Discover our Favorite Summer Trails for Hiking and Biking in and around Denver
Embrace the Colorado landscape where summer adventure awaits
Each season in Colorado gives us an opportunity to rediscover the majestic and stunning state we call home. Summer in Denver offers so many opportunities to savor the sun including some unsurpassed hiking and biking trails. With such an abundance of trails just out our front doors, it can be challenging to try new ones or to travel a few miles for a whole new experience. We have compiled our favorite summer trails for hiking and biking in and around Denver that cater to outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.
Denver City Park Mile High Loop - Set out on an exciting journey starting at the Thatcher Fountain on E17th Ave. Begin by following the City Park Loop Trail towards the west. As you hike past the magnificent fountain, the trail will gently curve northward. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the gravel path, surrounded by scattered trees providing intermittent shade. Take in the sights of the Sports Field on your right and the Carriage House on your left as you continue onward, crossing over the park road. Stay on course, passing by the Tennis Courts, until the path leads you eastward, guiding you on the next phase of your adventure.
South Platte River Trail - Embark on an Adventure along the Platte River Trail, one of Denver's remarkable multi-use trails. This 28.5-mile trail starts its journey just northwest of Englewood and continues northward, reaching all the way to Henderson. Following the meandering path of the Platte River, this trail offers a captivating blend of urban landscapes, including glimpses of Denver's industrial side, and picturesque high plains grasslands with the majestic Rockies serving as a stunning backdrop. Immerse yourself in the diverse beauty that unfolds along this trail, as it showcases the vibrant fusion of nature and cityscape.
Clear Creek Trail - Journey from Denver to Golden via the 18-mile Clear Creek Trail! This picturesque paved trail commences just north of the South Platte River, where I-76 passes overhead, and runs parallel to Clear Creek, providing stunning views along the way. Diverse landscapes encompassing neighborhoods, industrial areas, parks, and greenways as you pedal. Along the route, you'll encounter remarkable landmarks such as Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area, Anderson Park, the renowned Coors Brewery, and the awe-inspiring North Table Mountain Park. Brace yourself for an enchanting ride through the foothills, as the elevation gradually rises, revealing breathtaking mountain vistas and charming foothill buttes, all leading you to the delightful town of Golden.
Washington Park Loop - Ideal for a leisurely stroll, this trail offers a variety of paths including paved, gravel, and natural surfaces. It is a beloved destination for runners, bikers, rollerbladers, and dog owners alike. Conveniently located at the north end of the trail, the paved parking lot off South Downing Street provides four designated accessible spaces, all of which are van-accessible with clearly marked access aisles. The trail itself boasts a smooth and paved surface, typically measuring at least 5 feet in width and featuring wider passing spaces for added convenience. To ensure safety, painted dividing lines along the main paved trail help regulate traffic flow.
Red Rocks Trail - Discover the beauty of striking rock formations and captivating city views on this renowned trail. Whether you prefer an invigorating sunrise hike, an exhilarating trail run, or a challenging bike ride, this trail offers it all. But that's not all; there's an additional marvel—a cave artfully carved into the sandstone, adding a unique touch to the experience. To top it off, don't miss the opportunity to marvel at a magnificent geological overlook that will leave you in awe of the surrounding landscapes.
Mount Evans Summit Trail - Experience the splendor of Mt. Evans, one of Colorado's front range fourteeners. Similar to Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans boasts a road that leads to a trail just a few hundred feet below the summit, offering glimpses of majestic Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats. While it may not present a significant challenge, Mt. Evans compensates with its awe-inspiring panoramic vistas of the Rocky Mountains and extraordinary opportunities for up-close wildlife encounters. Though the ascent to this 14,265-foot peak is relatively brief, your journey to Mount Evans can encompass multiple stops at scenic mountain lakes, vibrant wildflower displays, and expansive landscapes, ensuring a truly unforgettable experience.
High Line Canal Trail - A peaceful and serene route, stretching for 71 miles and passing through picturesque landscapes and charming communities. Easy, level soft trail in Douglas County and South Suburban and hardened surfaces through Denver and Aurora. Multi-use trails with horses, hiking, strollers, bicycles and leashed dogs all getting in on the fun.
Roxborough State Park - At 4,000-acres Roxborough State Park has something for everyone. The trail system at Roxborough consists of eight trails totaling about 14 miles. From the Visitor Center, you can hike the moderate single track Willow Creek Trail that weaves through a beautiful Colorado landscape. For an easier walk, you can simply stay on the Willow Creek Loop with approximately 2.5 miles of trail and a 465-foot elevation gain.
Matthews Winters - Experience the majestic beauty of Matthews/Winters Park, an enchanting natural haven nestled in the foothills between Golden and Morrison. Conveniently located near both I-70 and C-470, this park is a cherished gem within the Jefferson County Open Space system, dedicated to preserving Colorado's breathtaking landscapes for generations to come. Ascend the park's plateau and be captivated by sweeping vistas of the nearby Hogback, Dinosaur Ridge, and the iconic Red Rocks Park, offering a particularly awe-inspiring view from above. It's the perfect setting to pause, indulge in a picnic, and immerse yourself in the surrounding scenery. For those seeking a lengthier trek, the trail seamlessly connects with the Red Rocks Park trails (our #5 pick), granting the opportunity for an extended and unforgettable adventure.
Belmar Park - Discover the delights of a 2.9-Mile loop trail with gentle terrain. This route is widely regarded as an easy and enjoyable option, typically taking around 57 minutes to complete. Popular among birding enthusiasts, hikers, and runners, this trail also offers moments of tranquility during off-peak hours. Dogs are more than welcome on this trail, as long as they are kept on a leash for everyone's safety and enjoyment.
From the City Center to Golden and beyond, Colorado’s landscape provides endless hours of hiking, biking and exploring. Embrace the summer by staying near or going a bit further and embark on a trail less traveled. It may just become a cherished tradition, reinvigorating your soul in the process.
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If you are thinking about buying or selling anywhere in the Denver area, reach out to Allison Rankin, Jane Goulder, or Amy Kissinger at RGKColorado.com. Whether you are a first-time buyer, an investor or a seasoned buyer looking to upsize or downsize, we have the experience, resources and relationships to help and we would love to help you begin your next chapter in the Denver area!