Denver, CO

National Parks Close to Denver, Colorado

Visiting a National Park during our annual vacations is of our favorite things to do. However, there are also times when I am visiting a new city for a different purpose (business, family, etc.), and I want to quickly visit a new park that I’ve never been to before.

This sense of adventure is why we started building out One-Day Trips. In fact, we even have one for Denver, where we travel up to see Rocky Mountain National Park and drive along Trail Ridge Road.

However, it got me thinking… “What other National Parks are around Denver?“. There was no super easy way to find out, so I decided to start digging into Google Maps, NPS.gov and our own database of parks to come up with a comprehensive list. Every park we list on here is one that you can theoretically visit in one day, starting in Denver, Colorado.

Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain National Park

Best Months: April, May, September & October
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, weather permitting
Entrance Fee: $25, single day vehicle pass

Learn More…
  • Rocky Mountain National Park – 69 miles, 1.5 hours
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument – 102 minutes, 2 hours

However, national parks are not the only type of park that you can explore when visiting Denver. Here are some other types that are within quick driving distance from Denver, CO.

National Forests Near Denver

White River National Forest, CO
White River National Forest

National Forests are huge tracts of land, and many parts of the forests may be closer to Denver than we actually list here. White Forest National Forest is the most popular out of these four, and in fact is the most-visited National Forest in the country.

White River National Forest

Address: Co Rd 1260, Silverthorne, CO 80498   •   Learn More…

  • Pike National Forest – 42 miles, 1 hour
  • White River National Forest – 60 miles, 1 hour
  • Pawnee National Grassland – 100 miles, 1.75 hours
  • Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest – 100 miles, 2.25 hours

Other Federal Lands

  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge – 11 miles, 27 minutes
  • Fort Logan National Cemetery – 35 miles, 46 minutes

State Parks Near Denver

Red Rock Park in Morrison, CO
Red Rocks Park – Chris Cagle

When I visited Denver a few years ago, I took a drive up through Golden Gate Canyon and Red Rocks Park. These two parks were amazing, and honestly felt like you were in the Rocky Mountain National Park, even though you technically weren’t.

  • Cherry Creek State Park – 14 miles, 22 minutes
  • St. Vrain State Park – 14 miles, 22 minutes
  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre – 17 miles, 26 minutes
  • Barr Lake State Park – 27 miles, 32 minutes
  • Chatfield State Park – 28 miles, 32 minutes
  • Roxborough State Park – 28 miles, 43 minutes
  • Golden Gate Canyon State Park – 29 miles, 35 minutes
  • Eldorado Canyon State Park – 30 miles, 42 minutes
  • Saunton State Park – 39 miles, 50 minutes
  • Castlewood Canyon State Park – 40 miles, 50 minutes
  • Boyd Lake State Park – 53 miles, 53 minutes
  • Lory State Park – 76 miles, 1.5 hours
  • Cheyenne Mountain State Park – 79 miles, 1.5 hours

Other Regional Parks Near Denver

  • Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area – 9 miles, 16 minutes
  • Bear Creek Lake Park – 17 miles, 24 minutes
  • Standley Lake Regional Park & Wildlife Refuge – 19 miles, 30 minutes