It seems many who have never visited the Mile High City are under the misconception that Denver is really in the mountains.
Truthfully, most Rocky Mountain attractions are at least couple hours away (if you can avoid the I-70 rush). While we Denverites still consider ourselves lucky to be just a car ride away from some of the most scenic wilderness trails in the world, famed hikes such as Maroon Bells and Hanging Lake tend to require a weekend trip or longer. However, we still sit at the foot of the Rockies and have tons of easy-access hikes at our fingertips! That is, if you know where to find them. In the next few posts I’ve compiled a few of my favorite hikes that are an hour or less from Denver—easily done in a day.
Red Rocks Park
Though Red Rocks is best known as a breathtaking natural amphitheater, this park has countless hiking and biking trails for explorers of varying levels. A favorite is the Trading Post Trail, which is an easy 1.4-mile loop fit for families and beginners. While this trail is frequently busy, it offers spectacular views of the underground Fountain and Lyon Ranges’ formations. This trail begins at the Red Rocks Trading Post. For those looking for more of a challenge, the Red Rocks trail joins with the Matthews-Winters trail to create a 6-mile loop with similar fantastic rock scenery. Note that these trails are not very shaded, so sunscreen is a must!
To access Red Rocks Park trails, drive as if you were going to the amphitheater, located near Morrison, Colorado 15 miles west of Denver. Coming from Downtown, take I-70 west to exit 259, turn left at the bottom of the Morrison exit ramp, and continue downhill 1.5 miles to the Red Rocks Park entrance and follow signs to the Trading Post.
This trail map can be helpful, and you’ll find more detailed information at Red Rocks Online.
One more thing—though these trails are all relatively low elevation, remember that Colorado weather can be very unpredictable! Get off of summits and out of open spaces at the first sign of a thunderstorm.
It’s Labor Day weekend! The beginning to one of Colorado’s most beautiful seasons. Go for a hike!
LifeStyleDenver, written by Gretchen Rosenberg, provides information on Denver area recreation and real estate. If you’re interested in searching for your next Denver home, click the blue Property Search link for access to all Metro Denver IDX MLS properties.