If you’re looking for the best places to run in, you’ve come to the right place. With its breathtaking landscapes and varied terrain, Colorado is a runner’s paradise.
This state has something for anyone whether you’re an avid trail runner or a casual jogger. From forested trails to scenic views, running in Colorado can be physically and mentally rewarding.
To help you make the most of your running experience in Colorado, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to run in the state. Each location offers unique scenery and terrain that will challenge your body and stimulate your mind.
The key to finding great places to run is knowing where to look. Fortunately, with so many great parks and trails across Colorado, it won't take long before finding a route that suits your needs perfectly.
In addition to exploring local running spots near you, don't forget that there are plenty of other areas around the state worth trying out as well!
1. Red Rocks Park
Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will find Red Rocks Park to be a great place to explore. The park has miles of trails, offering something for all levels of hikers.
There are several different parking lots and bathrooms available, making it easy to access the park. The staff at Red Rocks is friendly and courteous, which adds to the overall experience.
The amphitheater at Red Rocks Park is world-renowned for its acoustics and stunning views. It hosts big-name acts throughout the year, so there's always something exciting happening in the area.
Even if there isn't an event scheduled, visitors can still enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder by exploring its many trails or enjoying lunch with friends.
The venue steps throughout the space are wide in length, so visitors should watch their steps when exploring the area. Parking is limited around Red Rocks Park, but there are several free parking areas close by that can be used instead.
Additionally, visitors can reserve a spot with red cliffs & amphitheater if they plan on attending a show or event later in the evening – this will ensure a reserved spot when doors open!
Overall, Red Rocks Park offers an amazing experience for anyone looking to explore nature while also having access to vendors and close bathrooms.
With its free admission early in the day (even if there is an event later), free parking lots nearby, helpful security staff, and great sound quality – it's worth visiting!
2. Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
Dedicated to preserving the beauty of the Garden of the Gods, this stunning park offers a variety of activities for all levels. The modern visitor center is staffed with friendly and knowledgeable personnel who provide helpful information about the area.
There are varying trails for all levels, from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. The signage is well done, and the restrooms are conveniently located. The ambient color of the rock and easiness of climbing make it an attractive place to run or walk.
The upper ridge trail was a bit more technical but worth the effort as it provides an even better view of the park's beautiful sandstone formations.
Of note: public bathrooms are available on some trails, and parking can be a bit congested in certain areas, so plan accordingly if you're visiting during peak times. Admission is free and visitors can spend as little or as much time exploring as they wish – whether it's just a couple of hours or all day long!
The visitor center has its gift shop offering apparel and memorabilia for purchase, while displays throughout the park are well cared for, and staff members are accommomdating in providing information about local attractions or answering questions about what you're seeing.
All in all, Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is a world-class destination that should not be missed!
3. Chavez and Beaver Creek Trail
Tucked away in the mountains of Colorado, the Chavez and Beaver Creek Trail is a hidden gem for hikers.
This 5-7 mile loop trail boasts a variety of terrain and stunning views that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
The trail starts with easy, flat terrain as you make your way up the mountain. You’ll pass through shady forests with plenty of places to rest, before reaching more challenging sections.
The downhill sections are steep but rewarding, offering sweeping views of the surrounding area. It’s also possible to find some nice pools at the bottom of the valley – great for taking a break or having a picnic with your pup!
Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as you can expect to be on the trail for two hours or more, depending on your speed. Be aware that parking is limited, and there may not be many people around during certain times, so planning is important.
There are also braille signs along this route for those who are blind, so everyone can enjoy all this gorgeous trail has to offer!
Mainly, Chavez and Beaver Creek Trail is an amazing place to run offering an array of terrains and scenery without much crowding or noise from nearby highways.
Although it’s slightly difficult due to its steep inclines, it's well worth the effort if you're looking for an exciting outdoor adventure!
4. Mount Falcon Park
Packed with trails and stunning views, Mount Falcon Park is a great place to run. With two entrances, East and West, the park offers a variety of trails for all levels of runners.
The trails are wide and easy to navigate, featuring rocky terrain, gentle inclines, and amazing views of the city, Red Rocks, and foothills. For those who like to explore, there are many new sights to see on each visit.
The park also provides restroom facilities at the beginning of the trail, as well as covered areas with benches that make it perfect for a lunch break.
Additionally, it has picnic tables and even bike maintenance stations! Parking can be tricky at times due to its popularity, but there are plenty of spaces at both entrances.
Mount Falcon Park is also popular among hikers and mountain bikers, so sure to let them know you’re there before passing by; however, it was moderately trafficked on my weekday morning visit, so I felt safe exploring alone.
The only downside is that the trailhead restrooms don’t have running water, so plan accordingly! Altogether, this is an amazing place I highly suggest for visitors like myself and locals looking for an escape from their everyday lives.
