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Old 05-29-2018, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Dallas
900 posts, read 1,928,020 times
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Hello, I will be in Denver for a weekend - I know I can use Google, but I wanted some locals' opinions on options to go hiking and/or whitewater rafting. I want to see some scenic mountain views and just do some cool outdoor stuff in general. Guess I'm looking to stay within a 1.5-2hr radius of Denver.

Any other outdoor recreation suggestions are welcome.

Also, are there any hiking options that are within a $40 Uber/Lyft ride from NW downtown? Trying to ascertain if I should rent a car as I have heard popular scenic hiking spots have issues with finding a parking place and I will only be in town for a few days.

Edit: Regarding the hiking - looking for trails that are easy to moderate (i.e. not rated Hard), and somewhere in-between "no other people" and "constantly walking with other people". So something not too desolate people wise but also not packed full of other hikers. Also, looking for trails that are in "trees" i.e. shaded trails rather than more wide open field trails with small tree cover. Like to feel like I am walking in a forest.

Last edited by justsomeguy; 05-29-2018 at 09:22 PM..
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:34 AM
 
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What time of year? River levels are really low this season.


Clear Creek in Idaho Springs is the closest rafting to Denver. You could drive back over squaw pass and hike Squaw Peak or any of the trails on Mt Evans (be aware of afternoon thunderstorms). The echo lake loop would be an easy, treed hike as well. FYI- most of the easier, close to denver trails get very crowded on the weekends. I would definitely rent a car if you want to get out to the mountains.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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Yes, when are you coming?

I would definitely recommend getting a car.

The Arkansas River is the best rafting option in the state. It’s about a two hour drive from Denver. The water there is dam released through August 15th so it is much more reliable than Clear Creek outside of Denver. I used to kayak in Clear Creek multiple times a week and wouldn’t really recommend it for rafting based on the very sharp blast rocks that line the Creek.

For hiking, there are tons of options. I would recommend looking at the AllTrails app. It’s a great source of info.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
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For a weekend, I would look into rafting through Royal Gorge in Canon City, and then also spend some time in Colorado Springs, to see Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Canyon and then take your pick from dozens of good hikes in that general area.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:02 PM
 
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Kayaking at Evergreen Lake is fun! You can rent a kayak or SUP there.

Here's a great resource for hikes near Denver: https://dayhikesneardenver.com/

Mount Falcon is a nice spot.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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I would be coming almost near the end of June.

Colorado Springs is cool but I've been there before (also to Garden of the Gods) so mostly looking for stuff around Denver and around the mountains/trees.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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Also, what kind clothing is needed if hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in late June? That is, are the temps like 30 degrees cooler, should you wear long clothing or short clothing?
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
I would be coming almost near the end of June.

Colorado Springs is cool but I've been there before (also to Garden of the Gods) so mostly looking for stuff around Denver and around the mountains/trees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
Also, what kind clothing is needed if hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in late June? That is, are the temps like 30 degrees cooler, should you wear long clothing or short clothing?
If you really want to stick near Denver you can raft Clear Creek. There are commercial operators there. I think it’s worth the drive to head to the Arkansas River though. Browns Canyon or The Numbers are great trips on the Ark.

For clothing at RMNP, bring layers and be ready for afternoon storms.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
Also, what kind clothing is needed if hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in late June? That is, are the temps like 30 degrees cooler, should you wear long clothing or short clothing?
If you're trying to avoid crowds, RMNP is really not a good choice. Estes and the east side of RMNP are overrun with tourists from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I personally don't enjoy going up there in the summer at all. You won't find any solace whatsoever - especially on the weekends. The west side of the park is a little quieter, but Grand Lake and Winter Park are tourist-heavy, too.

Would hiking an "easy" 13er (13,000' peak) be within your ability?

Mount Flora is a straightforward 6.5 mile hike on a solid trail right off the top of Berthoud Pass. Chances are you won't see more than a couple dozen people the whole way to the summit.

Mount Sniktau is another easily-accessible 13er right off Loveland Pass. It's a shorter hike with great views of Grays Peak and Torreys Peak, but the first mile is much steeper than Mount Flora. Sniktau will have more traffic initially than Flora, but the crowds thin out pretty quickly.

If you're considering a 14er, Mount Evans from Summit Lake is short and doable, and you can probably bum a ride back to your car if you're not feeling it once you get to the summit. You have to pay to park at Summit Lake.

If you do hike above timberline start early. The general rule is "off the summit by noon" because afternoon thunderstorms are common and can move in quickly. If you're above timberline when one hits you could become a crispy critter.

Closer to Denver, check out Roxborough State Park. It's a much smaller-scale and more intimate version of Garden of the Gods.

scottcolby recommended Mount Falcon. There are some nice trails up there, but it gets pretty crowded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
For clothing at RMNP, bring layers and be ready for afternoon storms.
And no cotton! Make sure you're wearing wool socks and either polyester or nylon outer layers that wick moisture and dry quickly.

Last edited by bluescreen73; 05-30-2018 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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Thank you for all the suggestions.

Do any of the routes to the hikes/rafting have a toll road? Trying to understand if I need to pay for toll thing at car rental place.
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