As the grass grows greener and the sun burns hotter, all I can think about is getting out on the trails, but I don’t always have time for a six-mile hike. These 12 trails range from easy strolls to more strenuous climbs, but they have one thing in common. They are all under five miles. Enjoy panoramic views of the Front Range, the glorious geological wonders of a canyon, pristine alpine lakes and meadows, and of course, local wildlife. For big payoffs without the mileage, try these 12 best hikes near Denver that will not disappoint.

Did we miss any fabulous hikes under five miles near Denver that you love? Let us know in the comments.

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Best hikes near Denver

When searching “hiking trails near me,” Bear Creek Trail popped up. What can you tell me about it?

The Bear Creek Trail is one of the most scenic hikes in Colorado. Also called the Lair o’ the Bear Trail, it is a 1.7-mile loop and from it, you can also jet off to several other wonderful trails into some of the neighboring parks. In addition to hiking, spots along the trail are also popular with mountain bikers, swimmers, and bird watchers. It also has some good picnic spots, so be sure to pack a lunch and make a day of it.

I’m looking for kid-friendly hikes around Colorado.

You’re in luck because there are oodles of kid-friendly hikes around Colorado. For starters, there’s Helen Hunt Falls Trail. Located in the North Cheyenne Canyon Area in Colorado Springs, it is only 0.8-mile and passes by a beautiful waterfall. You can also try the Adams Falls Trail in Grand Lake. The trail spans about 0.6 miles and offers spectacular views of neighboring Rocky Mountain National Park. These are just a few that the little ones in your group are sure to enjoy! 

How do I get to Rocky Mountain National Park?

Rocky National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. It is located about an hour from both Boulder and Fort Collins, and about and an hour and 45 minutes from Breckenridge. The terrain here is spectacular, encompassing approximately 265,807 acres. You can hike, fish, camp, boat, and find a host of other activities here year-round. 

What is a great day trip option in Colorado?

One of the most popular day trip options in The Rocky Mountain State is the Royal Gorge Railroad. Definitely for adults-only, it is a wine-themed train ride that winds its way from the depot in Canon City for nearly three hours through some of the state’s most beautiful countryside along the Arkansas River. The food and level of customer service are amazing. They also feature special theme events during the rides that make the journey even more unique and enjoyable.