4 Quick and Easy Summer Mountain Getaways Near Denver

Does the city have you feeling a little cooped up? Are the honking horns and endless traffic blurring the lines between Monday and Friday? If you’re craving a breath of fresh air, a dazzling dose of mountain scenery, and a chance to reconnect with nature, then it’s time to getaway from Denver this summer for a little R&R.

Thankfully, you can trade the city lights for a dazzling display of stars under a vast, inky-black sky with relative ease. The Colorado Rockies, with their diverse landscapes and charming mountain towns, are calling. Here are 3 quick and easy summer day trips from Denver for a little fun, relaxation or rejuvenation.

Idaho Springs

About 35 miles from Denver. Idaho Springs boasts a rich history. Founded during the 1859 Gold Rush, the town still retains a touch of its wild west spirit. Stroll down the historic main street and admire the beautifully preserved buildings, remnants of a bygone era. Dive deeper into the town’s fascinating past with a tour of the Argo Mill and Tunnel, a national historic landmark. Learn about the ingenuity and grit of the early miners as you explore the tunnels and view the historic machinery.

4 Quick and Easy Summer Mountain Getaways Near Denver
Clear Creek at Idaho Springs offers some of Colorado’s best whitewater rafting, only a short drive from downtown Denver. (Photo courtesy Clear Creek Rafting)

Wet and Wild

But Idaho Springs isn’t just about history. This vibrant town is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Go on a scenic journey along one of the many trails that weave through the surrounding mountains. Challenge yourself with a moderate climb to breathtaking viewpoints. If that’s too much, opt for a leisurely stroll beside a gurgling stream, soaking in the crisp mountain air and the symphony of birdsong.

For the thrill-seekers, the iconic Clear Creek River beckons for an exhilarating whitewater rafting adventure. Navigate churning rapids, paddle through tranquil stretches, and marvel at the dramatic scenery carved by the mighty river.

Time for a Soak

And now for the pièce de résistance of any Idaho Springs summer getaway: the all-natural Indian Hot Springs. Imagine sinking into steaming pools of mineral-rich water, surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas. Let your worries melt away as you soak in the therapeutic warmth. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration.

Estes Park

About 65 miles from Denver. Craving a Denver summer getaway that seamlessly blends awe-inspiring natural beauty with small-town charm? Look no further than Estes Park, the “Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.” This postcard-perfect mountain town sits perched amidst the majestic peaks of the Rockies, offering a front-row seat to some of Colorado’s most breathtaking scenery.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, a cornerstone of Denver summer day trips, offers the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. Encompassing over 415 square miles of pristine wilderness, the park boasts a diverse landscape teeming with towering mountains, sparkling alpine lakes, lush meadows bursting with wildflowers, and ancient forests teeming with wildlife. For the adventurous souls, a network of hiking trails caters to every skill level. There are gentle family-friendly paths and more challenging treks, both with panoramic vistas that will leave you breathless.

Linger by the shores of the iconic Lake Estes, a shimmering turquoise gem reflecting the surrounding mountains. Rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the lake’s tranquil waters. Or, you can cast a line and try your luck at reeling in a rainbow trout.

4 Quick and Easy Summer Mountain Getaways Near Denver
The iconic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s book The Shining. It was also featured in the 1994 film Dumb & Dumber. (Photo courtesy The Stanley Hotel/Facebook)

Small-Town Charm

Stroll down the town’s lively main street, lined with quaint shops offering locally-crafted souvenirs, art galleries showcasing the works of talented artists, and restaurants tempting your taste buds with delectable fare. Grab an ice cream cone and people-watch as families and adventurers alike share stories of their Rocky Mountain escapades. Estes Park offers a delightful blend of outdoor recreation and small-town charm. It’s an ideal base camp for your Denver summer day trip.

Winter Park

About 65 miles from Denver. While Breckenridge might be the first town to spring to mind for summer fun in the Rockies, don’t overlook Winter Park. It’s another fantastic Denver summer getaway just a hair over an hour away. Shed the misconception that Winter Park is just a winter wonderland – during the summer months, it transforms into a vibrant playground teeming with adventure.

Outdoor Escapades

Strap on your helmet and get ready to conquer the extensive network of mountain bike trails at Trestle Bike Park. Catering to all skill levels, from beginner to expert, these trails weave through verdant forests, offering stunning mountain vistas and heart-pounding descents. Feeling less adventurous? Opt for a scenic gondola ride, soaring above the treetops and soaking in panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

4 Quick and Easy Summer Mountain Getaways Near Denver
Although best known as a skier’s paradise, Winter Park is a welcome summer retreat about 65 miles northwest of Denver.

For those seeking a more aquatic adventure, the rushing waters of the Colorado River await. Embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting trip, navigating churning rapids and marveling at the dramatic scenery carved by the mighty river. If a calmer pace is your preference, cast a line into the Fraser River, a haven for fly-fishing enthusiasts, or rent a paddleboard and explore the tranquil waters of a secluded lake.

Authentic Mountain Vibes

Winter Park isn’t just about adrenaline-pumping activities. Explore the town’s charming atmosphere, with shops brimming with locally-crafted souvenirs and restaurants offering delicious meals. Challenge yourself to a round of mini golf, or take a scenic hike on one of the many trails, keeping your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that calls the area home.


About 80 miles from Denver. Seeking a Denver summer getaway that packs a punch of excitement? Then look no further than Breckenridge, a vibrant mountain town renowned for its family-friendly adventures and infectious energy. Breckenridge seamlessly blends its rich mining history with a thriving summer scene, offering a playground for all ages and interests.

While Breckenridge may be synonymous with world-class skiing in the winter, it transforms into a haven for outdoor enthusiasts during the summer months. Ditch the skis and trade them for hiking boots, mountain bikes, or even a fishing rod – Breckenridge caters to your adventurous spirit.

Epic Discovery

For the thrill-seekers, the iconic Breckenridge Ski Resort transforms into an Epic Discovery summer playground. Soar above the treetops on a scenic gondola ride, taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Challenge yourself on a heart-pounding mountain bike trail, weaving through verdant forests and conquering switchbacks that reward you with stunning vistas. Feel the wind in your hair as you plummet down the exhilarating Alpine Slide, or unleash your inner child on the thrilling Gold Runner Coaster.

4 Quick and Easy Summer Mountain Getaways Near Denver
Breckenridge has it all in the summer – fishing, hiking, biking, stand up paddleboarding and more. (Photo courtesy GoBreck.com)

Outdoor Fun

But Breckenridge isn’t just about heart-pounding adventures. The area boasts a vast network of hiking and biking trails catering to all levels. Embark on a gentle family-friendly stroll along a wildflower-carpeted meadow, or challenge yourself with a moderate climb to a mountain summit, where panoramic vistas of the sprawling valleys below will leave you speechless.

For those seeking a more aquatic adventure, Breckenridge offers a variety of options. Cast a line into the crystal-clear waters of the Blue River and try your luck at fly-fishing for a feisty trout. Paddle across the calm surface of Maggie Pond on a stand-up paddleboard, soaking in the serenity of the surrounding mountains.

Explore Downtown

No Denver summer getaway to Breckenridge is complete without exploring the charming town itself. Breckenridge’s historic Main Street, lined with beautifully preserved Victorian-era buildings, pulsates with energy. Wander through art galleries showcasing the works of talented local artists, or browse unique shops brimming with locally-crafted souvenirs and outdoor gear. Indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants offering everything from casual pub fare to gourmet cuisine, all with stunning mountain views to complement your dining experience.

share links Contact