There are plenty of thrilling adventures to be had in and around the Mile High City, but the catch is that many of them require a bit of skill, stamina, and bravado in order to conquer them. If you’re looking for some incredible outdoorsy things to do in Denver that are accessible to ANYONE, we’ve got you covered! Try out these amazing outdoor experiences that are fitting and fun for the whole family!
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Take a self-guided walking tour of downtown Denver.
The Mile High City is chock-full of historic landmarks and interesting attractions, many of which are located in the heart of our bustling Downtown. Start in LoDo at Union Station and make your way to Civic Center Park, hitting up all the highlights along the way in just under two miles. Notable attractions include Coors Field, the Brown Palace Hotel, Larimer Square, the 16th Street Mall, the Millennium Bridge, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Colorado State Capitol, and the Denver Art Museum. Check out this
, and plan your walking tour today!
2. Take a ride on the Cherry Creek Trail.
This scenic 40-mile bike trail begins Downtown at Confluence Park and travels south along the Platte River all the way to the Cherry Creek Reservoir. Similar to the self-guided walking tour, one could easily bike the trail and stop at popular attractions along the route, including the Riverfront Park, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Four Mile Historic Park, and more!
3. Waste the day away at Confluence Park.
Whether you choose to bike the Cherry Creek Trail or not, Confluence Park is a great spot to spend a leisurely summer day in the Mile High City, (especially when it's swelteringly hot and feels like a concrete jungle)! You can picnic, people watch, kayak, wade in the water, and pretty much any other thing your little heart desires.
4. Waste the day away at any of our 250 urban parks.
When it comes to parks and open spaces, the Denver Parks and Recreation facilities are unmatched, boasting 250 urban parks covering roughly 6,000 acres of the metro area. They've got gardens, walking paths, lakes, fishing, boat rentals, sports facilities, museums, and more! (Pictured: Cheesman Park)
City Park is Denver's largest urban park and offers plenty in the way of outdoor activities, including tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic sites, a lake with boat rentals, the Denver Zoo, paths for biking and walking, and the infamous fountain in front of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. (And don't miss out on one of the best vista views of the city from the open-air terrace on the 4th level of the museum!)
5. Take a hike.
Along with our incredible system of urban parks, Denver’s mountain parks expand over 14,000 acres, with 22 accessible parks and 24 conservation areas.
6. Explore the historic landmarks outside the city.
Included in our fabulous mountain parks are many interesting and educational attractions, most of which require little to no hiking. Notable highlights include Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bill's Grave & Museum, Genesee Park & the Buffalo Herd Overlook, Summit Lake, Echo Lake, and the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway. (Pictured: Walker Castle Ruins at Mount Falcon Park)
7. Laze the day away at Lair O' The Bear.
Located in a beautiful canyon in the foothills of Jefferson County, Lair O' the Bear is one of the most accessible family-friendly parks near the city and is a wonderful place to spend a day outdoors with your little ones.
The park is a picturesque spot for hiking, picnicking, birdwatching, biking, and frolicking in the waters of Bear Creek.
There are also many prime spots for fly fishing, plenty of shade trees to lounge beneath, as well as a large parking lot and multiple restroom facilities.
8. Watch the sunrise or sunset over the water.
We've got some fantastic waterways just outside the metro area that provide the perfect setting for a divinely serene dawning of the day. Chatfield Reservoir, Cherry Creek Reservoir, Bear Creek Lake Park, and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge to name a few.
As the golden hour turns to twilight, you can enjoy a bit of solitude and tranquility as you watch the sun slip below the horizon. (Pictured: Bear Creek Lake Park)
9. Sail away on the Cherry Creek Reservoir.
Think you're landlocked? Think again!
Community Sailing of Colorado
offers camps and classes for children and adults, including FREE bi-monthly Sail Nights throughout the summer. Can't beat that!
10. Beat the heat at a Mile High water park.
Float the lazy river at Water World or check out one of our other aquatic havens, such as Pirate's Cove, Centennial Center Park, Bay Aquatic Park, and the Splash in Golden.
11. Soak up a Mile High sunset.
It's no secret that Denver has some unbelievably awe-inspiring sunsets, but there's one catch...you have to be outdoors to truly experience them. Sure it may be tempting to curl up in your pjs in front of your television after a long day at the office, but you could be also be missing out on a spectacularly natural neon light show just outside your doorstep. (Note: Our urban parks are the perfect spot for a sunset stroll, such as City Park seen here.)