14 Finest Day Journeys from Denver (By a Native!)

One of many causes Denver is such a preferred tourism vacation spot nowadays is that it makes an incredible base for exploring the remainder of the Entrance Vary. The Rocky Mountains are prone to be excessive on anybody’s Denver itinerary, however from brewery excursions to metropolis breaks to sand dunes, there are simply so many glorious choices for daytrips from Denver.

I’m a Colorado native who left my Denver job to journey the world and write this weblog. Each single time I return residence to Colorado from my travels, I’m amazed at how unbelievable my own residence state actually is. One of many major causes is that Denver is simply excellent for individuals who love dwelling in a metropolis throughout the week, however have to get away to nature on weekends.

Having taken dozens, most likely a whole lot, of day journeys from Denver over time, I believed I’d write up this fast record of my picks for the best possible day journeys from Denver. I hope you get pleasure from:

14 Finest Denver Day Journeys

You’ll need automotive for many of those Denver day journeys, although Golden and Boulder will be simply reached by way of public transit. There may be at present a rental automotive scarcity, so should you want a automotive I counsel utilizing the wonderful search engine Uncover Automotive Rent to look and evaluate all the main automotive rental corporations. Or, should you desire to camp over in an RV in a single day, take a look at Outdoorsy – a cool website that works like an Airbnb for renting campervans and RVs.

Disclosure: Journey Lemming is an unbiased reader-supported weblog. You may assist my work by buying via the affiliate hyperlinks on this web page, which can earn a fee for this website. Thanks!

Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park

View of trees in Rocky Mountain National Park
A snapshot I took on a fall go to to RMNP

Distance from Denver: 90 minutes to 2 hours | Google Maps | Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Web site | 👉 Prompt Tour

In case you solely have time for one daytrip from Denver, then take a highway journey to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. The park presents gorgeous year-round surroundings and, for my part, is the only most stunning place in Colorado. When my associates go to me in Denver, I at all times make sure that to take them to to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. In case you’re the lively sort, there’s loads of mountaineering and biking trails right here, otherwise you really feel like being extra sedentary, you’ll be able to take within the mountain views and pure smells whereas driving the scenic route via the park by way of the Bear Lake Hall.

👉 Native Tip: For summer season 2021, the park has instituted a timed entry system. You’ll want to order forward, and in addition be ready for the opportunity of traces on the entrance (RMNP is turning into a extremely well-liked day journey from Denver!).

Roxborough State Park

View of red sandstone rocks at Roxborough State Park in Colorado
Even on a cloudy day, Roxborough made for a wonderful day journey!

Distance from Denver: 40 minutes | Google Maps | Roxborough State Park Web site

In case you solely have half a day, or simply don’t really feel like going that removed from Denver, an tour to Roxborough State Park is a wonderful solution to get a style of the mountains, some mild train, and unbelievable photographs. The park presents a number of brief trails, starting from simple mile-long walks to extra reasonable primary hikes. Alongside the paths you’ll discover spectacular views from a number of nice lookout factors providing splendid vistas of the dramatic rising pink rock formations which adorn the park. Come on the finish of spring for an actual deal with, when blooming wildflowers create a few of the most stunning picture alternatives close to Denver. Observe that entrance to the park is $10 per automobile, and that Roxborough follows a strict “Depart Hint Coverage,” which implies no off-trail mountaineering, no canines, no biking, and no drones.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway & Estes Park

A mountain goat looks out over Mount Evans
Mountain goats are the star of the present at Mt. Evans

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours (to entrance) | Google Maps | Mt Evans Web site | 👉 Prompt Excursions

Discuss to any Denverite lengthy sufficient they usually’re sure to casually point out the variety of “14ers” they’ve climbed. The time period refers to Colorado’s fifty-three 14,000+ foot mountains. In case you’re trying to conquer and straightforward one your self, strive mountaineering Grays Peak. However in order for you an excellent simpler choice (some may name it dishonest…), you’ll be able to drive to the highest of 14,625 foot Mount Evans for some gorgeous views by way of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. The highway claims to be the best paved highway in North America, and it undoubtedly is one in all Colorado’s high points of interest for pure magnificence (hold a watch out for mountain goats and bighorn sheep!). After your journey to that altitude, you’re certain to be winded, be sure you go to the close by mountain city of Estes Park for a little bit leisure. In Estes Park I counsel you are taking the improbable Estes Park Aerial Tramway, calm down with a cup of vino on the highly-rated Snowy Peaks Vineyard, or take a look at the enduring Stanley Lodge.

