Springtime on the Denver Front Range is absolutely beautiful. While it’s true that this region can see influxes of weather between snowy cold and summer heat, taking advantage of the warmer days on the Front Range trails is a bonus. Saving larger and higher elevation hikes for summer months, many accessible hiking trails perfect for spring are well within an hour’s drive of Denver.
Davis Pond Loop
Spring water runoff from the mountains brings the rivers, lakes, and ponds of the Front Range to life as the ice begins to melt. Davis Pond, located on the trail loop in Staunton State Park, is no exception. This two-mile hike roughly 45 minutes from Denver features beautiful mountain views as well as a trout-filled pond.
Big Bluestem Trail Loop
Providing a variety of trail loop options and terrain as you hike through meadows and foothills, Big Bluestem Trail Loop gives you a stunning view of the Eldorado Canyon opening, the Flatirons, and an overlook of the eastern plains. While being ever vigilant for the mountain lions and bears in the area, spring weather opens up the area where winter access restrictions have hidden this gem.
Waterton Canyon Trail
Following the South Platte River, Waterton Canyon Trail provides many route options to experience the spring flora and fauna as it emerges. A short hike might include a destination to one of the picnic areas while possibly spotting an eagle or Bighorn sheep. Since the trail is a wide dirt road, shaded stroller access is available for the whole family to participate. Longer 12.4-mile hikes will bring you to the Strontia Springs Reservoir where the wide dirt road ends. Those wishing to camp can head further onto the US Forest Service land, or connect to the Roxborough State Park Indian Creek Trail.
Not just for viewing breathtaking sunsets, Sunset loop offers various trail options and skill levels at White Ranch Park. Teaming with wildlife from elk to wild turkeys and many animals in between, the trails wind through open fields and pine groves with many overlooks of Denver and the eastern plains.
Culminating at the top of a table mesa, this spring hike allows many opportunities for multidirectional views of Pikes Peak, the foothills, and the plains while following the rim of the mountain. A 400-foot elevation is gained in the first part of the hike while winding through open meadows and shaded groves.
Get Out And Explore
Don’t let spring’s tricky weather detour you from exploring the Front Range trails. As the weather starts to warm up, taking advantage of the lower elevation loops near Denver is a great way to get you conditioned for the long summer hikes just around the corner.