With almost 20,000 acres of urban parks and mountain parkland in Denver, there is no neighborhood without at least one beautiful park. Some of Denver parks are more than 100 years old, and many are listed as national or state historic or cultural heritage. Some of the most popular urban parks are City Park with the Denver Zoo and Museum of Nature and Science, Alamo Placita Park established in 1892, Congress Park, Civic Center Park, City Park, and Cheesman Park. Denver’s mountain park system consists of 22 parks and 24 conservation areas covering 14,000 acres. Belleview Park is known for a miniature train, Daniel’s Park has a herd of bison running free, Great Plains Park has a spectacular seasonal “sprayground’ and Robinson Park has the best sledding hill. All Denver parks are lush and beautifully maintained and offer perfect locations for outdoor recreation and family gathering.
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1.Civic Center Park
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Surrounded by the State Capitol, the Denver Art Museum, and the City and County Building, Civic Center Park is the green heart of Denver. Every summer, the park is covered with 25,000 square feet of blooming flower beds and it’s no wonder that the park is a venue for many events. The park has large open expanses of lawn broken by paved paths, blooming flower beds, rows and clusters of trees, and many memorials. The most prominent structures in the park are the amphitheater and an Ionic colonnade, which is mirrored by another colonnade and a pond on the north end.
Bannock St. to Broadway south of Colfax Ave. and north of 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
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2.Alamo Placita Park
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Opened originally in 1892 as Arlington Park, Alamo Placita Park is a city park in Denver, Colorado in the Denver neighborhood of Alamo Placita. The park is known for perfectly designed floral displays on one end and a playground and picnic area in the other. The southern section of the park consists of a formal flower garden that can be reached by sandstone steps. Beds of colorful annual and perennial flowers stretch from a tangle of junipers in the center. Each corner of the garden has a specimen juniper surrounded by a walkway and a dense thicket of spruce and pine. A walkway connects the colorful formality of the southern section of the park with the recreational segment north of 3rd Avenue, with basketball courts and a playground. There is a paved square with benches and a sundial surrounded by a grove of cottonwood. Beyond this section is a wide expanse of lawn surrounded by a grove of flowering shrubs, pine, maple, and spruce.
E 3rd Ave, Denver, CO 80218, Phone: 720-913-0700
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What makes Greenway Park in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood so special are magnificent mature trees, some of them the oldest in Stapleton. The trees provide shade for a range of wonderful features and activities. The park has Skate Park, where skateboarders, in-line skaters, and BMX bikers can come to challenge themselves and other advanced riders. There is a Dog Park, a heavenly place where dogs can run free to their hearts’ content. The Community Garden is the place where neighbors can come and put their hands in the dirt and grow their own food. The park also has an observation tower, the Mud Pie Sandbox, climbing wall, barbecues, tennis courts, kids’ playgrounds, public art, and green, shady spots to relax.
8180 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80238, Phone: 720-913-1311
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Belleview Park is a large very popular park in Denver’s Englewood neighborhood. The park’s best-known feature is a miniature train that has been running through the park for the last 30 years during the warm summer months. The park also has a children farm with pigs, goats, sheep, and chicken. Buttercup, a life-size fiberglass cow, is there for the kids to learn how to milk a cow. Another favorite spot of kids is a small creek that runs through the park, where kids love to get muddy while trying to catch a fish. For older kids and their parents, the park has Jack Pole Softball Field, tennis courts, a basketball court, pavilions, and bike paths.
5001 S Inca Dr, Englewood, CO 80110, Phone: 303-762-2685
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A part of the Denver Mountain Parks system at the beginning of the uphill trail to Squaw Pass, Bergen Park is located about 20 miles from Denver and was originally called Elk Park. Bergen Park was established in 1859 by pioneer settler Thomas Cunningham Bergen who built a log cabin and a lodge on his land. Today the park is used for passive recreation and consists of open grasslands surrounded by mature ponderosa pines. The park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Numerous trails lead to picnic shelters, the well, and the historic pavilion built in 1917. Picnic tables and a playground were added in 1918.
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6.Berkeley Lake Park
Berkeley Lake Park is an 83-acre park in northwest Denver with the 34-acre Berkeley Lake in its heart. The park offers magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains. The land was originally settled in 1879 by John Walker who developed a racetrack around the lake, a resort, and dance hall. The city bought the site in 1906 and included it in the Denver Park and Parkway System. Denver’s first public golf course was built in the park in 1910 to the north of the lake. A boat dock and pavilion were developed, and lawns and a grove of trees were planted on the south shore. The park also has a Moorish-style bathhouse built in 1918, an Italianate pumphouse, and the cottage-style library. Green meadows alternate with mature cedar, oak, pine, and birch. Cottonwoods provide shade for the footpath along the lakeshore.
