“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” sounds like a strange statement, doesn’t it? After all, one’s journey to the burger joint down the street usually isn’t that eventful. We had a bit of trouble getting behind that statement… until we learned about Denver, Colorado. Wide-open roads, winding trails, gorgeous scenery - Denver is the perfect place for an adventure and it’s the perfect place to go backpacking.
For those who don’t know, backpacking is like camping and hiking merged into one activity. You pack up all of your essential items, then go for as long or as short of a walk as you’d like. Some backpackers travel for a few hours, others travel for entire months.
Whatever your preference, this activity is all about appreciating the journey - and the amazing things you’ll experience during it. There’s nothing like backpacking through Denver if you properly prepare. Grab your essentials, then leave the rest with a luggage storage service.
Bear Creek Park
We’re sort of cheating by mentioning Bear Creek Park, as it’s officially located in the city of Lakewood. But hey, this place is so popular with Denver’s citizens that it’s considered a major attraction in the Mile High city. Bear Creek Park is the closest full-service campsite to Denver.
Visitors can pitch a tent or rent a place to stay. Backpackers are free to trek through this massive park and even participate in various activities. Visit Bear Creek Park’s website to book your stay.
Parks don’t always need fancy features and amenities to be great. Sometimes, a park just needs to have plenty of walking room. Berkeley Park fits that description perfectly. This 83-acre recreational area is frequented by joggers, dog walkers, picnic lovers, and backpackers.
A glistening fishing lake is one of Berkeley Park’s major standout features. More than a few people stop by to do some fly fishing throughout the day. This venue is a great place to get some exercise and clear your head.
You typically can’t find too many green spaces in the middle of cities. That’s the case for places like Los Angeles and New York City. However, that isn’t the case for Denver. Cheesman Park is proof of that. This sprawling parkland is located in the heart of Denver, near several major landmarks.
Capitol Hill, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Molly Brown House surround Cheesman Park on all sides. There’s a lot to see at the 81-acre park, including gardens, gazebos… and ghosts, or so the stories go. Stop by Cheesman Park and see for yourself.
Sightseeing is a big part of what makes backpacking so fun. The more scenery one has to appreciate, the more memorable their backpacking trip will be. City Park, just like Cheesman Park, is surrounded by all sorts of gorgeous sights. However, this locale is flanked by popular attractions like the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Science & Nature.
Backpackers will have plenty of wondrous sights to appreciate. The scenery will drastically differ based on the time of year you visit. The City Park Jazz event is held here every Summer and this place becomes a winter wonderland near the end of the year.
Civic Center Park
Neoclassical architecture, historic sites all around, and a golden dome peeking out through the skyline. If you can see these sights, chances are you’re right in the middle of Civic Center Park. This venue is located in the heart of Denver and serves as a great introduction to the city’s culture.
You’ll find statues and plaques dedicated to Denver’s founders as well as tributes to famous jazz artists. If you look around, you’ll also find out the story behind that golden dome - it belongs to the Colorado State Capitol Building.
Denver Botanic Gardens
We briefly mentioned this venue earlier, but an offhand remark doesn’t do enough justice to the Denver Botanic Gardens. This venue is easily one of the city’s most popular attractions. People travel from all corners of the world to visit the gardens.
Breathtaking flower art and a menagerie of themed gardens are just some of the reasons why this place is so popular. Folks even hold weddings and birthday parties here. If possible, you have to visit the Botanic Gardens during Christmas - the Holiday Light Show is simply astonishing.
Red Rocks Park
Colorado’s geography is one of the state’s most famous features. After all, Colorado is the home of the Rocky Mountains. It’s also the home of Red Rocks Park - a venue that’s named after its famous red sandstone mounds.
Backpackers absolutely love this place for a myriad of reasons. There’s plenty of open space to hike around or even set up camp. There is also a slew of inspiring sights to see. Creation Rock is possibly the most visited part of this park, but there are tons of other great rock formations nearby.
Great things really can come in small packages. Skyline Park is proof of that claim. This venue is a compact community space that has plenty of fun things to do. And by that, we mean Skyline Park has an ice skating rink. Factor in a slew of art pieces and sculptures, as well as tons of community events, and this place’s popularity begins to speak for itself. Skyline Park epitomizes what Downtown Denver is all about.
Running trails, boathouses, lakes, recreation centers - Washington Park has it all. Many citizens have frequented this park since they were children. Years later, they bring their own kids to experience the magic of Washington Park. Backpackers have plenty of room for walking, hiking, or even stopping and enjoying a nice picnic. Folks can also go rowing and fishing in Smith Lake.
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