52 Denver Urban Hikes–A Week-by-Week Challenge

Want to get to know Denver, get your steps in, and work on your own get-outside goals? Here are 52 urban hikes in Denver listed by the week. Each hike ranges from 3-5 miles and is a loop unless otherwise designated. We hope you’ll have a blast getting to know Denver by foot. Please post your pics and tag the with #denverbyfoot so we can see them.

Acclimating to Denver’s Altitude

No matter where you hike around Denver, starting inside the Denver city limits is a great way to start acclimating to Denver’s 5280 feet of altitude. Once you feel like you’re not losing your breath every time you move, you might be ready to tackle higher hikes like Three Sisters, Carpenter’s Peak, or even North Table Mountain. For more hikes in and around Denver that will help you adjust, check out these great books about hiking in Denver,  Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Walking Denver’s Neighborhoods. Have fun, enjoy, and breathe!

Looking for more hikes or fewer hikes? Try the Denver By Foot Challenge. For visitors, locals, and transplants alike, these 30 challenges take you to different landmarks, off-the-beaten path treasures, and obscure neighborhoods to learn more about Denver.

52 Hikes 52 Weeks. The Denver By Foot Urban Hiking Calendar

Start the Year with These Winter Urban Hikes

January 1. Start the New Year off where Denver started and higher ed came into vogue. Do the Auraria/Denver loop. Or, kick off the New Year by making new friends and joining a walking group at Walk2Connect’s annual New Year’s walk. It’s free and everyone is invited. Details at www.walk2connect.com.

January 8. Don’t have transportation or weather not cooperating? Head down to Confluence Park. You can get there by walking from Union Station or start from REI. Head out and walk this loop.

January 15. New to Denver? Continue getting the lay of the land by walking the Union Station neighborhood. Start at Union Station, then head out on this route.

January 22. Music is a big part of Denver’s history. Some think Denver’s music scene is at Red Rocks, but it actually has roots in the neighborhood of Whittier. Here, you’ll find the George C Morrison Park. It’s a linear park along Martin Luther King, Jr, Blvd which connects you to other wonderful parks that feature portions of Denver’s African-American history. Along with a chain of three other parks dedicated to African-American history in Denver, you’ll find a sweet retreat into the music scene. Beat it to this loop for an intro to some of the best music of Denver.

If you’ve worked up an appetite walking through Whittier, stop in at the Whittier Cafe and get a Denver Egg Burger. Who knew Denver had a Denver Egg Burger?

January 29. Put on your gear and get out on Segment 8 of the 9 Creeks Loop. It’s along the Cherry Creek Trail to the Platte River, and the city does a great job on keeping the trail clear of snow and ice. It’s a great walk in the winter. This is a one-way hike; or hike it as an out-n-back for as far was you want to walk.

Ready for a challenge? Although this calendar gives you a week-by-week plan, you should really try the Denver By Foot Challenge. 30 Challenges. Do them with friends or by yourself. For locals, natives, and visitors alike. Filled with history, off-the-beaten path treasures, and secret neighborhoods, you’ll really know Denver when you’re done. Click here and use code “challenge” for 10% off.

February 7. Before the season gets started out at Red Rocks, go enjoy it at the best time of the year. The winter! Do the Red Rocks Trail Loop and then stop in the Trading Post to see the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and at the Red Rocks Visitor Center. Is Red Rocks in Denver? Well, it’s technically in Morrison, but it is a Denver Mountain Park and the City of Denver owns the park.

February 14. Grab your lover, best friend, mom or cousin and share the love. Do Denver’s most romantic spots. Get your downloadable map here.

February 21. In a deep chill? Warm up on West Colfax and stop in Lake Steam Baths. You’ll also learn a little bit about Paco Sanchez on this 3-mile urban hike.

February 28. Leap day is tomorrow. Take a hike from Frog Hollow Park. Start at the trailhead at 2350 W 8th Ave, Denver, and walk up or down the Platte River from Frog Hollow. A small linear park with a great name, you may not find any frogs here. Or maybe you will? It is a great place to take a break from your ride along the Platte or just to sit and enjoy a sandwich. Once a dumping ground for the highway maintenance teams of the past, it was the original home to Lake Archer which supplied a small amount of drinking water for Denver. Perhaps that’s where the frogs were!

March 7. Ditch your car for the day and head to Sloan’s Lake (or drive if you’d like.) Bus 28 is your ticket to ride. Take the bus to the W 26th Ave and Vrain St station. Head west on W 26th toward Winona Ct. Turn left onto W Byron Pl. and follow to the lake. Walk in either direction around the lake to make a loop. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, etc. There are plenty of restrooms around the lake. You may also want to venture into the neighborhood and enjoy this walk.

