A haven for outdoor lovers, The Mile High City is consistently ranked in the top 10 active cities in the US. With tons of parks, river pathways for walking, running, and biking, and at the foothill of the mountains with countless hiking and mountain biking trails, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get outside—with hammock in tow.
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City Park – Denver’s version of Central Park features two lakes (Ferril and Duck), a boathouse, the Denver Zoo, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. There’s tons of shaded areas and trees to hammock from, and the people watching is top-notch.
Cheesman Park – City’s Park little sister is nearby, just a few miles east of downtown. The centerpiece is the Pavilion where you can catch musical performances, fitness classes, and movie nights in the summer. Surrounded by walking, running, and biking paths, there are so many little nooks and crannies to hang your hammock and just relax in the middle of the city.
Washington Park – Known to locals simply as Wash Park, this is one of the city’s most popular urban green spaces in the adorable Wash Park neighborhood. There are two lakes and a lily pond, as well as a large grassy area that’s popular for volleyball in the summertime. You can rent paddle boards or get in a game of tennis, basketball, horseshoes, and lawn bowling on the many courts.
Confluence Park – One of the most Instagrammable spots in town, Confluence Park gets its name from its location, connecting Cherry Creek with the South Platte River. Near Lower Downtown (and the city’s very impressive REI), it’s one Denver’s most popular spots for an al fresco picnic. There’s a dog park and always lots of pups having the time of their life in the shallow river waters.
Cherry Creek State Park – Just outside of Denver in Aurora is Cherry Creek State Park and the Cherry Creek Reservoir. It’s a great spot for walking and running, and the lake is dotted with paddle boarders, boaters, and fishermen and women throughout summer. There are campsites and an off-leash dog park—all overlooking the mountains in the distance.
Sloan’s Lake – Sloan’s Lake and the surrounding neighborhoods are some of Denver’s most up and coming spots with walkable restaurants, cafes, bars, and boutiques. Sloan’s Lake is the city’s largest lake and second largest park in the city. There’s always tons of people out walking, biking, and paddle boarding, and the lake is surrounded by green space and trees perfect for hanging a hammock. The views of the city skyline are top notch, and there are other amenities like tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
Chatfield Reservoir – Just south of Denver is Chatfield State Park, which boasts this massive “lake,” which is the place to be for boating in the summer with a nice beach for lounging. It’s one of he best fishing spots in the city, and one of the best lakes for swimming. There are lots of spots surrounding the lake to chill in a hammock.
Soda Lake – Another great swimming spot with a beach is Soda Lake at Bear Creek State Park with awesome views of the nearby mountains and Red Rocks Amphitheater. Hop out of your hammock to paddle board or canoe or take some laps in the 400-foot swimming lane.
Dillon Reservoir – Okay, so this one technically isn’t in Denver, but it’s worth the hour-ish drive west. Dillon is a cute little town that connects Denver to the mountains (Keystone, Breck, Aspen, etc.). The Dillon Reservoir hands down has the best views since it’s surrounded by the Gore and Ten Mile mountain ranges. There are great lunch spots right on the lake and marina and several hiking trails to better take in the vistas.
Red Rocks and Morrison Slide Trails– Red Rocks is a must-see for visitors and a favorite spot for locals with numerous hiking trails and the popular stairs. This is a pretty easy hike at 3 miles with 679 feet of elevation gain, and you’re likely to see deer and maybe even mountain bikers, so watch out for both.
Chavez and Beaver Brook Trail Loop – In Golden about 30 minutes from downtown Denver, this 5-mile loop will get your heart rate pumping with a hike down to the creek below and back up to the parking lot. Bring a hammock and take a break from the 1,122 feet of elevation gain. It’s one of the more quiet/less crowded trails within Genesee Park, Denver’s largest mountain park with a bison and elk enclosure.
Lion’s Lair Trail – This 4-mile out and back trail in Boulder climbs 810 feet with stunning views of the valley on the way up and all of Boulder at the top. There are lots of shaded spots to hang a hammock and enjoy some peace and quiet (and maybe a deer sighting) not far from the city.