7 Hikes to Check Out Near Denver Now

As Colorado slowly re-opens gyms and businesses, hiking remains a popular activity for working out while keeping away from the crowds. However, with the arrival of summer, people are flocking to mountain towns to exercise, which can create a strain on the local population. Thankfully, there are still plenty of hiking trails near Denver that offer beautiful views and enough room to keep a safe distance from other hikers. Whether you are looking for a short hike or a challenging trail, these seven nearby hikes provide a workout and an escape from the city.

Enchanted Mesa Trail in Chautauqua Park

A sunset view of a trail leading through Boulder Colorado’s Chautauqua Park via Thinkstock

Distance: 1.9 mile
Difficulty:
Easy
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: Featuring small streams and winding through a dense pine forest, the Enchanted Mesa Trail is conveniently hidden behind a small neighborhood near Boulder. While Chautauqua Park may always draw crowds, the fact this trail does not allow dogs may be less crowded than others while also providing a striking view of the Flatirons. The hike increases in difficulty as you reach the top of the quarry but the view at the top is well worth it. Take it all in by relaxing in one of the chairs hand-crafted by slabs of rock.

Bergen Peak Hike, Elk Meadow

Bergen Peak Trail

Photo by Jacqueline Itambo via AllTrails

Distance: 9.2 miles (roundtrip)
Difficulty:
Difficult
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: Advanced hikers can head over to Bergen Peak Trail, just a 30-minute drive from Denver. While the trail can be challenging, the summit offers panoramic views of the meadows below and the western mountains. Visitors also have the option of mountain biking in the lower trails. Hikers who recently visited the trail described it as snow-packed, so be sure to wear the proper gear and attire.

Horseshoe Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Horseshoe Trail

Photo by Mars Truong via AllTrails

Distance: 3.8 miles (roundtrip)
Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: Just less than an hour away from Denver, the Horseshoe Trail offers scenic views of the mountains that won’t disappoint on a clear summer day. The path winds through aspen groves and passes by small streams and crossing bridges. Additionally, the hike is sprinkled with patches of wildflowers and irises along the way. 

Even if you were to encounter hikers along the way, the path is wide enough that you can leave six-feet of distance in between. There’s a visitor center to pay daily entry and get a map.

Fountain Valley Trail, Roxborough Park

Sunset at Roxborough State Park Colorado

Distance: 2.3 miles
Difficulty:
Easy
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: Roxborough State Park bears similarities to Colorado Spring’s Garden of the Gods with its towering red rock formations. However, Roxborough is more secluded and only a 45-minute drive from Denver. The Fountain Valley loop provides ample trails to avoid crowds and views of the slabs of red rock. A nice bonus is the wildlife viewing, so keep an eye out for eagles, birds and foxes.

Manitou Lake Hike, Pike National Forest

Manitou Lake vis Shutterstock.

Distance: 2.4 miles
Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: The loop trail around Manitou Lake Hike is an easy, accessible path around the shore of the like with views of Pikes Peak. It is a bit of a longer drive but the path crosses through wetlands at one point where hikers may spot beavers and other wildlife. Dogs are permitted on this hike but must be leashed. There is limited parking and visitors must pay a day-use access fee.

Elk Meadow Park Loop in Evergreen

Elk Meadow Trail

Photo by Tom Campbell via AllTrails.

Distance: 5.1 miles (roundtrip)
Difficulty:
Easy
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: Here hiking loop offers plenty of shade during these hot summer days. The path cuts through various pine and aspen forests and meadows, giving hikers an ever-changing view through the entire hike. There are plenty of clearings throughout to allow for social distancing from other hikers.

To complete the large loop around Elk Meadow Park, start clockwise on Meadow View Trail, then follow Founders Trail and Painters Pause Trail, finishing the loop on Sleepy S Trail.

Sleepy Lion Trail in Button Rock Preserve, Lyons

Sleepy Lion Trail

Photo by Tim Hill via AllTrails

Distance: 5.4 miles
Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail Map:
Go here

The Lowdown: Next time you head to Estes Park, schedule an early morning hike in the Sleepy Lion Trail. The path has a lot of charm and scenic spots, including rocky streams, pine forests, a dam and the Ralph Price Reservoir. Nearing the top, the trail opens into where you can spot bighorn sheep and elk if you are lucky. Hikers suggest coming in early in the morning to avoid the crowds that come later in the day.