March 14. Denver has one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the U.S. Let’s see where parts of it go by walking in the Capitol Hill (CapHill) neighborhood. Have fun on this loop in CapHill.

March 21. Spring is coming. Maybe not soon enough, but let’s see if any of the tulips and early bloomers are up and out yet in Washington Park’s neighborhood. Walk through WashPark and its fabulous gardens, then go check out the rest of the neighborhood.

March 28. Five Points is a giant neighborhood that includes Curtis Park, Ballpark and RiNo, which aren’t “technically” neighborhoods according to the City of Denver. But for music and art lovers, the center of Five Points is the place to uncover. You’ll find all kinds of music history here, along with fabulous art that pays tribute to the entertainment history of Denver. Have a blast on this loop and stop in Curtis Park Deli for lunch.

Spring Comes in for These Denver Urban Hikes

April 4. If the flowers weren’t blooming yet for Wash Park back in March, try again at Inspiration Park. The best time to do this short hike is at sunset. Park at the entrance to the park at 4901 N. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, and enjoy the tulip bed on the east side, then walk through the park to its western edge to watch the amazing sunset over the Clear Creek Valley. On a clear day, you can see Pikes, Longs, and Evans Peaks.

Thanks for doing the weekly urban hikes, would you like to help underwrite it? Although this calendar gives you a week-by-week plan, please buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. 30 Challenges. Do them with friends or by yourself. For locals, natives, and visitors alike. Filled with history, off-the-beaten path treasures, and secret neighborhoods, you’ll really know Denver when you’re done. Click here and use code “challenge” for 10% off.

April 11. Paid your taxes yet? Go to People’s Park, also known as Civic Center Park, and enjoy the right to assemble. Take a hike through the Central Business District neighborhood (now called Upper Downtown or UpDo) on this 3-mile loop.

April 18. Spring has sprung. Do you have your puffer and flip flops on? Before they take down the Boneyard at Ruby Hill where you can go snowboarding for free, take a walk through the Ruby Hill neighborhood on this 3-mile loop along the Sanderson Gulch.

April 25. How about a good book? Wander through the Stapleton Northfield neighborhood on their Little Free Library Trail. It’s a 3-5 mile loop, depending on how many libraries you want to peruse.

Thank you for getting to know Denver by foot. Please support us by clicking on our advertisements, buying the Denver By Foot Challenge, and visiting Amazon for our books.

May 2. For another car-free day, do a one-way, five-mile hike along the Sand Creek Greenway.

For a little bit different adventure, walk the Sand Creek Greenway between the Central Park Station and the Dahlia Street Trailhead. You’ll wander along the Sand Creek, under two major interstates, past a waterfall, and along a quiet greenway where you won’t ever hear or see I270 right next to you. It’s a good contemplative walk or even a place to catch some invertebrates in the water. Be sure to bring binoculars to spy the bird life in the reeds and along the creek bank for this 4-mile wilderness hike in the city.

The A Train is your ticket to ride. Take it to the Central Park Station. From there you have about a 5-minute walk to the trailhead. Walk east along the sidewalk that parallels the train tracks. You’ll cross the old Smith Road bridge that is closed to car traffic. At the east end of the bridge, follow the footpath down the bank. When you reach the concrete tail at the bottom of the footpath, you’ll be on the Sand Creek Greenway. The trailhead starts here and immediately goes north, then west, under the train tracks. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, etc. There are no facilities here. There is a restroom about halfway at the Commerce City Wetland Park. At the Dahlia St. trailhead, you can catch bus 40 which is a 4-minute walk to the Eudora St and 56t St Station.

May 9. Got your bottle of water with you? Did you know that water probably comes from Denver’s Marston Lake, which is fed from the Platte River. Go walk the Marston neighborhood and take a gander at Marston Lake.

May 16. Now is the perfect time to get out to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge. Filled with bison, deer, ferrets, prairie dogs, hawks, eagles, and over 100 other species, you can spend the day here on the old Army grounds. Stop in the Visitors Center first, then walk this 3-5 mile loop around its lakes.

May 23. Let’s give thanks to our Veterans on the upcoming Memorial Day. Take a walk in the Fort Logan Neighborhood and visit Fort Logan National Cemetery on this 3.5-mile loop. Bring a flag with you to decorate a grave.

