The Best Running Routes in Denver

runner | @skeeze/PixaBay
Stephanie Harper

Between the idyllic parks, mountain backdrop and miles and miles of urban trail, Denver is a runner’s dream. You’ll love the fresh mountain air and runner-friendly paths that make these the best running routes in Denver:

Platte River Trail-Mile High Loop

The Platte River Trail runs 17.8 miles, south toward Englewood and north toward Thornton. Denverites enjoy the Mile High Loop, a 4.5-mile route starting at Confluence Park and heading around Mile High Stadium back to Commons Park. It’s an excellent route through the city, passing several Denver landmarks along the way.

Platte River Trail route

Washington Park

Washington Park provides a 2.6-mile perimeter loop around the park, where runners take laps on a shaded hard-packed dirt surface. It’s an easy, flat surface in one of Denver’s most popular neighborhoods.

Washington Park running route

City Park

The lush City Park just outside of Downtown Denver offers a beautiful place to run, with stunning views of both the Denver skyline as well as the mountains. The distance around the park is 3.3 miles, but there are plenty crisscrossing paths, including a loop around the lake, that allow for custom routes of varying distances.

City Park running route

Cherry Creek Trail

The Cherry Creek Trail provides a flat, paved multi-use path. The 8.6-mile trail runs alongside Cherry Creek from the Cherry Creek Reservoir to where it meets the South Platte River in downtown Denver.

Cherry Creek Trail route

High Line Canal

The High Line Canal is both the most popular and longest running route in Denver. The 11.3-mile trail is a wide multi-use path of hard dirt. Much of it is shaded by beautiful cottonwood trees.

High Line Canal route

Waterton Canyon

Waterton Canyon, outside of Denver, provides a gravel road through the Canyon, alongside the South Platte River. There’s a gradual 6-mile slope toward the Strontia Springs Dam that creates an added challenge. The wide gravel road is shared by runners and hikers as well as cyclists and even the occasional bighorn sheep.

Waterton Canyon route

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