Urban Hiking though Denver's Race Barrier in Whittier and Skyland

Urban Hiking through Denver's Race Barrier in Whittier and Skyland

Tucked just east of Five Points is a pair of neighborhoods people often overlook while cruising Martin Luther King Blvd. But that's a shame; Whittier and Skyland have something to say in which all Denverites should listen. Walking these two neighborhoods together is imperative; their history is intertwined in a story of integration. Race Street, particularly, runs through the middle of these two neighborhoods and historically marked Denver's color barrier. Together, these neighborhoods tell the story of remembering. Let's start the story with Whittier.

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Where Is Whittier?

Whittier sits with 23rd Avenue to the south, Martin Luther King Boulevard (32nd) to the north, Downing St. to the west and York St. to the east. Named after John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), an abolitionist poet and a founding member of the American Republican political party, the neighborhood lives and breathes history that melts over from Five Points, jazz music, and Denver's integration story.

The Color Line

While walking the neighborhood, you'll learn many things, including these four interesting treasures. Race St was the historical color line of Denver. In order to recall the history, you can find scant traces of an art project called the Whittier Alley Loop project. from 2015. This project told the story of integration and race through murals, artwork, and stories painted into the street. Although almost completely gone, the Whittier Alley Loop project can still be seen with careful eyes and keen sight.

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The First Female Millionaire and Hair

Along the short loop, you'll learn about treasure number two. Whittier was home to Madam CJ Walker's African-American hair care business. She became the first self-made, female, African-American millionaire, influencing beauty all over the US, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Knocking door to door, she schlepped hair tonic and solutions to an audience who loved her. Although her business didn't stay in Denver, her impact did.

Buffalo Bill's Final Wish

You may know that Buffalo Bill's final wish was to be buried on Lookout Mountain. But did you know he made that wish from right here in Whittier? Treasure number three is an interesting piece of local history as well--the home where Buffalo Bill Cody died! Pony Express rider, war veteran, bison killer and sideshow salesman, the place where he died still remains. Look for his sister's home in the 2900 block of Lafayette. The metal bison in the yard gives him away.

The Local Music Teacher and Political Guru

Morrison Park, named after George C Morrison who is known as the godfather of jazz, centers Whittier as a fourth treasure. Make sure to read the lovely signage and memorial to him, which links him to the historic Five Points jazz scene. He also held political court of many influencers who knew the importance of stopping in to see a community leader.

Jumping to the Skyland

Skyland, more commonly known as North City Park Neighborhood, is bordered by Martin Luther King Boulevard to the north, East 23rd Avenue to the south, Colorado Boulevard to the east and York Street to the west, sitting just east of Whittier and includes the City Park golf course (which currently is closed and is future is uncertain.)

Skyland's neighborhood association, North City Park Civic Association, has been around almost 40 years, and they've posted signs at the neighborhood's entries. Although Skyland doesn't have the more exciting history that Whittier has, it, too has contributed to the area's wax and wane with Five Points and Whittier. While walking in Skyland,, you'll find the typical mix of older homes and 1940s homes, but the 1940s dominate the area. It also includes the historically denoted home of Denver's first black architect (who was blind in one eye!) at 2600 Milwaukee St.

Walking the two neighborhoods together will help you see how the "color line" affected both areas. You'll also see the mix of history, the development of some beautiful pocket parks, and an attempt to keep history alive. This 3.3-mile walk keep you talking about both neighborhoods even after you finish.

 

The Route:

Start at 3019 N Lafayette St. Walk south past the community garden and through the park. Look for the house on the east side of the street that has a buffalo in its yard. That's the death place of Buffalo Bill.

Take a left on E 30th Ave, right on Franklin, then a left on E 29th Ave. Walk south and diagonally through Denver's second oldest park, Fuller Park. Say hello to the dogs in the dog park and pass along Manuel High School. Continue to the east along E 28th Ave.

At the corner of High St and 28th, enjoy the mural on the library. Then, walk up the alley to the west of High Street, seeing the remnants of the Whittler Alley Loop project. Continue up the alley to E 30th.

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Take a right and enjoy the history of Madame CJ. Continue to the east, crossing High and then heading south in the alley behind High St. Take a left on E 28th Ave.