May 30. School’s out for the summer! Let’s review some history and understand how Denver was the center of mandatory school busing. The lawsuits started here. Have a walk through Park Hill and get a feel for how segregation played out in Denver Public Schools on this 3-mile loop.

June 6. Jefferson Park neighborhood sits in the shadow of the more popular Highlands. But it’s a fun place to discover on this 3-mile urban hike past old homes and great downtown views.

June 13. It’s the anniversary of Denver’s 1965 flood that took out most the bridges over the Platte River in downtown Denver. Let’s remember it by walking the Athmar Park neighborhood to see the flood line on the church and the historic mosaic picnic tables that recall the flood in art form on this 3-mile loop.

Ready for a challenge? Although this calendar gives you a week-by-week plan, you should really try the Denver By Foot Challenge. 30 Challenges. Do them with friends or by yourself. For locals, natives, and visitors alike. Filled with history, off-the-beaten path treasures, and secret neighborhoods, you’ll really know Denver when you’re done. Click here and use code “challenge” for 10% off.

June 20. The summer solstice is coming. Here’s your best summer solstice hike.

June 27. Got kids in our life? Ready for a bit of fun, urban hiking, and nature play? Start at Ruby Hill Park. Depending on the age of your kids, pick the right playground for them to warm up and get started practicing their outdoor voices. Then tie their shoes and urban hike by going west on Florida Ave. Cross over the train tracks and S Platte River Drive, then loop down to the Platte River Trail to go south along the river. Follow on the trail to the south for just about a mile and you’ll reach the super fun Grant Frontier Village Park. Here kids can practice their gold mining, play outdoor musical theater, and hunt for crawdads in the oxbow through the park. They can even drive a wagon! When you’re ready, follow your footsteps back to Ruby Hill Park for just over 2 miles of walking and thousands of steps of playing. Trailhead: 1200 W Florida Ave, Denver, CO

It’s Not too Hot for These Summer Urban Hikes in Denver

July 4. It’s the 4th. Get to City Park and celebrate. Hike the lakes at City Park.

July 11. Hot? Hike from Cheesman Park to Wash Park in the shade.

July 18. Still hot? Do the Dry Gulch Lollipop loop.

Thank you for getting to know Denver by foot. Please support us by clicking on our advertisements, buying the Denver By Foot Challenge, and visiting Amazon for our books.

July 25. It’s not getting any cooler, but this urban walk will help. Enjoy Bible Park.

August 1. In a few weeks, it will be cooler. But probably not today. Cool off on First Creek at DEN trail.

August 8. The Platte River will help you keep cool on this urban hike downtown that starts and finishes with ice cream in Union Station.

August 15. In the Berkeley neighborhood, which originally watered the alfalfa of John Walker’s farm, you’ll find Berkeley Lake in Berkeley Park. Walk around the lake or the neighborhood.

August 22. School starts soon. In the spirit of walking kids to school, let’s take on the 1-mile challenge today. You can do it in your neighborhood or a friend’s. What will you discover?

August 29. With the kids back in school, do some adulting in Highland. This area, known collectively as Highlands, has great old homes, delicious ice cream, and great places to stop and eat, drink or shop along this 4-mile loop.

September 5. Let’s give a shout out to the Unions for the contributions they’ve made to fair labor laws. Lincoln Park, home to the Laborers International Union, Santa Fe Art District, The Buckhorn, and the Iron Workers Union, has a fascinating history that is told by walking through the Lincoln Park/La Alma Neighborhood on this 3.5-mile loop.

September 12. PT Barnum never lived in Denver. But don’t tell the neighors in Barnum! Take this meander though the Barnum neighborhood for some good circus-y fun.

September 19. The old Stapleton airport’s runways still exist. See them on this loop through Stapleton’s Central Park. You’ll find the trail just like you did on May 2, but this time, when you get to the trailhead under Smith Road, you’ll go to the left (away from the train tracks.)

September 26. The High Line Canal, Denver’s 71-mile urban trail, runs from just south of DIA to Waterton Canyon. Major Denver portions are in Green Valley Ranch, behind Windsor Gardens and through Cherry Creek. In Aurora on the DeLaney Urban Farm portion, you will see prairie dogs, hawks, and maybe a deer or two. Head further south to Windsor Gardens, and you can reflect on the famous Denverites buried in Fairmount Cemetery. If you want a complete cottonwood tunnel, you’ll find it between Centennial and Cherry Hills.

Denver’s portions are segments 10 and 14. If you want to enjoy a smorgasbord of delicious wild fruits on the High Line Canal Trail, get yourself hiking especially between mile markers 16-25 (from Fly n B Ranch to Julia deKoevend Park, segments 5, 6, 7.) You’ll also find a plethora of wild apples and plums. Bon appetite!

