After a harsh winter, there’s nothing like getting out of the house to stay on track with those health and fitness goals. Fresh air, panoramic views and beautiful hiking trails are available, in many cases, less than an hour’s drive from the city of Denver. These are some of the greatest hiking trails that the Denver area has to offer.

Bear Creek Trail at Lair O’ the Bear

At 1.7 miles, this trail isn’t too difficult for the beginning hiker, or anyone who has been cooped up all winter long and needs an easy trail to ease back into hiking. Along with hiking, there are areas for picnics, biking and fishing. Dogs are allowed on the leash if people would like to take their four-legged companion. It’s within a 30 minute drive from Denver.

Boulder Falls Hike

The hiking length of this spot is only 100 yards, but the reward is amazing. It’ll take approximately 10 minutes to hike this trail that leads to beautiful Boulder Falls. With such a quick walk to the summit, many hikers like to combine this hike with others in the area like Forsythe Canyon.

Clear Creek Trail

Located in Golden, this trail is only 30 minutes from Denver. It has a variety of trails that include a hike through the middle of downtown Golden. It’s perfect for people who want to combine nature with people watching and hiking. It’s 1.8 miles and can be walked in approximately 1 hour.

Deer Creek Canyon

This loop trail is within 35 minutes’ drive time from Denver. While it’s considered an easy trail, it can last about 2 hours. Hikers will experience an elevation gain of 500 feet while traversing this trail. Dogs are allowed on a leash, and hiking is open year round. The trail is 2.7 miles.

Waterton Canyon

This is a medium trail as opposed to the ones previously mentioned. Hikers can drive there from Denver in 35 minutes. The trail lengths vary depending on the trail the hiker would like to take. The trail to the Strontia Springs Dam is 6.2 miles. It can take from 2 to 6 hours depending on the trail that is taken. It has an elevation gain of 700 feet.

Cedar Gulch Trail

This 4.9 mile round trip trail lasts approximately 2 hours. It’s less than 30 minutes from Denver. It’s a moderate hiking trail that’s accessible for beginners and more experienced hikers too. The elevation gain is 1100 feet, which might be a problem for some beginners.

Panorama Point

This trail is medium difficulty with a time of about 1 hour to travel the 2.4 miles round trip. This trail is accessible after a 40 minute ride from Denver. After heading up one of two trailheads, hikers can stop at the top for a beautiful view overlooking the mountains.

South Valley Park Trails

There are 6 trails here for hikers with various experience. A hiker could even start out as a beginner at the South Valley Park trails and slowly become a more experienced hiker taking on harder trails. It varies between .5 miles and 3 miles depending on the trail chosen. It’s approximately 30 minutes from Denver.

Trading Post Loop Trail

The 1.4 mile loop is an easy 1 hour hike that only has an elevation gain of 500 feet. It’s 30 minutes from Denver and allows dogs as long as they are leashed. It’s a great spot to bring companions for their exercise too. This trail is open year round, so hikers won’t have to wait for hiking season.

Alderfer and Three Sisters Park

There are 18 trails for the avid hiker in this park. It’s high altitude, so that should be taken into consideration before beginners hike here. The trails vary from 0.2 to over 10 miles and can take 15 minutes or 1.5 hours.

With such a wide array of beautiful trails within one hour from Denver, you have absolutely no excuse to get out there and get hiking with your dog, friends, or family. Pick your level of difficulty, pack some snacks and sunscreen, and enjoy the outdoor gym nature has provided.