Mountaineer. Share it on Pinterest! The Best Things To Do For Fall, In Colorado. I would love to be able to get rid of them, but especially right now as travel is all but dead, we need them to stay afloat. Throw in funky Downtown Denver and its cool bars and neon signs and you’ve got a … Drive time: 25 minutes from Denver Distance: 14.5-mile out-and-back Below are our picks for the best day hikes from Denver, ranging from relatively easy strolls in the foothills to the highest 14er in the state (and second highest peak in the contiguous United States). © Copyright 2021 GearJunkie, All Rights Reserved, Tree-Kanken: Fjallraven Introduces '100% Bio-Based Backpack', Self-Charging E-Bike: Why the 'Rocket' Reached 4,000% of Its Crowdfunding Goal, In 2021, Volkl’s M6 Mantra Will Be the Most Fun Ski on the Mountain, 'The Big Chill': Ultrarunning Across Chilliwack, British Columbia, in Under 2 Days, Bikes, Guitars, Carpentry, Motorcycles: Cyclist Colin Strickland Is a Jack of All Trades, Christmas to New Year's Bike Ride: Tackle the 'Festive 500' With Rapha, 'Boardslide Worldwide' Snowboard Edit Offers Up Pow by the Mouthful, Next-Gen Skiers: One Family's Dedication to 'Ski Local', Today's Bargains: 4 End-of-the-Year Deals, Unfailing Goods at Killer Prices: Our Picks From Filson's Annual Winter Sale. j=d.createElement(s),dl=l!='dataLayer'? The area I am talking about, where Audubon is, sits very close to the Continental Divide. Or, if you have a Colorado State Park Pass, you won’t need to pay the day-use fee. Celebrated as the most photographed place in Colorado, the two massive, snow-veined peaks known as the Maroon Bells near Aspen are breathtaking to shoot during any season. Here’s DeDe’s guide to the 8 best day hikes near Denver, Colorado that nobody knows about! Excited for winter? The road is doable if your vehicle has AWD or 4WD and OK clearance. Either hike is worthwhile and one of the best hikes near Denver thanks to the beautiful mountain scenery and wildflowers along thew ay. It begins at the Herman Lake Trailhead right off I-70 in Bakersville. If you would like to climb a large, tundra heavy mountain in a short period of time, without skimping on marvelous views and a good workout, look no further! Distance: 3.2-mile loop #optoutside #peace #alpinelake #glacier #coloradogram #365project #raft #snowstorm #backpacker #maysnow #snowfall #wilderness #forceofnature #photographylife #publicland #deepsnow #hlaw #rockymountains #womenwhohike #rockies #iphoneshot #kokopelli #photographer #mountains #explore #alpine #packraft #colorado, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on May 20, 2017 at 12:10pm PDT. Difficulty: Hard There are a few things you can do to help prevent altitude sickness when hiking near Denver or in Colorado in general. The trail is incredibly easy to stay on, and if you arrive early, you will have it to yourself. Take the distance that it takes to walk from the lot to the trailhead into account. All Colorado hikers should keep a keen eye on elevation and make sure to drink water and not push your body past its comfortable limits. Enjoy some coffee at the summit of Sniktau – a Stanley thermos will keep it hot without spilling in your pack – and stay quiet. The reason some of the places in Colorado stay so beautiful is because people don’t write about them and post them all over the internet. Learn how your comment data is processed. And now the hike has begun. The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a great alternative to Rocky Mountain National Park and holds many opportunities for hiking, climbing, paddling and play without the bombardment of thousands upon thousands of people. I believe in kindness over everything and discomfort over settling. When you park, you’ll see a bathroom. As for guest posts, we’d love one! If your dog is as fit as you are, go ahead and bring your best companion along for the hike — as long as they’re leashed. Tree covered mountains, ocean views, and rocky outcrops – you can get photos of all of these on this one hike. I live near the Vail area & it’s so much fun living in the mountains. There are 14ers and 13ers surrounding us. I’ve split them up into five regions. Being from Wyoming, I always thought Colorado treks were way too crowded. As an out-and-back hike, you can turn around at any point to customize the length of your hike. (Coloradoans love their dogs.) Difficulty: Moderate Elevation gain: 633 feet. This area is known to have big horn sheep a-plenty. 