The area around Denver, Colorado is loaded with fantastic outdoor activities for people of all ages and fitness levels. There are so many outdoor activities to do in and around Denver that we’d argue it’s virtually impossible to do everything! With that being said, we have a list of a few can’t miss outdoor activities near Denver that are perfect whether you live here or are just a tourist visiting for a few days.

outdoor activities near denver

Excitement and Adventure

If you’re looking for excitement and adventure, you’ll love Denver and the surrounding areas. There are many different summer outdoor activities that are sure to get your heart beating here, from hiking a fourteener to going kayaking on the Colorado River. Some can’t miss exciting outdoor activities near Denver are below. Just a few suggestions are:

  • Whitewater rafting
  • Manitou Incline
  • Mount Evans Scenic Byway
  • Rock climbing

Whitewater Rafting

The Colorado River and Arkansas River are arguably the nation’s premier whitewater rafting rivers. There are many different guiding companies that offer a variety of different whitewater trips on these rivers at varying levels of intensity and duration. The typical whitewater rafting season near Denver runs from May through September. Go on the earlier side if you’re looking for stronger rapids and on the later side if you want it a bit more mellow.

Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline is certainly not for the faint of heart. It’s a legendary hike, even though it is short. However, it certainly should not be underestimated, as it gains over 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile! If you can persevere and make it to the top, you’re greeted with sensational views that make the leg burn worth it. The Manitou Incline is about an hour and a half to two-hour drive outside of Denver near Colorado Springs.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

60 miles west of Denver, you’ll find the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. This drive takes you up over 9,000 feet to the top of Mount Evans — one of Colorado’s famous “fourteeners,” or the 54 peaks in the state whose elevation exceeds 14,000 feet. This byway, usually only open to cars between Memorial Day and Labor Day, is sure to thrill even the most adventurous people in your crew.

Rock Climbing

The area around Denver has plenty of world-class rock climbing. The Front Range, which includes the famed Flatirons in Boulder, is an exceptional climbing destination. You can also venture south towards Colorado Springs to climb in Garden of the Gods park and Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Even if you’re not an avid rock climber, or are just looking to try it, you can hire a guide to show you the ropes and introduce you to rock climbing in a fun, safe, and exciting way.

denver outdoor activities

Mellow & Relaxing

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more slow-paced than the activities above. No need to worry, as there are a bunch of outdoor activities near Denver that are a little more relaxing than whitewater rafting or rock climbing. You can check out the following activities:

  • Yoga at Red Rocks
  • Fish in the Colorado River
  • Stroll through Garden of the Gods Park
  • Golfing

Yoga at Red Rocks

You’ve probably heard of Red Rocks, Colorado’s famous open-air amphitheater, located just about a half-hour from downtown Denver. In addition to concerts, Red Rocks hosts large-scale yoga classes right on the steps of the amphitheater. You can catch a Yoga on the Rocks class every Saturday and Sunday morning during the warmer months.

Fish in the Colorado River

Not only is the Colorado River a world-class rafting destination, but it also has great fishing. If you’re looking for some of the best fishing in the state, you can drive just a few hours west to Glenwood Canyon. Either bring your own poles or rent them from an outfitter.

Stroll through Garden of the Gods Park

If you still want to visit Garden of the Gods State Park near Colorado Springs without going rock climbing, it’s a perfect place for a nice stroll. There are many flat and paved paths for you to choose from that allow you to admire its striking geology and observe some rock climbers.

Golfing

Denver is home to a bunch of wonderful golf courses. In addition, since Denver is at altitude, this means that your drives and iron shots will carry further than they do at sea level. If you don’t have clubs, no worries, as most courses will rent them to you!

In The City

Denver has more to offer than just its stunning natural beauty. There are many different activities in Denver that don’t actually require leaving the city! In addition to the ones listed below, we also recommend taking some time to just walk around and explore the city. These include:

  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Shopping
  • Brewery Tours

Denver Botanic Gardens

If you’re looking for a relaxing yet stunning outdoor activity, look no further than the Denver Botanic Gardens. Located in the heart of the city, the Botanic Gardens boasts tons of living plant exhibits and art collections. The Denver Botanic Gardens hosts regular outdoor activities year-round, like open-air concerts, fall festivals, and even fundraising galas. 

Shopping

In addition to incredible outdoor activities, Denver is home to some great shopping destinations. Take a stroll down the 16th Street Mall, where endless shopping and dining options await. Or you can head south to Park Meadows for a more traditional mall shopping experience.

Brewery Tours

Colorado is home to many wonderful breweries, and Denver is no exception. You can either choose to sign up for a guided outdoor brewery tour or take a self-guided walking one. Colorado is known for having a fantastic craft beer scene, and craft beer lovers will enjoy the opportunity to sample a bunch of delicious beers from local breweries.

things to do in denver

How Urban Phenix Can Help

With how much there is to do in Denver, it’s no wonder that people want to live here. If you’re looking to move to Denver or are currently living there and are looking for new housing, you should consider living with Urban Phenix. Urban Phenix has incredible properties in the Denver area.

Urban Phenix prides itself on building a community within its apartment complexes and does so by offering fantastic amenities such as shimmering swimming pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and picnic areas with barbecues. If you’re interested in touring an Urban Phenix property, contact us and we will work with you to get you into the apartment of your dreams.