Special Alert
Menu
Welcome
18002336837
Confluence Park
Confluence Park
add this add this

Denver's Outdoor & Urban Adventures

The Mile High City and the nearby Rocky Mountains are filled with outdoor recreation thrills for the whole family. Here are just a few of your options.

Go Kayaking in Confluence Park

Ride the man-made kayak chutes in Confluence Park, just minutes from Downtown. Confluence Kayaks, Denver's ultimate paddling shop, offers kayaking adventures on the whitewater chutes, including lessons, rentals, retail sales, pro outfitting and more.

Take a Bike Ride on 85 Miles of Paths

With 85 miles of bike trails and 300 days of sunshine, Denver is a cycling paradise. Explore the city using Denver B-cycle, the city's pioneering bike-sharing program. For a small membership fee, you can pick up a shiny red bike at one of more than 80 conveniently located stations throughout the city, go for a spin, and then drop it off at any station when you're done.


Featured Things To Do

Walk the Mile High Trail in City Park

This trail in beautiful City Park follows a full 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) route and tracks along the city's 5280 contour line — so you're exercising at exactly a mile high!

Zoom Through the City on a Scooter

ScooTours Denver offers motorized, Vespa-style scooter rentals and guided scooter tours. The guided tours are especially fun, as friendly scooter tour guides lead you to the best sights and tell you stories of Denver past and present. 

Shred at Denver Skatepark

Boasting 60,000 square feet of skateable concrete terrain, Denver Skatepark challenges boarders, bladers and bikers of all levels, but bring your own gear, as rentals are not available.

Set Sail in a Pedal Boat on Washington Park's Smith Lake

Sail across scenic Smith Lake in Washington Park by renting an easy-to-use pedal boat. The calm waters make for a great family outing.

Swim With Sharks at Downtown Aquarium

There are more than 15,000 fish, mammals and plants, at the Downtown Aquarium — and you can do more than gaze at them through the glass. Pet stingrays as they glide past you in the touch tank, or dive in and snorkle or scuba alongside giant groupers, Moray eels, guitar fish, sand tiger sharks and green sea turtles.

Explore Natural Wonders at Denver Botanic Gardens

See what's blooming at Denver Botanic Gardens. This 24-acre oasis in the middle of the city has 45 different gardens (some 33,000 plants), as well as one of the nation's top 10 conservatories. Relax in the Japanese Garden, climb through the Rock Alpine Garden and explore the Mordecai Children's Garden. And don't miss the Gardens' Chatfield location, a picturesque nature preserve among the grasslands, ponds and cottonwood banks of Deer Creek. Facilities include nature trails, a wildlife observation area, a historic farm, a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse, working beehives and picnic areas. The Deer Creek Discovery children's play area includes a whimsical tree house and a water feature.

Visit an Asian Village Populated by Elephants at Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo's phenomenal Toyota Elephant Passage offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some amazing animals, all in an extremely cool setting designed to look like a rustic Asian village. 

Hike and Bike at Red Rocks Park

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is known the world over for its summer concert series, but during the day, it's a gorgeous hiking and biking destination. The Trading Post Trail is 1.4 miles long and winds through spectacular rock formations, valleys and a natural meadow. Some of the terrain is rough, so hiking boots/shoes are recommended. Also, hikers should be prepared for adverse weather conditions, as the weather can change very quickly. If mountain biking is your pleasure, the Red Rocks Trail, which starts at the Lower North Lot, is just the ticket. The trail splits, with one segment going north to connect to Jefferson County's Matthews/Winters Park and the other heading east to connect to the Dakota Ridge Trail. 

See Large Carnivores at Wild Animal Sanctuary

Lions and tigers and bears — oh my! Visit The Wild Animal Sanctuary, a 720-acre rescue and educational facility, located just 30 miles outside of Denver, where more than 300 large carnivores roam free. It's one of the only places in America where you can see lions, wolves and other large carnivores living in natural habitats.

Look for Bald Eagles at National Wildlife Refuge

Just 10 minutes from Downtown Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a massive revegetation effort to restore the land to native shortgrass prairie habitat. More than 330 species of wildlife, including bison, deer, burrowing owls and endangered black-footed ferrets, live here seasonally or year-round. Outdoor activities include birdwatching (majestic bald eagles are regular visitors), fishing, hiking and viewing the amazing bison herd.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

You've never really seen the Rocky Mountains until you've seen them from a hot air balloon. Enjoy spectacular views of the majestic Rockies as you float high above the the Front Range. There are several options, including Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights & Rides in Boulder and Adventures Out West in Colorado Springs.

