The 4 Best Day Trip Destinations Around Denver

Denver offers unique travel experiences that you can visit in a day. So, which are the best day trips from Denver?

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What’s the best day trip destination around Denver?

Denver’s most popular day trips include Rocky Mountain National Park, Eastern Plains, Deckers and Pine Area, and Central City and Black Hawk. These destinations will give you an optimal travel experience in just a day.   

Denver city is one of the best places that you can visit. Denver residents love the outdoor lifestyle where they enjoy drinks, viewing the great geographical distributions or sports activities, and the city has a lot to offer in terms of travel, and the residents are welcoming and friendly. In short, in Denver, you will not have a shortage of travel options.

If you are looking for a getaway to enjoy the best of Denver, consider one that takes around an hour and a half or less to drive out of Colorado’s capital city. The good thing with many of these spots is that they are not only accessible but also affordable. Here are four options for amazing day trips:  


Rocky Mountain National Park

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Rocky Mountain National Park attracts tourists worldwide and Denverites too due to its natural wonders.

Individuals outside the city travel far to the park, but residents from around drive north for an hour to get to the mountain. 

The national park provides a home to Longs Peak with challenging and stunning climbing routes. 

Besides, the Pristine hilly terrains at the Rocky Mountain National Park have over 300 miles of hiking tracks. Apart from Longs Peak, the mountain has more than 100 peaks which are 11,000 feet or even more.

Tourists visiting Rocky Mountain National Park can participate in the wilderness and conventional camping, wildlife watching, hiking, and fishing. The Trail Ridge Road allows for Rocky Mountain views from 12,000 feet. 

Even so, the road and other Rocky Mountain offerings are closed during the cold and rainy months.

Make your day trip more memorable by visiting Estes Park near the Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain town has plenty of climbing options, golfing, delectable eateries, as well as whitewater rafting. 

There are a number of unique predators in the vicinity of the national park. These include wolves and bobcat.

Whereas you may not easily spot them, you can just bump into one. As far as you are safe, you will have a lot to explore.

Estes Park offers sustainable local alternatives, multiple breweries, distilleries, and wineries, and  you will have a relaxed evening after a day of exploration.

Eastern Plains

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Colorado’s plains in the northeast of Denver are home to rescued animals. The 789 acres region has great relaxation and adventure opportunities perfect for your next-day trip. Wild Animal 

Sanctuary lies outside Keenesburg and saves animals such as lions, wolves, tigers, and bears from egregious confined situations. Like a zoo, the animal sanctuary gives local and international tourists unique views of rescued wildlife animals. 

Ticket fees are reasonably charged and directed to the rescue mission. Your visit to the sanctuary will benefit the  animals in captivity. 

Families and individuals looking for unconventional ways to support animals and enjoy wildlife should add this destination to their bucket list.

You can drive towards the north at the sanctuary to catch more scenic plains at the Colorado Wildlife Banner Lakes. 

The wetland area is great for picnics or evening walks and protects Colorado waterfowl.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park is outside Calhan town and is among the best natural settings in Colorado. The park showcases 750 acres of great human and natural, historical sites. 

Additionally, it brims with bizarre rock formations with stunning natural shapes and colors. 

Paint Mines Interpretive Park has proof of human activities from 9,000 years showing how Ancient Native Americans mined minerals for ceremonial painting and pottery.

At Paint Mines, you can go hiking as well as enjoy free sightseeing. Sadly, most site reviews complain about visitors destroying natural wonders by climbing rock formations.

Ensure that you adhere to the rules and regulations and stay on the designated tracks to preserve the park.

On your trip back to the city, consider popping in at Pop A Top Saloon near Peyton. The stopover is attributed to tasty foods, strong drinks, and a welcoming atmosphere, and offers a variety of delicacies.

Deckers and Pine Area

Are you looking for a destination with abundant outdoor activities and minimal drive? The Deckers and Pine regions are ideal for you and your family.

In the area, you will find Pine Valley Ranch Park, which provides a small pond for fishing, mountainous space for sightseeing, and hiking trails.  

At the south side of Pine town lies the North Fork South Platte River for fishing, Cathedral Spires for rock climbing, and Zoka’s bar and restaurant for provisions such as local-grown produce and craft beer. 

As you proceed to the south, you will get to Deckers. 

The area is known for its legendary trout fishing. It also offers incredible bird-watching options, mountain biking, and hiking. After tuckering yourself throughout the day, consider getting a nice milkshake or beer at Decker’s Corner.

Central City and Black Hawk

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Central City and the Blackhawk are very close to each other, and they are often mistaken to be the same place.

They are home to interesting and educational history narratives. It is not uncommon to find tourists seeking to learn the history of the places that they visit, and Central City and Black Hawk will offer this opportunity as much.

Central City and Blackhawk are perfect destinations for anyone who loves exploring forest environments, and tasting new foods and drinks.

Local dines embrace the feel and look of the region. Also, the area has unique features and attractions to accommodate individuals from various origins.

If you love a quiet surrounding with authentic casinos, salons, and restaurants, consider Central City. The place is ideal for families and history lovers.

Remember to check in at Central City Opera House and Nevadaville, an Ancient Ghost town.

On the other hand, adults planning a day trip in a striking hilly setting need to visit Black Hawk. St Mary’s Glacier will offer a place to round out your day breathing in nature and is just 40 minutes’ drive west. 

However, you have to pay for parking at this spot.

Visitors should note that they is more town activities at Central City but both Central City and Black Hawk are ideal places to visit. 

Key Takeaways

  • The regions surrounding Denver are filled with amazing geographical features for day trips.
  • The areas provide great destinations for history and nature lovers.
  • The destinations are perfect for romantic getaways, solo vacations, and family trips.
  • No booking or reservations needed for most destinations around Denver
  • Each destination has a story to tell about the local community and surround