I love living in Denver for a number of reasons. But one of my favorite things about living here is the unparalleled access to the outdoors. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: if you enjoy hiking, then Denver is the place for you.
There are tons of places to hike throughout Colorado as a whole, but there are a number of beautiful spots that are just a stone’s throw away from Denver. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite places to go hiking in the area. This is part two of that list. In no particular order here are 3 more places to hike.
The Loch in Rocky Mountain National Park
For a touch of the fantastic, I recommend The Loch in Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike is a total of 6.7 miles. On the trail between Alberta Falls and Mills Junction is a rehabilitated path. This was a multi-year project that was completed in 2012 by the National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. 2.8 miles in the hike is Loch Vale, better known as The Loch. This is one of the most studied watersheds in the world. For years scientists have monitored chemical inputs to the watershed in order to see what impacts humans are having and what processes are happening naturally in this environment. The word “Loch” comes from the Scottish Gaelic and Irish term for lake or a sea. The rest of the hike is fairly moderate in level of intensity. There are many more opportunities to see all the spectacular mountains and landscapes that surround this trail.
Flatirons Vista Loop
The Flatirons (otherwise known as “The Crags”) has to be one of my favorite hikes just outside of Denver. Whenever someone visits from out of town, I try to persuade them into a hike along them. The Flatirons Vista Loop is situated in Chautauqua Park–right outside of Boulder. Arriving at Chautauqua Park, you’ll find a rolling field of yellow and green. Once you get to the trail head you’ll have a couple of options. You can either go for a 3.3 mile loop or one that is 1.9 miles. Both are great for hikers of all levels. It boils down to how much time you want to spend out on the trail. If you like trail-running, it’s tough to be these loops. One of the best parts of hiking here, is that once you’re done, you can easily hop into downtown Boulder for a burger and a beer.
Glendale Farm Open Space Trail
Located near Littleton, Colorado, Glendale Farm is the perfect place to bring your dog for a little off-leash action. Yes, there’s a great trail, but there’s also a 17 acre dog park! I have a lot of friends who go here for a post-work bike or run. I personally have only been here on weekends. For what it’s worth, it’s not usually that crowded. If the hike is what brings you out there, you can do the 1.6 mile trail in less than an hour. I haven’t had any trouble with them, but watch your step for rattle snakes.
These are three of my favorite places to hike. This list is in no way exhaustive, there are tons of places to go hiking around Denver. In my next installment, I’ll tackle a few more great hikes.