The outskirts of Denver offer great winter hiking opportunities. Colorado redrocks, open meadows, deer, and other assorted wildlife are factors that draw outdoor enthusiasts to these areas outside of Denver. If you’re an experienced backpacker or someone looking to experience an easy day-time stroll through scenic landscape, this environment offers a wide range of trails that will accommodate any skill level or ability.
Rocky Mountain National Park, outside of Estes Park, has a snowshoe trail less than a mile long that leads to Emerald Lake. This trail has easy access during the winter, and it isn’t too difficult for small children. Don’t let the short distance of this hike fool you. On this hike you will be amazed by the winter wonderland. Hikers will pass Dream Lake and Nymph Lake before they end up at Emerald Lake with visually stunning views of Hallet Peak. In addition to the beautiful scenery, hikers will be exposed to wildlife such as squirrels, birds, elk, and the occasional bear.
Approximately 45 minutes outside of Denver toward Colorado Springs lies Roxborough State Park. In Roxborough State Park you will find the Fountain Valley Trail. If you’re looking for a secluded trail surrounded by beautiful redrock formations this is where you will find it. This is a very family-friendly trail that is a 2.3 mile loop. The low elevation of this trail makes it a great place to visit for vacationers who aren’t adjusted to the conditions. This trail starts on the valley floor and winds up to the high alpine trail. Along with the astonishing landscape, you’ll find mule deer, foxes, and vast amounts of birds including eagles.
If you’re looking for a trail that highlights the Denver skyline and mountains then you should checkout the Mount Falcon Castle and Tower hike. This is an easy 3.7 mile hike with a kid-friendly flat and wide trail so you can bring the jogging stroller along. The trailhead is located in a foothills community. Wildlife isn’t as fluent on this trail, but there are many unique structures to check out such as ruins of the old Walker home and the Fire Tower that offers a panoramic view of Denver.
There are many destinations outside of Denver that offer a short, pleasant hikes and long treks. These are just three of the most popular destinations to visit for good winter hikes.