Perfect Family Hikes Near Denver

Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
September 13, 2021 3 min read

If you're local to Denver, there's a good chance you love hiking! If you're new to the area, you'll soon realize that the Denver metro area is home to some of the country’s most beautiful hiking, and that there are tons of family-friendly hikes near Denver. Keep reading for some of our favorite family hikes near Denver!

FAMILY HIKES IN THE DENVER METRO AREA

If you don’t want to travel far, here are six places to hike or take a nature walk in the immediate Denver metro area!

CHERRY CREEK STATE PARK
Cherry Creek State Park is just 20 minutes from downtown Denver, in Arapahoe County. Cherry Creek State Park is probably one of the area's most well known parks, with all kinds of recreation, including hiking and walking.

We suggest trying the Cherry Creek Pipeline Trail, which navigates through wetlands for about a mile and a half. This trail is flat and smooth, but it can get thick with overgrowth in parts, so bring some bug spray! Please note that Cherry Creek State Park does have an entry fee.

BLUFF LAKE NATURE CENTER
The Bluff Lake Nature Center in Stapleton features an easy loop trail that circles a lake. You can view a variety of plant and wildlife on the 1.4-mile trail. It’s a wide, mostly smooth trail with a few hills. The Bluff Lake Nature Center trail is stroller-friendly!

SAND CREEK GREENWAY TRAIL
The Sand Creek Greenway Trail is a 14-mile urban trail in northern Denver. Try starting at the Star K Ranch open space or the Bluff Lake Nature Center. On this trail you’ll be able to see wildlife and great views of the city!

HIGHLINE CANAL TRAIL, DEKOEVEND PARK
At DeKoevend Park you can hop on the Highline Canal Trail and trek north toward Denver. This route is best for bikers.

SOUTH PLATTE RIVER TRAIL
The South Platte River Trail meanders through Denver and the surrounding area. We love the stretch from Empower Field at Mile High to Confluence Park. This 3-mile round-trip section will take you past the Broncos stadium, Children’s Museum, Elitch Gardens, and the Downtown Denver Aquarium.

HUDSON GARDENS
Hudson Gardens is a nonprofit botanical garden in Littleton, a short drive south of downtown Denver. You can access the grounds year-round for free. Many walking trails will take you past lakes, ponds, and native plant gardens.

MOUNT FALCON PARK
Mount Falcon Park is a popular hiking and equestrian area just west of Denver. There are multiple family-friendly hikes, so we suggest hiking up to the lookout tower. From here you'll be able to see Chatfield State Park, and downtown Denver. Park in the north lot.

BEAR CREEK TRAIL
The Bear Creek Trail hike starts from Lair O' the Bear and winds north. Bear Creek is a wonderful choice for families because it’s flat and there are so many interesting things to look at! You can play in the creek, check out huge rock formations, or peek at Dunafon Castle (a mile or so up the trail). Simply turn around when you're ready.

MULE DEER TRAIL, GOLDEN GATE CANYON STATE PARK
Golden Gate Canyon State Park is an all-seasons park. We suggest starting with Mule Deer Trail if you're new to the park. This easy trail boasts rolling hills, plenty of shade, and lovely views. The entire trail is 9 miles long, but there are loops and plenty of routes that can shorten the hike. Please note Golden Gate Canyon State Park requires an entry fee.

DAVIS POND LOOP, STAUNTON STATE PARK
Staunton State Park has an amazing program that offers track wheel chairs on many of their trails. One of these trails is the Davis Pond loop, where you can also fish. The loop is 2.3 miles. Please note that Staunton State Park charges an entry fee.

DINOSAUR RIDGE
Check out Dinosaur Ridge if your family are dinosaur enthusiasts. Along this hike you'll see real dinosaur footprints preserved in the side of the rock formations. You’ll also learn about different types of rocks and the prehistoric geology of this area. Don't forget the sunscreen!

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Lookout Mountain Trail in Golden is a wonderful trail for families. Choose from a variety of trailheads that offer varying difficulties and mileage. From the top of Lookout Mountain, you'll see downtown Denver, and can visit the grave of Buffalo Bill.

Click here for more Science and Nature fun for families! 


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