Want to explore Denver on two wheels? Good call. Denver bike trails are awesome, and Denver bike rentals are easier to find than ever.
From the city’s ubiquitous parks and riverside paths to its crisscrossing grid of on-street bike lanes, there’s almost always a way to get where you’re going on two wheels. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why its annual population growth has only dipped beneath the 2 percent mark once in the past ten years.
Well, that and the legalized marijuana (laughs anxiously, eyes darting side to side).
To help you discover some of these fantastic rides, we here at Spinlister have put together a list of six of our favorite Denver bike trails, along with accompanying maps and photo-rich articles. After all, in a city with this much cycling potential, it would be a shame not to experience them for yourself.
CHERRY CREEK TRAIL
The Cherry Creek Trail is Denver’s main cycling artery, connecting Aurora in the southeast with the heart of downtown. You can start this 20-mile trail at the head of the very hip Confluence Park, near the birthplace of Denver. The trail guides you below street level for a surprisingly tranquil tour of the Lower Downtown district. Cool murals and urban scenes eventually give way to a series of green spaces, including Cherry Creek Park and Lollipop Lake. At the end, a steep climb drops you off at the beautiful Cherry Creek Reservoir. From history to street art to smooth, traffic-free riding, it’s a 20-mile trail you absolutely don’t want to miss. Read more.
SLOAN LAKE TRAIL
The story of Sloan Lake’s accidental creation in the 19th century is almost as entertaining as the 2.6-mile ride around the lake itself. Enjoy killer views of downtown Denver as you pedal along this beautiful mixed-use path.
Whether you’re a local with your own set of wheels or you’ve picked up a Denver bike rental for the day, make Sloan Lake Trail a priority.
We’ve mapped out a 7.6-mile route that guides you through Lakewood Gulch to Sloan Lake. Lakewood Gulch promises some charming scenery (and a disc golf course!). Sloan Lake features a very popular 2.6-mile multi-use trail around the perimeter of the lake. Expect quality people-watching, as well as great views of the city skyline and Rocky Mountain foothills. To get even more enjoyment out of your ride, be sure to learn a little more about Sloan Lake’s crazy history.
CLEAR CREEK TRAIL
Want a more athletic ride ending in a well-earned brew? Scan the Denver bike rental listings on Spinlister for a quality road bike and hit the Clear Creek Trail. This 18-mile trail is a favorite among local cyclists, and it’s not hard to understand why. The bubbling presence of Clear Creek along the path…a series of serene community parks…a sun-drenched trail. And a challenging climb topping out at 5,800 feet. It all makes for a satisfying ride you’ll feel good about celebrating at the Golden microbrew in Golden, CO. You can find out more about this route here. The 18-mile ride from North Denver to Golden can safely be counted among the best road bike trails in Colorado. Get ready for a scenic 700-ft climb as you parallel the bubbling waters of Clear Creek westward into the Front Range. Read more.
WASHINGTON PARK LOOP
Sandwiched between downtown and the University of Denver, Washington Park boasts a scenic 2-mile loop for cyclists itching to open up the throttle. The wide roadway, quiet surroundings and easy accessibility make this ride a favorite go-to for athletes. This park sees a lot of traffic from bikes and pedestrians alike. But the wide, multi-use path is designed to accommodate, with delineated lanes and plenty of space to spread out. The trail promises beautiful views as you ride along Smith Lake and Grasmere Lakes. You can also expect plenty of green space, tennis courts, the Washington Boathouse, and the Big Garden. We’ve got more details for you right here.
SOUTH PLATTE RIVER TRAIL
We already mentioned that bike-share services help you explore the Mile High City with Denver bike rentals available at any starting point. Well, the South Platte River Trail is your other ally in getting from any Point A to any Point B.
Stretching from Thornton in the north to Englewood in the south, the 20-mile South Platte River Trail is one of Denver’s most important cycling corridors. If you need to connect to other trails in the city, this is your ride. Scenically speaking, this path is something of a mixed bag. You can expect both sewage treatment plant views and an encounter with the Centennial Gardens. But in terms of convenience, this is the trail to know. Read more here.
BEAR CREEK TRAIL
The ride west to the historic mountain town of Morrison takes you through the Bear Creek Greenbelt – one of the area’s most tranquil nature preserves. You’ll be ascending almost 600 ft on this secluded 15-mile ride into the Rockies. Looking for a secluded trail to make you feel lost in nature? Bear Creek Trail is the one you want. The ride west to the historic mountain town of Morrison takes you through the Bear Creek Greenbelt—one of the area’s most tranquil nature preserves. You may forget how close you are to the city, especially if you encounter the wildlife who take refuge here. Be ready for a bit of a workout, though. You’ll be ascending almost 600 feet on this 15-mile ride into the Rockies. You can find more photos and details here.
Denver Bike Rentals
Denver is one of the most cyclist-friendly cities in the country. But you’re still not guaranteed to find a bike shop around every corner. The easiest way to find a set of wheels when you’re thousands of miles from home is to check out the offerings on Spinlister.
Spinlister is a bike-share service that connects you with a range of Denver bike rentals. You can find bike shops and reach out to local cyclists who have a ride to rent. You’ll find listings all over town, including everything from road bikes to mountain bikes to cruiser bikes. And the best part of renting from a rider is that they have all the intel on cruising through Denver. They know the local cycling scene inside and out. They may even be able to recommend a killer trail that we missed.