I love hiking and I have never done the same trail twice. I always look for something new and exciting to try, super front range hikes are honestly more for a workout than an epic view but there are a few within an hour half-ish drive of the city that will knock your socks off. These hikes make for easy day trips, you just gotta start the day bright and early to beat the crowds.
Head here for my must-haves while hiking!
Amazing Hikes Near Denver
Isabel Glacier Hike
Lake Brainard Recreational Area, Nederland/Ward
This is hands down one of the best hikes I have done in Colorado and it’s only about an hour half from Denver. The Brainard lakes recreational area is therefore VERY popular depending on the time of year you may need to walk an extra few miles just to get to the trailhead as parking fills up very pass and they regulate traffic in the area. Get all the details on the hike here.
Another amazing hike only about an hour half from Denver near Silver Plume. We hiked on a Saturday last summer and while it was pretty busy we were able to get a spot in the lot pretty early. Get more details here.
Idaho Reservoir & Chicago Lakes
To be totally honest we didn’t go all the way to Chicago Lakes just but we want to go back again and do the longer hike cause the pictures look amazing! To Idaho Springs Reservoir is a great short hike with views. However, it starts with a lot of downhill sooo get ready for uphill on the way back.
Chief Mountain Hike
This short hike provides amazing 360 views of the mountains a pretty short drive from Denver. While it’s a short manageable hike it’s fairly vertical but again very manageable. You are mostly hiking in the trees till you reach the top – so sunscreen and hat! Get all the details here.
St. Mary’s Glacier
If you are looking for a short hike like a mile RT with good views, head to St. Marys’s Glacier. I lied I have done this hike a few times just cause it’s close with good views. It can be crowded too – get more details in this post.
Okay Hikes Closer to Denver
I wouldn’t say these are amazing hikes, but if you just want to get out into nature and get the blood flowing these are good hikes. No spectacular views or waterfalls just you waking in nature. Great for spring hiking where the trails might be dryer than further into the mountains.
What’s the best hike you have done around town? I use all trails and Best Hikes Near Denver to find new hikes. You can see all my completed hikes on All Trails here too.
Cross the line, pay the fine
No one loves sitting in i70 traffic but even worse is racking up a fine for violating the Express Lane rules! Violators will now be identified along the I-70 Mountain Express Lanes by cameras, sensors and software and mailed a fine if they are found to be breaking the rules.
What counts as a violation?
- Using Express Lanes when they are closed
- Weaving in and out of the Express Lanes across the solid yellow lines
- Driving in the Express Lane with an oversized vehicle—includes vehicles with three or more axles (including cars towing trailers) and any vehicle over 25 ft long
When does this start?
June 21 – 1 month grace period – Drivers will get a warning in the mail for violations
July 21 and on – Drivers who commit violations will be fined
Why enforce fines?
The Express Lanes are used to relieve congestion only during high traffic times, otherwise they operate as an emergency shoulder for broken down cars or emergency services. When the Express Lanes are open, weaving in and out of the lanes creates hazards for drivers who aren’t expecting vehicles to cross the solid lines.
How Much is a fine?
Fines start at $75 for a first offense if paid within 20 days of issuance. After 20 days, the fine increases to $150.
How does the express lane work?
To use the express lane, only enter when it’s open at the designated entry points. Overhead signs will indicate whether or not the Express Lane is open. Your license plate will be scanned and the toll charge will be sent to the address associated with your vehicle’s registration. If you have an ExpressToll pass, you will save an average of 40% on tolls and automatically be charged through your account.
For more information head to expresslanes.codot.gov.