A big reason that we love Colorado so much is the nature it has to offer. When we visited in June 2021, we tried to be outdoors as much as possible. We hiked the Mount Galbraith Loop in Golden, CO, the Chautauqua Trail in Boulder, CO, and the Alberta Falls Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. We wanted to hike the Emerald Lake Trail at Rocky Mountain, but there was a “charging elk” blocking the path.
Outdoors, But Not Hiking
If you want to embrace the outdoors, but hiking is not your style, there are options. We visited the Red Rocks Amphitheatre which has concerts and other events. There is still some walking and potentially stairs involved, but it is a great way to get to a higher elevation with less effort than a hike. Another spot we visited was the Botanic Gardens. When we went in the spring, the flowers and foliage were so beautiful. There were plenty of benches for people to enjoy the scenery or sit with a good book.
Fall 2022 Reviews
In Fall 2022, (now) we felt more limited because of the weather. It starts snowing so early in the mountains. Most of our admiration for the mountains came at a distance this Fall, but driving down a random road and seeing them in the distance is something I will never get over.
Gardens of the Gods
Location: Colorado Springs
Overall Rating: 8/10
Going to Gardens of the Gods was a bucket list location for me. It was definitely touristy and more of a walk than a hike. If you wanted to experience the park with a little more adventure, people were biking. It was really cool to be so close to such incredible rock formations. Unlike Red Rocks, there were plenty of spots to take pictures that would showcase the size of the rocks.
Deer Creek Canyon Park
Location: Jefferson County
Overall Rating: 9/10
It is so interesting to hike in different parts of the country. Let me tell you, there is a reason this area is called the Rockies. There were several spots where the incline was climbing up rocks. At the top, the view was of Denver and not of other mountains which was something unique. Usually, the views at the top of our hikes are of other peaks we could climb. There was something really special about being able to look out over a city.
Overall Rating: 8/10
We are so grateful we stayed close to the park during our time here. Our daily walks through the trees helped us feel close to nature. While the park has some paths with trees, there are also a lot of grassy areas where people could sit and picnic or play games. As a place to hangout, the grassy areas are awesome. As a way to connect with nature, I wish they weren’t there. Also, I think our love for the park was increased immensely by the Fall foliage. In other seasons, I do not think the park would be as impactful.
Overall, October seems to be a weird month to visit Denver if you are trying to enjoy nature. It is not warm enough in the mountains to go hiking and there is not enough snow to ski. When we return to Colorado, I have a feeling it will be in the Summer.
Try to focus on improving your adaptability. Oftentimes, things do not turn out as we planned which presents us with a choice. We can pivot and still find joy or become tunnel visioned to only see that our expectations were not met.