Whether you have a couple of hours, a few days or a blissful week to spend in Denver, there are outdoor adventures galore. And you can rent all sorts of gear, from kayaks to motorized scooters, without having to pack a huge suitcase or buy expensive stuff. 

Here's a rundown to get you up and running. 

Confluence Kayaks 

Staying in the heart of the city doesn’t mean adventure is beyond reach, especially with Confluence Kayaks, located across from the Downtown Aquarium and next to the whitewater chutes of the South Platte. With more than two decades serving Denver's kayak, ski and bike aficionados, Confluence Kayaks provides lessons, rentals, outfitting and gear for sale. River trips are offered May through August with no experience necessary, and there are bike tours…either the super quick 30-minute version that comes with a 3-hour bike rental or a longer version that stitches together riverside bike paths, city bike lanes and neighborhood streets for a 10-mile outing. Or rent bikes for a half day, full day, overnight or weekend and take a spin on nearby greenway trails or in surrounding towns and mountains. 

Outdoors Geek

This family-owned and operated business helps inspire love for the outdoors and makes it easy for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy nature. Located on Glencoe Street, Outdoors Geek is a one-stop resource for renting a tent and other individual items, camping packages, backpacking packages and high-end glamping setups. The company even ships rental gear almost anywhere. The Outdoors Geek team tests all gear sold and rented, regularly sets up and concierges 100-plus tent locations, and has penned helpful checklists and geek advice articles on its website. 


Located at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the Platte River, REI’s 95,000-square-foot flagship Denver store occupies the historic Denver Tramway Power Company Building (built in 1901) near the Downtown Aquarium. Going to the store is an experience itself with a kayak course nearby to test equipment, huge indoor climbing rock, an auditorium for outdoor-themed classes, rental and repair shops, and even a Starbucks. The rental shop stocks camp stoves, tents, sleeping bags and pads, backpacks, mountaineering gear, paddling and Nordic skiing equipment and snowshoes.  

Make sure to scope out the calendar of events for the Denver and other metro area REI stores for classes and outings related to mountain biking, bike maintenance, off-trail map and compass navigation, climbing, stand-up paddle boarding, photography, backpacking basics, family camping trips and more.