Cross the Continental Divide at Rocky Mountain National Park

Located 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park features 400 square miles (1,036 sq km) of scenic beauty, including Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the world, which crosses the Continental Divide at over two miles above sea level. The park has two information centers, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, tranquil lakes, waterfalls, wildlife and horseback riding. Estes Park is a resort town on the edge of the park with restaurants and shops and the historic (and possibly haunted!) Stanley Hotel.

Drive up 14,000-foot Mount Evans and Visit Echo Lake

Mount Evans has the highest paved auto road in North America, snaking its way to the 14,260-foot (4,346 m) summit. The road ($10 for a three-day pass) is open only from the Friday before Memorial Day through the first weekend in October, and frequently has snow on it, even in August. (The road closes at Summit Lake after Labor Day, preventing you from reaching the top.) The view from the top takes in the entire Front Range. The summit is 60 miles (97 km) from Downtown Denver. On your way up the mountain, be sure to stop at M. Walter Pesman Trail (maintained by Denver Botanic Gardens) for a wildflower hike; you won't see anything like the rare flowers and 1,500-year-old bristlecone pine trees anywhere else in the world. The trail winds through subalpine and alpine areas where wildflowers and animals of the fragile tundra live. Volunteer guides from Denver Botanic Gardens offer interpretive hikes that follow the trail throughout the summer (call 720-865-3539 for information).

Go Whitewater Rafting Just 30 Minutes from Denver

Brave the rapids! Clear Creek Rafting Co. and Raft Masters offer rafting along beautiful Clear Creek in Idaho Springs (just 30 minutes from Denver) and the Arkansas River at the Royal Gorge (near Colorado Springs). Colorado Adventure Center also offers whitewater rafting trips on Clear Creek and the Colorado River for all experience levels all summer long. It's the adventure of a lifetime for a great price.

Take a Thrilling Zip Line Tour

Something of a playground-on-steroids, Castle Rock Zip Line Tours has tons of thrilling ways to soar along on 1.5 miles of zip line at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, climb a 42-foot climbing wall and return via "adrenaline jumping stations" or a "kamikaze zip" straight to the ground, or take obstacle-course activities to new heights with the EPIC Sky Trek challenge course. Or Zoom above Clear Creek in Idaho Springs on a canopy zip-line tour with Colorado Adventure Center. You'll reach heights of up to 65 feet and get stunning views of the canyon as you fly along nearly a mile of zip line. This is the definition of high adventure!


Prev Next More About Denver Attractions
Wild Denver
Wild Denver

Where to see the amazing animals who call Denver home.  More ›

Old West Attractions
Old West Attractions

Experience the REAL old west.  More ›

Kid-Friendly Denver
Kid-Friendly Denver

Denver is a year-round playground for families.  More ›

The New Union Station
The New Union Station

The newly renovated 1914 Beaux-Arts train station is the new home to ten chef-ow…  More ›

Denver's 16th Street Mall
Denver's 16th Street Mall

Discover the 16th Street Mall, located in downtown Denver.  More ›

Denver Amusement Parks
Denver Amusement Parks

The Mile High City is packed with thrills from roller coasters to waterslides.  More ›

Denver's Outdoor Adventures
Denver's Outdoor Adventures

The Mile High City and nearby Rocky Mountains are filled with outdoor recreation…  More ›

Denver Railroads
Denver Railroads

Colorado has one of the most colorful railroad histories in the world.  More ›

Denver Story Trek
Denver Story Trek

Denver's story is a long and fascinating tale, populated by a colorful cast of c…  More ›

Green Denver
Green Denver

Denver is emerging as one of the premier places in the nation for a "green" lear…  More ›

Mile High Must Do
Mile High Must Do

10 reasons why Denver should be on top of any traveler's itinerary.  More ›

Old West Attractions
Old West Attractions

Despite its metropolitan, 21st-Century leanings, Denver still retains a good dea…  More ›

Planes Trains & Automobiles
Planes Trains & Automobiles

From vintage speedsters to enormous locomotives to vehicles straight out of scie…  More ›

Rocky Mountain Arsenal
Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Just ten minutes northeast of downtown Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal is one…  More ›

Must See Denver
Must See Denver

You can't have bragging rights from a Denver vacation until you see these sights…  More ›

Book Your Trip

 
ENEWSLETTER SIGN-UP
Free Visitors Guide
Order the Official Denver Visitors Guide.
It's Free!
1555 California St, Suite 300 | Denver, CO 80202 | 1-800-233-6837 | (303) 892-1112
2016 VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. All rights reserved.