What Is Urban Hiking?

5280 loop 5280loop urbanhikingden

It’s not hiking.

It’s not walking.

So what is it?

Urban Hiking is an active walk taken in an urban environment that goes through parks, uses stairwells, crosses intersections, and meanders through the city’s obstacles of life.

Rather than a walk, which might also involve a neighborhood, a park, and a street, urban hiking involves putting on a pair of shoes  that like concrete (the KEEN Gypsum), packing water and a snack, using public restrooms, and darting between cars, across crosswalks and over creeks. It’s often more strenuous than a walk, can include a local or regional trail, and it might even require your balance across an unbridged creek.

There are no elevators in an urban hike–going up is a climb, going down is an adventure. The focus is on the discovery of an adventure, not on the amount of steps, miles, or laps you’ve completed.

It’s an Attitude

5280 loop 5280loop urbanhikingden

Urban hiking is also an attitude. You’re ready for an urban hike when you’ve decided another walk around the neighborhood is unthrilling, and you’ve yet to discover other areas of your world. You may want to go alone, grab a friend, or join a group. Regardless, you’re ready to discover and break out of the routine.

It’s Not an Adrenaline Rush

Even though you’re ready to break the routine with an urban hike, it’s not about an adrenaline rush. You don’t need special ice picks, climbing cleats, or tents. Although you may know wilderness first aid, you probably won’t use it. 911 works on urban hikes.

So Get Out There

Grab your hat, your gear, your sunscreen, and your phone. If possible, jump on the local transit, take it to a destination, and do your first urban hike back to your house. Maybe you’ll be on a trail, a street, a road or an alley. Maybe you’ll wade a creek, climb a bank, or cross the commuter bridge. Have fun. Find an adventure.

If you would like some good urban hiking suggestions in Denver, be sure to get my book, Best Urban Hikes: Denver, available on Amazon and good bookstores everywhere.
Post your picture below!

See you on the trail..

~Chris