06/20/2011 03:14 pm ET | Updated Aug 20, 2011

Take A Hike: 5 Spectacular Trails In Denver-Boulder

The Rockies are full of hiking adventures, but Denverites don’t have to trek far to find worthwhile excursions. Here are five hikes worth checking out in Denver-Boulder.

Roxborough State Park: Roxborough has trails for mild to moderate hikers as well areas accessible for the disabled. Fountain Valley Overlook is a short trail with an altitude of 6,280 feet, perfect for children and with views of an array of red-rock formations. Carpenter Peak is nearly 6.5 miles with a final height of 7,160, where you’ll be treated to a panorama of the colorful terrain. The Fountain Valley Trail can often accommodate strollers and wheelchairs during nice weather conditions.
4751 Roxborough Drive, Littleton; 303-973-3959

Castlewood Canyon: A natural amphitheater, the Bridge Canyon Overlook and the ruins of a long-ago dam are just a few of the sights along this diverse hiking area. Follow Cherry Creek through the canyon with a short, half-mile trail, or a longer one of 4 miles. Hikes range from mild to moderate.
2989 S. State Hwy. 83 Franktown; 303-688-5242

Red Rocks: More than the renowned amphitheater, Red Rocks offers hiking amidst the earthy red wafers protruding skyward (pictured). For a short jaunt, jump on the Trading Post Trail, which is a little less than 1.5 miles, at an altitude of 6,280 feet. Merge with the Red Rocks Trail for a total loop of 6 miles.
18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison; 720-865-2494

Meyer Ranch: This group of trails offers meadows, forested areas and plenty of wildlife in the mix. All provide substantial cardio-supporting slopes, with the outer loop offering a steeper excursion – and a better payoff at the top-most overlook – than lower loops.
Hwy 285 about 1/2 mile east of Aspen Park

Chautauqua/Flatirons: Though Boulder offers a slew of hiking options, we’d be remiss not to single out Chautauqua Park, where you’ll find the most spectacular view of the Flatirons. Hike through the meadow and timbers to the Flatirons’ base and begin your ascent up one of Boulder’s most easily recognized natural landmarks for plenty of scrambling and breathtaking views. The first Flatiron trail includes a nearly 1,500-foot elevation gain, ending at just over 7,100 feet.
Ninth St. & Baseline St., Boulder