Denver, Colorado is unique among cities in North America. Denver is a city filled with sophistication, but also known for its incredible outdoor beauty.

Denver Colorado skyline from City Park with City Park Boathouse and Rocky Mountains in background on autumn morning

Best Outdoor Activities to do in Denver

Denver, Colorado is unique among cities in North America. Denver is a city filled with sophistication, but also known for its incredible outdoor beauty. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, it’s no wonder Denver is known as the “Mile High City.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re spending weeks or days in Denver, take the time to explore the great outdoors whenever possible.


Denver is home to over 4,000 acres of parks, including those directly in its urban center. When it’s winter outside, local residents and residents alike enjoy snow-oriented sports in City Park. Go sledding, cross-country skiing or snowshoe through a glistening wonderland.

City Park Lake

Throughout the sunny days of summer and the snowy days of winter, you’ll see residents of every age taking in the outdoors. Two of the finest parks to make this happen are Cheesman Park and City Park. From both of these parks, you can view the glorious Rocky Mountains and modern downtown skyline.

Hike, Bike, or Kayak

Denver’s parks are filled with a myriad of sports and healthy activities. Hiking in City Park tracks along the Denver 5280 Contour line. Just take into consideration the mile-high altitude as you explore and exercise.

Cyclists will want to ride through the city to take in the sights. Can’t bring your own bike because you’re arriving by plane? No worries. The Denver B-Cycle program is a citywide bike-sharing program available for a nominal fee. Bike where you want and then just return your bike at any one of over 80 conveniently located stations.

Or you can take to the waterways of Confluence Park, only minutes from the hustle of downtown Denver. Here you’ll find man-made chutes for whitewater kayaking. Once at Confluence Park, kayaking enthusiasts are able to rent boats and take lessons to refresh their boating skills.

Cherry Creek trail on typical summer wekeend.

Flowers and Gardens

Take a stroll over to the Denver Botanic Gardens, located at 1007 York Street. While it may be snowy outside, you can venture forth in a garden filled with tropical foliage in the Memorial Tropical Conservatory at the Gardens. From early November through the month of March, you’ll forget the temperatures outside as you view everything from rare orchids to banyan trees.

History and Nature Trails

The Denver Botanic Gardens features Chatfield Gardens. Located in neighboring Littleton at 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, here you’ll find educational displays including a working beehive and wildlife area. Chatfield additionally has a tree house you can climb into, a historical one-room school and farm house. Pack a lunch or simply a snack, then enjoy your meal at one of their scenic picnic tables.

Rock Trails and Outdoor Concerts

The Red Rocks Amphitheater at 18300 West Alameda Parkway in nearby Morrison, Colorado presents a full calendar of outdoor entertainment during the warm weather months. However, the Red Rocks Visitors Center is open all year long. Feeling adventurous? Visit the huge formations of natural rock at the Red Rocks Geologic Niche and take the 1.5-mile long Trading Post Loop Hiking Trail.

Historic Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver, Colorado

Did we miss a favorite outdoor activity that you perhaps discovered on your last trip to Denver, Colorado? Is it someplace best visited during the snows of winter or the warmth of a spring day? Let us know, so we too can include this outing on our next trip to the Mile High City.

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