Updated: Jan 4
As Colorado's capital and largest city, Denver hosts a wide variety of fun activities from hiking, to scenic drives and day trips to quaint mountain towns. Although downtown Denver has much to offer in itself, grab a car and explore the surrounding area to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountain Front Range.
1. Hike the Red Rocks Trading Post Trail
[1.5 Miles; 371 Feet Elevation Gain; Loop; Rated: Easy]
This is a short, easy loop around Red Rocks Amphitheater. Not only is Red Rocks Amphitheater worth a visit in itself (concert or no concert), but it is also a park with several hiking trails! This trail takes you through the red rock formations, down into the meadows below the amphitheater.
With beautiful wildflowers and contrasting vibrant rock colors, this trail is gorgeous any time of year. While at the park, be sure to check out the amphitheater itself. Many people use this space to do workouts on its stairs, gaze into the scenic background, and of course, see concerts.
Tip: See for yourself with their live cam!
2. Hike the Chautauqua Trail
[1.2 miles; 419 Feet elevation gain; out & back; Rated: Moderate]
A beautiful hike that allows you to see the entire city of Boulder. A short, yet steep hike with epic views only 5 minutes into your hike. Chautauqua Park is a great starting place for a number of awesome hikes throughout the Boulder Flatirons and open space.
We found this moderately rated trail to be the perfect distance and intensity, allowing us to pair this hike with other activities throughout our day without sacrificing some epic Flatiron views.
Tip: Click here if you are looking for longer distance and/or higher intensity, that also starts at Chautauqua Park.
3. Hike the Davidson Mesa Loop Trail
[3.3 miles; 65 Feet Elevation Gain; Loop; Rated: Easy]
This is a trail in the beautiful Davidson Mesa valley. It is flat area that offers incredible views of the nearby Rockies, located in Louisville. If you are looking for a more relaxing, low-intensity hike, or even a place to go for a run, this hike is for you. We found the views to be breathtaking from start to finish, and even came across some locals walking their llamas!
Tip: Relaxing, low-intensity hike with epic views!
4.Drive up Lookout Mountain Park
Feet tired of hiking and looking for some epic views on wheels? Lookout Mountain Park is appropriately named for its spectacular vista overlooking Golden and North Table Mountain. Be sure to take the winding lookout mountain road on your way to the park for magnificent views around every switchback.
Tip: The park is also home to a Nature Center & Preserve, as well as, the famous Buffalo Bill's Museum and Grave.
5. Hike Evergreen Lake Loop
[1.4 miles; 65 Feet Elevation Gain; Loop; Rated: Easy]
What is better than a view of water with a mountain backdrop? Evergreen is a quaint, mountain town located just 30 minutes west of Denver. With shops and restaurants housed in historical, western-style buildings and the beautiful Evergreen lake, this town is worth a stop. To really enjoy the serenity and crisp mountain-air, be sure to take a 1.4 mile stroll around the Evergreen Lake loop, which is easily completed by all skill levels.
Tip: For longer, more intense hikes near Evergreen, check out Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space and the 4.2 mile Evergreen Mountain Trail offering breathtaking views within the Rocky Mountains at 8,535 feet of elevation.
6. Day Trip to Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, CO
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the nation's highest national parks that consists of77 peaks over 12,000 feet in elevation and Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest continuously paved highway in the nation. The Alpine Visitor's Center (11,796 feet) is the highest-elevation visitor center in any national park. Discover the must-do hikes of Rocky Mountain National Park at our complete guide below
Also Read: Rocky Mountain National Park Complete Guide
7. Day Trip to Fort Collins
Located an hour from Boulder & Denver, Fort Collins is known as one of the craft beer capitals. With 70% of Colorado's craft beer being made in Fort Collins, it is home to over 20 award-winning craft breweries. The below itinerary outlines the perfect day in Fort Collins, which is an easy road trip from the Denver area.
Also Read: Top 7 Things To Do in Fort Collins Colorado
8. Day Trip to Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is located 60 miles south of Denver. Although these two cities are located within close proximity, their terrain is very different. Come to Colorado Springs to explore Garden of the Gods and the beautiful red rock formations, or Pikes Peak, the largest peak on the southern Rocky Mountain Front Range at 14k feet. Stay for the quaint towns such as Manitou or Old Colorado City and enjoy their delicious noms & brews.