10 Things To Do In Denver During Spring

10 Things To Do In Denver During Spring

Colorado Flays Drape Over Larimer Square In Denver

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All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted. 

This blog post may contain affiliate links.  I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links. Click here for the disclosure statement.

All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted.

Denver is the capital and most populous city of Colorado. It’s also a very popular destination year round because of its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park and other natural sites and bustling city life.

Though spring is the slow season, it’s still a great time to visit Denver, as there are many activities that you can enjoy outdoors. Spring is the slow season because higher elevation roads are still closed to the public, making some attractions off limits, and some lower elevation trails are muddy from the snowmelt. However, there is still plenty to explore, popular attractions won’t be crowded, and the weather is usually mild during this time of year.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Wildlife photography of white tailed deer at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge

White Tailed Deer

Eurasian Magpie Resting on the wooden post of a fence at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge

Eurasian Magpie

Spring is a great time to visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bison, deer, eagles, and coyotes. During the spring, the animals are actively seeking mates and raising their young, making for some incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. In addition, the warmer weather makes it easier to explore the Refuge’s 10 miles of trails.

One of the best things about the Refuge is the 11 mile auto loop, which allows visitors to see all the major attractions without leaving the car. The loop can take as long or as little as you want, so it’s a great way to see the Refuge if you don’t have a lot of time.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a unique geological site in southern Colorado. Known for the brightly colored deposits of clay that are that result from millions of years of erosion and weathering, and are a striking contrast to the surrounding landscape. The clay deposits are also home to a variety of plant and animal life, making the Paint Mines a fascinating place to explore. Whether you’re interested in geology or simply looking for a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, Paint Mines Interpretive Park is definitely worth a visit.

Gold Mine Tours

For those interested in Colorado history, gold mine tours are a must. These tours offer a chance to see how miners worked during the state’s early years, when gold was first discovered in the Rockies. Today, many the mines have become tourist attractions, and visitors can ride in authentic ore cars, experience what it was like to work underground, and even pan for gold themselves. Most tours also include a visit to a museum or exhibit, where you can learn more about the state’s mining history. So whether you’re a history buff or just looking for some interactive fun, gold mine tours are sure to be a memorable experience.

RiNo Arts District

Alley painted with Street Art in Denver's RiNo Arts District

Denver’s River North Art District, better known as RiNo, is one of the city’s most vibrant and creative neighborhoods. Once a warehouse district, RiNo has been transformed into a haven for artists, designers, and makers of all kinds. The area is home to an ever-growing number of galleries, studios, and creative businesses, as well as several popular event spaces. Visitors can explore the neighborhood on foot or by bike, and there are always plenty of new murals and art installations to discover. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or just want to soak up some local color, RiNo is the perfect place to start.

Great stops in RiNo

  • Odell Brewing
  • Bier hall
  • Nocturne
  • StemCiders
  • Denver Central Market

Visit Denver Botanic Gardens

Green Foliage Growing in the conservatory of Denver's Botanic Gardens
Tropical Conservatory
The Science Pyramid at Denver's Botanic Gardens
Science Pyramid
Shofu-En Japanese Garden
Shofu-En Japanese Garden

 

Denver Botanic Gardens is a world-renowned botanical research institution and museum in the heart of Denver, Colorado. The gardens span 24 acres and feature over 350,00 different species of plants from all over the world. The gardens are open to the public for self-guided tours and also offer a variety of educational programs for both children and adults. In addition to the beautiful gardens, the Denver Botanic Gardens also house a library, herbarium, and conservatory. The mission of the Denver Botanic Gardens is to promote horticulture through education, research, and exhibits.

Take Pictures

If you’re a photography enthusiast, then Denver is the perfect place for you. The Mile-High City offers endless opportunities for amazing shots, from the iconic Rocky Mountains to the bustling city streets. Here are just a few of the best places to take pictures in Denver.

For street photography, head to downtown Denver. Larimer Square at 16th Street Mall is a great place to people watch and capture candid shots of everyday life. Or stroll through one of Denver’s many historic neighborhoods, like LoDo or Five Points, for a taste of the city’s character. If you’re looking for breathtaking landscapes, visit Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater or Garden of the Gods. The red rock formations make for an otherworldly backdrop, and there’s also plenty of hiking trails.

