12 favorite trails for amazing day hikes near Denver. Do one of these and you will be itching to do another one!

Different levels of skills for each one but certainly doable with acclimation to altitude and hiking at your own pace.

Guaranteed to get you hooked on hiking!

SILVER DOLLAR TRAIL

Hikes on Guanella Pass, Colorado, day hikes, family hikes, hikes near Denver, Georgetown CO, day hiking trails, Colorado trails

GUANELLA PASS

Silver Dollar Lakes Trail on stunning Guanella Pass is a true Colorado experience! Beautiful dense pine forest to high above timberline reaching spectacular views while passing one alpine lake, being greeted by a 2nd alpine lake, and reaching the 3rd lake at 12,178 in elevation.

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HERMAN GULCH TRAIL

Colorado Hikes, hiking, day hikes, best hikes near Denver, Herman Gulch, top hikes near Denver, Colorado

BAKERVILLE, CO

Herman Gulch Trail, a heart-pumping hike through fields of wildflowers, and landing at a crystal clear alpine lake surrounded by the Continental Divide Peaks.

One of the most sought-after hikes in the front range of Colorado, for good reasons. I’ve often hiked here in the offseason but decided to try a summer day which turned out to be a spectacular display of wildflowers!

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CHICAGO LAKES TRAIL

Chicago Lakes, Echo Lake, Mt Evans Wilderness, Colorado, Colorado hikes, Colorado trails, Day hikes, best hikes in Colorado, hikes near Denver,

MT EVANS WILDERNESS

Chicago Lakes Trail is a high-altitude delight as it winds its way to two alpine lakes into the Mt. Evans Wilderness. Wildflowers, wildlife, and views are abundant in summer. Fall and Winter hold magic as the snow settles in on the peaks. A favorite local trail!

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BUTLER GULCH TRAIL

best hikes near Denver, day hikes,

EMPIRE, CO

Butler Gulch is an incredibly beautiful hike amid a sprinkling of wildflowers, old mining remnants, a waterfall, and snow-capped peaks. Take the loop hike and find unimaginable views that take your breath away while Marmots and Pikas check you out. One of our favorite day hikes.

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> CLICK HERE for practical gear that we love at Crazy About Colorado and have in our backpacks on every hike.

FOREST LAKES TRAIL

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ROLLINSVILLE, CO

Forest Lakes Trail takes you to 2 lovely alpine lakes, one that is tranquil and one that rests among the rugged Continental Divide peaks. A gentle wide path in the first mile then an adventure as you hike higher up. Wooden bridges, meadows, and dense forests take you up to a mountain paradise hidden at the treeline. It’s a gem!

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ISABELLE LAKE & GLACIER TRAIL

Isabelle Glacier Trail, Rocky Mountain Trails, Brainard Recreation Area, best day hikes in Colorado

BRAINARD REC AREA, WARD, CO

Isabelle Glacier Trail is like hiking into a Colorado postcard. Unmatched in its scenic beauty from beginning to end. It’s a hike that screams “this is Colorado”. You can hike to gorgeous Isabelle lake for an easier yet beautiful day or be adventurous and hike onto Isabelle Glacier.

We hiked in October and the shadows & colors were phenomenal.

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Hiking First Aid Kit. If you don’t have it you will need it!

Consider extra hydration on any hike. Dehydration intensifies at higher altitudes.

Bear Spray. I have never had to use mine. But, having it with me is a comfort!

ST. MARY’S GLACIER

St. Mary's Glacier, hikes near Denver, family hikes, Colorado Mountain hikes

ALICE, CO near IDAHO SPRINGS, CO

St Mary’s Glacier Trail is a must-see hike in Colorado not far from Denver and doable for anyone. Avid hikers can keep on going and it just gets better! It’s a short hike to reach the Glacier and see incredible scenery plus snow year-round!

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CRATER LAKE TRAIL

hikes near Denver, Arapahoe National Forest, day hikes, Colorado

ROLLINSVILLE, CO

Crater Lakes is in the heart of the James Peaks Wilderness and the perfect day hike or backpacking weekend. Nestled just below the Continental Divide, the setting is unbeatable.

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CHIEF MOUNTAIN TRAIL

SQUAW PASS RD, EVERGREEN, CO

Chief Mountain Trail is a great beginner summit hike. It’s a decent climb, right from the start for 1.5 miles while gaining 1000 ft in elevation. 360-degree views at the summit rival those of Colorado’s 14ers.

Once you do this trail, you’ll be excited to do more high-altitude hikes on the substantial peaks!

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THREEMILE CREEK TRAIL

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GUANELLA PASS near GRANT, CO

Threemile Creek Trail is a moderate hike through a pine & aspen forest. Numerous creek crossings as you hike up into the Mt. Evans Wilderness kept us entertained!

We encountered lots of Beaver activity and the largest Beaver Pond I’ve ever witnessed. Was a treat!

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My personal favorite wildflower book.

Outdoor Families love this book.

Waterproof, easy carry field guides.

UPPER CHEESMAN CANYON TRAIL

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DECKERS, CO

Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail is not far from Denver CO but feels miles away! Cheesman Reservoir sparkles in the bright sun as bare terrain mixed with pines line the trail. The higher you hike the more the views that sweep across the waters. 

Ends at the South Platte River, the highlight of the hike!

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BEN TYLER TRAIL

Park County Hikes, Colorado trails,

SHAWNEE, CO

Ben Tyler Trail is a hiking haven that few know about located just 20 minutes past Bailey, CO. on Hwy 285. Most just pass it by as they head to the high country for winter snowshoeing or summer hiking. Don’t, it’s quiet and a gorgeous hike as it leads you far into the Lost Creek Wilderness Area.

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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