The city of Denver sits at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level, earning it the nickname “Mile High City”. This high altitude can be challenging for runners who are not accustomed to it. With a little acclimation, running in Denver can help improve your performance and make you a stronger runner. Discover the best Denver Running Routes to take your training to the next level.

Running in Denver

One of the most popular running routes in Denver is the Cherry Creek Trail, which runs 40 miles along the scenic Cherry Creek through downtown Denver and into neighboring cities. This paved trail offers a mix of urban and natural scenery, perfect for both leisurely jogs and fast-paced runs. Another popular route is the Platte River Trail, a 28-mile paved trail that winds along the South Platte River through Denver’s bustling downtown and into more suburban areas.

Mile High Stadium via Platte River Trail

Platte River Trail Denver

The best run that Downtown Denver has to offer. The S Platte River Trail is off the road and follows the Platte River. You can easily add or take away miles on this route. In the summer watch kayakers play in the white water of the river. A great place to cool down after a run. Dogs are allowed in the water.

platte river running route in denver

Best Meeting Point for the Running Platte River Trail

Just BE Kitchen – Lohi
2364 15th St, Denver, CO 80202

Just BE Kitchen is located by REI on 15th Street and Platte St. Walk towards downtown and you will see the access to the S. Platte River Trail. They offer Gluten-free American food that is great for takeaway or dine-in.

klubb banner run

Cherry Creek Out-And-Back

cherry creek running trail denver

An iconic run along Cherry Creek that can be easily shorted or lengthened. Wall art adores the trail on one side, and a picturesque creek on the other. There are a bunch of bridges to cut across the river for the first mile or so. This is a run route to pair with the S. Platte River trail.

cherry creek running route

Where to meet when running the Cherry Creek Trail

Take 15th Street to Confluence Park – on the corner of Little Raven St. and 15th. Located on the opposite side of Platte River than REI.

Cheesman Park 1 mile Loop

Cheesman park running trails

Being able to have an almost perfect 1-mile loop makes training much easier. Plus, the grass that is just off the Inner Loop trail at Cheesman Park is extra sensitive on the knees. Located next to the Denver Botanical Gardens.

running trail in cheesman park denver

Getting to Cheesman Park

There is street parking all around Cheesman Park. Be sure to read the signs though – there are a lot of them and it is somewhat confusing. I found that parking by Little Cheesman Park is the easiest.

Where to eat by Cheesman Park

Hive Garden Bistro
1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206

Located by Cheesman Park in the Denver Botanical Gardens that borders the park.

S. Platte River to Dave’s Wave

Platte River Trail

This is the best route for water loves. Following the S. Platte River Trail for 7.38 miles, you get to the Thorton Gravel Ponds and Dave’s Wave. Dave’s Wave is a standing wave in the Platte River that locals surf when conditions are right. This is great for those looking for a longer run too as the out-and-back is roughly 15 miles.

running the platte river trail

From Union Station, head down 15th to Platte River and walk up the river trail to the Skate Park (3min walk).

Where to eat near Confluence Park at Platte River

Coffee High Co.
2240 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205

After a long run, a delicious B.E.C Bagel Sandwich is just what you need. This post has an indulgent high-calorie menu and great coffee.

Sloans Lake Loop

sloan lake denver

A near-perfect 3-mile loop around Denver’s 2nd largest park. There are plenty of trail options to switch up your route slightly each time you run here. During the summer months, Sloan’s Lake is boat-friendly and a fun spot for standup paddleboarding.

sloan lake running route

There are bus stops nearby but driving or taking a cab is the easiest way to get here.