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Escape the City on the Best Hikes in Golden Gate Canyon State Park

A gorgeous escape from the city in the 12,000-acre Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

Hiking Moderate, Difficult

Photo: David Spates, Shutterstock


As Denver's metropolitan sprawl consumes seemingly every remaining farm, field, and woodland lining the base of the Colorado Front Range, protected public lands become ever more vital to the mental and physical health of the city's residents. Golden Gate Canyon State Park protects 12,000 acres of the most beautiful terrain on the Colorado Front Range. Thankfully, it is separated from the smog and traffic of the urban centers, but it's still only 14 miles up the road from the town of Golden, making it easily accessible for a day trip from the city.

The terrain in the park is extremely varied. On one big loop hike, you can experience the dry, rocky terrain that the Front Range is known for; towering ponderosa pine forests; babbling brooks; whispering aspen groves; wide-open meadows; and panoramic views from high points. Through this spectacular terrain runs an impressive 35-mile trail system serving hikers, runners, and mountain bikers alike. However, only 19 miles of this trail system are open to wheeled traffic, leaving 16 welcome miles free from the constant two-wheeled traffic.

If you're looking for a longer getaway, 132 campsites provide the perfect opportunity for a weekend escape from the city. For those who aren't quite ready to rough it, cabins and yurts are also available to rent.

And that's not all: fly fishermen flock to the park to enjoy the ponds and streams. In the winter, the trails transform into a snowshoeing and cross-country skiing destination. No matter what type of adventure you're interested in, Golden Gate Canyon provides the perfect escape from the city!

Sources: https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/goldengateCanyon https://www.visitgolden.com/outdoors/parks/golden-gate-canyon-state-park/ https://www.uncovercolorado.com/state-parks/golden-gate-canyon/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoldenGateCanyonStatePark

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