Rocky Mountains

Peak to Peak Trail

Denver’s Mountainous Backyard

The Front Range is a phalanx of snow-capped mountains that guards the center of Colorado against any approach from the east. Today it is possible to explore the east flank of the Front Range on roads that follow these peaks, and in summer, it is possible to drive right to the top of some of them. Here you will find the nearest alpine tundra to Denver, the closest opportunity to rise above treeline into the realm of pika, marmots, White-tailed Ptarmigan, and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch. Here are ponderosa forests with sapsuckers and crossbills, spruces harboring Gray Jays and nutcrackers, bighorn sheep licking salt off the highway shoulder, and old mining towns that have reinvented themselves in myriad ways. This is Denver’s mountainous backyard, a must-visit area for anyone interested in Colorado nature.