We’re grateful you’re enjoying these 52 urban hikes. Support us by also doing the Denver By Foot Challenge. 30 Challenges. Do them with friends or by yourself. For locals, natives, and visitors alike. Filled with history, off-the-beaten path treasures, and secret neighborhoods, you’ll really know Denver when you’re done. Click here and use code “challenge” for 10% off.

Fall Might Be the Best Time for These Denver Urban Hikes

October 3. Fall is the perfect time to put lots of steps in along the Platte River, where you’ll see some great fall color. This one-way hike is about 5 miles, or do it as an out-n-back for as long as you want. Here, on the banks of the Platte, you’ll find a flush of cottonwood brilliance. If you make it all the way to Carpio Sanguinette Park (previously Northside Park) you’ll be treated to wonderful sayings of optimism embedded in the concrete paths within the park. Head out on the 9 Creeks Loop on Segment 1.

October 10. To get another flush of grassy fall color, you don’t have to travel far. Check out this urban hike in Lowry for some great fall color via the grassy plains. It’s a great place to hear smaller song birds, too. A great time to do this hike is at dusk. The sun will be setting, birds will be fluttering, and you can get a high vantage point at low altitude via the Kelly Dam. You’ll do a 3.5-mile loop.

October 17. Wondering what’s going on with the I-70 expansion? It’s impacting the neighborhoods below it, which are some of the most fascinating in Denver. Learn about Elyria and Swansea and meander on this 2.5-mile loop through the neighborhood, getting a first-hand experience of the interstate’s impact. (Please note that due to construction, you may need to veer from this route.)

October 24. Let’s tromp through Regis neighborhood’s college campus,  on this loop that includes Regis University.

October 31. Happy Halloween. Rumor has it that one of the best houses to see decorated is the Montclair Mansion in Montclair neighborhood. Go check it out while enjoying this east neighborhood full of fabulous turn-of-the-century homes.

November 7. The Lowry neighborhood used to be an old Air Force base, teaching aerial photography. Its aviation history remains. Do this loop in Lowry to learn a bit about President Eisenhower’s stay and to see what might be the world’s largest sundial.

November 14. Last week, you said hi to Dwight Eisenhower. This week, meet his Denver-based wife, Mamie. Walk the University Hills/Wellshire neighborhood and visit Mamie D Eisenhower Park on this 3.75-mile loop.

November 21. Thanksgiving is upon us. Do you have family coming in town? Help them acclimate to the altitude, then go show off Denver. Arrive at Union Station. Walk out its front door and up 17th Street to the Brown Palace, then walk back down the 16th Street Mall back to Union Station. Add in a bit extra by walking over to the Capitol from Brown Palace and show off our 5280′ markers on the Capitol steps.

Buy Experiences, not Gifts. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us, please support Denver By Foot and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. 30 Challenges. Do them with friends or by yourself. For locals, natives, and visitors alike. Filled with history, off-the-beaten path treasures, and secret neighborhoods, you’ll really know Denver when you’re done. Click here and use code “challenge” for 10% off.

November 28. Hilltop tops Denve as its highest neighborhood and has a great Jewish history. Visit this plush neighborhood and its fun Cranmar Park with its historic sun dial and mountain range diorama on this 3.5-mile loop.

Belcaro urban hiking eatwalklearn

December 5. The Country Club Neighborhood has a giant mansion and custom homes. They decorate their homes for show. Take a 3-mile loop hike through the ‘hood, get into the holiday mood and learn why there’s no 2nd Avenue through Country Club.

December 12. The Belcaro Neighborhood also technically includes Bonnie Brae, according to the City of Denver. Whether you agree or not, you will admit that there’s some gorgeously decorated houses here, including another castle. Take a 3-mile loop hike through these two icons and get in the holiday mood.

December 19. Feeling a little stressed about the holidays? Escape onto segment 7 of the 9 Creeks Loop. You’ll pass a bevy of Sister City Parks and enjoy some quiet time on the Cherry Creek. This is a one-way, 5-mile hike. Feel free to turn it into an out-n-back or grab a Lyft at the end to get back to your start.

December 26. Congratulations. You’ve walked 52 urban hikes in Denver, counting today. To finish up this adventure, enjoy the Hale neighborhood on this 3-mile loop through a quickly changing area of central Denver.

Thank you for getting to know Denver by foot. Please support us by clicking on our advertisements, buying the Denver By Foot Challenge, and visiting Amazon for our books.