When it comes to natural beauty, there should be absolutely no doubt that Denver, Colorado is absolutely full of it.
Whether you’re a full-time resident or just spending a few days in the area, getting out and witnessing some of Denver’s incredible running trails is worthwhile.
So, if you’re looking for a guide to 15 of the best running trails in Denver, this list will have everything you need!
15 Best Running Trails In Denver
Looking to escape the confines and the hustle and bustle of town life? Then William F. Hayden Park (Green Mountain) is a great running spot in Denver.
The park is filled with various amazing trails, you can be sure it’s not the last time you see it mentioned on this list.
This trail is a circular trail that measures 7.4km in length, and features an elevation gain of 274 meters, with an average completion time of 2 hours 16 minutes.
The trail is open all year round, so you can visit it whenever you would like, just keep in mind that it might get muddy during the wet and icy months.
It’s a little less out in the sticks than the last trail, but the Washington Park Loop is an excellent looped trail for those looking for an easy trail to run on in Denver. The entire loop is a paved path.
The loop is 3.3km long, and has a very low elevation gain of just 13 meters, which is why it’s considered such an easy trail.
Those in wheelchairs or using mobility equipment should be able to make it around much of the trail without difficulty, but might need to be wary of the slightly steeper sections.
The beautiful scenery that surrounds much of this running spot near Denver is exactly why it is so popular amongst a variety of different people, including runners, hikers, bird watchers, and mountain bikers. You should definitely expect some company during your time on the trail.
This circular loop measures in at 5.1km long, and has an elevation gain of 193 meters, so it’s definitely worthy of its classification as a moderately challenging trail.
So, if you’re relatively new to running on trails, this might not be the trail you want to start off on.
The 39.6km trail leads from the heart of Denver to Cherry Creek Lake and Reservoir, making it one of the best ways to discover all Denver offers.
The trail is fully paved and is considered safe for those who utilize a wheelchair or other mobility equipment. This is popular for road biking also, and as you encounter other outdoor enthusiasts while running, take note of your surroundings.
The average completion time for the whole trail is around 7 hours 36 minutes, but of course, you can simply come on and off the trail as you please, especially since it’s so deep into the city itself, so there’s no need to run all the way if you aren’t able to!
Looking for a quick escape from the city into a luscious green space? Then the Cheesman Park Outer Loop is definitely a great place to run in Denver.
With 3.2km of amazing greenery, it provides the perfect backdrop to your early morning or late afternoon run.
During the quieter times of the day you should have much of this paved trail to yourself too.
The trail takes an average of 39 minutes to complete, and is popular amongst both walkers and runners too, especially since it’s open all year round.
So why not try out this popular running trail for yourself while in Denver?
6. Belmar Park
Providing the perfect spot for a waterside run in Denver, Belmar Park is popular, and for a good reason.
It provides the perfect combination of paved and dirt track, which helps to keep your run interesting, and it also provides an incredible backdrop too, which makes it an incredibly beautiful place to run.
Although the trail is open all year round, the best time to visit the park is between April and October, as the dirt tracks can become muddy during the winter months, so appropriate footwear will definitely be needed.
The Bear Valley Open Space is another park that combines paved and unpaved running trails in Denver. This route is just one example of some of the incredible trails on offer here.
This trail is an out-and-back trail and is 6.0km long, with an average completion time of 1 hour and 7 minutes, making it a good workout.
The trail is popular, so you’ll definitely encounter people along the way, and the trail is also open all year round, so you can enjoy the views anytime you like!
Another one of the great trail loops for runners in the Bear Valley Open Space is this 5.1km circular trail.
The trail itself is considered an easy route, especially since the elevation gain is only 14 meters, so you should have no problem making your way around the trail, even if you’re a beginner.
It’s worth mentioning that although the trail can be empty during quiet periods, it’s a popular trail, so you can expect to see people around, especially during weekends.
With plenty of seating and an accessible paved trail, this out-and-back trail is one that everyone can enjoy in Denver. It runs right alongside a gorgeous creek, which certainly makes this 23.7km trail even more enjoyable to run on.
Open all year round, this trail is pretty popular with runners and walkers alike, so don’t expect it to be deserted unless you go in the early morning.
This trail combines the urban with the natural and is a great way to escape Denver city for a run!
If you want a loop that can either be lengthened or shortened, this Denver running trail should serve you well. In its basic form, it’s a 4.7km loop right around the edge of Denver’s amazing City Park, which takes an average of around 54 minutes to complete.
The park itself is home to a number of attractions, including Denver Zoo, so you can always expect it to be rather busy, however it makes for the perfect place to run inside of the city limits!
For a brisker, shortened run in Denver, this looped trail alongside Commons Park’s riverfront is only 2.3km long and with very little elevation gain.
It means it’s a great little looped trail to use if you’re just beginning to find your feet as a runner.
It’s also a part of a much more complex trail, so as time goes on, you can think about lengthening your route with other trails in the park if you so wish!
This 16.7km out-and-back multi-use trail in Denver is perfect for beginners who are looking to push their boundaries a little further.
Especially as the trail can be slightly steep and narrow in some sections, which means that it’s important for you to wear the appropriate footwear.
The trail is often prone to closures if it happens to get too muddy, so although it’s open year round, it’s always worth checking on the door you plan on running!
Another great running challenge in Denver is this 12.4km point-to-point trail, which takes an average of 2 hours and 18 minutes to complete, and takes you through various settings, with ponds and lakes included.
The mixed surface also means it’s a good trail to use for those who are looking to get off of hard concrete too!
14. Ferril Lake Loop
If you are looking for a short and easy run in Denver, then this 2.1km might be for you. It goes around a peaceful lake and is a great way to dust off the cobwebs and get out amongst nature. There’s certainly plenty of wildlife to see on this trail as you run.
The entire loop is paved too, and there are even plenty of benches for you to rest on once you’ve finished as well, which is why so many people enjoy this simple loop.
The last trail on our list is this 6.1km circular trail, which takes an average of 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete, so it should provide enough of a workout for beginner and experienced runners alike.
The trail connects to a number of other trails, too, so you could use it as a starting point for a longer run if you so wish. This gorgeous riverside trail in Denver should provide you with plenty of great scenery along the way!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to some of the best running trails in Denver.
Hopefully you get the chance to visit some of these trails soon, enjoy!
In addition to Denver, Colorado Springs is one of Colorado’s best cities for runners. Check out our article on the running routes in Colorado Springs.