Where Should I Hike Denver Today?
Where should I hike in Denver today? I’m asked this question every day. It’s followed by “Who Should I Hike With?” These are the two most popular questions posted on social media every day for hikers who want to hike in Denver, near Denver, or from Denver. In order to help answer this question, I’ve compiled a list of resources to help you decide where you want to hike today in Denver, near Denver, or from Denver.
Hikes in Denver
One of the most frustrating things people uncover when trying to find a hike in Denver is that many people tag their social media with gorgeous hiking pictures that are not in Denver. They’re in Conifer, Rocky Mountain National Park or, gasp, Boulder! If you want to hike in Denver, here are several resources that will help you.
- Denver By Foot: This website specializes in Denver content. You’ll find over 300 hikes in the city/county of Denver. You can search by distance, urban, nature, family, history. Almost all of the hikes on this website are flat, easily accessible from Denver, and nearby. There are no other websites specializing in Denver.
- The Best Urban Hikes Denver: This book, The Best Urban Hikes Denver, is filled with 30 hikes within metro Denver (the area within C470 loop). The hikes range from 3-6 miles, most are loops, and all are easily accessible from Denver. Many hikes you can access through transit or carpool services.
- Discovering Denver Parks: Not a hiking book per se, but a rich listing of Denver’s parks, including 12 of the Denver Mountain Parks, Discovering Denver Parks creates inviting reasons for you to visit Denver parks. You’ll learn the history of each park, its facilities, and special landmarks. These parks are great places to meet your hiking group and hike from/return to.
- Walking Denver: If you’d rather walk than hike (and we could debate the difference between walking, urban hiking, and hiking for hours), pick up Mindy Sink’s, Walking Denver. It’s a cute book that encourages you to grab your kids and walk curated routes through the main landmarks of Denver, stopping for some good eats along the way.
Quick Answer to Where to Hike IN Denver: Where should I hike today in Denver? Here are a few suggestions. Shady Hikes In Denver, Popular Hikes in Denver That Aren’t Crowded, Mosaics and Mansions in Bonnie Brae.
Hikes Near Denver
If you live in the Denver area and you want to hike near Denver, which would include many hikes along the Front Range, (including Littleton, Aurora, Conifer, Broomfield, Wheatridge, Golden, Boulder, Longmont, Brighton, and other areas within 60 miles of Denver) once again, you’ve got several choices.
- Day Hikes Near Denver: This website specializes in hikes for folks who want to escape Denver and get on a trail within an hour. You’ll find the site sorted by difficulty, distance, and beauty. If you want to find a hike that you’ll need to drive a bit further than Denver, this site is for you.
- The Best Denver Hikes: This sleeper of a book, The Best Denver Hikes, brings in the Front Range hikes but still keeps you close to Denver. It’s not one to overlook.
- The Best Front Range Hikes: The bible of the Front Range, The Best Front Range Hikes, answers the question most accurately for most people about Where to Hike in Denver when they really mean Where to Hike NEAR Denver.
- 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder. This new edition, 60 Hikes Within 50 Miles: Denver and Boulder, includes Rocky Mountain National Park and Fort Collins, which are getting just a titch away from “near” Denver. But a good 50 of the hikes are solid “near” Denver and worthy of a fun hike.
- Best Urban Hikes: Boulder. Although not Denver, but certainly nearby, Best Urban Hikes: Boulder takes you to some fun urban hikes right in the city of Boulder and nearby. The author is also famous for her slow 360 marathons of Boulder and is worth a follow on social media.
Hikes From Denver
Finally, there’s a category of websites and books that focuses on hikes that you’d want to do if you’re leaving from Denver. Here, the hikes get up into the High Country, including Idaho Springs and South Park, many of the 14ers, and Rocky Mountain National Park. These resources are seriously more about hiking in Colorado, than Denver, and are good for those hikers who want some distance, like to drive, and can take on altitude.
- The Hiking Project: This website, The Hiking Project, sponsored by REI, does a good job on its Colorado section, offering quite a variety of Colorado hikes. It includes other states; and it’s my go-to when I’m traveling outside of Colorado, too, for my #50hikes50states project.
- Hiking Colorado: This book, Hiking Colorado, covers most of the state and the GPS coordinates are invaluable. Some of the trail heads in the high country are difficult to find, and the author makes it a bit easier to get out of the car and onto the trail quickly.
There are two apps I recommend, and I prefer one over the other.
- AllTrails: Many people state that AllTrails is the app to use. Although it’s comprehensive, because it contains user-generated content, it can be a bit inaccurate, and can include lots of “junk.” The app and/or website is great, though, for filtering and finding suggestions for hikes. Once you have a suggestion, I recommend you triangulate AllTrail’s info elsewhere for more accurate and curated content
Where do I get my gear? REI exclusively. I love their return policy.
- COTREX: The better app, though, is COTREX. This app, produced by the State of Colorado, is a beast. It’s got more information than you probably need, and its monstrous data base can bog down your phone. But hang in there. There app has gotten better and better every year. I start on COTREX, which also has a website, when I’m making hiking plans, especially when outside of Denver.
Who Should I Hike With?
The second most common question I see asked after “Where Should I Hike Today?” is “Who Should I Hike With?” It’s always best to hike with 3-4 people. If someone gets injured, a team of three can take care of the injured person and get help. Four is better. None the less, finding someone or two or three people to hike with you can be a challenge. Are they fit? Can they go the distance? Will they go at my pace? Are they fast climbers?
Many folks resort to Meetup or a few Facebook groups to find hikes.
- The Trail Heads offers frequent hikes all around the Front Range.
- Beckwourth Doers offers interesting historical and cultural hikes and other outdoor events along the Front Range and up into the High Country.
- Walk2Connect is a walking co-op in Denver that does a great job curating leaders, members, and walks all around the metro Denver area. They additionally sponsor several meetup groups along the Front Range and around the world, and you can find their events on their events calendar.
- Women Who Hike Colorado is a Facebook group that discusses hikes and gives trail reports. Women often post requests for hiking buddies and list their favorite trails all over Colorado.
- DenverByFoot Fans is a Facebook group dedicated to sharing hikes in Denver and finding folks in Denver with whom to hike.
Find Your Hike in a Good Book
Although it’s easy to type into Google, “where should I hike today,” do yourself a favor and support the fine authors and writers who actually curate this information for you. These books and resources provide great information that you can form into hiking lists that will take you all over Denver, metro Denver, and the rest of the state. These resources will give you more than enough information that you could hike every day for a year, and not only not repeat a hike, but you’ll avoid the crowds of the hikes that everyone recommends freely. Find the hidden hiking gems in the books and websites mentioned here.
Thus, do you have a favorite resource, book, app, or website about hiking Denver that you would like to share? Please post below! I love learning about new resources.