4601 W 46th Ave, Denver, CO 80212
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7.Bluff Lake Park
Located within Denver’s city limits, Bluff Lake Park is a 123-acre wildlife nature center located along Sand Creek, with serene Bluff Lake at its heart. It is a peaceful oasis full of wildlife and a range of different ecosystems. No motor vehicles, bikes, or dogs are allowed, but hiking trails abound and provide wonderful views of the city and the Front Range, especially from the top of the bluff. There are several nature observation stations and a boardwalk over the lake. There are a few picnic tables at the top of the bluff. If you want to keep hiking, there are connections to the Sand Creek Trail at the east and west ends of the park.
Sand Creek Regional Greenway, Denver, CO 80239, Phone: 720-708-4147
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Cheesman Park is an 80-acre urban park located southeast of downtown Denver. It is one of the oldest parks in the city. It occupies part of the site of the former Prospect Hill Cemetery. The park is located in center of the Cheesman Park neighborhood. Oak, hackberry, maple, fir, pine, and spruce trees were planted to buffer the park from the surrounding residences. There is a drive that goes around a hilly green lawn that connects the park to several neighborhood streets. On the east end of the park on a prominent knoll is the Cheesman Pavilion, surrounded by two grand stairways, three pools, and a terraced lawn with a large open lawn beyond. Cheesman Park is known as a gathering spot among the gay community in Denver and many LGBT-related events take place at the park, such as the annual PrideFest parade.
8th Ave & Franklin St, Denver, CO 80206
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One of the oldest parks in the city, City Park is a 330-acre green space constructed on gently rolling fields along the City Ditch, with wonderful views of the surrounding Rockies. The park was originally built in 1882 and redesigned at the turn of the century. The northern section has tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and football and soccer fields. The western section has dense groves of deciduous and coniferous trees, rolling meadows, and an extensive network of trails and roads. The center of the park has two large artificial lakes, historic fountains, pavilions, and islands. East of the lakes is the Denver Museum of Natural History. There are a number of thematic gardens in the southeast part of the park including a collection of junipers.
Colorado Blvd. and York St., Denver, CO 80205
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10.Bear Creek Park
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Located around three lakes in the foothills of Lakewood, Bear Creek Park is hidden between C-470 and Red Rocks. At 100 acres, Bear Creek Lake is the largest. The lake was formed as a result of building Bear Creek Dam. Bear Creek Lake is open to motorized boating between March 15 and November 15. The park has 47 campsites, two yurts, and three cabins. There is a lovely sandy beach at Big Soda Lake perfect for swimming, and it is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are no lifeguards on duty but there is a small playground, two sand volleyball courts and several beach picnic shelters. The park is also popular for fishing, horseback riding, biking, and hiking on the 15 miles of park’s multi-use trails. Pets are welcome in the park on-leash everywhere except on the beach.
4901 W Kenyon, Denver, CO 80236
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Confluence Park is an urban park in Denver's Lower Downtown and its renovated 19th-century brick warehouses and storefronts. The park includes the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, as well as two pedestrian bridges that cross them. The park has numerous hiking and biking trails, small grassy areas, scenic river overlooks, and park benches. The eastern bank of the South Plate River in Confluence Park, right across from the REI store, has been made into a kayak run. All around the park are many new up-scale apartments, townhouses, loft developments, and another park downstream the South Platte River. Train tracks and Denver's skate park are nearby. The Platte Valley Trolley starts in Confluence Park and runs along the west side of the South Platte River.
2250 15th St, Denver, CO 80202
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Congress Park is a 10-acre park located in the southwest section of the Congress Park neighborhood across from the Denver Botanic Gardens. The park occupies part of the former Prospect Hill Cemetery, which was converted into a park and reservoir in 1898. Surrounded by a mix of Victorian-style homes and brick bungalows known as “Denver Square,” the area that is today Congress Park served for a long time as a plant nursery for the city. A swimming pool and play fields were added in the 1950s to the northeastern part of the park. The southeastern corner has groves of mature trees and wide expanses of lawn. There is a terraced stone wall at the western half of the park that provides seating for the recreational fields.
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Daniels Park was established as a result of the donation of more than 2,000 acres of land to the City of Denver by Florence Martin in 1920 and 1937. Today Daniel’s Park is part of Denver Mountain Park and is best known for a herd of bison that freely roam through the park. There are numerous bison-observation areas and several historic ranch structures within the park, and it is believed that Kit Carson made his last campfire on the parkland. The park is also location of the Tall Bull Memorial Grounds cultural area. A new trail and trailhead opened in 2014.
