Denver’s 10 Best Urban Biking Stretches

August 12 2014, 2:00 PM

Denver is a haven for urban cyclists.

Denverites are as likely to be caught in spandex and helmets as they are in business suits. That’s no surprise: Aside from the world-class mountain biking within driving distance, the Mile High City boasts a network of designated bike lanes and off-street trails that totals almost 1,000 miles. Here are the best stretches to help you navigate the urban cycling web.


16th Avenue

It’s hard to believe this quiet, tree-lined strip is just one block north of the chaos that is Colfax Avenue. Cruise along the wide bike lanes for easy passage between downtown and City Park.

7th Avenue

Need to get from Cheesman Park to the east side of town? Try this shady boulevard, which meanders through one of the city’s most visually appetizing historic districts. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road: If the mansions lining the street don’t distract you, the joggers in the bike lane will.

Larimer and Lawrence Streets

Downtown rides are always a little risky, but these bike lanes are some of the safer routes between bustling LoDo and RiNo. Bonus: The ample bars, breweries, and restaurants along the way offer plenty of post- (or mid-) ride rewards.

15th Street

Among the newest additions to Denver’s bike lane system, this bright green strip is further separated from motor vehicles by short posts. The added protection will give you peace of mind as you cruise from Civic Center Park to LoDo.

West 20th Avenue

This continuous bike lane bisects northwest Denver, running from just east of Interstate 70 all the way to Sloan’s Lake. Cap off the ride with a loop around the lake on the off-street trail.

Cherry Creek Trail

The Cherry Creek Trail has certainly earned its reputation as one of the city’s most popular biking thoroughfares: Cyclists can pedal for miles—from Confluence Park to the Cherry Creek Reservoir—with no vehicular interruptions. Anyone from seasoned veterans to wobbly kids use the trail, but it rarely feels overcrowded.

Montview Boulevard

Exit City Park’s eastern edge at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to access this moderately trafficked boulevard’s bike lane and its idyllic Park Hill setting. Bonus: More bike lanes branch off Montview at Cherry Street (heading south) and Central Park Boulevard (heading north).

Emerson and Washington Streets

These parallel strips, located just a few blocks west of Wash Park, each boast a bike lane and, outside of Downing Street and Marion Parkway, are your best bet for getting to Denver’s favorite playground.

Stout to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard

Need to get out of downtown? Cut northeast through Five Points on Stout Street, then hang a right on East 31st Avenue. You’ll have to go without a dedicated lane for a few blocks, but you’ll eventually meet up with Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, where another bike lane brings you to the edge of Stapleton.

High Line Canal Trail

This off-street trail—totaling 71 miles—slinks through most of the southeast metro area, following its namesake irrigation channel along the way. Marvel at the mountain scenery and stately homes as you enjoy a smooth, tranquil ride.

—Image courtesy of Bicycle Colorado