For being right in the foothills, this hike is very green and mostly shaded while still offering spectacular views! There’s also a way to have more miles going downhill than uphill – which is the exact opposite of what I did my first time – Whoops!
You’re going to climb nearly 1,400 ft in elevation but this is a really gorgeous hike that’s only about 35 minutes from Denver. You get incredible views of red rocks, downtown Denver, Chatfield Reservoir plus birds’ eye views of multi-million dollar homes and their spectacular properties! It’s also one of the least crowded hikes I’ve been on in a while.
If you want the faster uphill option, start out going left up Plymouth Creek Trail. Follow this trail (which has some steady uphill at times so get ready!) until you see the turn off for Plymouth Mountain Trail but wait! Don’t turn just yet – follow the trail another few hundred feet until the next Plymouth Mountain Trail sign. Then you’ve got about a half mile till the top, versus the mile and a half uphill if you take the first turnoff.
The little detour to the Scenic Overlook will add an extra 0.8 miles to your hike and does lead you to a gorgeous view, but you’ll have to climb a few rocks at the end to enjoy it fully. You’ll get pretty similar views along the hike back down so if you feel like skipping it, don’t feel too bad.
On your way back you can continue back down Plymouth Mountain, or veer to the left for Meadowlark which is beautiful, too.