Lose yourself on one of our suggested one-hour walking routes in Denver that include parks, pedestrian-only roads, and historical sights to help deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Mile High.
Note: Click on the name of each route to view the maps individually.
Cap Hill / Cheesman Park
Distance: 2.3 miles
Highlights: Cheesman Park, Snarf’s, Voodoo Donuts, Pedestrians only street from 11th Street from Lincoln to Humboldt and the Molly Brown House
The Lowdown: This beautiful Capitol Hill walk has it all — history, haunted parks, gorgeous greenery, old mansions and doughnuts. Start your walk at the beautiful Cheesman Park and marvel at the rolling green hills that are actually mass graves. If that’s a bit too morbid for you head west down 11th avenue that’s been opened for pedestrians only and take in the droves of 1920s apartment complexes alive with residents. Then hang a right at Pennsylvania street to pay your respects to the Unsinkable Molly Brown who survived the Titanic and who’s historic house serves as a testament to the resilience of Denver residents. Follow that through to the picturesque 16th street (much different than 16th street mall) before heading southeast on Park Avenue where you can grab a doughnut to-go from Voodoo as a treat. Enjoy it on your way back home or to the park as a little reward for all the steps you just endured.
City Park Loop
Distance: 3.1 miles
Highlights: Smith& Canon Ice Cream, City Park, Weathervane Cafe, 16th Street Pedestrian Walk Way, Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast
The Lowdown: Looking for a dose of city and park? This loop is for you. Walk down 16th Street where you’ll pass by Castle Marne. You may admire the history of this mansion from the street — the exterior construction is rusticated native lava stone, known as Castle Rock Rhyolite quarried in Castle Rock, Colorado. Look closely (but not too close ) it is composed mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar, and sparkles in the daytime. Continue on to the East High School Promenade and into City Park to enjoy the serenity of Ferril Lake and scope out beautiful new art installation in the abandoned lily ponds. Don’t forget to stop at Smith & Canon Ice Cream co. on the way.
Whittier / Cole
Distance: 2.8 miles
Highlights: Whittier Cafe, Fuller Park, George Morrison Sr. Park., Genna Rae’s, Sweet Sweetz
The Lowdown: Take a weekend afternoon to explore the historically Black neighborhoods of Whittier and Cole. Despite its proximity to downtown, the area is a residential oasis filled with big yards, parks and neighborhood markets. Start your walk at a local gem, Whittier Cafe and grab a coffee and a breakfast burrito or panini to-go. The Ethiopian owned cafe also has a spacious patio if you want to take a moment to enjoy. Then head down 25th and take a right on Humboldt and circle Manual High School to Fuller Park — Denver’s second oldest park. If you brought a pup, there’s a spacious dog park to let them roam free. Next, you’ll take a tour of a series of mini-parks, all named after American heroes and Black icons. Stop at each park and read a bit about them with the corresponding links: Frederick Douglass, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, Madam C.J. Walker and Colorado’s own George Morrison Sr. Then head up Bruce Randolph Avenue, named after another great Black Denverite, and swing by Carnegie Lofts to take in an old library that has been converted into residential homes. End your day by walking back to Fuller Park. If you’re hungry, we’ll let you in on a neighborhood secret — Genna Rae’s. The Caribbean, soul food joint is take-out only and a perfect place to grab some grub before spreading out in the park. But since we promised ice cream on every stop, you can also head to Sweet Sweetz down the street — another black-owned shop — known for their inventive flavors including their rendition of Dole Whip.
Distance: 2.7 miles
Highlights: Little Man Ice Cream Factory, Sloan’s Lake, Pedestrian’s Only Byron Place Zenobia to Stuart, Lake Middle School
The Lowdown: Need an escape from the city that is still within the 10-mile driving limits? This Sloan’s Lake loop is sure to satisfy your itch for the outdoors. Beginning on Zenobia Street which is currently closed to cars head South so that you may enjoy the unobstructed views of downtown Denver. Feel free to bop on down to Colfax if you’d like to increase your mileage and snag a scoop from Little Man’s Ice Cream Factory. As you continue around the ~3-mile lake loop, you will come across Lake Middle School, the most distinctive structure in the area because of its Moorish architecture combined with ornamental lights and soaring features, giving the school a medieval appearance.
Wash Park / South Pearl
Distance: 3.1 miles
Highlights: Sweet Cow, Wash Park, Lakes, Pedestrian’s Only, History: Old South Pearl
The Lowdown: We recommend this walk on a Sunday beginning May 17, 2020, to late September when the farmers markets are happening. Stock up on your local groceries and specialty items and hit Sweet Cow for that extra energy needed to stroll around Wash Park. Washington Park is mostly pedestrian and biker’s only so it’s sure to put the cherry on top of your perfect Sunday.
