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!


Upper Cheeseman Canyon Trail
front range hikes, day hikes, family hikes, dog friendly hikes

Upper Cheesman Trail had us startled from the start. So much more than we expected from beginning to end on this hike. The trailhead began with a short but steady incline up forested switchbacks until leveling off high above Cheesman Reservoir.




Upper Cheeseman Canyon Trail, Cheeseman Reservoir, Front Range Hikes, hiking trails, best hikes near Denver
Upper Cheesman Canyon, hikes near Denver, Hikes on the front range, Colorado Hikes, day hikes

Here the views simply command your attention. A panorama of snow-capped peaks fills the skyline with sweeping views of Cheesman Reservoir.

Easy hiking for a while among a semi-barren terrain. Not a lot of trees for shade. I can feel the sun beating down on us in early April. It’s joy after a season of snow! It’s officially springtime in Colorado, I saw my first wildflower of the season, the Crocus.

More surprises as we pass the dam and hear rushing water heading down the South Platte River. From here begins a steady downhill climb on rock steps, loose rocks, and switchbacks. Adds a little adventure and anticipation of reaching the river.





fly fishing near Denver, South Platte River, Upper Cheesman Canyon, hikes near Denver, day hikes, hiking trails,
Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail, day hikes

The hike ends at the South Platte River for Upper Cheesman Canyon. Reaching here was the highlight of this entire trail! Giant boulders and tall pines nestled in the deep canyon were spellbinding.

You could stay here for hours. If you love fly fishing this is the spot! Grab your pole & Colorado fishing license. Bring a lunch and hang out for a bit. Enjoyed this hike for a comfortable, easy day out. You will too.

Things to note: Crowded area with its proximity to Denver. Can be 90 degrees + in summer. There is little shade. Bring extra water for you and your pup.

Trekking poles come in handy. Our favorites are Hiker Hunger Poles >>> CLICK HERE for a peek.

My Favorite new hiking gear for sun & rain! Lightweight. Attaches easily to my backpack

Hiking First Aid Kit, something to always have with you on any trail.

Osprey Backpacks, are my go-to for all my day hikes. Carries that extra layer for Colorado’s fickle weather.



4.2 miles out & back

Rated: easy/moderate

938 elevation gain


Dogs ok on leash


Near Deckers, CO

No bikes, horses

Ends South Platte River

Popular for fly fishing


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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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