Take a right on Race St, then a left on 26th Ave. Cross York into Skyland. Take a left on Josephine St.

Take a right on E 27t Ave and a left on Elizabeth, a right on E 28th Ave, then a left on Clayton, making your way through Skyland. Notice the variation in homes with the block from turn of the century to modern.

Pass the local schools, then continue to take a right on E 30th Ave, then a left on Fillmore St. Take a left on E 31st Ave, continuing your amble in Skyland.

Cross York again, then at High, take a right. At MLK, take a left, walking through Morrison park and stopping to read its history. At Lafayette, take a left, returning back to your start.

Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.

Walking Whittier and Skyland and Supporting Denver By Foot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

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An Urban Hike with Trains! Trails! Tales! at Union Station Denver

An Urban Hike with Trains! Trails! Tales! at Union Station Denver

Union Station neighborhood, which is basically what the locals call "LoDo," is a small and very dense neighborhood around Union Station. If you've ever taken the train into Union Station, you've ridden right through the neighborhood.

The boundaries of the Union Station Neighborhood are the Platte River, 14th St, 20th St and Larimer St. When walking this neighborhood, arrive at Union Station via the train or public transit and save yourself the headaches of trying to park. Taking an urban hike around Union Station, you'll learn about some of Denver's very beginnings, see amazing artwork, transport yourself to the glory days of railroad, and possibly grab a great bite to eat.

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Where Denver Began

The Union Station neighborhood is loaded with Denver's most fun restaurants, the fabulous Union Station, awe-inspiring new apartment and condo buildings, good parks, great pedestrian bridges, the 16th St Mall, and views all around. But before you even head out of the station, if you did in fact arrive by train, be sure to spend some time in the train station itself.

Visit The Trains and Their Station First

Union Station out survived all the other train stations that competed to get the train traffic in Denver. An original train station built in 1881 burned in 1894 to be replaced in two stages by the current Romanesque Revival, which was updated, restored, and reopened in 2014. At one point, over 150 trains ran through the station. Now with the new RTD station, the commuter trains and light rail are back, competing with Amtrak and freight trains.

As you tour around Union Station (this is also a great walk to do at night), be sure to not only go to the second floor and look out the Cooper Bar windows up 17th Street, marvel at the restored chandeliers, gobble good eats from any of the restaurants, and maker sure to buy a copy of my book, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver, from the Tattered Cover inside Union Station! You'll want to escape to the basement and find the old bathrooms. It's kinda fun down there. You might even stop at the info stand and quiz the volunteer, or if you're feeling ritzy, check into the new Crawford Hotel, built by Dana Crawford, who also restored Larimer Square.

An Urban Hike through Union Station Neighborhood

On this particular urban hike, you'll walk through Larimer Square, to Coors Field, and across several pedestrian bridges. The route is only about two miles, but there are a few things you'll want to spend time enjoying.

Don't Miss the Masquerade Ball...

(Note: currently, the Evolution of the Ball is being protected in storage while Coors Field undergoes renovation. It should be back up to the public in summer 2020. Instead, spend time finding Red Velvet.)

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Be sure not to miss the darling and often overlooked Evolution of the Ball sculpture at the entry into the Coors Field ballpark, which happens to be in the Five Points neighborhood but its entry is officially in Union Station's neighborhood. See if you can find The Masquerade Ball! It's a two-column piece of art made with ceramic tiles that have different baseballs embedded in them. Be sure to read the name of the balls and correlate them to the chart denoting why the balls are named as they are.

Larimer Square Awaits You

On the route, you'll walk through Larimer Square. Originally home to some of Denver's original buildings, and lovingly restored by Dana Crawford, you'll want to take time admiring a few things. On the east side of the street you'll see a courtyard about mid-block. Enter it to enjoy some artwork on the ceilings and get exposed to the Larimer Square walking tour. On the west side of the street, stop in The Market for the best desserts in this part of town, then make your way to the alley behind the west side of the buildings for an alley cat surprise.

Trains Run through It

As you cross the three pedestrian bridges on this route, be sure to eye the north/south views along the train tracks and the east/west views up the Streets and to the Rockies. This walk arguably has the best views in Denver, seconded only by Green Valley Ranch's! At one time, the employee responsible for raising and lowering the arm for pedestrian traffic at Union Station did it every 7 seconds due to the amount of trains coming through Denver.