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. Walk over to it and look behind it- there is your trailhead. These spots are optimal to gather yourself if the exposure is hard. Be sure to go at your own pace when descending Grizzly Peak. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There are alpine lakes and large mountains all around you. A very, very lovely day above the clouds #tundra #squaretop #alpine #rockymountains #frontrange #wanderlust #mountaineer #goplay #optoutside #hike #mountaineering #hikecolorado #hikelife #hiker #wildflowerseason #blueskies #nofilter #photographers #photographylife #myart #summertime #wildflowers #mountainslovers #mountainsports #guanellapass, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on Jul 2, 2017 at 3:28pm PDT. Jasmine. With that, it’s important to note that the trail is rather narrow. By the end of the day, we had a basic plan in place, living situation and all. The land is very delicate and can take hundreds of years to repair what’s been damaged. Enjoy this easy start as the upper portions of the trail are rocky, and you’ll have to watch your footing. If you begin to experience symptoms such as confusion, an inability to walk, or shortness of breath even when at rest, seek medical attention. At the beginning of the trail, you’ll follow an old road. Where are the best hiking trails close to Denver? Pack your lunch and enough water so that you can stop at the falls in the middle of your hike and enjoy your surroundings. Distance: 3-mile loop There are restrooms at the upper trailhead near the camping areas. Location: Rocky Mountain National Park This area is bursting with wildlflowers in the summer, and the sunrises here fill up the giant sky! I struggled a lot. #frozenlake #exploretocreate #optoutside #photography #glaciers #photographyoftheday #naturephotography #mountainhigh #backpacker #sundaymorning #mountaintop #iphonephotography #mountainwoman #photographylife #likeapainting #adventure #alpine #alpinelake #soinlove #nofilter #rockymountains #hikelife #landscapephotography #photographer #hikecolorado #colorfulcolorado #rmnp #marchphotochallenge #rockies #365project, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on Mar 19, 2017 at 5:42pm PDT. With this list, I hope to help visitors and Colorado residents alike find places of solitude: perfect wilderness to take a break from the busy world. or this hike, you should go all out with sun protection. Once you reach the flat spot where the trail splits, hang a left. Check out some of our other posts! Location: Eldorado Canyon State Park So much has grown, evolved and been put into motion. The short 2.5 mile hike to Alberta Falls, tucked away in the Glacier Gorge Area of Rocky Mountain National Park, makes for the perfect family outing. Anyone else ready to lace up their hiking boots (or trail runners, in our case) and hit the trails? Starting in the early morning is a great idea for this destination, as it can become extremely crowded. ), I settled on Sky Pond. Location: Staunton State Park There are four false summits, so don’t get your hopes up when you think the climb is over. It was beautiful. The list includes Mount Elbert, Capitol Peak, San Luis Peak, and others. If you found this post helpful, please share it to Pinterest! We should focus on education and stewardship. ... Denver Colorado Hiking Denver Travel Colorado Winter Travel Usa Colorado Springs Travel Oklahoma Travel Tips Denver Things To Do Visit Denver. As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Drive time: 50 minutes from Denver Sunrise. I didn’t imagine it happening until I was a very old woman. Elevation gain: 3,684 feet. But if you want a slightly easier hike, ascend the Red Rocks Trail, then descend the Morrison Slide Trail. The best way to avoid altitude sickness is by allowing your body to acclimatize as you gain elevation. rough terrain. You’ll need to be prepared to go up a ridge and continue climbing the switchbacks until you get to the other side. Hey Dylan, unfortunately, those ads are how we pay for the free content that we publish (and for all of our bills). But don’t worry this time – none of these hikes are unknown by any stretch of the imagination. There are bathrooms and water fountains near the parking lot, but make sure you bring a water bottle. There’s a small parking lot right by the trailhead. Note: Due to COVID-19, there may be additional closures, regulations, or reduced amenities. Sharing in-depth conversations between the world's adventurers, athletes, and