If you are looking for a family hike near Denver, this is a perfect trail, especially if you are getting started hiking with your kids in Colorado and want to guarantee a good experience. It’s short, there’s wildlife, and the Lookout Mountain Nature Center. Take a picnic lunch, just watch out for the squirrels; they’ll run of with your dessert if you don’t watch them closely. Explore the full Meadow & Forest Loop Trails hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this family adventure.

Trail Snapshot: Meadow & Forest Loop Trails at Lookout Mountain Nature Center

Lookout Mountain Nature Center has 2 short loop hikes. If you have young children, this is a perfect trip. The trails at Lookout Mountain are short loops: 1- The Meadow Loop (.8 mile) & 2 – Forest Loop Trail (.6 mile). If you are looking for a longer hike, you can cross the street and take the Lookout Mountain Trail which connects to several other Jefferson County Parks and trails.

The nature center is a great place for your kids to learn about Colorado wildlife. The playroom has texture sames of bark, fur, animal tracks, and the biggest box of stuffed animal puppets you’ll ever see. The last time we visited, our daughter didn’t want to leave. Take a lunch and have a picnic under the towering Ponderosa Pines. We encountered 2 deer with their fawns along the Forest Loop trail. The immediate area around the nature center is handicap accessible.

Tips & Resources for Hiking Meadow & Forest Loop Trails at Lookout Mountain Nature Center

  • TIP: If you take Lookout Mountain Road from Golden, it’s a beautiful drive. However, on the weekends, this road has a ton of cycling traffic. So, plan for a slow drive.
  • TIP: Visit the Boettcher Mansion next door
  • Trail Map for Lookout Mountain Nature Center: Trail Map Link
  • Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get the list and dayhiking packing checklist.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Louis’ Cafe

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Map & Driving Directions


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