Denver, Colorado is known for its outdoor recreation and stunning scenery, but did you know that it is also home to a diverse array of wildlife?
From majestic elk to playful river otters, Denver offers numerous opportunities to observe these animals in their natural habitats.
Whether you're a local looking for a weekend adventure or a visitor hoping to experience the beauty of Colorado's wildlife, there are plenty of spots to explore.
From hiking trails to national parks, Denver offers a variety of options for wildlife enthusiasts.
One of the best ways to see wildlife in Denver is by visiting one of the many state parks in the area. These parks offer a range of activities, from hiking and camping to fishing and wildlife viewing.
Many of them are home to elk, deer, moose, and other large mammals, making them ideal places to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitats.
Another popular spot for wildlife viewing in Denver is the city's many nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. These areas offer a unique opportunity to observe animals that have been rescued and rehabilitated, including birds of prey, bears, and wolves.
Visitors can also learn about the importance of conservation efforts and how they can help protect these animals and their habitats.
Whether you're a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or just looking to experience the beauty of Colorado's outdoors, Denver offers a wealth of opportunities to see these magnificent creatures up close.
So grab your camera and binoculars and head out to explore the best spots for wildlife viewing in the Mile High City!
1. Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts. The museum boasts an impressive collection of taxidermy animals from all over the world, as well as dinosaur and large mammal skeletons.
The gems and minerals section is also worth checking out, with thousands of displays showcasing stunning stones, metals, and minerals.
Families with kids will find plenty of fun activities to do here, and there are also special exhibits that require additional tickets.
The staff is friendly and helpful, and the museum is clean and well-organized. Plan ahead and purchase tickets for the appropriate time slot to make the most of your visit.
2. First Creek Overlook
First Creek Overlook is a hidden gem for wildlife enthusiasts. The area provides a breathtaking view of the Arsenal Wildlife Refuge and the Rockies.
Although the wildlife is not always visible, visitors may have the opportunity to spot bald eagles, prairie dogs, and bison.
The only way to access the area is by bike or walking, making it a secluded spot away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
If you're looking for a peaceful and scenic place to observe wildlife, First Creek Overlook is definitely worth a visit.
3. Lake Mary Loop Trail
Lake Mary Loop Trail offers visitors a chance to see wildlife in a natural setting. While the sightings are hit or miss, visitors have spotted birds and deer around the lake.
The trail is stroller-friendly and has a boardwalk and dirt path to walk around the calm pond. The fishing is decent, but visitors should come early in the morning or evening.
The lack of shade makes it hot in the middle of the day. The trail system is well-developed and easy for novice hikers. The lake is catch and release only, and there are parking spaces for people with disabilities.
The visitors' center tells the history of the location and the cleanup efforts. It's a great place to take a stroll and enjoy nature's surprises.
4. Fishback Park
Fishback Park is a perfect spot for wildlife enthusiasts. The park offers a great view of Denver and Elitch, and it's an excellent place for bird watching.
The South Platte River Trail runs through this park, providing easy access to the Platte River trail and Confluence Park. The park has picnic areas along the river with benches and tables, making it an ideal spot for a picnic.
The park is not very big, but it's a great meeting place and a good place to rest in hot weather. If you're looking for a place to watch fireworks, Fishback Park is a great choice.
It's an excellent park to visit to check out downtown, ride a bike, run, walk, or sit. There's also a Starbucks nearby. Fishback Park is a must-visit for anyone who loves wildlife and wants to experience Denver's beauty.
5. First Creek at DEN Open Space
First Creek at DEN Open Space is a great spot to see wildlife. The well-kept trails offer a chance to hike, bike, or walk the dog while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Visitors can spot a variety of wildlife, including prairie dogs and rattlesnakes (so be careful!).
Although there are some dirt bikes and ATVs around, they don't take away from the peaceful atmosphere.
If you're looking for a nature walk near DIA or Green Valley Ranch, this is definitely worth a visit.
6. Frog Hollow Park
Frog Hollow Park is a scenic riverside greenway that offers a great opportunity to spot wildlife.
The park features a winding trail that runs along the South Platte River, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely walk or bike ride.
Visitors can also enjoy fishing in the river or have a picnic in the designated areas.
Though the water quality could use some improvement, the park's natural beauty and easy access make it a worthwhile destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Don't forget your camera!
7. Bluff Lake Nature Center
Bluff Lake Nature Center is a wildlife refuge and nature preserve. Visitors can see a variety of wildlife, including prairie dogs, rabbits, and birds.
There are also educational stops throughout the area for learning about the habitats of the creatures.
The trails are well-maintained and ADA accessible. Restrooms are available both along the trails and near the parking lot.
It's a hidden gem in the city and a great place to escape into nature.
8. Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area
Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area is a great place to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
The area is easily accessible with a well-maintained path running along the river. Visitors can see coyotes, various bird species, and even baby animals.
The ponds are a great spot for fishing, with plentiful bass. The park is dog-friendly, making it perfect for a walk with furry companions.
It's a hidden gem in the middle of a metropolitan area, offering a peaceful escape to nature.
9. Denver Zoo
The Denver Zoo is a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts. With a wide range of animals on display, visitors can spend hours exploring the different exhibits.
The zoo is well-maintained, and the animals are healthy and comfortable.
The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, making the experience even more enjoyable. The zoo also offers various presentations and shows, adding to the excitement of the visit.
It's a great place to take the family, and visitors of all ages will have a memorable time.