Great Fall Family Hikes Near Denver
posted by: Guest Blogger
If you’re looking a family hike this fall near Denver, then look no further. We’ve asked Aaron Johnson from local hiking site, Dayhikes Near Denver, to put together a set of his favorite Fall family hikes.
Kick Back at Kenosha Pass
Let’s start with the most glorious destination within 90 minutes of Denver, Kenosha Pass. It can also be the busiest–especially on the weekends–so, we recommend going either early in the morning or on a weekday to take a lazy stroll through this breathtaking, aspen-laden countryside. You can pick up the trail on either side of the 285 (be alert when crossing), and hike for 4 minutes or 4 or more hours. If you’re looking for that perfect setting for a family photo, this is the place. For full trail details, visit the Kenosha Pass Hike profile at Dayhikes Near Denver.
Get Out to Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Golden Gate Canyon is just one hour from Denver in the foothills between Golden and Boulder. One of our favorite family hikes is the Raccoon Trail, a 2.5 mile loop in the heart of the park. It takes hikers through a meadow of turning aspens and to several higher viewpoints that look out to the Colorado Front Range. From these high points, you’ll see the changing colors like the brushstrokes of a paintbrush across the foothills. If you are looking for a shorter 1.4 mile adventure, then explore the Blue Grouse trail. For those looking for more of a challenge, or who may be hiking with older kids, check out the 3.6 mile Horseshoe Trail. A Colorado State Parks Pass is required for all hikes in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
Dare the Stairs at Devil’s Head Fire Tower
It’s 1.4 miles and almost 150 stair steps up to one of the most spectacular views you will see in your life–I’m not exaggerating. My favorite part of this hike is the unmatched 100-mile views (on a clear day) from the Fire Tower. But my 2nd favorite stand-out feature at Devil’s Head is the grove of gigantic aspen trees near the beginning of the hike. It’s an almost 1000′ elevation gain, so be prepared to huff and puff on your way up. There is a lot of loose gravel, uneven terrain, and areas near the top with significant drop-offs. So, we recommend that you hike this with older kids and to be sure to keep them close and well-supervised. For a full trail profile with directions, trail map, tips, and more, visit the Devils Head Hike profile at Dayhikes Near Denver.
As always, be sure to pack the 10 Essentials. If you are not sure what that pack list includes, you can download a Dayhikes Near Denver’s free Hiking and Packing Guide..
Finally, if you are looking for some more off-the beaten path options, and more information–like When do the aspens change color?–be sure to check out their expanded set of Fall Hikes Near Denver.