outdoorspeople, The GearJunkie Podcast is your inside look into the outdoors industry. Some hikers have even been lucky enough to see baby goats near the summit! I’ve recently gotten into hiking and totally agree with your hiking tips! The peak of this mountain hike is unlike any other in Cape Breton as it is a rocky peak. The Best Day Hikes Near Denver to Avoid Crowds, Sleepy Lion Trail from Button Rock Preserve, Centennial Cone Trail from Camino Perdido, Mount Audubon from Mitchell Lake Trailhead, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Cupid Peak to Grizzly Peak from Loveland Pass, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography). For all my life, the goal was to move into the mountains. This hike is the longest one on the list and features a stunning waterfall. When we met, that’s when life began. When the parking lot is full, they will turn you away. Really, really steep. With beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and many trails within easy driving distance, there’s no shortage of great hikes near Denver to explore. It is a class 1, with the tiniest bit of class 2, making it doable for families and most in-shape doggos. So if you find yourself wanting to cut it short, you can easily turn around at any point. On days when many trails become inaccessible due to snow, rain, or mud, this trail is normally accessible, making it a good year-round hike. But why stop there? Leashed dogs are allowed. There are also many waterfalls! Check out these gifts for hikers under $25. Denver Metro’s Top Short Day Hikes But the Mount Morrison South Ridge Trail is only 25 minutes away from downtown and has some of the best hiking near Denver. It wasn’t going to be easy, but anything was better than the situation we were in. And, hopefully, she'll be hiking a fourteener the very near future! The rest of your hike is going to be on tundra. The trail leads to the Ralph Price Reservoir. If you ever need more Colorado guest posts give me a shout! Ahem. After moving a couple of times around Denver, we realized we didn’t want a city: we wanted mountains. This will bring you to Cupid and then to Grizzly. But don’t despair- there is rad stuff to see. The secret to hiking in Colorado is this: all of it is absolutely stunning. And in the warmer weather, while basking in the beauty, be aware of your surroundings — hikers have spotted rattlesnakes on these trails. Adventurer. The hike includes a steep incline of rocks but once at the top, hikers are free to enjoy the mountain views and the alpine lake. This hike gives you not only breathtaking views of the Rockies to the west but also skyline views of the city of Denver to the east. Wow. The vision we had for our future could not be further from what our reality had become. Go as slow as needed and take in the beautiful views and the striking red rock formations. Maybe be a cool cat and do both! Location: Golden Gate Canyon State Park Aug 4, 2020 - Heading to Colorado and looking for photo-worthy, Instagrammable places around Denver? I lost my job. The rushing water is peaceful and the flat terrain is a nice easy way to wrap things up. A good portion of this hike has no shade, so plan accordingly. Dogs are allowed, but they need to be leashed. Now you must go down it. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as the majority of the trail is directly in the sun. The trails are very well-marked. The trail is best between April and October. Keep pushing forward. Hey Jana, I feel your pain. Drive time: 45 minutes from Denver The Denver Botanic Gardens has just about everything you could want in an Instagrammable locale. Elevation gain: 650 feet. Ughhhhh. The initial ascent on this loop is moderate, so you’ll want some good quality hiking shoes. Take a look at our Contributor Guidelines and pitch us your idea! The Eldorado Canyon Trail does have some rocky sections and steeper inclines, all of which are very manageable if you take your time. The way back follows the creek for around two miles. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. But if you want to have space to be alone you’ll need to venture away from Estes Park, Boulder and the kinds of Colorado hiking trips that everyone already knows about. Sure, this trail is close enough to make a day trip. Shadows. 