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Need help, Denver area day hikes may 1st
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jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
Need help, Denver area day hikes may 1st on 04/01/2011 01:07:46 MDT Print View

Just found out I am going to denver in a month and I need some day hikes. My wife will be at a convention during the day so I get to hit some trails. I am only going to be there for 4 days and I have to be back at night to take the wife out. First time in Denver so I am a noob to the area. I am going to be staying near the airport.
Thanks Jeff

Chris Gray
(ChrisFol) - F

Locale: Denver, Coloado
RE: Day hikes. on 04/01/2011 15:46:01 MDT Print View

By airport, I am assuming DIA (Denver International)-- do you happen to know the town?

I am just asking because the airport is a good 30-45 minutes from downtown Denver and then the Foothills are another 20 minutes or so depending on where you want to go. So if you really are right by the airport, you are going to have a good hour commute just to get to the foothills.

Another question is what is your ability and do you have snow gear (ice axe, crampons/microspikes etc)? Because even in May, most of the high country is still going to covered in snow and so I generally bring my basic snow gear with me at least through the end of June and into July.

Some good solid choices between Denver and the Eisenhower Tunnel (I-70 corridor):

-Beaver Brook Trail (9miles one way/elevation gain is perhaps 1,400ft)
-Bergen Peak, Evergreen. 10miles RT, 2,700ft gain.
-Squaw Mountain and Chief Mountain. These two are very short hikes, perhaps 5 miles and 1,000ft. But great views and very close to the city.
-Chicago Lakes. This is one long day, but worth it if you like high-country lakes. The downside is that May 1st could mean that it is still frozen and ice-off hasn't yet begun.

Personally, if you feel up to it, then I would drive a little further west to Loveland Pass and hit Mt. Snikatau. It is probably the most accessible 13er (paved road all the way to the top of the pass) and is ranked one of the easiest to complete. So if you want to get up above tree-line and do some high altitude hiking over easy class 1 terrain then this is the summit to do and the views are incredible for being so close to the I-70/US-6.

Heck, when the time gets closer and if you decide that you want someone to tag a long, then shoot me a PM and depending on my schedule I wouldn't have a problem taking you up some of the easier peaks, that is if summits are what you are interested in.

Edited by ChrisFol on 04/01/2011 15:47:46 MDT.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Denver on 04/03/2011 16:03:12 MDT Print View

Hey Jeff,

First of all, don't stay by the airport if you don't have to. The big conventions are downtown, or along I-25 at the Merchandise Mart or the Tech Center. Hopefully her's is downtown. If you're taking your wife out every night, might as well stay downtown where there's a ton of restaurants and things to do. Then you'll be closer to the foothills and mountains as well. You need to follow my rule which is if I'm traveling for business to some place I haven't been, I tack on the weekend. It's a free trip so what's a couple of nights in a hotel? We've had a horrible winter east of the Divide so there will be a lot more options than normal for early May unless we get hit with a big spring storm. Check back when it gets closer and we can see what conditions are like at that time.

jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
Denver area day hikes on 04/07/2011 20:51:13 MDT Print View

Sorry it took so long for me to reply. It has been one of those crazy weeks.
I am staying at near DI airport. Her convention is at the hotel we are staying at and they are picking up the tap.

I do not have any snow gear and zero experence with it. Most of my trips have been to southern New Mexico and big bend. So I may need to hike in the lower hills and save peak baging for later. The Mt. Snikatau hike sounds interesting.

I am going to take your advice and tack on an extra day to the trip. I would love to stay longer but she has to be back at work. I will check back before the trip to check out the weather and the condition.

Thanks for the help

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
May 1st on 04/08/2011 13:30:38 MDT Print View

In May, you are restricted to foothills hiking areas (unless you have the appropriate gear and clothing). It will still be a bit snowy above, say, 9500k feet or so.

But, the foothills are wonderful this time of the year. Though a little dry this Spring, hopefully the foothill wildflowers will make their annual Spring appearance. Fairy trumpet, chiming bells, sand lilies and pasque flowers should be around.

Are you going to have a rental car? If so, the Golden area is not far from Denver and has many nice hikes in Golden Gate Canyon State Park and White Ranch.

This site should help:
Pro Trails hikes

(I have no connection to the site other than I think it is a good one for trail info. The site is free and the owner is a local!)

Windy Peak in Golden Gate Canyon is a particularly nice hike IMO with good views to the mountains.

Good shoulder season hikes!

Edited by PaulMags on 04/08/2011 13:33:50 MDT.

jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
Need help, Denver area day hikes may 1st" on 04/12/2011 13:40:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the link. Thats is a great web site. I day or two in the golden area sounds awesome.
Thanks for the help , Jeff

aaron eshelman
(djaaronreed) - MLife

Locale: Central Rockies
Red Rocks on 04/18/2011 12:11:45 MDT Print View

The Red Rocks park south of Golden is a for sure winning hike and about 30-45 minutes from DIA (depending on traffic). Check for details. There is a detailed trail map on the site as well that lists up milage for trails and the locations of key areas.

It's a great starter for acclimitization, you get to see one of the most iconic ampitheaters in the world and the hiking trails around the park are great, although watch for the Mountain bikers as they are sometimes rude.

I think this would be a great start to your stay in Denver. Cheers, and have a great stay!