SD & CO Day Hikes

9:44 a.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
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My wife, daughter (who will be 1 at the time of the trip), and myself are going to Rapid City, SD for a couple of days on our way to spend a week in Denver, CO in mid May. I was looking for some advice on some moderate yet scenic dayhikes for both locations. Thanks.

1:37 p.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
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Since Denver is right on the Front Range of the Rockies, you have a veritable plethora of short to challenging day hikes. For example, just outside Denver, in Boulder, you could go for a literal "walk in the park", starting in Chatauqua Park and end up at NCAR's famous building (featured in the movie "Sleeper"), or up to Flagstaff mountain, circling in and around the Flatirons (scene of some fantastic rock climbing or spectating) - lots of level or steep trails to choose from with fantastic scenery. You can also head up Boulder Canyon to Nederland for a number of possible hikes.

A longer drive takes you up to Rocky Mountain National Park, with everything from short hikes up to a scenic overlook to an ambitious day hike to the summit of Long's Peak and back (very long day, and involves some easy scrambling after you pass the Keyhole) - lots of loop hikes there. May is a bit early probably for the Long's summit hike, since there will likely still be snow from Boulder Camp up. Once you get to Denver, it is easy to pick up excellent guidebooks describing the hikes in detail. I suggest that you stop in Gary Neptune's store in Boulder, not only to browse through the guidebooks, but to view his museum of mountain climbing gear, including gear used on famous (and infamous) historical climbs.

5:06 p.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
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27 forum posts

Thanks for the information! I did see the Long's Peak hike on Backpacker Magazine's web site which drew my attention but I figured it would be a little early in the season for it. I'll have to keep my eye on the weather for that one. Nederland sounds like a great option for us to do some hiking.

I'll have to make a trip to Gay Neptunes's place as well, the historical aspect seems like it would be well worth the stop. Thanks again for your input.

July 25, 2014
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