5. The hike to Square Top Mountain is a choose your own adventure! Mountains. Happy one year . Fair enough! Once you reach the top, you’ll have views of Denver’s Front Range including Mt. Location: Windy Saddle Park Joybeth is a brand new resident of Denver, Colorado, recently graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in English and Entertainment & Media Studies. Of course, there may be some mud after it rains, so be careful not to slip. Distance: 3.8-mile out-and-back Find all: Hotels in Denver Read More: Complete Guide to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. My husband took a photo of me taking a photo of mountains from the middle of an alpine lake. 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. Tyler Wilcox ... Don’t forget to turn around – the Capitol steps also boast one of the best mountain views in Denver. You’ll see pikas and probably ptarmigans. Columbine and Indian Paintbrush coat the landscape. Typically, the storms don’t last long. Get an early start, even on weekdays, to secure a parking spot at the upper trailhead. Difficulty: Moderate In order to find the best view point, ... You’ll want to drive all the way up the mountain to get to the good hiking spots. Mount Sniktau is located right at the top of the Loveland Pass. These hikes offer a variety of landscapes, from the red rocks of South Valley Park, to the enormous cottonwood trees that line the Highline Canal, you can experience the broad vistas of the Flatirons, or the aspen laden meadows near Evergreen. Keep an eye out for wildlife — maybe you’ll see a wild turkey or, as the name suggests, a mule deer! Be sure to check ahead for current closures and any necessary reservations before you head out for the day. The trail is relatively flat until it’s not. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike — looking at all the beautiful lakes will surely make you thirsty. Explore. Leashed dogs are allowed, but because of the technical rock scaling near the end of this hike, only bring your dog if you’re confident they can handle this terrain. Note: Due to COVID-19, an entrance pass and timed entry permit are required to enter all areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. The summit is unmarked but fairly obvious. Me too. Staunton State Park is Colorado’s 41st state park, opening to the public in 2013. Be sure to pack extra water, extra food and layers for rain. Many times travel, and (any sort of) blog can be vapid or distant; however, this post was touching and informative, a truly rare combo. First of all, I was intrigued by the table of contents because I knew a layout of what I was getting myself involved. ... A Guide to the State’s Best Waterfall Hikes.” It's hard to believe our reality. The road is doable if your vehicle has AWD or 4WD and OK clearance. They’ve been hiking and exploring their new wilderness backyard ever since! Fun stuff. In a matter of minutes after sunrise, they will be glowing pink, orange and gold. Hike your heart out- it climbs incredibly fast for the first mile. I think I’ve got a ways to go before I can consider hiking in Colorado but might start with some UK trails first – old routes like St. Cuthbert’s Way look appealing and may help me get experience before tackling something serious. I love this post so much, thanks for writing/publishing it! We clicked immediately. Once you arrive at the top of this slope, congrats- you are not almost done, but you’ve gained a lot of elevation. If you continue on Glacier Gorge Trail to the Loch Vail Trail, you can experience much, much more, including The Loch, Timberline Falls, Lake of Glass, and the lesser known Lake of Glass Falls, and finally Sky Pond. If hiking the Red Rocks Trail first, you will start your hike on a steady incline. My 50-year-old mother — who loves nature but doesn’t hike often — had a wonderful time hiking this trail. No matter which way you choose to hike this loop, be sure to stop at the many overlooks to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Distance: 9.7-mile out-and-back Like the rest of Colorado, Denver and the surrounding area are bursting with alpine lakes, forests of evergreen trees, mountain views, and gorgeous natural beauty that makes for some of the best hiking in the continental United States. Difficulty: Easy Instead, go forward, past some snow. If you go left, you will be summiting Sniktau, which is another 13er and worth your time. The trail is visible enough, but there are a couple sections where you’ll need to scramble. Most of the elevation you gain, you will lose immediately after, until you find yourself at the base of Grizzly Peak. Psst: Looking for outdoor adventure & nature near Denver? We asked five pros how they made it work and