8682 N Daniels Park Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135, Phone: 720-865-0900
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14.Denver Botanic Gardens
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Denver Botanical Gardens were created in 1951 on 100 acres in Denver’s City Park. The gardens were moved in 1958 to a protected, fenced property on York Street at the site of an old cemetery. The 23-acre site is divided into 43 distinct gardens connected by wide paths with narrower paths meandering through the individual gardens. Some of the most popular gardens are Japanese Garden, a South African garden, rose and lilac gardens, and numerous gardens dedicated to ecosystems of Colorado. There is also an orangery and a large lawn amphitheater made of short-cropped grass. The most distinct feature of the gardens is the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservancy that opened in 1966, housing tropical and subtropical plants.
1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206
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15.Fred Thomas Park
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Located in the Stapleton community, Fred Thomas is a small but popular neighborhood park perfect for those who like active pursuits. There is something for everyone: a sand volleyball court, tennis and basketball courts, and fields for football, soccer, and baseball. There is also a nice play area for the kids and plenty of open green space for picnics. Benches, a pavilion, picnic shelter, restrooms, and drinking fountains are also available. A biking/hiking path runs around the park. Plenty of mature trees provide shade and a pleasant green buffer between the park and the surrounding upscale neighborhood
Situated off of Quebec Street between 28th and 23rd Avenues
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16.Great Plains Park
Located in the town of Aurora on the outskirts of Denver, Great Plains Park is a large 54.5-acre park best known for its spectacular seasonal “sprayground.” It is a playground with water features perfect for cooling off kids on a hot summer day. There is also a dry playground, picnic shelters with benches and tables, softball diamond, half-court basketball court, sports fields, several fitness stations, and concrete biking and walking trails. One trail connects the park to the Conservatory West Trail and the Powerline Trail. The trees in the park are young and small so there is not much shade – if it rains, you can take cover under the picnic shelter.
20100 E Jewell Ave, Aurora, CO 80013, Phone: 303-739-7160
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17.Babi Yar Memorial Park
Completed in 1982, Babi Yar Memorial Park is a 27-acre memorial park created to commemorate the victims of the Nazi massacre in Kiev from 1941 to 1943 of Ukrainian Jews and others. The memorial is placed around a pathway shaped as a Star of David. It has three distinct features – an amphitheater, a ravine, and a grove. The entrance to the park is through a narrow passage between two inscribed granite monoliths. A path surrounded by cottonwood and willow goes up a berm before descending into an amphitheater called People’s Place. The Grove of Remembrance with 100 linden trees represents the 200,000 people killed at Babi Yar.
10451 E Yale Ave, Denver, CO 80231
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18.Hampden Heights Park
Hampden Heights Park is a vast green space in the Hampden area of Southeast Denver. Most of the park consists of huge green open spaces with groves of mature trees scattered around. Every now and then you will see a baseball field, kids playground, or basketball court. There is also a pool and soccer field and a wide concrete path that runs throughout the park and is perfect for biking, hiking, or walking a dog. All around the park is a quiet neighborhood separated from the park with a high wooden fence. There are picnic tables and benches everywhere. The park is beautifully maintained; the grass is perfect and invites walking barefoot or sitting down and having a picnic with the family.
3301 S Clinton St, Denver, CO 80231, Phone: 720-913-1311
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19.Red Rocks Park
About fifteen miles from downtown Denver on the eastern slope of the Front Range is the beautiful Red Rocks Park. It got its name from the massive red sandstone formations that are the result of erosion of the Rocky Mountains. Early settlers called the formations the Garden of the Titans. The area was purchased by the City of Denver to be included in the Denver Mountain Parks System. The park includes an amphitheater, a five-mile long scenic drive, and many hiking trails. The Red Rocks Amphitheater, stairs, and retention walls are built of native red sandstone and colored concrete. The amphitheater has been used since 1941 to host concerts and other events.
18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465
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Robinson Park is a small park located in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood. The park has a small hill in its heart and is best known as Denver’s best sledding hill. When the snow melts, folks come to the park to play basketball, baseball, softball, or football. Families love Robinson Park for nice grassy areas shaded by large, mature trees. There is also a well-equipped playground for kids. Benches and picnic tables are placed around the park, perfect for family picnics. The area where the park is located used to be a brickyard before Robinson Bricks donated the land to the city in 1941.
200 Fairfax St, Denver, CO 80220, Phone: 720-913-1311
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Rosamond Park is located in South Denver on the banks of Goldsmith Gulch just off of Interstate 225. The park has four lighted tennis courts, baseball, football, and soccer fields, and lovely colorful kids’ playground. The park is flat and is popular for kite-flying when it is windy. Wide expanses of grassy fields are broken with mature trees that provide lovely shade in the summer. There are also perennial bushes that burst into colorful blooms in the spring and summer. A wide concrete biking and hiking path transects the park. Goldsmith Gulch is great spot to cool off on hot days, and kids love to splash in it and try to catch a fish.