5. Dinosaur Ridge
A great place to explore and learn about dinosaurs, Dinosaur Ridge is a natural history museum and hiking area near Denver, Colorado.
The hike up the hill from the visitor center and parking are a little strenuous, but they offer free shuttles. Visitors can also enjoy looking at the many dinosaur footprints, fauna, rock formations, etc., along the way to the top.
The main interpretive trail is a blocked-off road popular with cyclists across the street from the visitor center with the incredible views of the red rocks amphitheater from the top. This continued trail is unpaved and steep but worth going for the adventurous.
There are some uphill spots on this trail, as well as places to sit (large rocks, no benches) or climb if you're younger and full of energy. The staff were friendly and showed us where to go to see all these items!
The visitors center has a restroom for use while visiting, in addition to Dino facts for visitors to learn about before heading off on their adventures.
There's also a gift shop that includes some basic goods for your journey down the hill or onto one of their trails! For those with children, there are hands-on Discovery areas that will help keep them engaged during their visit!
In totality, Dinosaur Ridge is an enjoyable experience for everyone in your family! It's free, so it makes it even better! There's no fee to get in, and plenty of cool things to see while you're there!
The volunteers were nice and knowledgeable which made our four-year-old feel like part of our tour group. A great way to get out with kids and get some exercise while learning something new too!
6. William F. Hayden Park on Green Mountain
Who said going away requires going far? William F. Hayden Park on Green Mountain is a prime example of this. Located just off the highway, this park provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life without having to venture too far out.
With its well-maintained trails, ample parking spots, and 8-dollar cover fee, it's no surprise why so many people flock to this location.
The trails are easy to navigate, with plenty of options for all skill levels. Whether you're looking for a pleasant stroll or a challenging ride, there's something here for everyone.
The outside area is open and spacious, with plenty of room to avoid others while still enjoying the beauty of nature around you. Plus, there are plenty of amenities like lake facilities, an archery range, an equestrian facility, and yurts that make visiting here even more worthwhile!
When it comes to safety and noise level, however, things aren't quite as pleasant as they seem at first glance.
The traffic noise can be a bit loud at times, so plan accordingly if you want some peace during your visit. Also, be sure to watch out for downhill cyclists since the park is popular among them!
All in all, William F Hayden Park on Green Mountain offers an enjoyable experience that will appeal to both nature lovers and thrill seekers alike!
There's something here for everyone – from hiking trails through lush forests to breathtaking views from the top. Moreover, it's conveniently located near lots of urban areas, making it perfect for a quick getaway for peace with a limited time.
7. Ralston Central Park
Ralston Central Park is a great place for families and individuals to enjoy outdoor activities. It is well kept, clean, and has lots of space to explore.
The park features a down-to-earth atmosphere with plenty of open areas for walking, jogging, biking, and other activities. In addition, several picnic shelters and a splash pad are available for kids of all ages to have fun.
The bathrooms are large and clean, making it an ideal spot to change in and out of swimsuits. Additionally, the park offers ample parking spaces close to its main features.
During summer, the restrooms are open throughout the day, while they close at night during winter time.
The playground equipment is shaded most of the time but can get hot during sunny days, so it is best to be aware before visiting Ralston Central Park with younger children. On busier days, like weekends or summer holidays, it can get quite crowded so it might be better to visit on weekdays when possible.
Despite this issue, there's still plenty of room for everyone as the park wraps around itself in a loop allowing visitors to use its full potential without having too many people around them at once.
In conclusion, Ralston Central Park is an excellent spot for spending quality time outdoors. Engage with friends or family members in various recreational activities such as walking, jogging, or biking on its paved trails or simply enjoying some good old-fashioned fun at its splash pad or playground area!
8. Sloan’s Lake Park
Featuring Denver's second-largest park, Sloan’s Lake Park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over 200 acres of green space and trails around a big pond, this park is perfect for those who want to take in the beauty of nature.
With jogging paths and grassy spots around the boating-friendly lake, it's easy to find something for everyone in this picturesque location.
The grounds are well maintained and kept clean, with public restrooms stationed around the lake. It's accessible due to major streets passing nearby and fair parking options.
The path is typically moderately busy during the afternoons & weekends, but still worth the views and nature that make up this beautiful spot of land.
The locals do a nice job of keeping it clean, as we all should be; there are benches and open spaces for activities, as well as a playground, bathroom facility, paved running/walking/biking track, and gravel tracks available too!
Moreover, there is something at the park for every age range; from young to elderly, singles to couples with baby carriages – everyone will feel welcome here!
Generally, Sloan’s Lake Park is a sublime place where one can relax or get active – be it an afternoon stroll or some fresh air after a long day at work – this place has it all!
The views backed by a convenient place to shop across the way make it even more special; so don't miss out on visiting this wonderful spot today!