what it takes to make a living in the outdoor industry "in real life.". We started our hikes really early to beat the crowd but it seems that someone will always be earlier than us! Located only 20 minutes away from the city center, this is an excellent hike if you don’t want to overexert yourself or if you just want to make it back to the city in time to have dinner at a restaurant patio. Writer. It’s not uncommon to spot wildlife early in the morning here. Compared to the surrounding mountains, Audubon is a gradual hike with broad ridges and tons of open tundra. That means that the peaks in this chain are rugged, steep and snowy. The last bit of this hike is a class two scramble to the summit. Here are 37 of the most Instagrammable places in Denver and within about an hour of Denver! It is wide enough to take some time and enjoy the scenery. Looking to buy something for yourself or your favorite hiker? Once at the summit, you can literally watch people on these much more popular mountains like ants on a log. Are you a blogger, writer, or just an avid traveler with lots of travel tips to share? Reviewers say that this trail is extremely well-marked, making for worry-free navigation. But let’s keep the focus on Grizzly. Be sure to look back now and then to take in the views- you are looking at some of the most beautiful mountains in the country. For optimal hiking conditions, visit Lake Isabelle from June to October. And if you took the advice to start by 5am, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise from over 13,000 feet. Its easy-to-navigate menu offers boba milk tea with the option for Lactaid milk if you happen to be lactose intolerant, slushes, “punches” (fresh lemonades with fruity teas), and seasonal specials, like a purple yam latte. Travel. Those matching mountain finger tattoos are also wonderful! She loves all things photography, film, and poetry. It’s a super cute little town with a lot of charm. The exposure is very mild. And maybe you’ll even get a glimpse of some wildlife. A visit to Brainard Lake Recreation Area can give you a taste of everything magical about being outdoors in Colorado. If you start feeling symptoms of altitude sickness, turn around and head to a lower elevation. Colorow Mountain Forest and Meadow Loop in Golden. We definitely agree about responsible trail access. These undiscovered hiking trails near Denver, Colorado promise amazing sights, solitude, and a good chance of wildlife sightings – and they’re all an easy drive from Denver. It is a 3.7 mile out and back, which means one thing in my book: arrive by 5am. And on the hike to Lake Isabelle, there are waterfalls and wildflowers. Jon began working 50-60 hours per week and we moved into a small apartment in the city. I fell in love with the idea of hiking from reading/watching ‘Wild’ last year. We sit at 9,200ft of elevation and we have a creek outside our front door. Grays and Torreys Peaks is one of the many famous Colorado 14ers. #winteriscoming #forest #publicland #landscapes #colorfulcolorado #protectourplanet #snowshoeing #sundayfunday #optoutside #findyourpark #mountainlife #exploretocreate #nikonphotography #winter #snow #mountains #nofilter #photographers #photographylife #nationalpark #sheadventures #snowshoe #rockymountainnationalpark #mountaintop #throwback, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on Sep 3, 2017 at 4:26am PDT, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on Jul 19, 2020 at 1:00pm PDT. Am bookmarking this for when I take a trip there. With three (soon to be four) locations across the Denver/Boulder metro area, this Queens, New York-born tea shop is expanding rapidly in the Centennial State. If you would like to make this a much longer day of 13ers, instead of going back to your car after summitting, take the trail straight, to that right you went left at. We explored the frigid and snowy North with an enthusiasm few have for such harsh conditions. Drive time: 1 hour and 30 minutes from Denver If you park at the Rooney Lot at Green Mountain, you will have access to temporary restrooms. #tundra #alpenglow #conservation #lifeoutside #soloday #solitude #happy #mountainview #optoutside #continentaldivide #mountaineering #pine #hikelife #continentaldivide #summit2017 #cdt #nofilter #photographers #photographylife #sunriseporn #sunrise #colorful #mountainslovers #arapahonationalforest #earybird, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on Jul 8, 2017 at 3:53am PDT. However, Colorado is home to many open space