8051 E Quincy Ave, Denver, CO 80237, Phone: 720-913-1311
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22.Ruby Hill Park
Ruby Hill Park is an 88-acre park in South Denver in the Ruby Hill neighborhood, and it was established in 1954. The park got its name from the red stones in the nearby Platte River. One of the highest spots in Denver, Ruby Hill Park not only provides wonderful view of the city skyline, but it is also a very popular in the winter for sledding, snowboarding, and skiing. Ruby Hill Rail Yard, located within the park, is a first American free downtown ski and snowboard terrain. Ruby Hill Rail Yard was created by Winter Park Resort. In the summer, folks come to the park for its outdoor swimming pool, baseball fields, and a kids’ playground. Open grassy areas are popular for kite-flying and picnicking.
1200 W Florida Ave, Denver, CO 80223, Phone: 720-913-1311
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23.Sloan's Lake Park
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At 177 acres, Sloan’s Lake Park is the city’s second largest park. In its heart is Sloan Lake, Denver’s largest lake, famous for its annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festivals. The park offers spectacular views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains. The lake was created when the owner of the land Thomas Sloan accidentally tapped into an underground aquifer when he dug a well in the 1860s. The water from the aquifer flooded his farm, which turned into Sloan’s Lake. Locals called it Sloan’s Leak. The park today has two kids’ playgrounds, tennis courts, fields for baseball, softball, soccer, and football, basketball courts, hiking and biking trails, and wonderful picnic areas. Swimming in the lake is not permitted.
1700 N Sheridan Blvd, Denver, CO
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24.The Ralston-Central Park
Ralston Central Park is a 20-acre Park in Denver’s Arvada neighborhood. The park has two playgrounds, a large seasonal splash pad, a sand volleyball pit, a large covered picnic pavilion with seating for 100, tables and benches throughout the park, and the Hernor Family Memorial Garden. There are three pedestrian bridges over Ralston Creek, which runs through the park. The splash pad, the park’s most popular feature, is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. There is also a new, tall play structure in the “dry” kids’ playground. A concrete path for biking and hiking runs through the park. Large expanses of green fields are perfect for picnics or lying on the grass.
5850 Garrison St, Arvada, CO 80002, Phone: 720-898-7410
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Located close to downtown Denver, the 155-acre Washington Park is one of the city’s favorite green spaces. Any time of the year there are folks jogging, biking, walking dogs, doing yoga, or playing volleyball. The park has two lakes perfect for boating, kayaking, or fishing. One of the two flower gardens is designed as a replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon gardens and, with its explosion of colorful blooms, provides popular background for wedding photographs. There is an elegant boat house on Smith Lake. Large expanses of green space are intersected with hiking trails. There are several kids’ playgrounds.
S. Downing St. & E. Louisiana Ave, Denver, CO 80209
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25 Best Denver Parks
- Civic Center Park, Photo: Brett Bouwer/stock.adobe.com
- Alamo Placita Park, Photo: Sean Xu/stock.adobe.com
- Greenway Park, Photo: Vera Aksionava/stock.adobe.com
- Belleview Park, Photo: tonktiti/stock.adobe.com
- Bergen Park, Photo: Alexander/stock.adobe.com
- Berkeley Lake Park, Photo: Leanne/stock.adobe.com
- Bluff Lake Park, Photo: Maksim/stock.adobe.com
- Cheesman Park, Photo: creativefamily/stock.adobe.com
- City Park, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Bear Creek Park, Photo: Sean Xu/stock.adobe.com
- Confluence Park, Photo: dbvirago/stock.adobe.com
- Congress Park, Photo: singjai/stock.adobe.com
- Daniel's Park, Photo: nat693/stock.adobe.com
- Denver Botanic Gardens, Photo: Kit Leong/stock.adobe.com
- Fred Thomas Park, Photo: Serghei Velusceac/stock.adobe.com
- Great Plains Park, Photo: vimart/stock.adobe.com
- Babi Yar Memorial Park, Photo: Al/stock.adobe.com
- Hampden Heights Park, Photo: tonktiti/stock.adobe.com
- Red Rocks Park, Photo: jsnewtonian/stock.adobe.com
- Robinson Park, Photo: dglimages/stock.adobe.com
- Rosamond Park, Photo: fox17/stock.adobe.com
- Ruby Hill Park, Photo: jdoms/stock.adobe.com
- Sloan's Lake Park, Photo: John De Bord/stock.adobe.com
- The Ralston-Central Park, Photo: JJIMAGE/stock.adobe.com
- Washington Park, Photo: orientalprincess310/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: martinhosmat083/stock.adobe.com