Urban Photography of high rise office buildings in Denver
TIAA Financial Building
Colorado Flays Drape Over Larimer Square In Denver
Larimer Square

Drive a Scenic Byway

White Volkswagen Beetle Driving a Colorado Scenic Byway
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway

There are plenty of beautiful scenic drives near Denver, and here are a few of our favorites.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and serene drive, head to the Rocky Mountain National Park. The park offers stunning views of the mountains and plenty of opportunities for hiking and wildlife watching. For a more urban driving experience, check out the Loveland Scenic Byway. This byway takes you through the city of Loveland and its surrounding farmland. Along the way, you’ll pass by several art studios, as Loveland is known for its vibrant arts scene. Finally, no visit to Colorado would be complete without a drive on the iconic Trail Ridge Road. This road takes you through the Rocky Mountain National Park and up to the Continental Divide. At over 12,000 feet above sea level, the views from Trail Ridge Road are truly breathtaking.

Go On A Train Ride

Beautiful Landscape photography of a stream running through the Colorado Rocky Mountains
The Royal Gorge Bridge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Royal Gorge Railroad Route Through the Rocky Mountains

The Royal Gorge Railroad Route is one of the most beautiful and scenic train rides in the country. The landscape is varied and lovely, with mountains, forests, and valleys all coming into view. If you are lucky, you may see eagles, deer, and other animals along the way. The train ride itself is very comfortable and relaxing, making it a great way to see the sights. 

In short, the Royal Gorge Railroad Route is an experience not to be missed. The train itself is also a work of art, with lavish cars that are reminiscent of a bygone era. Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply looking for a unique way to see the mountains, the Royal Gorge Railroad Route is sure to please.

Explore the Endless Hiking Trails at a Local Park

Siamese Twins Hike - Garden of The Gods

Siamese Twins Hike - Garden of the Gods

Buffalo sightings at Daniels Park outside Denver

Daniels Park

Denver is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the country, and there’s no better time to visit them than during spring. The flowers are in bloom; the trees are turning green, and the weather is perfect for spending time outdoors. There are dozens of magnificent parks to choose from, but here are a few of my favorites.

  • Garden of the Gods is a small park with hiking trails through beautiful red rocks and other geological structures.
  • Surround yourself with over 50 species of butterflies at the Butterfly Gardens.
  • Barr Lake State Park is a year round nesting site for Bald Eagles and other birds.
  • Elk Meadows hiking trails lead you through a pasture that several Elk call home.
  • Genesee Park and Daniels Park will almost guarantee you sightings of buffalo. 

Sample 7 Day Itenirary and Interactive Map

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a road trip planner on iOS and Android

Day 1:

  • Explore East Colfax Ave
  • Eat Lunch at Baba & Pop’s Pierogi
  • Explore RiNo Arts District
  • Eat dinner and Drink at First Draft Taproom & Kitchen
Day 2:
  • Explore Downtown for pictures – LoDo, Dairy Block, Larimer Square, 16th Street Mall
  • Visit Washington Park
  • Eat lunch at Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery
  • See buffalo at Daniels Park
  • Dinner at Stanley Market Place
Day 3:
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Lunch at Crepes n’ Crepes
  • Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Arts
  • Molly Brown House
  • Enjoy dinner and Jazz at Nocturne
Day 4:
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Royal Gorge Route Rail Road
  • Skyline Drive Scenic Byway

Day 5:

  • Peak to Peak Scenic byway
  • Stop in Boulder for drinks and dinner at Colorado Cider Company
  • Visit the Butterfly Gardens

Day 6: 

  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge
  • Barr Lake State Park
  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Day 7:
  •  Paint Mines Interpretive Park
  • Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
  • Pikes Peak Highway

Author Bio

Author Bio Image

Delaney is a project manager by day and a travel and wildlife photographer by night who is using her skills for translating complex technical language into easy to understand concepts to make photography achievable at all skill levels. You have questions; she has answers.

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