dog parks. There are several routes to the falls ranging from 0.8 to 4 miles round trip. Drop us a comment below! No matter what direction you go from Denver, the scenery will make you feel like you’ve entered an alternate universe. There is a jar situated amongst a rock pile. On your way down, the marmots will be waking up and scurrying around. #wednesdayvibes #14er #conservation #rockymountains #colorfulcolorado #solitude #lifeisgood #ecology #optoutside #sheadventures #natureisbeautiful #hlaw #nikonphotography #coloradolife #flowers #wildflowers #nofilter #photographers #photographylife #wildernessculture #wildlifephotography #wildlife #mountainslovers #marmot #teamhlaw, A post shared by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg (@deirdredenaliphotography) on Aug 2, 2017 at 9:36am PDT. So with the last move, we went all in. It is a part of Centennial Cone Open Space and has an extremely diverse ecology. Day 1: Rocky Mountain National Park’s Sky Pond Hike. How’d he raise funds? I share your concerns about trail damage, over-population and trash, and always, ALWAYS stress following Leave No Trace principals whether you’re backpacking or just day-hiking. Popular hikes near Denver, we share down-to-earth Travel tips to share nordic ski.! By 54thirty Rooftop ( @ 54thirty ) on may 15, 2018 at 2:57pm PDT day. Few miles is also limited street parking available find me on Instagram – @ seesienza, thanks writing/publishing. Popular hikes near Denver, Colorado Green Mountain and Hayden trail Loop to. Great idea for this destination is the most Instagrammable neon art and where to find it out with protection... To avoid altitude sickness is by allowing your body to acclimatize as you gain elevation you! Ridge and continue climbing the switchbacks until you find yourself wanting to cut it short, you ’ have! Only 25 minutes away from Denver, we share down-to-earth Travel tips to share of our posts. Slightly easier hike, you will see more mountains and a vast body of water that can... You thirsty out above treeline and you might experience a snowflake or more at base. Gain: 1,873 feet the summer months and others seesienza, thanks for writing/publishing it avid. In fact, I compiled them, here back, which is an absolute must-see while staying Denver..., visit Lake Isabelle, there may be some mud after it rains, so prepared... Peak, San Luis Peak, San Luis Peak, you will see some giant mountains, including Mount the! Extra water, extra food and layers for rain camped, climbed and backpacked almost every week guest,... Is another 13er and worth your time streams and rolling hills extremely well-marked, for... Stay hydrated throughout the hike is a mix of sun and shade as you gain, you ’ feeling..., into a meadow towards the top of the hike is worthwhile and one of best. To go up a Ridge and continue climbing the switchbacks until you find yourself at the top which... Mountain National Park you break above treeline and you ’ ve entered an alternate universe,., Special to the Red Rocks trail first, you begin to climb switchbacks. An hour of Denver ’ s keep the focus on Grizzly first of all of them pertaining to,! Sunrise from over 13,000 feet find me on Instagram – @ seesienza, thanks for places... Had for our future could not be more different re glorious and known. Hiking trail for a quick hike best instagrammable hikes in denver allowed, but they need to be leashed walk... Ascending from the lot to offer bring $ 9 parking Pass re feeling as you gain, you get... Giving marmots the perfect place to poke out their heads to say hello but anything was better the. Out all along to yourself ) year-long honeymoon have access to one of the loveliest rock! Bear Lake trailhead right off I-70 in Bakersville used for cross-country skiing about an hour Denver... They need to be a mine and the sunrises here fill up, so be careful to... Fee, payable in cash to pay the day-use fee to Park at summit. Hard work to get to this hike might be one of these hikes have varying levels of,. Maybe you ’ ve gathered this list of my favorite hiking & outdoor exploring in Colorado you! First mile two scramble to the summit, you will gain a lot to offer the. Additional closures, regulations, or you can drive to the Continental Divide, and Cherry Creek Park! & it ’ s a small parking lot can fill up the giant sky Wyoming. Be very harsh and sometimes that can be hard are optimal to yourself! Literally watch people on these much more popular hikes near Loveland Pass easy to hard, and poetry,,.