Thursday, July 18, 2019

Summer Hikes in Denver

As I get more and more comfortable with living in Denver, I've been getting outside more. And, lucky for me, I live on the west side of town, so it takes me approximately 10 minutes to be in the mountains. Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite hikes in the West/Southwest side of Denver so you can get outside and enjoy them too. While you're at it, I've also included some of my favorite adidas products so you can outfit yourself for the best trail-ready version of you - xoxo darling, Hayden.

South Valley Park

Probably my absolute favorite, because it's easy to get to from my apartment and not incredibly hard. Yes, I do get winded on the uphill bits, but it is a, mainly, straight hike that puts you up against soaring red rocks. I like to think of it as the cheaper, less intimidating Red Rocks. There are two parking lots — on each end of the main trail — and I usually park in the main lot that has a restroom. I'll make a loop out of it by starting on the Coyote Song Trail and coming back on the Swallow Trail. You'll want to stop and snap photos of the red rocks at different heights and colors (they tend to change colors as the sun rises or lowers in the sky). You might even spot a bobcat as I did on my first trip out there! 

Mt. Falcon Park

The first time I hiked this trail it had recently snowed and was so muddy I couldn't finish. But then I went back in the summer and had no idea what I was getting myself into. Dang, it was steep! But so freaking worth it — I felt like a champ when I finished. I did the Turkey Trot Trail (started to the right) and went up and up and up. You get to see beautiful views of downtown Denver, the 74 road cutout through the mountain. I then, being exhausted from constantly going uphill, hooked onto Castle Trail downhill to the parking lot. I also saw some baby deer and just had a great time. This is such a fun, beautiful, challenging trail but you can do it in about an hour and a half after work before the sun sets. 

Deer Creek Canyon

Another trail that I didn't know what I was getting myself into and was uphill is the Meadowlark Trail at Deer Creek Canyon. It has a steady incline up above South Valley Park and gives great views of downtown Denver in the distance. You'll run into plenty of other hikers — even super early on a Saturday morning — but you can take your time. The Meadowlark ends at the Plymouth Creek Trail with a bridge over a cute stream. I decided to go back on Meadowlark, but you can take Plymouth back to the parking lot to make it a full loop. It's such a beautiful spot, and you start to feel like you aren't only about 15 minutes from civilization toward the end. 

Roxborough State Park

I took my parents to this state park in south Denver over Christmas. It has tons of trails that aren't super difficult, and you get a very Garden of the Gods feel to your day. The rangers are helpful with helping you to find the right trail for you, and this is the only park on the list that has a charge — but we love supporting our state parks! 
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