The Route:

Start inside Union Station at 1701 Wynkoop St. Tour the station, making sure you go upstairs to the lounge and look east up 17th St. Admire the chandeliers from the second floor, go to the basement and see the old bathrooms, and generally just explore the station.

When you're ready, exit the rear of the station, go to the right, and take the left up the stairs over the train tracks. Exit the stairs onto 18th St, heading westerly and crossing Wewatta and Chestnut.

Take the second set of stairs over the freight rail tracks, exiting onto 18th and crossing Bassett. At Little Raven, take a left.

Walk through the park toward the south, following the trails and enjoying the Platte River. Work your way back toward Little Raven to use the pedestrian bridge, also known as Millennial Bridge. Play in the large red reed sculpture at the foot of the steps, then go up the steps, crossing back over the tracks and down to 16th Street.

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Take a right on Chestnut Pl and then a right on Delgany. Cross 15th St and pass the Museum of Contemporary Art and its Toxic Schizophrenia piece. Right before Cherry Creek take a left, walking easterly above the Creek.

Continue along the Creek, taking the ramp down to the Creek. At Larimer, take the ramp back up to 15th Street, and continue on Larimer toward 16th St.

Walk through historic Larimer Square. There are various plaques on the buildings telling historical moments that you may enjoy. Continue on Larimer to 16th St, take a left.

Walk along 16th St to Blake St and take a right. Take a left on 17th, enjoying the views of Union Station. You'll pass the Oxford Hotel. If you're in the mood, visit the lobby of the Oxford to enjoy their fabulous western art collection, and peek into the Cruise room to see their Art Deco wall sconces.

Leave the Oxford, walking down the alley between Wynkoop and Wazee toward 20th. At 20th, approach the entry to the Ballfield to find the Evolution of the Ball sculpture (in storage until summer 2020). Once you've enjoyed the artwork, turn toward Wynkoop.

Walk along Wynkoop, passing the original Union Station on the right and Wynkoop Brewery, founded by Governor Hickenlooper before he was Governor, on your left. Return back to Union Station where you started.

Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.

Walking LoDo Union Station and Supporting Denver By Foot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!


Auraria Denver Urban Hike Through Denver's Historical Beginnings

Auraria Denver Urban Hike Through Denver's Historical Beginnings

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The Auraria neighborhood overlooks the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek. Many folks know Auraria as the home to three college campuses or as the site of the original Denver. But the one common denominator that pulls together this neighborhood would be the rise and fall of political agendas. For this Denver Neighborhood walk, you'll take an urban hike through Auraria, learn about the impact the 1965 flood had on an entire community, get a whiff of social injustice and discover a rich history of the wax and wane of Denver.

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Gold!

Auraria Urban Hiking--Where Denver Politics Began Many folks know Auraria as the home to three college campuses or as the site of the original Denver. But t

Denver's history actually started up river near the Dry Creek and Platte River confluence at what is now Grant Frontier Park in a town originally called Montana City. When the wished-for gold didn't appear, the settlers moved down river to the confluence of the Cherry Creek and Platte River. Here, two brothers from Auraria, Georgia (named after the chemical element for gold, Au), resettled their community, still hoping for the big gold strike. It never came at the confluence, but gold did strike just down river at the confluence of the Clear Creek and the Platte, where you can still pan for gold!

None the less, Auraria sprouted up quickly. It drew the attention of General William Larimer who arrived to town and established the competing town of Denver, named after the Kansas Territorial Governor James W Denver, across from the confluence. Tousling and politicking began. Soon, Auraria gave way to Denver, and Denver became the queen of the Platte River. Legend says that the Auraria coalition lost to the Denver coalition in naming rights over a whiskey and a duel. Thus, Denver overtook Auraria.

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By the way, ever wondered why there are so many five-pointed intersections in Denver? Auraria laid out its streets parallel to the Cherry Creek and Denver laid them out parallel to the Platte River. When the joined, the cattywompus streets came together in five-way intersections.

As you're walking through what is now the Higher Ed Campus, you'll see the old Tivoli Brewing building, which is now a student-run brewery inside the student center. Historically, with people came beer, of course. The Tivoli Brewing company established in 1864 and grew quickly, changing hands many times. After the 1965 flood and employee strike, it closed, only to return later as part of the college campus.