👉 Native Tip: Observe that the entry byway is simply open seasonally, and a timed reservation system was lately carried out. You’ll want to order timed tickets right here prematurely

Backyard of the Gods

View of Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background
A photograph I took on the primary day journey I took on my most up-to-date journey to Denver

Distance from Denver: 1.25 hours | Google Maps | Backyard of the Gods Web site | 👉 Prompt Tour

I lately returned residence to Colorado after spending many of the pandemic trapped in Argentina, and the primary matter I did manner take a day journey to the unbelievable Backyard of the Gods in Colorado Springs, the place the star attraction is massive pink sandstone formations. It was so nice to breathe in some recent mountain air and calm down in a favourite childhood spot. Plus, the jaw-dropping red-colored sedimentary rock formations make for gorgeous Instagram alternatives. The park additionally sports activities a number of miles of mountaineering and biking trails, plus picnic spots galore. Adventurers can e-book spectacular mountaineering excursions via the park, which makes for leisure for the remainder of us guests. Better of all, entrance is free, making it a enjoyable daytrip from Denver on a price range!

Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge in Canyon Metropolis

View of the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge near Canyon City Colorado
Able to take a zipper line? 🙂

Distance from Denver: | Google Maps | Royal Gorge Web site | 👉 Prompt Jeep Tour

Visiting the large suspension bridge over the Royal Gorge was at all times one in all my favourite matters to do as a child in Colorado, and it’s undoubtedly one of many extra distinctive day journeys from Denver. Supported by extra 4,000 metal cables, the bridge hangs 956 ft above the Arkansas River beneath, making it the best suspension bridge in the USA. Tickets for adults 13 and up value $28, whereas youngster admission runs $23 (age 6 and beneath free). Admission to the park additionally features a experience on an Aerial Gondola over the canyon, or for an additional cost you’ll be able to strive you’re hand at what must be the scariest zip line in Colorado.


A bench in front of the Boulder Flatirons
The Boulder Flatirons make for a basic day journey from Denver

Distance from Denver: 40 minutes | Google Maps | Boulder Web site | 👉 Prompt Hike Plus Beer Tour

Denver’s hip cousin, Boulder is an element college city, half liberal enclave, and half mountain base. It’s shut sufficient to the Entrance Vary that you could go mountaineering straight from town heart, however nonetheless presents a strong collection of eating places and nightlife alongside the well-known Pearl Road pedestrian mall. You’ll want to take a look at the craggy rock formations on the Boulder Flatirons. Boulder makes an incredible day journey from Denver with out a automotive, as you will get there very merely by way of the Flatiron Flyer specific buses that depart steadily from the Mile Excessive Metropolis’s Union Station for Boulder, Colorado.

Pikes Peak

A red tram climbs Pikes Peak
The tram is one in all a number of nice methods to go to Pikes Peak

Drive from Denver: 1.5 hours (to entrance) | Google Maps | Pikes Peak Web site | 👉 Prompt Excursions

Arguably probably the most well-known mountain in Colorado, Pikes Peak makes for a superb and comparatively simple day journey from Denver. The 14,115 foot peak towers over town of Colorado Springs and will be scaled on foot or, should you’re not up for the grueling hike, by driving your automotive up the winding highway to the highest. It’s undoubtedly not route for newbie drivers, but it surely’s additionally not that dangerous should you’re accustomed to mountain driving typically. In truth, each June greater than a dozen race automotive drivers pace to the highest as a part of the thrilling Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb. Observe that throughout the summer season excessive season, you’ll want to finish the ultimate stretch to the highest by way of shuttles.

🚆 Moderately Take a Prepare to the Prime? Think about taking the scenic experience by way of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. “The Cog” has been climbing to the highest of Pikes Peak since 1891!

Fort Collins

View of foothills near Fort Collins Colorado
The Ft Collins foothills are attractive

Drive from Denver: 1.25 hours | Google Maps | Ft Collins Web site

Although Denver has loads of nice beer of its personal, true hopheads will need to enterprise as much as Fort Collins. Town is turning into a mecca for microbreweries, headlined by the fast-growing employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Co. You may join a tour via lots of the breweries, or discover organized brewery-hopping excursions on supply from Denver.

Black Hawk & Central Metropolis

View of downtown Central City Colorado
A view of Central Metropolis, which is subsequent door to Black Hawk

Drive from Denver: 50 minutes | Google Maps | Black Hawk Web site | 👉 Prompt “Gold Rush” Tour

In case you get pleasure from casinos, or simply historic mountain cities, contemplating taking the winding mountain highway from Denver to Black Hawk. The primary attraction on this mountain city is the greater than a dozen casinos and motels, sporting hundreds of slot machines and loads of card tables. In case you’re in search of Vegas-style luxurious, strive the Ameristar or Isle of Capri casinos. If get bored with playing, head on over to Maryland Mountain Quartz Park for some picturesque mountaineering or buy groceries at Gregory Road Plaza (beneath building, as of summer season 2021). You too can take a look at the following door Central Metropolis for extra buying and eating choices, plus excursions of historic Colorado mines.


