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.
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 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
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.
- 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
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