Lakewood is a major suburb of Denver and a city of 150,000 itself. It’s located 20 minutes west of downtown Denver, in the foothills of the Rockies. Three terrific running options in Lakewood, all within close proximity, are William Hayden Green Mountain Park, Bear Creek Lake Park, and Red Rocks Park. Of the three, Bear Creek Lake Park is has the best easier, flatter running options.
William Hayden Green Mountain Park. There are great running and hiking options in this 2,400 acre park. Best bets are the ~6.5 mile Green Mountain Trail loop that is an 800 foot climb to the summit with great views, or the 3.1-mile Hayden Trail Loop. Notes: Much of this park is hilly and some of the trails have more challenging footing. And keep an eye out for mountain bikes. PARK MAP & TRAIL LIST
Bear Creek Lake Park. Just south of Green Mountain Park, this park There are 15 miles of soft-surfaced trails featuring a nice variety of terrain, including grass prairie and a section along Bear Creek Reservoir. Some easier, flatter options include the multi-use paths along the Reservoir, and the section of the Mount Carbon Loop along the creek between the Park entrance and the Reservoir. For a long loop, and some hilly sections, try the 6.9 mile Mount Carbon Loop. There are also connections to longer, paved multi-use paths, including the Bear Creek Trail, connecting the South Platte corridor to Morrison. TRAIL MAP
Red Rocks Park. A popular spot, famous for its outdoor amphitheater — hailed as one of the best natural amphitheaters in the world — and hiking trails through scenic red rocks that rise up to 300 feet tall, and stunning views of up to 200 miles of the plains from north to south. Overall, 4-5 miles of hilly trails, mix of paved and gravel. Popular with runners: the 138 steps from the stage to the top. TRAIL MAP
NOTE: These parks are at 6,400 feet, so visiting runners should be aware!
NEARBY: See our routes in Morrison & Golden.
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Did the Green Mountain Loop on an unusually warm late March day. Scenic and hilly! Lots of mountain bikers on a busy day.