Hi guys! I figured I’d start a “Denver series” of sorts so I can group together the Denver-related content for anyone visiting or who lives here. So today I wanted to recap the hike we did earlier this October at Golden Gate Canyon State Park so you could refer back to this post later if you’re looking for a good hike to do in the Denver area!
The nice thing about Golden Gate Canyon State Park is that it’s only about 45 minutes to 1 hour away from Denver, so you don’t have to make it a full day or weekend thing. You can spend your Saturday morning or afternoon there and still have the rest of the day to do whatever else. Basically, it doesn’t need to be a huge commitment which I appreciate! You can decide the day before or the morning of if it works for your schedule, etc.
We went on a Saturday morning and ended up getting there around 10:30 am. Parking was definitely harder to find at that point – they have designated parking lots throughout the mountain/park that connect to various trails but they were all full when we arrived. We ended up parking on the side of the road where some other cars were. Disclaimer: we did get a warning (ticket) so I can’t say that this is the best route to go in the future but at that point, we were already there and we were tired of trying to find a parking lot that was open haha. So all that to say, probably better to get there earlier in the morning or even later in the afternoon when crowds aren’t at their peak. Also, we did go the weekend of October 1st which a lot of people were saying was the “prime” weekend to go, so we also probably went on a busier weekend than most. Anyway – do with this information what you will, but figured I’d pass it along!
As far as the actual hike(s) go, when you’re driving up the mountain, there is a visitor center where you can pay for parking (I think it’s right around $10, they accept credit cards) and they give you a map. The map shows that there are different trails varying in difficulty and length throughout the park. We had a couple of trails in mind that we wanted to do (the moderate ones) and tried to find parking related to those trails but as I mentioned above, that was pretty difficult to do. So we basically just parked where we could, started walking, and then looked at the trail heads that we came across and picked one of the moderate ones from there. A lot of the trails intersect so if you just start walking you will come across signs for various trails and you can get on one of the paths from there. We ended up doing the Racoon Trail which was about 3.5 miles and had moderate difficulty. Overall definitely recommend if you’re looking for a hike in the Denver area 🙂
Below are some more photos from the hike! If you have any questions feel free to comment below 🙂