5 Best Day Hikes Near Denver

Colorado, also known as the Rocky Mountain state, gets its nickname because it encompasses a large portion of the Rocky Mountains. The diverse landscape of mountains, plains, front range and peaks make Colorado one of the best locations for hiking.

1. Mount Falcon

Mount Falcon is made up of a variety of trails, which offer sprawling views of Denver, the surrounding mountains, and Red Rocks. A popular option for a quick day hike through Mount Falcon is to combine the Tower Trail, the Meadow Trail and Castle Trail to create an easy 3.7 mile loop. This loop features relatively flat terrain and a great picnic spot along the way up to historic castle ruins and a lookout tower for breathtaking views. This trail is a must for the whole family.

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2. Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Just 30 miles from Denver, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a 12,000 acres of meadows, forests, and mountains with 12 marked trails of varying difficulty. Some of the more challenging trails are Elk Trail, Horseshoe Trail, Raccoon Trail and Snowshoe Hare Trail (yes, all of the trails are named after animals), all of which take approximately 2 hours to complete. Golden Gate Canyon State Park is not only a great location for hiking. Visitors can also enjoy activities such as camping and fishing and explore the meadows, forests, and mountains that the park has to offer.

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3. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park has 355 miles of hiking trails. Whether you’re in the mood for a calm walk along the lakes or steep climbs through the mountains, Rocky Mountain National Park has trails options for anyone from beginner to expert. Before attempting some of the more difficult trails, be sure to bring plenty of water as elevations can reach up to 12,000 feet high!

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4. First Flatiron Trail, Chautauqua Park

Among the great hiking trails, Chautauqua Park features a variety of amenities for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the most popular trails within the park is First Flatiron Trail. This difficult 2.9 mile loop takes about 2 hours to complete and is accessible year-round and is great for hiking as well as trail-running. Feel free to bring your dogs as well!

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5. Mount Galbraith Loop, Mount Galbraith

Located in Golden, Colorado, Mount Galbraith offers beautiful views of expansive plains, Golden, and the Continental Divide. Mount Galbraith is made up of 5 miles worth of steep rocky trails including a 1.6 mile moderately difficult loop at the top. This hiking spot is known for the abundance of elk, red-tailed hawk, big-horned sheep, and songbirds that inhabit the area. These hiker only trails are primarily accessible from March through November.

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Alan Perlman
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