An outdoor lover’s guide to Denver

There are plenty of ways to get outdoors right inside the city


Denver skyline; photo by Prizmatic/Flickr

Just because you're in a city doesn't mean you're removed from outdoor adventure. In fact, it can mean that you've got even more options just a bus ride or train stop away. Stop two of GrindTV’s urban road trip series, which tells you how to get outside when you're in an urban area, is Denver. The Mile High City is a recreation hub and there's plenty to do in the mountains and in town.

Bike: There's a reason the Tour of Colorado has attracted some of the best road bikers in the world. The combination of sunshine, mountains, and bike friendly communities makes it ideal for road biking all year round, especially in Denver, which doesn't tend to get too much snow. To bike like the Schlecks, tackle nearby Golden's Lookout Mountain.

Paddle: The South Platte runs right through the heart of town, and you can paddle 15 miles of it, from Chatfield Reservoir to Confluence Park, right in front of the REI. There are man-made features along the way, to keep it interesting, and for the most part it's straightforward class II paddling.

Ski and ride: Lots of people come through Denver on their way to the ski resorts of the Rockies, but there's urban riding to be had in the city. Ruby Hill Rail Yard, which is a collaboration project between the city of Denver and Winter Park Resort, is the country’s first free urban terrain park based in a city. The city makes snow on an acre of the park, Winter Park brings in rails and features, and volunteers run it. It's been around since 2007, and it gives people who might not otherwise have a chance to ski access to snow sports.

Hike: Red Rocks, the concert venue, is actually a city-owned park. You can hike up and around the amphitheater, or along the ridges surrounding it. There's also good road and mountain biking starting from the park. And good tailgating to be had in the parking lot.

The Denver Skate Park; photo by XNatedawgx/Flickr

The Denver Skate Park; photo by XNatedawgx/Wikimedia Commons

Skate: There's a significant street scene in Denver, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the park. The huge Denver skate park, which is in LoDo by the train station, is big and varied. There will be kids skating the mini features and local pros dropping into the bigger bowls.

More city guides on GrindTV

An outdoor lover’s guide to Seattle

A skateboarder’s guide to San Francisco

An outdoor lover’s guide to Rome