Denver’s best hikes for families
posted by: Mile High Mamas
If you’re an avid hiker, instilling a love of hiking may take a wee bit of time so we’re here to share Denver’s best family-friendly hikes. I started hiking with my kids when they were six weeks old. When they were in the backpack, they were literally along for the ride. Once they became toddlers, hiking was about the journey, not about the destination. Translation: keep is short. Now that my kids are teenagers, they can out-hike me for miles and I’m so grateful for the many hours we spent when they were little falling in love with Denver’s outdoor playground.
We have rounded up our favorite hikes for moms with new babies, the best Denver hikes for moms who are in shape and carrying baby, and best Denver hikes for toddlers.
Pro tip: Once your kids are doing their own hiking don’t skip out on good footwear. For creekside hikes like Lair ‘o the Bear, KEEN closed toe watershoes can’t be beaten (do not wear flip flops unless you want to see them floating away down the river!) My kids spent most of their childhood in those shoes because they were perfect for easy hikes + they were ready to jump in the water at any time.
Do you want to purchase a baby backpack carrier? Don’t miss our buying guide.
Hiking with your little ones is a great way to spend the day close to home while enjoying the special outdoor spaces unique to the Front Range.
What Are Denver’s Best Family-friendly Hikes?
Best Denver hikes for moms with new babies:
South Valley Park, Coyote Song Trail
Although it’s close to the metro area, this area is quiet and wildlife abounds. This hike is about 2 miles and is mostly flat – great for first-time hikers and anyone interested in a gentle hike.
Mount Falcon, Castle Trail to Meadow Trail
This is a high-elevation, 2-mile hike and the views are spectacular! The terrain is pretty flat and should not be too strenuous.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre Loop
This terrific hike is perfect for moms getting acquainted with the techniques of hiking with baby or anyone interested in checking out the rock formations around Red Rocks. It’s about 1.2 miles with fairly gradual inclines – steeper at the end with a stair climb back to the parking area.
Best Denver hikes for Moms who are in shape and carrying the baby:
Apex Park, Pick n’ Sledge Trail
If you’re ready for a tough hike, this is the one for you! This 4.5-mile loop will take you through Apex Park where you will get some spectacular city views as well as enjoy the cool forest breezes. This hike starts off as a gradual incline, then the incline gets more serious! Once you’re at the top, it’s all down on the return.
Deer Creek Canyon
This hike is 2.7 miles and has a pretty steady climb followed by a descent back to the start. The scenery is spectacular in this area south of town, and the second half of the hike is restricted to hikers only.
This 4.5-mile hike begins with a moderate ascent through the forest – great Aspen tree viewing! The rest of the hike to the falls is pretty flat and downhill until the trail heads back up one last good leg burner. From there it’s all downhill and mostly shady back to the parking lot.
Best Denver hikes for toddlers:
Lair O’ the Bear, Creekside and Castor Cutoff Trails
It’s all about the water… and bridges… and finding muddy treasures on this hike! This half-mile hike is along a creek making for endless fun tossing branches, poking at the mud, and looking for water insects. Plan to get a bit muddy and have a blast along the creek! A great hike for new or experienced toddler hikers.
Lookout Mountain Nature Center, Forest Loop Trail
This is a .6 mile hike that meanders through the woods allowing for kids to search for birds, bugs and butterflies! The trail has some incline and obstacles making it great for more sure-footed toddler hikers. Following the hike, the nature center is open for some fun exploring of animal habitats and food sources.
Alderfer Three Sisters
This gorgeous area is shaded, full of wildlife, and a great place for experienced hikers to explore. Depending on how experienced your toddler is, pick a route between a half-mile and a mile-and-a-half. There are many trail options and interesting rock formations.
Genesee Park, Braille Trail
This gorgeous tree-covered hike winds gently down into the forest where a bevel of squirrels and jays will keep you company! The one-mile loop continues through moist forest land and back up to where we started. Originally a trail for the blind, this easy hike is flanked by a guideline.
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