If you live in the greater Denver area, finding time to get outside can be a bit more of a challenge. There are acres of beautiful parks to escape to within Denver, but if you’re looking for something slightly more strenuous or scenic, you’ll likely have to leave the city boundaries. There are a number of awesome hikes that can be easily accessed from Denver, and they also don’t require much planning or equipment. Here is a list of five of our favorite fall hikes near Denver that are under 40 minutes from the Mile High City.
RELATED: 8 Awesome Day Trips From Denver
1. Green Mountain
Green Mountain is a 6.5-mile loop located in William Frederick Hayden Park in Lakewood. With more than 2,400 acres of open space, this is the second largest park in Lakewood, and the drive from downtown Denver is only about 15 miles. There is a large network of multi-use trails that you can travel as long as you please. The summit sits at 6,800 feet, and on a clear day you can enjoy views of both Denver to the east and the mountains off to the west. This is an easy hike that is a great option for a quick outdoor adventure and some picturesque views.
2. Centennial Cone Trail
You only have to travel about 30 miles west of downtown Denver to reach Centennial Cone Park, just passed Clear Creek Canyon Park near Golden. To access the trailhead, take Clear Creek Canyon Road until you hit Douglas Mountain Drive, which you follow up for about a mile until you reach the parking lot. This is a slightly lesser-known hike if you’re seeking something with fewer crowds. The 13.3-mile loop includes a 2,618 foot elevation gain where you will find hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. The best time to use this trail is February to November, so make sure to check it out before the snow hits.
3. Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain is a popular outdoor attraction with some intermediate trails and great sightseeing. After an easy 30 minute drive from downtown Denver, you can enjoy clear views of the metropolitan area from the top of the 7,377-foot peak. The peak is a foothill of the Rocky Mountains, located in Lookout Mountain Park, which was once used by the Ute tribe of American Indians as a lookout point for the region.
4. Mount Morrison South Ridge Trail
This trail is a 3.2-mile lightly trafficked loop, located about 20 miles west of Denver, right near Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Although this trail is accessible year-round, warmer weather certainly makes it an easier trek without slippery tracks on the steep incline. There is some light scrambling involved, which shouldn’t be taken lightly for beginner hikers. Mount Morrison is definitely for more experienced individuals, seeking a decent workout. There is a 1,955-foot elevation gain during this short hike. There are a number of great lookout points on the way up, and you’re rewarded with an awesome view at the summit.
RELATED: The 5 Best Lakes in the Denver Area
5. Genesee Summit Trail
After an easy, 20 minute drive from Denver, you can exit at the Genesee Park exit to access the trailhead for Genesee Summit Trail. This moderately trafficked loop near Golden is only 1.1 miles and is a great option for all skill levels. The hike includes 226 feet of elevation gain and is perfect for a quick outdoor adventure between April and early November. This is a great place to bring your kids, dogs, or yourself for an easy morning or afternoon pick me up.
What We Believe
We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More