Fun fact: Did you know South Pearl Street was a trolley route in 1893?
Art District on Santa Fe
Distance: 2.7 miles
Highlights: Santa Fe Arts District, Sunken Gardens, S. Broadway, Eggens Violin Shop, Lincoln Park History
The Lowdown: Even though the art walks are suspended, you may still roam the streets and enjoy virtual art tours here. You may still appreciate the art and architecture from the safety of the sidewalks. On your way to or fro, step into the Sunken Gardens, a true hidden gem of a park located off Speed Boulevard.
Distance: 3.1 miles
Highlights: Frozen Matter, Capitol, Civic Center Park, Pedestrian Only Bannock/11th/16th, Brown Palace, Art Museums, Brown Palace Hotel
The Lowdown: Museums, parks, art, this walk encompasses the heart of all things Denver. Even if you can’t enter any of the establishments without a reservation, areas such as the Denver Art Museum and Civic Center Park are filled with outdoor art — ready for you to appreciate. If you want to extend your walk beyond the Capitol Building area, head East to admire the Molly Brown House Museum and swing by Frozen Matter for some organic ice cream on your way back to downtown.
City Park / Park Hill
Distance: 3.1 miles
Highlights: City Park, Spinelli’s Market, Montview, Bike Path, Park Hill, Italian Spy House
The Lowdown: Ever explored the East side of City Park? Just behind the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, you will find an incomparable view of the City. Continue East to find the Park Hill neighborhood as well as Spinelli’s Market — a Park Hill staple since 1994. Continue on to find the unique architecture of the Italian Spy House at the corner of Ash and Montview — representative of the eclectic mix of architectural styles from the 20th century found in this neighborhood.
Five Points/ RiNo
Distance: 2.9 miles
Highlights: RiNo Arts District, Curtis Park, Pedestrian Only Champa St, History:Five Points, Denver Fire Station #3
The Lowdown: This walk will take you through both Denver’s past and present by encompassing some of Denver’s oldest and newest neighborhoods. Starting in Five Points, you’ll begin at Denver Fire Station #3 — which was built in 1931 and previously the only fire station manned by an all African American crew in the city, until the department desegrated in 1958. Next head to the legendary Rossonian Hotel, the former cornerstone to the thriving jazz scene of Denver’s Five Points. Once called “Harlem of The West,” everyone from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald took refuge there. If you’re parched, stop by Coffee at the Point for a variety of cafe offerings or Rosenberg’s to grab a bagel as you continue on. Next, explore the beautiful architecture of Curtis Park that features everything from Italianate, Eastlake, Queen Anne and Victorian homes. As you stroll down Champa, stop by The Black American West Museum. Although closed due to COVID-19, you can read about their mission here. After, you can circle Mestizo-Curtis Park which was developed in 1868 — making it the city’s oldest park. Next, head onto the second leg of your walk — RiN0 Art District. Known for its rapid development, the area is primarily new businesses and is home to many craft breweries. But it’s most distinguishing characteristics can be found on its walls — as many artists have worked to reclaim the history of the new neighborhood with murals and street art. Every September, a hundred or so artists are invited to re-paint buffed walls during the annual CRUSH WALLS festival. This year is still scheduled to happen on September 14 to 20 and we highly recommend you check it out. In the meantime, the best spots to see murals are found in the alleys between Larimer and Walnut Street with a pedestrian walk-way behind Denver Central Market you can’t miss. Also, if you want to pay your respects to Elijah McClain and Breonna Taylor, view their murals painted by the Spray Their Name project. You can find them at Epic Brewing and Erico Motorsports, respectively. Once you’ve completed your walk, you can end the day by grabbing a scoop at High Point Creamery inside Denver Central Market and reflect on where Denver’s been and where it’s going.
Downtown / Larimer Square
Highlights: Larimer Square, Union Station, 16th Street Mall, Brown Palace, History: Larimer Square, Brown Palace
The Lowdown: There’s no place richer in history and sights than Downtown Denver. Start your walk on either end of the 16th Street Mall and peruse the rich history and architecture along your way. In fact, Larimer Street was Denver’s first main Street in 1861. Be sure to make The Brown Palace a stop along this route, often called “Denver’s most elegant hotel.”
Fun Fact: When it was completed in 1881, Denver’s Union Station was the largest structure in the West.