View of sign over street in downtown Golden Colorado
Downtown Golden is likely one of the best day journeys from Denver

Distance from Denver: 25 minutes | Google Maps | Golden Web site

Half frontier city, half fashionable journey paradise, Golden has an enviable and picturesque setting on the base of the Rocky Mountains. Maybe most well-known as the house of Coors beer, excursions of the brewery stay well-liked even supposing (frankly) significantly better brews will be discovered on the many breweries in Denver. In the meantime, Golden serves as a preferred base for journey sports activities, particularly white water rafting, mountain biking, and mountaineering. In the summertime, you’ll be able to deliver your individual tube and courageous the ice-cold Clear Creek White Waterpark. Within the evenings, the views from Lookout Mountain overlooking the Entrance Vary are completely spectacular. Historical past buffs and children may also love the close by Buffalo Invoice Museum and Grave, which honors the native legend. Finest but, it’s potential to get from downtown Denver to downtown Golden by taking the West Rail Line from Union Station, that means its an incredible Denver day journey with out a automotive.


View of sunset over Rocky Mountains with the town of Breckenridge in the foreground
Breckenridge is attractive

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours | Google Maps | Breckenridge Web site | 👉 Prompt Tour

If you wish to hit the slopes or go mountaineering by day, however nonetheless be again on the town in time for a brew or a present, Breckenridge is at all times guess (alternatively, close by Copper Mountain and Keystone are different Colorado locations that additionally make nice day journeys from Denver). The snowboarding and snowboarding in Breckenridge aren’t fairly nearly as good as you’ll discover deeper within the mountains, however the value is true and also you gained’t need to shell out for expensive mountain winter lodging. The resort city of Breckenridge itself additionally presents loads of outlets, artwork galleries, and attractive eating places. In case you do resolve to remain in a single day as an alternative of heading again to Denver the identical day, then Breckenridge Ski Resort presents lots to do any time of the yr.

Idaho Springs

View of main strip of downtown Idaho Springs
Idaho Springs is a type of basic Colorado mountain cities

Distance from Denver: 40 minutes | Google Maps | Web site

Because it is likely one of the mountain cities with the shortest drives from Denver, Idaho Springs is certainly probably the most well-liked day journeys from Denver, Colorado. The city is steeped in mining historical past, and also you’ll discover plenty of points of interest together with the Underhill Museum, the Phoenix Gold Mine, and the May Argo Mill and Tunnel. You’ll additionally discover plenty of journey sports activities within the space, together with snowboarding, tubing, ATVing, rafting, ziplining, and extra. You’ll additionally discover a few of the closest scorching springs to Denver.

Crimson Rocks Park

View of seats at Red Rocks Ampitheatre
Crimson Rocks is a world class live performance venue, and an incredible day journey from Denver in its personal proper

Distance from Denver: 30 minutes | Google Maps | Web site

No record of the very best day journeys from Denver could be full with out point out of the enduring Crimson Rocks Park. Positioned in Morrison, Crimson Rocks is residence to a spectacular out of doors Crimson Rocks Amphitheatre. No less than in my private opinion, it’s the greatest music venue in the whole United States. However Crimson Rocks presents a lot extra than simply concert events! You too can come within the morning to participate within the well-liked Yoga on the Rocks sequence, or take a look at the parks’ film evening sequence. Even when your day journey doesn’t coincide with an occasion, Crimson Rocks is value visiting simply to see it and soak on this unbelievable attraction close to Denver. You’ll discover close by mountaineering trails which can be comparatively simple however full of gorgeous surroundings – an effective way to flee Denver for a day!

Rocky Mountain Arsenal Nationwide Wildlife Refuge

View of bison with mountains in background
The herd was a little bit far-off from the highway throughout my current go to, however I managed to snap this picture!

Distance from Denver: 15 minutes | Google Maps | Web site

I lately informed my mother about how a lot I like this little Denver day journey, and I used to be stunned to be taught that she had by no means been contained in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, regardless of having spent her life within the Denver space. Certainly, this remaining addition to our record is a much-appreciated matter to do in Denver. Positioned between town and DIA, the Arsenal is a huge out of doors inexperienced area and wildlife refuge that’s residence to greater than 300 species of animals, together with a herd of over 150 bison. The park presents mountaineering trails and fishing, however the very best matter to do is to drive the 14 mile Wildlife Loop, the place you’ll not solely have an opportunity to identify the animals however may also be handled to scenic views of the downtown Denver skyline with the Rocky Mountains within the background.


That’s it for this record of the very best day journeys from Denver, Colorado. Which of those day journeys is your favourite? Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park tops my record, however I’d love to listen to should you assume Mount Evans, Backyard of the Gods, Estes Park, or one thing else completely ought to be up there as an alternative!

Lastly, which of your favourite day journeys from Denver did I miss? Scroll down and depart me a remark!

Take pleasure in your day journey from the Mile Excessive Metropolis!

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