Day Trips From Highlands Ranch, CO

May 30, 2024

Day Trips From Highlands Ranch, CO

Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is a fantastic place to live, offering residents a blend of suburban comfort and urban convenience. However, sometimes you just need to get away for a day and explore the incredible natural beauty and vibrant culture that Colorado has to offer. Luckily, Highlands Ranch is perfectly situated for a variety of day trips that cater to a range of interests, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences. Here are some of the best day trips you can take from Highlands Ranch.

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

A Natural and Musical Wonderland

Located just 30 minutes from Highlands Ranch, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a must-visit destination for music lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. The park features stunning red sandstone formations that provide a breathtaking backdrop for the amphitheatre, one of the most iconic concert venues in the world. Even if there isn't a concert, you can hike the numerous trails that wind through the park, offering spectacular views and a chance to explore the unique geology of the area.

Garden of the Gods

Awe-Inspiring Rock Formations

An hour's drive south of Highlands Ranch will bring you to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. This National Natural Landmark is renowned for its dramatic red rock formations, which have been sculpted by millions of years of geological activity. Visitors can hike, bike, or even horseback ride through the park's 15 miles of trails, taking in the stunning scenery and learning about the area's natural history at the Visitor & Nature Center.


A Blend of Culture and Nature

Just under an hour's drive from Highlands Ranch, Boulder is a vibrant city known for its beautiful setting at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Start your day with a stroll along Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly area filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Flatirons offer a variety of hiking trails with panoramic views of the city and beyond. Don't forget to visit the University of Colorado campus, which boasts beautiful architecture and cultural attractions like the CU Art Museum.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Majestic Mountain Scenery

For a true mountain adventure, head to Rocky Mountain National Park, about a two-hour drive from Highlands Ranch. This park is a paradise for nature lovers, with over 350 miles of trails that take you through alpine meadows, dense forests, and up to towering peaks. Wildlife is abundant here, and you're likely to see elk, deer, and maybe even a bear or moose. Drive along Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the United States, for breathtaking views of the Rockies.


A Historic Town with Outdoor Appeal

Located just 45 minutes from Highlands Ranch, Golden is a charming town with a rich history and plenty of outdoor activities. Visit the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum to learn about the state's mining heritage, or tour the Coors Brewery, one of the largest single-site breweries in the world. For outdoor fun, hike up Lookout Mountain for panoramic views of the Denver skyline and the surrounding mountains, or kayak down Clear Creek.

Pikes Peak

America's Mountain

Pikes Peak, also known as America's Mountain, is an iconic destination located about an hour and a half from Highlands Ranch. You can drive up the scenic Pikes Peak Highway, take the historic Cog Railway, or, for the adventurous, hike the Barr Trail to the summit. At the top, you'll be rewarded with stunning views that stretch all the way to Kansas on a clear day. Don't forget to try the famous Pikes Peak doughnuts at the Summit House.

Estes Park

Gateway to the Rockies

Estes Park is a picturesque mountain town located about two hours from Highlands Ranch, serving as the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Stroll through the charming downtown area, filled with unique shops and restaurants, or visit the historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King's "The Shining." In addition to exploring the national park, you can take a scenic drive on the Peak to Peak Highway, offering stunning views of the Rockies.

Fort Collins

Craft Beer and College Town Vibes

Fort Collins, located about an hour and a half north of Highlands Ranch, is known for its vibrant craft beer scene and its charming downtown area. Take a tour of one of the many breweries, such as New Belgium or Odell, or enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the Poudre River Trail. The city's historic Old Town area is perfect for a stroll, with its quaint shops, restaurants, and live music venues.

Idaho Springs

Hot Springs and History

Just under an hour from Highlands Ranch, Idaho Springs is a historic mining town known for its natural hot springs and outdoor adventures. Soak in the therapeutic waters at Indian Hot Springs, or explore the Argo Gold Mine and Mill to learn about the area's mining history. For a more active day, hike or drive up to St. Mary's Glacier, where you can enjoy stunning views and even some year-round snow activities.


Art and Outdoor Fun

About an hour and a half from Highlands Ranch, Loveland is a great destination for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city is home to the Benson Sculpture Garden, which features over 150 sculptures set in a beautiful park. Loveland also offers numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as the scenic Lake Loveland, perfect for a day of fishing, boating, or picnicking.


Highlands Ranch, CO, is surrounded by an array of incredible destinations that make for perfect day trips. Whether you're looking to explore the great outdoors, dive into the area's rich history, or simply enjoy a change of scenery, there's something for everyone just a short drive away. Each of these destinations offers its own unique experiences and highlights the diverse beauty and culture of Colorado.

Ready to Make Highlands Ranch Your Home Base?

If you're considering a move to Highlands Ranch or want to explore more about what this community offers, partnering with a knowledgeable real estate team is essential. The David Bell Group is here to help you find your dream home and make the most of living in this vibrant area. 

Contact the team today to learn more and start your journey to discovering the perfect place to call home.

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