Updated on August 18, 2022
If you’re looking for a way to see the city of Denver from the comfort of your own two feet That’s a wise move.
Denver’s bike paths are fantastic, and renting a bike in Denver has never been easier.
You can nearly always get where you’re going on two wheels thanks to the city’s numerous parks and riverbank walks, as well as its crisscrossing grid of on-street bike lanes.
Possibly this explains why the country’s annual population growth has only fallen below 2 percent once in the last ten years.
That, and the fact that marijuana has been legalised for recreational use (laughs anxiously, eyes darting side to side).
We here at Spinlister have put together a list of six of our favourite Denver bike trails, along with accompanying maps and photo-rich articles, to help you find some of these wonderful rides.
The city has so much cycling potential that it would be shameful to miss up on it.
Best Bike Trails Denver
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1. The South Platte River Trail Denver
South Platte River Trail has been utilised by Native Americans and settlers alike for millennia—well before Denver was even a name.
The trail follows the South Platte River north to Brighton and south to Chatfield State Park, which is only fitting. It’s a natural.
The Mary Carter Greenway Trail which runs through Denver, gets its name from the history of the area, its geology, and the fauna that live there, which is commemorated with markers along the trail by the Colorado Historical Society.
Getting on and off the route for a picnic or other adventures is simple thanks to the trail’s proximity to nearby parks and lakes, as well as the trail’s easy access from highways and ramps throughout Denver. Denver was founded at Confluence Park, where the Cherry Creek Trail meets. You can see kayakers frolicking at the whitewater park, for example.
The Downtown Aquarium the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, and Empower Field at Mile High are all within a short distance. The Denver REI Flagship is a great place to acquire bike parts if you’re in the area.
Stop over at My Brother’s Bar near REI if you’re a Beat Generation fan and see where Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and other luminaries of the Beat Generation hung out. According to the owners, the pub has been open since 1873 in some form or another.
North of the route is the historic Riverside Cemetery, which is home to many of the city’s most notable early pioneers.
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Two parks along the South Platte Trail provide opportunities for more challenging biking
A dirt jump track line may be found near U.S. Highway 6 at the Trestle Bike Skills Park, a roadside park just outside of town. It’s mostly designed for BMX riders, and it contains a pump track, some jumps, and other slopestyle wooden components.
Volunteers devote their time and energy to keeping it in top condition.
There are roughly 50 free outdoor concerts held at Ruby Hill Park each year as well as some ticketed events, making it one of Denver’s best-kept secrets. The 7,500-capacity venue has hosted a wide range of national and international performances.
Besides the Trestle Skills Bike Park, the park features the Ruby Hill Bike Park, which is considerably more ambitious and expansive. Slopestyle, pump tracks, rock drops, whales’ tail ramps, dirt jumps, and skills courses are all available at Ruby Hill. Ruby Hill Rail Yard, a Denver Parks and Recreation and Winter Park Resort joint urban terrain park, offers free skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
Historic Downtown Littleton just east of the path, is a lovely area to rest and enjoy some refreshments. There are a variety of unique shops and eateries, as well as antique stores and art galleries to explore. You can also visit the Littleton Museum to learn more about the area’s history and tour two late 1800s farms.
The trail crosses Hudson Gardens & Event Center as it heads south into Littleton. A non-profit organisation that sits along the bike route hosts concerts, photography, and other lessons, as well as beer festivals, during the summer months. Additionally, there is an outdoor garden railway and a riverbank cafe for bikers and hikers to enjoy.
There is a trailhead for the South Platte Trail in Chatfield State Park, which connects to the Denver Botanic Gardens. Biking, hiking, horseback riding, sailing and swimming are just some of the activities available at the park.
The Botanic Gardens of the Denver Zoo Next to Chatfield State Park, Chatfield Farms offers natural trails, a working farm, and seasonal activities including a corn maze.
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2. The Cherry Creek Trail
The Cherry Creek Trail, a 40-mile bike route through downtown Denver, is another popular route for city bikers.
To reach the Cherry Creek Reservoir and the Cherry Creek State Park in the southeast, this paved trail first begins in Confluence Park before heading to Franktown.
Much of the Cherry Creek Trail in Denver is buried beneath Speer Boulevard, one of the city’s most important diagonal arteries. From major roads and ramps as well as municipal parks including Sunken Gardens and Alamo Placita Park you can get to the trail, as well as Four Mile Historic Park. Because of this, it is a popular jogging and biking trail, along with scooters and other users.
There is a Cherry Creek neighbourhood just south of Denver’s bustling city core. Over 500 high-end galleries, shops and department stores line the streets, as do several restaurants, outdoor cafes, and fitness facilities. In Cherry Creek North, there’s the premium Cherry Creek Shopping Center with Louis Vitton, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., and more.
There are four miles between downtown Denver and Four Mile Historic Park. Four Mile House, which was built in 1859, is perhaps one of only a handful of structures still standing in this metropolitan area.
There is a 12-acre park with a museum, programming and farm animals that illustrate the early history of Denver in an interactive manner..
You can extend your day of hiking by heading to Cherry Creek State Park and its reservoir. 12 miles of asphalt trails and 35 miles of paved trails are available for biking and hiking; they’re also great places to see wildlife. Boating, camping, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, and many more activities are also available.
In order to have an incredible day, continue north of Castlewood Canyon State Park to Franktown, where the Cherry Creek Trail comes to an end. From there, you may connect with local roads and trails to the state park, which offers wonderful geological features, hiking, rock climbing, and historic sites, such the remains of the Castlewood Dam on Cherry Creek, which failed in 1933, flooding Denver.
