The entrance to the stunning Rocky Mountains, Aurora
initially developed as a military hub. Nowadays, Aurora homes stand at the forefront of urban redevelopment in America with new housing projects and recreational-technical plazas sprouting up near its former airstrips.
The third largest city in Colorado is home to lovely residents and a vibrant arts and culture scene while dealing with less crowding than its next-door neighbor, Denver, and playing host to a wide variety of hiking trails. As the gateway to the Rockies, this city has some of the best hiking in the country; from urban to rural, mild to difficult, explore the best hiking near Aurora.
Cherry Creek and Pipeline Trail
Discover this remarkable 4.8-mile out-and-back trail near Aurora, Colorado, in Cherry Creek State Park. This easy course is usually completed in about an hour and a half on average and is renowned for the amount of wildlife that can be spotted on the trail. This trail offers some of the best hiking near Aurora –– especially at quieter times of the day. Unfortunately, this route isn't dog friendly, so be sure to leave any four-legged friends at home before setting off.
Bluff Lake Nature Center Loop
Bluff Lake, a 123-acre wildlife park located inside Denver's city limits, offers year-round outdoor activity options and is a short drive from Aurora. Open and free to the public from sunrise to sunset with both a 1-mile Lake Loop and an additional ½ mile Sand Creek Loop surrounded by varied ecosystems, it provides peaceful urban refuge for all. With its mostly flat terrain featuring stairs as well as an accessible entrance ramp, fitness and mobility levels won't stop anyone from enjoying the wonders of nature.
Although most of the trail is fairly flat with an incline rate of 5% or less, there is a more taxing stretch of around 1.1 miles when traveling counterclockwise. Those using wheelchairs and other movement devices may require assistance in making it through this section safely, or they could opt to bypass it entirely.
Highline Canal Trail: Cherry Creek Trail to Expo Park
Get ready for an awe-inspiring 14.8-mile out-and-back journey from Cherry Creek Trail to Expo Park, a segment of the Highline Canal Trail that winds through the Aurora-Denver region. Alternatively, hikers can walk the trail one way and arrange for a friend to pick them up at the end of it. This easy route, which takes about 4 hours and 24 minutes to complete on average, is a great spot for birding, road biking, or snowshoeing –– but also provides some tranquility during calmer times of the day.
Open year-round and perfect for leashed dogs, this urban trail winds past greenspaces and Aurora homes,boasting plenty of picnic areas too so you can grab lunch while taking in all the beauty that surrounds you.
The trail meanders for the most part at a mild incline (5% or less), but there is one hilly area for 0.2 miles when hikers head north.
Quincy Reservoir Loop Trail
For those looking for a peaceful walk, this 3.1-mile loop trail near Aurora, Colorado is a perfect choice. With an approximate duration of 59 minutes and featuring stunning scenery with plenty of opportunities for spotting wildlife, hikers will be sad when the journey ends.
It’s best to visit between March through October, as the trail often closes during winter months. Don't forget your Aurora Park Day Pass when visiting, and remember that dogs are not permitted on trails. The mild to moderate inclines promise a pleasant yet challenging stroll.
Wetland and Cherry Creek Trail Loop
This 5.3-mile loop in Aurora weaves through protected wetlands in Cherry Creek State Park and is the perfect place to spend some quality time alone and with nature. If you are looking for an easy and peaceful journey, this hour-and-a-half hike is perfect –– especially if taken during less crowded periods.
While the trail is open year-round, extreme temperatures can make it uncomfortable at times, so choose your timing accordingly to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Despite this challenge, hikers agree that the beauty of the wetlands and the wildlife along this trail cannot be matched in any other hiking near Aurora.
Cherry Creek Dam Trail
Situated near Aurora, the Cherry Creek Dam lurks on the outskirts of Cherry Creek State Park; a tranquil yet remarkable setting that satisfies both Aurora and Denver residents alike. On any given day during peak season, visitors can expect an energized atmosphere with plenty to do –– while off-season times make for a more peaceful and laidback adventure. Nestled around a vast 880 surface-acre reservoir, this park provides an inviting prairie landscape of rolling hills and plenty of recreational opportunities.
Take advantage of the option to picnic, camp out with your family or friends, and rent group facilities for special occasions –– all while exploring the many trails perfect for hiking.
Embark on the 2.7-mile Cherry Creek Dam Trail, a scenic out-and-back route that should take approximately 49 minutes to complete. Enjoy this easeful stroll through nature and be prepared to encounter others enjoying the trail as well.
Star K Ranch Trail System
Uncover a secret paradise in Aurora. At Star K Ranch, experience 250 picturesque acres of woodland situated near Cherry Creek and filled with wildlife. When visiting the site, be sure to stop by the Morrison Nature Center for maps, educational trivia about its compelling history, and an opportunity to meet our ambassador animals: bull snakes, western box turtles, and tiger salamanders.
Come experience the wonders of the Star K Ranch trail system, open from sunrise to sunset every day. Some trails are portions of the High Line Canal and Sand Creek Greenway. You may bring your canine companion on a leash with you, excluding our wetland loop area.
For those seeking a peaceful respite in nature, the 0.8-mile loop trail is an ideal destination. Open year-round and rarely crowded, hikers can take in all of the beauty that this area has to offer any time they like. Dogs are welcome on this trail, off-leash.