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Why Is there an Historic District in the Middle of a College Campus?

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When the 1965 flood invaded Auraria and destroyed much of the vibrant Hispanic neighborhood that originally settled in this area, Denver leaders gathered to decide how to renovate and restore the destruction. Ultimately politicking their way to building an Higher Education campus to home UC Denver, Metro State, and Community College of Denver, Denver politicians' decisions displaced the remaining Hispanic population and created the 9th Avenue Historic District. Many of the original members of the Hispanic population moved to the Lincoln/La Alma neighborhood. The original church, St Cajetan, still remains on the campus and is now the student center. Students who can claim heritage to the original Hispanic families receive scholarships to any of the Auraria campus school.

In the 9th Avenue Historic District, you'll find many examples of uniquely-Denver architecture, Golda Meir's home, and department offices.

Amusement Parks!

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Shortly following the campus designation, Elitch Gardens moved in (which is moving out in 2021.) Then, not to be outdone by the other large event arenas in the area, the City put in the Pepsi Center in 1999 where Celine Dion opened the venue. Thus by the early 2000s, not much remained of the original neighborhoods but the regional politicking continues.

Neighborhood Boundaries

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The existing Auraria neighborhood boundaries make a  triangle shape of I25, the Cherry Creek and West Colfax.

The Route

To enjoy an urban hike through Auraria and to hit on the top spots mentioned above, you can do a nice 3.5 mile route in and around the campus. Start at the Auraria Library (take public transit to get there, 1100 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80204.) Head east toward downtown, crossing Speer and catching the ramp down to Cherry Creek. Cross the creek then take a left on the pedestrian path, avoiding the bikes only path on the south side of the creek.

Notice all of the street art along the walls that bank the creek. Funded by the Denver Arts and Venues, these murals change often, so return often. Right before arriving at the confluence of the Platte River and the Cherry Creek, take the ramp up and then across Cherry Creek.

Continue around the bend at the confluence, staying on the east side of the Platte. You'll pass Centennial Gardens, patterned after Gardens of Versailles, that has paths and patterned flowerbeds showcasing native species. You'll then pass Elitch Gardens, an amusement park full of roller coasters, which was once on the outskirts of town and was then relocated to this location in 1995. It's moving again in 2021.

Pass under Bronco bridge, then veer to the left past the small, blue parking building. Cross the railroad tracks and then the light rail tracks, staying on the sidewalk as it bends slightly to the right. You'll arrive back on the Auraria campus. At 8th Street, take a right.

Walk one block, take a left and then take a right on 9th Street. You'll see the 9th Street Historic District in front of you. On the right is the St Cajetan's church. Once the cultural and religious center of the community, it now serves as venue to the universities and community events. Continue down the street, passing Golda Meir's house. Be sure to read the plaques in front of each home, and you'll discover stories of the locals, the architecture and more history of the area.

At the end of the sidewalk, make a u-turn and continue up the other side of 9th Street Historic District, and continue to read the plaques along the way. When you reach the mercantile, take a right on Curtis Street and a left on 10th Street, returning back to where you started at the library.

Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.

Walking Auraria Neighborhood and Supporting Denver By Foot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!


A Quaint Urban Hike through Athmar Park Denver

A Quaint Urban Hike through Athmar Park

Quaint and Quiet Athmar Park

Tucked away just south of Alameda and west of I25 sits a quaint neighborhood subtly making its way into the 21st century, Athmar Park.

athmar park urban hiking denver

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Founded by two developers who annexed smaller neighborhoods into Athmar Park, and named after their wives by using the first couple letters of each first name, this mostly rectangular-shaped neighborhood remembers its early settlement and 1965 flood history. You’ll find mosaics in the neighborhood parks reflecting the flooding tragedy, and you’ll throw back to the 60s in the Athmar Park shopping center. Homes from the 1940-60s dominate the character of the neighborhood, although older homes decorate a few blocks and corners.

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The Athmar Park Parks

In the neighborhood are several parks; Aspgren, Huston Lake, Vanderbilt Park and Habitat Park. Click on these links to see videos about the parks.

