- 6 mile loop (flexible)
- Elevation gain: 1,335 feet
- 2.5-3 hours
- Moderately strenuous
- Foothills, a few red rocks, & creeks
Distance from Denver: 20 minutes
If you’re looking for a hike really close to Denver, this is one of your best bets. This hike begins right next to the Red Rocks Amphitheater and takes you up and across a couple hills in the area, offering distant views of the city and a couple chances to get up close with some of the red rock formations for which the area is known.
Park at the Lower North lot and cross Trading Post Road to find the beginning of the trail. When you reach a junction, make a right and cross the road. Then at the end of this section of the trail, turn left and walk alongside the road. Cross Hogback Road and take the Dakota Ridge Trail uphill. The trail deposits you on Alameda Parkway – make a right, cross the road, and then take the lefthand side trail 1/4 mile up the road up the steepest climb of the day. On top, you’ll be able to look west toward the Red Rocks and east toward Denver.
Walk downhill, cross the highway and walk through the parking lot onto Village Walk. Make a right on the Red Rocks Trail and stay on this all the way until you reach the original junction with the eastward section of the Red Rocks Trail. You’ll pass a nice creek and this is where you finally are among some red rocks. Along the way, be sure to always follow the broadest path and backtrack when necessary – there are some confusing side trails. Make a right here and return up your original path of the day to your car.