Denver’s Backyard Playground ~ Cherry Creek State Park

Lovely lake at Cherry Creek SP
Lovely lake at Cherry Creek SP

Given we have paid for campground fees in Colorado for the past month, you would think I could speak with some authority on activities in the area but lately I would be better equipped to speak about the creeping nature of airport security lines or traffic patterns in Denver.  Too much time recently spent at the airport has been a bit of an energy zapper for us but such is life sometimes. Colorado will just have to stay on our list for further exploration, which is the beauty of this nomadic lifestyle.  Not all was lost though as we had great family visits, attended a niece’s wedding (more on that later), hopped on our bikes a few times while in the Denver area, and finally caught up for a quick visit with a couple whose blog I’ve been following and whose photos I have been quite literally drooling over.

Shades of blue hover over the park
Shades of blue hover over the park

For the past 10 days our rig has been comfortably resting in the lovely Cherry Creek State Park, an urban oasis serving as Denver’s backyard playground year-round.  For those who yearn to escape their personal rat race or for us full-time wanderers who want to have easy access to city life, Cherry Creek is the perfect solution.

One of several lovely sunsets captured at Cherry Creek
One of several lovely sunsets captured at Cherry Creek










Bikers and runners alike share the 12 miles of paved trails and the 35 miles of multi-use trails that meander through the park. I’m told that winter-hardy outdoor enthusiasts strap on their cross-country skis and glide across pristine groomed trails during the snowy months.

Interesting cloud formations over the campground
Interesting cloud formations over the campground










Cherry Creek State Park’s 4200 acres entices fishermen, boaters, jet-skiers, and archery fans as well.  With lots of open space between campsites, I don’t think you could go wrong no matter which site you chose, and for us the views of a sparkling blue lake and rugged mountains as our backdrop were the perfect respite to a hectic schedule.

Magical mountains at sunset
Magical mountains at sunset









The 40-mile Cherry Creek bike trail runs directly through the park so biking into the city for a Starbucks and a trip to the flagship REI store was a must. The round-trip will reward you with 30 miles of spinning and aching legs, as the trek back is mostly uphill.

For a more leisurely ride, the trail around the lake and across the dam will allow you to explore the park’s many amenities and, if your timing is right, you may be able to participate in a most unusual yoga class.

The yoga instructor for the day, giving a quick lesson to a watchful egret.
The yoga instructor for the day, giving a quick lesson to a watchful egret.










As busy as our schedules were, it is a wonder that we caught up to a delightful couple and their little Angel. Yep, Island Girl was in the house (or campground to be more precise).   With their crazy schedule and ours we each had to work our flexibility muscles to squeeze in two short visits.  Hector and Brenda were as warm and engaging as we knew they would be and we look forward to catching up with them again later this winter.

For those who want an escape to some fabulous destinations teeming with wildlife, click here to see how Hector views his world. It is a feast for the eyes.

Island Girl's navigator Hector and the lovely Brenda
Island Girl’s navigator Hector and the lovely Brenda











We took our leave from Cherry Creek earlier than our normal departure time as we were looking forward to visiting friends in Cañon City whom we hadn’t seen in three years. It seems our timing worked out well for us as an “epic hailstorm” moved through Denver and Cherry Creek State Park early that afternoon, causing much damage. Our thoughts are with those who did not fare as well as we.

Our next stop took us to the Colorado mountains, where the fall colors where at their peak and love was in the air.  Stay tuned! 🙂

47 thoughts on “Denver’s Backyard Playground ~ Cherry Creek State Park

  • Sweet pics from the park, and super sweet that you got to meet Hector and Brenda. Knew you guys would hit it off!

    • I was hoping our paths would cross and they are just as wonderful as I thought they would be. Hope to catch up with the two of you sometime this winter.

    • I believe we paid $26/day, but we also had to buy a Colorado SP annual pass, which was $70, and Cherry Creek also had a pass that we needed to buy for $3.

  • Your photos are beautiful!! What a really neat cloud! Glad you were able to get such a wide angle shot.

    Biking to Starbucks AND REI sounds like me!! Wish I had been along:)

    That “yoga instructor” is way too cute. You were in the right place at the right time. You should make that photo into a poster. Every yoga studio needs it:)

    You certainly have had a busy month. I hope you and Terry have some quiet time in the days ahead.

