Sometimes those who are seeking one of the many breathtaking views that we are spoiled with here in the Mile High City are required to work up a little sweat. But, believe me, if you are willing to make the trek up some of the various stairways to be found in the Denver area, you will not be disappointed. Here are 8 view-worthy spots where taking the stairs is definitely worth the effort.
1. Red Rocks Amphitheater: A nationally recognized music venue that also offers a killer workout with a view.
About 750,000 non-concert goers visit Red Rocks every year and many of them like to push their limits on the stairs for an unbeatable high altitude workout. There are two staircases on either side of the seats that take you from the lower parking lot area to the upper concession level. Each has approximately 380 steps.
Once you've reach the top, which sits at 6,435 feet, make sure you turn around to take in the spectacular panoramic view.
From the top row, you can see all the way to Denver International Airport (39 miles away) on a clear day.
2. Mother Cabrini Shrine - A beautiful pilgrimage.
If you have noticed the white statue of Jesus while driving west of Denver along I-70, you may want to take the opportunity to see it up close and personal. By climbing the 373-steps of the "stairway of prayer," you will be led to the 22 foot statue of the sacred heart of Jesus that was mounted on an 11 ft. base in 1954.
Many like to take the journey to the top to experience the peaceful area for prayer and reflection, and also to soak in the beauty of both the statue and the 360 degree view of Denver and the foothills to the west.
The Mother Cabrini Shrine is a short drive from Denver and is open to the public 7 days a week.
3. Colorado State Capitol - Steps that lead to the official "Mile High" seal.
At the west entrance of Colorado's state capitol building, you can climb the steps to stand at the exact height of 5,280 feet above sea level.
In 1909, the fifteenth step was denoted as the exact height with the words, "One mile above sea level" engraved on the step. But, in 1969 some engineering students from CSU surveyed the site and found that 5,280 feet was actually found at the 18th step, and a badge was added. With more advanced technology in 2003, another set of researchers found the official mile high altitude to be at the 13th step, and that is currently recognized as the official height for the city of Denver.
4. Inside the Colorado State Capitol Building: Climb the steps to a spectacular view.
About 70,000 people take part in a tour of this beautiful and historic building each year, so these free guided tours are in high demand. Each weekday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., tours are offered every hour, on the hour.
The 100 steps lead to an observation deck with unbeatable Denver views.
There are stairs that lead even higher up the dome, but those are exclusively for employees.
5. Millennium Bridge: Connecting 16th Street Mall to Riverfront Park with spectacular scenery along the way.
You have the choice of taking the glass elevator to the top of this pedestrian bridge, but we recommend climbing the stairs to the top to really soak in your surroundings.
Not only is it a way to get from here to there, but it is also a wonderful spot to relax, enjoy the Platte River, and take in the Downtown Denver view.
At 25 feet above street-level, this cable-stayed bridge uses post-tensioned structural construction and, when built, was the first of its kind in the world. This unique tubular steel footbridge was designed to resemble the mast of a ship with its 200 ft tall white tapered steel mast.
6. Coors Field: Climb up to the mile high seats to take in both a great game, and a great view.
Found in the 20th row of the upper section (just 6 rows from the top) of Coors field, a row of 865 purple seats wraps around around the stadium.
These purple seats aren't simply a decoration, but instead they mark our city's famous elevation of 5,280 feet.
The most picturesque seats are found in the right center area, where you will be treated to sweeping views of downtown to the left and the majestic Rocky Mountains straight ahead. It should be stated that while these seats do offer gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains, the view of the Rockies on the field isn't as stellar (you're sitting REALLY high above the playing field).
7. Devil's Head Lookout: A Historical climb with a panoramic reward.
This classic hike takes you to the top of Devil's head trail, where you will then climb 143 steps to reach the fire lookout.
The current structure was built in 1951 and is the only operational fire lookout in the state of Colorado.
From the lookout you will take in rarely seen features of Colorado's front range.
8. Manitou Incline: 2,744 steps that lead to spectacular views of Colorado Springs and the eastern plains.
This extreme trail was originally utilized for cable cars to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak. After the pipelines were finished, it became a tourist attraction.
From start to finish, the inline is one mile in length and climbs 2,000 feet.
After you catch your breath at the top, you'll definitely want to turn around a reap the rewards of the hard work you just put in. The view will take your breath away (as if the hike didn't already do that!).
What are some other stairways that you have enjoyed that ended with a beautiful reward? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.