Hike The Green Mountain Trail
Colorado › Green Mountain Trailhead, CO
Added by Jennifer Broome
William F. Hayden Park on Green Mountain has a challenging network of multi-use trails and because it is so close to town, makes for a great weekday escape.
Green Mountain Trail is a 6.5-mile loop and has a challenging ascent to the park's highest point. Because the mountain is one of the first to rise out of the plains, you get unique views of where the mountains meet the prairie and fascinating geology. The summit, at 6,857' offers stunning views of Denver and the plains to the east and impressive mountain peaks to the west. Because it is only about 20 minutes from Denver, it could be considered an urban mountain. Once home to buffalo, the park now has a diverse wildlife population including coyotes, hawks, rattlesnakes, bluebirds, rabbits, mule deer, and occasionally a mountain lion. The north side of Hayden Park was used as an artillery target range for the Colorado National Guard's Camp George West during the first half of the 20th century. Stay on marked trails as old military munitions and debris can still be found in the park. Green Mountain trail is rated moderately strenuous. Because of the lack of trees, this is a sunny hike, which is great in winter. Don't forget your sunscreen!
Photos: Chris Tomer
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Awesome Open Space
I decided to sneak out of the office for an afternoon hike and escaped away to this trail. It was a great experience. The trails are well maintained and vary in difficulty and grade, with different options available along the way. I completed a 3-mile loop with a pretty steep grade on the way up. You share the trails with those on bikes, so keep your eyes and ears open. It was pretty active when I visited, but parking was available. The only downside concerns pet owners. There were several dog waste bags carelessly left along the trails. Although I appreciate pet owners being responsible by picking up after their furry friends, I would also hope they'd properly dispose of the bags. All in all, definitely a must do if you're in the Lakewood area.
This is by far one of my favorite places to go around Denver for an after-work adventure. There are many different trails to the top so you can make it different just about every time you come here. The views from the top are some of the best around because you can see downtown Denver to the east and Red Rocks to the west! If you really want to elevate your experience then come here in early summer (late May/early June) to hike among all the wildflowers. Be sure to stick around to watch a sunset from the top, you won't regret it!
Nice singletrack, beautiful views of Denver and the mountains, and lots of elevation gain make this one of the best trail-systems in the city. Green Mountain doesn't have trees so it can get pretty windy as well as hot in the summer. If there's recent snowmelt or rain the trails are a sloppy mess.
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