Get on the High Line Canal and Take a Long Ride
High Line Canal Trail is one of America’s longest urban pathways. Gravity was utilised to transfer water from the higher elevation foothills at the end of Waterton Canyon to the lower plains northeast of Denver and immediately south of Denver International Airport, which was created in 1883 to provide irrigation for the developing Denver region. Even though it was never intended to be an irrigation canal, Denver Water nevertheless uses it to serve select clients, such as the Fairmount Cemetery, with water, and it continues to do so today. There are mature cottonwoods along its banks that were planted in the past.
Gravel grinders and fat-tire bikes like mountain bikes and cruisers will like the High Line Canal’s combination of surfaces, which include hard-packed mud and paved areas. Because of its gradual descent and proximity to other trails in Denver, especially those along Cherry Creek and South Platte Rivers, this trail is often mistaken for another one of those popular routes. If you’re looking for a more leisurely method to go around, you may hop on and off the route at any one of a number of nearby parks or neighbourhoods.
At Chatfield State Park, the High Line Canal begins. Aside from boating, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, the park offers a wide range of other activities, such as camping, horseback riding, and more.
Over the Rocky Mountains Wings X-Wing Starfighter from Star Wars: How often do you get to see a gigantic X-Wing? Aviation and space travel are celebrated in this interactive museum, which includes flying simulators. Taking a short detour off of the canal is definitely worth the effort.
City of Aurora’s Aurora History Museum commemorates the history of Aurora and its suburbs. “Growing Home” exhibit with fully restored 1913 Trolley Trailer No. 610 as well as other rotating exhibitions are on display at the museum In addition to regional and natural history, the museum also focuses on decorative and fine arts from throughout the world.
Wildlife Refuge: The High Line Canal provided water for military buildings at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge In recent years, however, it has been converted into a wildlife sanctuary and presently boasts more than 330 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. A large U.S. metropolis is only a short drive away from an area where bison, prairie dogs, bald eagles, and uncommon black-footed ferrets can be viewed in their natural habitat.
3. Bear Creek Bike Trail
The Bear Creek Trail connects downtown Denver to the world-famous and awe-inspiring Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.
The Bear Creek Trail begins at the Riverpoint at Sheridan Shopping Area and proceeds west about 12.5 miles to Morrison, Colorado, just outside Red Rocks National Park.
You can also get to the Bear Creek Trail in Denver via various bike lanes and routes.
The entire route is slightly steep, and Red Rocks offers enough of challenging ascents for both road and dirt bikers. Mount Falcon Park and Denver’s Matthews/Winters Park, which are both within driving distance, both have great mountain biking routes.
Although it’s located right outside one of the world’s best natural amphitheatres, Morrison is not named after Jim Morrison. To get in the mood for an outstanding show at Red Rocks, head to one of Morrison’s rooftop patio pubs or ice cream shops.
Denver owns and operates Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatr which has been a music and event venue for almost a century. Natural amphitheatres around the world have acclaimed it as one of the best.
A substantial part of the arena was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and WPA with the help of funding and labour provided by three nearby rocks: Creation Rock, Ship Rock (previously known as Titanic), and Stage Rock.
With a height of 300 feet, these massive rocks are an excellent sound amplifier. A bike ride up to Red Rocks is challenging but worth it—even if you’re not there for a performance. If you’re not exhausted by the climb, you may always run the 138 stairs from the stage to the top, as hundreds of others do every day, for breathtaking vistas of up to 200 miles of plains.
Thousands of concerts, from Ray Charles to the Beatles Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Daft Punk, have taken place in the amphitheater’s free museum. The museum also features exhibits on the area’s geology and human history. The Ship Rock Grille, located adjacent to the amphitheatre, is a great place to get a bite to eat before or after a show. Check out the Trading Post’s free display, which also has Red Rocks souvenirs, to discover more about the history of performers who recorded or made Colorado their home.
The Clear Creek Bike Path is a great way to travel to Golden
The Clear Creek Trail connects to the South Platte River Trail at a distance of 18 miles. Denver to Golden, a pleasant western town that served as Colorado’s first capital city, is easily accessible via public transportation. Beginning just north of the South Platte River overpass on I-76, this lengthy, paved route follows Clear Creek’s course northward.
You’ll pass by residential regions and industrial districts as well as green spaces. At the top of this list are Anderson Park and Coors Brewery; Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area; and North Table Mountain Park. The mountains and foothill buttes of the foothills come into view as the elevation rises near Golden on a foothills ride.
Golden: Golden, Colorado’s first capital city, is a charming western town and home to the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
City residents may find a wide variety of bike shops, outdoor gear businesses, and more. You’ll still find plenty of restaurants and cafes with outdoor patios, as well as ice cream stores and local breweries, on Washington Avenue, the city’s major thoroughfare.
The Golden Heritage Park and Interpretive Site may be found a bit farther up Clear Creek, a park depicting Golden’s pioneering and mining history. Clear Creek’s award-winning whitewater park is just a few miles upstream.
Hey, all I am Joe Marino I love to ride bikes and teach others how to ride them. Most of my articles are about which bike is best for others. I am passionate about cycling and it shows, whether I am writing about a $25 bicycle from any random website or a $5000 Santa Cruz.
I have always been the guy who gets calls from friends while at work asking which bike they should buy. I have written about the best city bike for commuting, the best folding bike for use on public transit, and even what to keep in mind when shopping for kids’ bikes.
You can follow my blog and read all of my other articles on my website.