Denver Outdoor Activities & Hiking Trails
There’s nothing more serene than taking a day to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors, especially when you’re in Denver, Colorado! With acres of parks and picturesque views, the list of outdoor activities is endless. Whether you’re staying at one of our extended stay hotels in Denver or not, peruse this compilation of our favorite outdoor activities in Denver including hiking trails, watersports and more. You’re sure to discover an adventure or two to add to your Denver bucket list.
Outdoor Activities In Denver
Relish A Kayaking Adventure In Denver.
Kayaking is a peaceful activity that lets you enjoy the scenic mountain views while gliding across the tranquil waters of Colorado. There are multiple rivers and lakes to explore while in Denver including the South Platte River, Colorado River, Pikes Peak, Sloan’s Lake, Chatfield Reservoir and Evergreen Lake. Denver Outdoor Adventure offers single and tandem kayak rentals as well as kayaking tours.
Explore Denver’s Outdoors On Two Wheels.
Get your cardio in for the day and enjoy exploring the natural beauty of Denver with its variety of bike trails. If you feel like staying close to the city and peddling around, check out the Mile High Loop, a 3.2-mile trail that reaches an elevation of 5,303 feet! It’s a great way to get to explore the city and visit some of the other great Denver attractions like the Denver Museum of Nature & Science – one of the cheapest things to do in Denver. If you are looking for a bigger adventure, consider biking a portion or the entirety of the Cherry Creek Trail (24.6 miles), Clear Creek Trail Trail (19.1 miles) or Ralston Creek Trail (27.2 miles). For bike rentals, check out the local bike shop Cycleton.
Get A Bird’s Eye View On A Denver Zipline.
There’s no better view of Denver’s natural beauty than with a ziplining adventure. There are numerous destinations around Denver that offer this unique experience each with affordable pricing for you and your crew. Just 30 minutes outside of Downtown, Denver Zipline Tours gives riders an epic tour through the Rocky Mountains on the longest and fastest zipline in Colorado. Expand your ziplining adventure to include free fall jumps, log bridges and more with the Cliffside Ziplines in Idaho Springs with Ava Ziplines. Plan a full day of outdoor activities in the Colorado countryside with The Edge ziplines tours at Castle Rock.
Cruise The City Streets In Denver With A Scooter.
Scootours claims that everyone looks “Cuter on a Scooter,” and we’d have to agree. There’s no better way to cruise the city streets of Denver in style. Scootours Vespa-style scooters allow you to easily zip around the city while taking in all the sights. No motorcycle license is needed to ride one of these – all you need is a valid driver’s license and a quick demo. Scootours supplies 2-hour, 3-hour, and full-day rentals starting at $78. Book a guided tour around the city also!
Ride The Current Whitewater Rafting In Denver.
Get ready for a thrill-filled ride with whitewater rafting near Denver. Summer is the ideal time to book a whitewater rafting tour down one of Denver’s rushing rivers. Colorado Adventure Center offers rafting tours on Clear Creek for all experience levels of rafters. Families will love the beginner rafting tours available on the Colorado River with Downstream Adventures. Considered one of the best sections of white water rafting in the world, a Browns Canyon rafting tour is available for intermediate rafters with American Adventure Expeditions.
Cruise Denver’s Mountainside In An Alpine Coaster.
Set off on North America’s longest alpine coasters during your Denver vacation. The Rocky Mountain Coaster is the newest outdoor activity in Denver on Copper Mountain. Riders travel 25 miles per hour down a 5,800-foot-long track through the mountainside with unobstructed views of the surrounding forest. Kids of all ages will go wild for this summertime activity.
Easy Hikes Near Denver
Red Rocks Park Trail
The Trading Post trail in Red Rocks Park is just 25-minutes from Denver and not only offers gorgeous scenery but also provides an easy hike for those that may not be able to endure long trails. The Trading Post is 1.4 miles long, takes 1 hour to loop and has picnic areas along the way if you care to indulge.
The Buffalo Trail is another easy hike near Denver and one you can bring Fido along for. This trail is a 2.8-mile loop and can be enjoyed with your furry friend as long as they are leashed.
Lookout Mountain Trail
Lookout Mountain Trail has one of the best views of downtown Denver and is easy for beginner hikers. This train is a 2.3-mile loop and we hear it’s a perfect place to watch the sun come up or go down.
Monarch Lake Loop Hike
The Monarch Lake loop hike is a bit longer than the two above, but a great trail for family hikes or outings. This hike is a 4-mile loop that takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete at a leisurely pace. Bring your kayak or paddleboard and spend the day on Monarch Lake with the entire family.
Emerald Lake Hike
Another hike within Rocky Mountain National Park is the Emerald Lake Hike. This easy hike near Denver is 3.5 miles and offers beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and of course Emerald Lake.
Waterfall Hikes Near Denver
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls is a 20-foot waterfall hidden away in Rocky Mountain National Park. This destination hike totals 6.6 miles round trip and takes around 4 hours to complete. Keep your eyes open for local wildlife along the way including elk, deer, eagles and more.
View the natural wonder of Hanging Lake. This gentle waterfall is located in the center of Glenwood Canyon on the White River National Forest. The hike to see the lake is only 1.2 miles but requires a determined hiker as the trail is steep and rigorous gaining an elevation of 1200 feet.
The largest on our list, Elk Falls totals 75 feet of a seemingly endless cascade of water. The waterfall is located in Staunton State Park and requires a 12-mile round trip hike. While this may seem daunting to some newbies, with proper planning and a suitable supply of snacks and water, a hike to Elk Falls will quickly become a family favorite.
Best Hotels In Denver
As you begin to plan your Denver vacation, peruse our list of convenient Denver hotels. Each location boasts apartment-style suites that are perfect for a group or couple. Discover an in-room kitchen in every suite with a full-size refrigerator, two-burner stove and microwave. Guests always have access to free off-street parking, on-site laundry facilities and super high-speed wifi. You’ll also enjoy HD in-room entertainment with premium channels.