Denver, the Mile-High City, has no shortage of cultural attractions and big-city entertainment, but it is also an affordable and convenient hub from which to launch a series of day hikes. Its wide selection of lodging, convenient and scenic location, and buzzing nightlife should make Denver a top choice when you plan your next hiking trip.
Well before you start packing up to hit the trails, do some research to find the most affordable Denver hotels, and don’t forget your hiking boots!
Bridal Veil Falls, Idaho Springs
Just a short drive away on Interstate 70 in Idaho Falls, enjoy a scenic walk through a historic park with a delicate, misty waterfall. Runoff from Soda Creek plunges 600 feet over a series of rock faces, spreading into a white veil as it falls into Clear Creek on the valley floor. A historic water wheel built for a nearby 19th-century mining operation now sits at the foot of the falls, making it a favorite for Western history enthusiasts. Convenient parking is available in the town of Idaho Springs, and the waterfall and water wheel are a short, easy walk from the trailhead.
Image via Flickr by lucianf
Lair o’ the Bear Park, Morrison
Enjoy a wide selection of trails in Lair o’ the Bear Park, just beyond the southwestern suburbs. Take the family out for a flat walk along Bear Creek, or take the moderate Bruin Bluff Trail for a better view of the valley. Ambitious hikers can hop on a 12-mile trail passing through neighboring Corwina Park, O’Fallon Park, and Pence Park.
Windy Saddle Park, Golden
In the small suburb of Golden, spend a day exploring Windy Saddle, one of the Denver area’s most scenic parks. The wind for which the park is named makes it a popular spot for paragliding and other aerial adventure sports. Park at the convenient trailhead on Lariat Loop Road and warm up with a stroll along the Beaver Brook Trail. From the same parking lot, you can take the Lookout Mountain Trail to the grave of Buffalo Bill Cody. Fit hikers and mountain bikers can then tackle the steep, challenging Chimney Gulch Trail: a steep, one-way path beginning on the west side of Golden and ending at the Windy Saddle trailhead parking lot.
Image via Flickr by Ligoweth
A Walking Beer Tour, Golden
After a few days out walking in the mountains — and perhaps immediately after climbing the Chimney Gulch Trail — you’ll surely be ready for something a little less ambitious and a little bit more sudsy. Luckily, Golden is home to several craft breweries and Coors, the beer made famous in 1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit.” Assign a designated driver, then park at 13th and Ford in the historic downtown neighborhood. Catch the shuttle bus to the brewery, and discover how the Coors team “taps the Rockies.” If you’ve still got your legs and wits about you, take a walk to Golden City Brewery and Cannonball Creek Brewery to sample their tasty beers before heading back to Denver.
With so many hiking and walking choices near this hip, clean capital city, you’ll have no need to book an overpriced cabin in a mountain resort village to enjoy some of Colorado’s best on-foot adventures.
Cory Hanson is an American travel writer specializing in North American and European travel. This is a sponsored post. Find a full sponsored content disclosure here.