Ask local players about their favorite disc golf courses, and they’ll likely mention layouts well outside of the Mile High City. Although the Denver metro area boasts many free, beginner-friendly disc golf courses, more experienced players often venture away from the city to find challenges like more trees, longer holes, and greater variety in terrain—and, of course, the gorgeous mountain scenery Colorado is known for. The following 10 courses (some public, some private) are destinations worth making the drive to play.

Aerial Approach

Aerial Approach
The Aerial Approach disc golf course on Snowmass Mountain. Photo by Tamara Susa/Aspen-Snowmass

Many of the state’s ski resorts throw baskets up on their mountainsides in the summers, and while they aren’t always the most technically interesting courses, there’s nothing more Colorado than riding a gondola to a tee pad perched at 10,000-plus feet. Snowmass’ 18-hole Aerial Approach, added to the Lost Forest adventure area in 2018, is a snowcap-vista-filled paragon. (For more of a challenge, add on Aspen Mountain’s 18 holes; at 11,200 feet, the 27-year-old course is among the highest in the world.) Free to play; $33 for a single gondola ride

Bailey Disc Golf Course

Local pro and Mile High Disc Golf Club treasurer Liz Torok sinks a putt at Bailey Disc Golf Course. Photo by Aaron Colussi

This gorgeous, sprawling, 21-hole mountain course within the Bailey Outdoor Education and Recreation Area is a locals’ darling thanks to massive downhill tee shot opportunities and a balanced mix of woods and meadow. The property, owned by the Platte Canyon School District, hosted Colorado’s first Disc Golf Pro Tour event in June. $5 per round

Bear Mountain

To get a tee time and gate code for Bear Mountain—which edged out Beaver Ranch and Bailey to be named UDisc’s best Colorado disc golf course of 2022—you’ll have to text a guy named Dan at 303-909-2614. Players rave about both the epic landscape and the proprietor’s hospitality. $10 per person

Beaver Ranch Disc Golf Course

Beaver Ranch
Huge elevation changes characterize Beaver Ranch’s 21-hole course. Photo by Jessica LaRusso

With a 21-hole layout that has three basket positions (easy, intermediate, and hard) on most holes, a 20-basket putting course, and a pro shop that also sells snacks you can enjoy at shaded picnic tables, you can easily, and happily, spend an entire day at Beaver Ranch. $12 for a day pass with reserved tee time or $15 for walk-ups

Ghost Town Disc Golf

Central City
Set among the remnants of Russell Gulch, a long-abandoned mining town, this reservations-only (call 303-582-3083 to book your slot), 20-hole course has special penalties for hitting the historical structures. $10 for one round or $15 for two; $5 for nonplayers

Glen Isle Resort

Opened a year ago, Glen Isle’s 24 holes are still a work in progress, but area disc golf fanatics—including Boulder’s Eagle McMahon—see huge potential in the course. Check the Facebook page for wedding closures before you follow the link there to sign a waiver and prepay. $10 per round

Optimist & Pessimist DiscGolfPark

Fort Morgan
The Eastern Plains’ Fort Morgan is a disc golf mecca, thanks to two complementary courses: 21-hole, 20-year-old Optimist and 18-hole Pessimist, which became the first course in the United States designed by DiscGolfPark, a Discmania offshoot, when it opened in 2015. Free

Pueblo City Park

Pueblo Disc Golf
Pueblo’s disc golf course is less overrun than metro-area spots. Photo courtesy of the City of Pueblo

Mature trees, water features, and crowds a fraction of the size you encounter in Denver make Pueblo’s 18-hole layout well worth the two-hour drive. Use the time you don’t waste waiting to tee off to play it twice. Free

Ultra DiscGolfPark

Fort Collins
Adjacent to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery (and its resident Clydesdales), this championship-grade course, co-designed by 2009 world champion Avery Jenkins, has quickly become a popular tournament venue since its debut in summer 2020. But beginners can still enjoy the course thanks to the option of playing shorter basket positions on both the front and back nine. $5 for a day pass

Wondervu Disc Golf Course

Wondervu Disc Golf
Wondervu’s 22 holes are as scenic as they are challenging. Photo courtesy of Colleen Harrison

Tucked along Coal Creek Canyon Road—only about 45 minutes northwest of Denver—Wondervu’s 22 holes are spread over 25 panorama-packed acres that are also home to a graffitied bus, a pro shop, and a permanent food truck with a dynamite chicken Philly cheesesteak. $10 per round