Doing business in Denver or Boulder automatically makes us want to squeeze in some mountain-related activity, but most of us don't have the extra time to drive three hours to a ski hill or the patience for the rigmarole of renting a road bike. Not to worry: Right outside of these cities is Colorado's Front Range, and its best treasures are its hiking trails, usually traversable nine months out of the year, some even year-round. The scenery is, of course, spectacular, but the ass-kicking workouts are unsurpassed – and all you need are some treaded shoes and a CamelBak. Here are five of the area's best – and not overly populated – trails that you can knock out in a few hours. Launch Gallery >>
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Hitting a concert at this natural amphitheater on the outskirts of Denver tops most music lovers' bucket lists, but Red Rocks has way more to offer than killer acoustics – much of which is best experienced during daylight, and on foot. Park at the Trading Post and hop on the 1.4-mile Trading Post Trail, which loops you through the park's unique mountains-meet-meadows landscape and its signature rock formations. Next, hoof it up to the venue, where you'll enter right next to the iconic stage that has hosted everyone from to U2 to the Grateful Dead. Now get ready to climb. The 130-some stone steps to the top are enough to make you sweat, especially if you go down the other side and back up a few times. But if you still want more, join the couple dozen hardbodies you'll likely see running or lunging and squatting their way across the rows. Just don't forget to soak in your surroundings.
More Information: Visit redrocksonline.com for details on hiking trails and upcoming events.
Credit: Barry Winiker / Getty Images