Aspgren Park video

Huston Lake video

Vanderbilt Park video

Aspgren: Although this park, named after Clifford Aspgren a former Colorado State Congressman, does not have many amenities, it plays an important role in telling the story of the 1965 flood through Athmar Park. Here, you’ll find three tables with mosaic tops. These tops tell the story of how the community came together after the flood. Three additional tables are in Huston Lake Park just to the west. At Aspgren Park, the three tables hold special memories. The first commemorate the 1965 flood, the second references love, and the third is a modern design.

Huston Lake: With stunning views across the lake to the west of the Rockies, Huston Park, the jewel of the Athmar Park neighborhood welcomes you. Named after  N.K. Huston, an original landowner in the area, the swampy area was originally called “Frenchie’s Lake” and was where neighbors gathered to ice skate and swim.  Now, the park’s amenities attract football, soccer, baseball, softball and basketball players. Tennis lovers volley in the courts, and walkers and runners scoot around the lake for a mile loop. In the summer, grab your horseshoes or bring your camera to photograph the flower beds and bird life. The playgrounds welcome small and big kids, and the fitness area finds folks doing chin ups and sit ups.

Vanderbilt Park: People come here to play ball. Whether for softball or baseball, their team and their leagues enjoy great evenings and afternoons of batter up. With diamonds that sit opposite each other, the hit ball can go almost as far as it wants.

Where is Athmar Park?

Athmar Park's neighborhood boundaries are North: W Alameda Ave, West: S Federal Blvd, South: W Mississippi Ave, East: The South Platte River (roughly I25).

A Good Curated Urban Hike through Athmar Park

The best way to get to know Athmar Park is to walk it. The neighborhood sits on a hill, so you'll have some ups and downs to enjoy as you meander though its streets. You'll find sidewalks and relatively calm streets that are easy to navigate. This route takes you by the major parks, near the famous mosaic tables, and by a few of the oldest houses in the neighborhood.

The Athmar Park Route:

Start at Huston Lake, named after an early resident, making your way east to S Vallejo St. Turn left (north). Look to your left and enjoy the fantastic view over the lake toward the Rockies. Take a right on W Exposition Ave, crossing Tejon. Take a left on S Shoeshone St, catching spectacular views of downtown Denver. At W Virginia St, take a left one block to S Tejon St and then go right. Walk up S Tejon St to W Nevada Place, take a right.

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Notice the home at 1597 W Nevada Place. Built in 1912, this is one of a few remaining original farm homes. Most farms in this area harvested celery and wheat. Continue along Nevada to 1395 W Nevada Place, another home from that time period. Turn right on S Navajo Street.

Pass St Rose of Lima Church on the right. The 1965 flood completely engulfed the church, moving its way all the way west through the 1400 block. Continue up the hill to Aspgren Park. Named after a Colorado State Representative from Hilltop who served in the House in the 50s, this park has 3 picnic tables on its western end. Pay close attention to the mosaics on the tables. One commemorates the 1965 flood, the second shows hearts and reflects love, the third embraces a modern pattern.

Continue to W Exposition Ave, take a right. Take a left on S Pecos. Take a right on W Ohio St. Take a left on S Quivas St. Take a right on W Kentucky Ave. Take a left on S Tejon. Before approaching Mississippi, look to your left at the 1959 Athmar Park sign in front of the shopping center.

Turn right on Mississippi and notice the Athmar Park library. Moved into this restored church in 1999, admire the sculpture, kinetic wind sculpture by Robert Mangold, which originally showed at the Denver Art Museum.

Continue west to Zuni Street. Return back to Lake Huston and notice the three picnic tables under the pine trees just to the east. These three also have mosaic tops commemorating: 1. The ladies of Valverde Presbyterian church who quilted here for 40 years, 2. The mountain view across the lake conceived by well-known Colorado oil painter and neighborhood resident, Brenda Hendrix,  and 3. A mosaic flower table created by Valverde Elementary school children.

When finished admiring the mosaics, take one last look at the lake. Originally called Frenchie’s Lake, this lake entertained swimmer and ice skaters year round in the mid 1950s.

Walking Athmar Park and Supporting Denver By Foot

If you've enjoyed this walk, maybe you'll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you'll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It's a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert's books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!


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

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

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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.