Denver: Hike 

Around Denver

Bear Creek Trail at Lair O' the Bear Park

Distance: 1.8 miles round trip

Drive Time from Denver: 40 minutes 

Difficulty: Easy 

 The paths are paved and run along a creek. We like this hike because the it has lots of shade and places to stop and enjoy the water.  There are picnic tables and plenty of parking spots.  You can do anywhere from a short one mile loop up to a longer hike.

 

Red Rocks: Trading Post Trail

Distance: 1.5 miles 

Drive Time from Denver: 20 minutes 

Difficulty: Easy 

This easy trail does not disappoint.  It has beautiful red rock formations, wildlife and big sky views.   My kids has a great time spotting deer, butterflies, bees and lizards.  There isn't a lot of shade, so be aware of the sun.  There are bathrooms and a parking lot next to the trail.  You may want to note the concert schedule as some entrances and exits (including parking lots) are closed off before a big show.  

Evergreen Lake Trail

Distance: 1.3 mile loop

Drive from Denver: 40 minutes 

Difficulty: easy 

We love Evergreen lake because not only can you hike, you can also rent paddle boats and canoes. People also fish and picnic here.  If you want to get out and about during the winter, the lake transforms into a large ice skating rink.     

Lookout Mountain Hiking Trail

Distance: .8 miles

Drive from Denver: 30 minutes 

Difficulty: super easy 

Technically not really a hike (in my book a hike must a mile or more), but the Nature Center and grounds are really terrific.  It's a great place to go with little ones, as in toddlers, because the view and wildlife entertain young and old.  
 

Breckenridge

Sawmill Creek Hike 

Distance: 1.5 miles, ends at a reservoir where you can fish (provided you get a permit) 

Difficulty: super easy 

Pros: The sawmill creeks runs along the trail. My kids like wading in the cool water and skipping rocks. We usually bring a towel as we get fairly muddy. This Fourth of July, a local Girl Scout Troop decorated the trail with endless fairy habitats.  

Getting there: Trailhead begins at the Snowflake lift, just off Main Street and Sawmill Road.  

Iowa Mine Trail

Distance: 1.2 mile loop, 310 feet elevation gain 

Difficulty: Easy, but a bit steep at times. 

Pros: Interested a in a little mining history?  This trail will not disappoint.  There are placards along the trail that explain mining techniques as well as the environmental damage caused by mining.  The trail winds upwards and ends at cabin where kids can peer in to catch a glimpse of mining life during the 1800s.  

Getting there: Go west on Ski Hill Road to Park Avenue. Turn right. Stay on Park Avenue for .6 miles until a traffic light at Airport Road. Turn left. Continue past the intersection with Valley Brook Road (stop sign). After 1500 feet, look for the trailhead sign on your left. From the sign, follow the dirt road to the north (right) to the small parking area at the end.

Preston Ghost Town Hike

Distance: 3.5 if you go all the way to Jumbo Mine remnants with roughly 500 feet of elevation gain. 

Difficulty: Moderate 

Pros: Okay, this is on of my favorite hikes for the pure history of it.  For the best explanation of all the sites without a guide, read Deb Stanley's observations Ghost Town Hikes in Breckenridge. Another option is to go with a guide from the Breckenridge Historic Alliance.

Getting there: From Breckenridge, take Highway 9 to Tiger Road and turn east. Drive 1.5 miles to Gold Run Road and turn right. Take Gold Run Road about 0.7 and turn right. Follow Gold Run Road about another 0.4 miles to where the pavement ends. Turn left and parking the parking lot at this corner.

Teacher, traveler, mom of four, friend and Team Tvartin captain navigating this messy, joyful life. 

 

Photo credit: Bonnie Berry .

 

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