Canyon Rides Near Denver

Early Season Rides

Scenic motorcycle rides minutes from Denver are a great way to get a relaxing ride in during spare time. There are 6 spectacular canyons that are easy to get to and fun to ride on the front range mountains of Denver. But riding in Colorado in the early Spring season can be a challenge. Spring time still brings snow, ice, sand, rock slides, mud slides and wildlife challenges to be on the alert for. Believe me, you do NOT want to hit some sand when you are in a switchback curve! Also, you never know what is around the corner, rocks/boulders, animals, ice, water, mud, etc., and it’s best to just expect there’s going to be Something there rather than it’s it’s going to be clear during this time of year. The weather in the mountains is very unpredictable and you can get caught in very cold temps and snow all the way through May and into June sometimes in the higher elevations! The foothills, passes and canyons may be passable and great rides during early season riding, but, Rider Be Aware!

Rides Near Denver

Once we are past the early season riding and weather patterns get a little more consistent, it will be sunny in the morning, start clouding up by or shortly after noon, rain a bit around 2 – 3 pm for about an hour or two, then clear up for the rest of the night! This is a typical pattern for Colorado in the summer and this is when we can make some getaways for short rides in the mountains that are near the Denver Metro Area.

Golden Gate Canyon and Clear Creek Canyon

Golden Gate and Clear Creek Canyon

This is a nice 1.5 hr ride and about 45 min. round trip from Golden, CO. This route goes up Golden Gate Canyon, through historic Black Hawk, CO and then down Clear Creek Canyon. Golden Gate Canyon has several places to hike, bike, camp, fish or just picnic. Black Hawk is a gambling town now just up the rode is historic Central City, CO which is also a gambling town now. There are a lot of old mines and historic buildings in the area and you can also ride the Central City Parkway all the way I-70 to Idaho Springs, CO. This route continues through Black Hawk down Hwy-119 which hooks onto Hwy-6, Clear Creek Canyon back down to Golden, CO. Clear Creek Canyon has been under a lot of construction to create scenic walk/bike trails along the creek, so there are several places to stop and enjoy the beauty.

Here are some links to get information about Black Hawk and Central City Colorado:
Golden, CO:
Black Hawk, CO:
Central City, CO:


Coal Creek Canyon Rd and Boulder Canyon Dr

 Coal Creek and Boulder Canyon

This is a great route if you have a couple hours to spare for a very scenic ride. On this route we are leaving from Golden, head up Hwy-93 to Hwy-72, Coal Creek Canyon Rd, and head West into the mountains. Once you pass through a little town called Wondervu, you’ll start a descent on steep switch back roads into a valley. Take it slow and easy so you can take in some of the breath taking views on this part of the route. Continue on Hwy-72 and the next little town is Pinecliffe, cross over the railroad track and continue up to Hwy-119. Be careful here, this stop sign is on a steep hill and you will make a sharp right turn onto Hwy-119 which will take you into Nederland, CO and by beautiful Barker Meadow Reservoir. There are several places to eat, get fuel, and check out the Dam in Nederaland. Continue down Hwy-119 pas the the reservoir and it become Boulder Canyon Dr (still Hwy-119) which takes you down into Boulder. This is a beautiful drive down through the narrows of the canyon and right along the river with beautiful views. Once you get to Boulder you’ll make a right onto Broadway / Hwy-93 that will take you through the CU Boulder campus area and past the Boulder Flat-Irons on your way back to Golden.

Here are some links to get information about Nederland and Boulder, CO:
Nederland, CO:
Boulder, CO:


Bear Creek and Deer Creek Canyon

 Bear Creek Canyon and Deer Creek Canyon

West of Denver is the small town of Morrison, CO. and this is where the route for Bear Creek and Deer Creek Canyon ride begins. Morrison has many places to eat and is right next to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park where you can hike and drive through to see some amazing rock formations. The ride heads West on Hwy-72 / Bear Creek Rd and goes through the little towns of Idledale and Kittredge, CO before you get to Evergreen, CO. There are several park along the way that you can hike and picnic to enjoy the natural beauty of this canyon. In Evergreen is where you will pick up Hwy-73 to Conifer, CO. If you’re hungry or want to enjoy some mountain town culture, you should spend a little time in Evergreen before you head up to Conifer. In Conifer you will pick up Pleasant Park Rd, it’s the light before you get to the gas station in Conifer. You’ll make a left and go under the Hwy-285 bridge. Follow Pleasant Park Rd and it will turn into High Grande Rd, then after  a couple switchbacks, the road turns into Deer Creek Rd. Take Deer Creek Rd all the way to Deer Creek Canyon Rd where you will then make a left. Deer Creek Canyon Rd turns into S Turkey Creek Rd and will take you to Hwy-285. Take Hwy-285 to Hwy-8 and back into Morrison, CO. There are a bunch of twisties and beautiful scenery that you will absolutely enjoy on this ride.

Here are some links for more information Morrison and Evergreen, CO. Also be sure to check out Red Rocks Amphitheater!
Morrison, CO:
Evergreen, CO:
Red Rocks Amphitheater:


Be Safe, Have Fun and Ride On!

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8 Replies to “Canyon Rides Near Denver”

  1. Wow this is a great resource. I have never rode in Colorado but definitely need to add it to my bucket list, I am sure that it would be an amazing trip. Thanks for this. Cheers

  2. Bikes I love them although I have never owned one. That could be a blessing as I think I’d probably done something really stupid on one.

    It looks like you have some great places to tour around your neck of the woods and one day I hope to visit the US coming from the UK.

    By the way, I love what you are doing with the site and thank you for sharing.

    I love what you are doing with the site

  3. Great information! I am happy I came across this post as well due to me asking in my last comment what time of year would be best to visit. I see you have similar weather patterns as we do in New York. I feel I would need to plan a visit in late July/ early August. I like hot weather! 🙂

    1. I have updated this page a lot and have added a ton of information about places to visit. Check it out! There is also more to be added in the near future. Thank you for visiting and check back soon!

  4. In my very young years I planned to have a bike first and then a car. I’m still very fond of both, even though decades has passed. Being a girl at those times, it was more than odd to insist I want to ride a bike, so gradually, I gave up. Especially after my older brother shared his (our) first Fiat500 with me, I was over the moon even having something to drive and speed up with and got used to it.
    Now, reading your post, even not being familiar at all with the roads you wrote about (I’m living in the UK now) I felt it to be so realistic and so motivating in the same time. After many-many years I wished I could ride a bike and I could ride it exactly there, soaking up the feeling of speed, power, wind and the beautiful scenery you mentioned. The detailed description and the warnings you gave across this very well composed text will surely be of great help to a rider who actually has the opportunity to ride on these routes!
    Thank you for the wonderful feeling!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment Minaher! Maybe if you do decide to get a motorcycle and come to Colorado to ride, you can experience these routes and scenery first hand!

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