9 Creeks Loop Invites You (The Backstory!)
Getting a chance to walk in my beloved Denver in good conditions on an award-winning trail system must be the luck of a lottery-ticket draw. I can’t believe Denver has such a wonderful treasure right under our noses, and so many have yet discovered this amazing 9 Creeks Loop. I walked this 42-mile circumference over eight, hot, summer days, and I’m thrilled I can share it with you. I have visions that the 9 Creeks Loop will become a vacation destination for walking travelers once the word gets out about the variety, the adventure, and the ease of use this tremendous Loop presents.
Why Go to the Rockies When You Can Stay in Denver?
I dreamed up the idea when I heard some hikers coming into the Denver airport. Packed up with their 40-pound packs, they were headed to the Colorado Trail for a multi-day walking vacation. Despite their worry about the altitude of the Colorado Trail and their access to provisions, their excitement built around the beauty they hoped to encounter.
Then it struck me.
Why couldn’t you have a fabulous walking vacation right here in Denver and take advantage of all of Denver’s bounty and beauty without 10,000-14,000 feet elevation? Thousands of travelers bypass Denver for the Rockies, what about our own Denver residents? Are they even aware of the great walking and trekking right here in Denver? Thus, the 9 Creeks Loop idea was born.
The 9 Creeks Loop is a great way for locals and visitors alike to get their high-altitude chops at a lower altitude. Hikers can acclimate on the 9 Creeks Loop at the high altitude of 5280 feet before they head off to the higher altitudes in the Rocky Mountains.
9 Creeks Loop Is Born
After pulling out my Denver Regional Trail System maps, it became clear to me that establishing an accessible loop around Denver’s perimeter, crossing 9 creeks, venturing through urban and suburban areas, seeing amazing wildlife including deer, beavers, egrets, prairie dogs and maybe even a bison might actually draw locals, tourists, and travelers alike. Thus, the 9 Creeks Loop passing the watersheds of First Creek, Second Creek, Sand Creek, Coal Creek, Cherry Creek, Dry Creek, Toll Gate Creek, High Line Canal, and Platte River came alive.
Help from my Friends
In order to really understand how fabulous the 9 Creeks Loop is, I figured I needed to actually walk it. Thus, I’ve set aside two weeks to walk the Loop, tackling 5 miles each night until I’ve walked the entire Loop. Thanks to Stapleton Denver (now called Central Park) for giving me a GoPro to video the entire walk, to the fabulous folks at Boulder-owned Wallaroo Hats who supplied products for me to hand out on my walk, and to High Line Canal Conservancy for underwriting portions of the walk for me to share with everyone.
Note: In the summer of 2020, the Stapleton residents renamed their neighborhood Central Park.
To read about each mile of the trip and how to actually walk the 9 Creeks Loop, start with this post, 9 Creeks Loop Segment 1, Sand Creek Greenway Segment 1 Miles 0-5. Tell me about your adventure by tagging your pictures and posts with #9creeks.