Even though the bulk of the Rocky Mountains are rather far from the city, Denver has plenty of options for a quick escape into the foothills. These trails do not disappoint!Less
North Table Mountain is one of two prominent mesas between Denver and Golden (its counterpart is South Table Mountain). They are the eroded remnants of large lava flows, evidenced by vertical basalt cliffs making the sides of the mesa. On top is an island of nature in the city, where wildflowers pop in early summer, and mule deer graze open grasslands. Trails crisscross a broad, mostly flat summit and grant views over the metro area, plus mountains and plains beyond.
William F. Hayden Park on Green Mountain is a large open space in Lakewood. Several miles of trails weave along its sun-soaked ridgelines, granting views over the city and mountains beyond. This loop offers the best bang for your buck in terms of distance and scenery. It’s perfect for an after-work hike or jog because of proximity to town and low time commitment.
Mount Falcon Park has some intimidating trails that climb high into the hills, but Turkey Trot is the friendliest of them. It takes a more gradual and shaded route to the same views as its neighbor Castle Trail. Also, Turkey Trot is a hiker-only trail, meaning it’s not shared with mountain bikers. You can hike an out-and-back on Turkey Trot or the loop with Castle Trail, mapped here. Either way, you’ll earn elevated views over Red Rocks Amphitheater, the town of Morrison, and beyond to downtown.
Bill Couch Mountain (7,057 feet) is one of many summits in the Rocky Mountain Foothills near Denver. This one happens to be particularly scenic and is located in an easily accessible Jefferson County Park with high-quality trails. That makes it perfect for a before or after-work jaunt, or a casual weekend day hike.