Explore history while hiking in the great outdoors. 

Had enough of the city and the concrete jungle? Take a nature break and squeeze every second you can out of summer with these day hikes near Denver. From geological wonders to the remnants of a millionaire’s dream, each one offers something that you won’t find on just any old trail!

Roxborough State Park

Commune with wildflowers, wildlife and majestic, dramatic red-rock formations in this nearly 4,000-acre park. There are a number of trails to accommodate any age or skill level, as well as an easily accessible overlook that offers spectacular views of the rock formations. The geology and animals (from deer to black bears!) that call the park home are definitely Gram-worthy, so don’t forget your camera!

Location: 4751 East Roxborough Drive, Roxborough, CO, 80125
Summer Park Hours: 7 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Gates close at 8:30 p.m.
Fees: Daily Pass $7; Free with Colorado State Parks Pass

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Mount Falcon Park

Enjoy fresh air, exercise and some seriously cool Colorado history at this gem. Hike the Castle Trail to see the ruins of John Brisben Walker’s mansion (victim to a 1918 lightning strike) and the cornerstone of his never-completed summer White House for U.S. presidents. Or, hit the Tower Trail and climb the wooden platform to see some spectacular views. There really isn’t a path in this 12-trail-mile park that isn’t worth the journey.

East Trailhead: 3852 Vine Street, Morrison, CO  
West Trailhead: 21074 Mount Falcon Road Indian Hills, CO  
Park Hours: Open daily one hour before sunrise and 1 hour after sunset.
Fees: Free

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Mount Falcon Walker Mansion Ruins

Mt. Falcon Walker Mansion ruins. Courtesy of Becky Talley. 

Castlewood Canyon State Park

A canyon on the plains? Yep! This unique park located near Franktown isn’t your usual mountain hike. Trails from ¼ to four miles long will take you by interesting geology, caves, a waterfall and the ruins of Castlewood Canyon Dam, which burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot wave of water barreling all the way to downtown Denver. This park has a 1.2-mile trail that is handicap accessible, as well.

Location: 673 Castlewood Canyon Rd., Castle Rock, CO
Park Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Fees: Daily Pass $7; Free with Colorado State Parks Pass

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If you choose to traverse these or other trails around Denver, be sure to pack a lot of water, sunscreen, and common sense, and enjoy!

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