    • Thanks Pam! I knew biking to Starbucks and a visit to REI would be on your agenda.

      Looking forward to catching up with the two of you this winter. 🙂

  • I do agree with you on Hectors photography he is a real Master… loved this post specially that photo of the cloud formation… I have seen similar photos from others in the USA but have never seen such a cloud in Africa and I wonder what causes it to form in that manner… really interesting…
    “Love was in the air ??? LuAnn are you cheating on Terry ??? LOLOL

    • Isn’t Hector’s photography wonderful? As far as the cloud formations here in Colorado, they are very unique. Wish I knew more about the different types of clouds. That particular one was right after a rainstorm at sunset.

      As far as cheating on hubby, no way. Got the boy trained after all these years, so I’m not going to do anything to rock that boat! 😉

  • Oh that cloud formations is lovely!
    That yoga instructor has great balance…lol
    Maybe you didn’t see all of Denver’s beauty, but you did get a blessed time with family and friends.

    • We weren’t there much Lisa but I can say that the campground is lovely. I heard a rumor that you and Hans might be in So Cal this winter. I am hoping we can meet the two of you at some point.

  • Fantastic photos, LuAnn, especially the cloud formations and the gorgeous sunset. I have a good laugh at the ‘Yoga class’ pic. It’s so comical. Yes, Hector’s photography is really special, isn’t it. 🙂

  • What a terrific place to stay while visiting Denver! Looks like it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. We enjoy city visits, but we enjoy cities most when we can stay nearby in nature. We would love that bike trail. You certainly earned whatever you wanted at Starbucks with a 30-mile ride! Beautiful cloud formations, and the “pelican yoga pose” is too cute.

  • The clouds and the sunset are so stunning! What a beautiful state park, LuAnn. What a fun photo of the yoga instructor 🙂 Coincidentally, I did a yoga post, too.

  • Magnificent skies!!! And that cloud formation, it looks like an air explosion above the campground. Maybe it’s Superman saving the world again. 😀

    • Weren’t those skies amazing? Love what storm clouds can do to the sky at sunset. Superman…hmmm. Hadn’t heard of any sightings in the area. Will have to be on the look-out. 🙂

  • We too left Denver just in time to miss that nasty hail storm. We fell in love with Chatfield SP and hope to spend more time there next summer. Great captures of Cherry Creek and I look forward to your post on the wedding 🙂

    • We will have to check out Chatfield SP next time through. We are looking forward to coming back to Colorado and actually staying in the state long enough to do some serious exploring. Once we get settled in Sedona for a few days I will post on the wedding. As you might imagine, the bride was beautiful and being in the mountains during the peak fall colors, the setting was lovely.

  • Great you met with Hector and Brenda! Lovely couple. I did hear about their experience with the hailstorm:(
    LuAnn your cloud captures are outstanding! I have never seen that yellow color clouds which to me looked like atomic bomb.

    • It reminded me of an atomic bomb as well. We had some interesting storms come through the area, which often makes for some unique cloud formations. I love clouds and really should take the time to learn more about the various types.

  • You would think that airports would have found a more efficient way to get the lines cleared, for the price we pay for a ticket, it would be nice. I do love your wanderings and the way you chronicle them…great photos as well, absolutely stunning! Wish I was pottering around with you guys!

    • Ste J, it is good to hear from you. I have been preoccupied with family issues of late so I have not been visiting blogs like I would like. I am hopeful that is going to change soon. Hope all is well with you. One day I will coordinate my travels to Washington to coincide with your time there.

      • I shall always keep you informed of my timetable, I always imagine us in the RV listening to William Shatner’s version of Bohemian Rhapsody…it is good to have a dream!

        I am well, just getting on with work and saving up at the moment and trying to find enough time to keep the blog going with visiting and writing as well. I hope your family issues are sorted soon but until then don’t feel any pressure to stop by if you haven’t the time, you just keep being awesome.

      • I know we will meet one day and I hope that you are able to get back across the pond soon.

        I think family issues are finally getting sorted through so now it is time to catch up on my reading and writing.

      • It will be nice to get back over and of course have adventures with you, I bet we would blaze a trail and a half across America.

        I’m glad the issues are sorted my friend!

  • LuAnn it seems that you have been training for cycling in Italy. I loved the yoga class photo and what incredible cloud formations! I hope your time ahead is less hectic.

    • I don’t think I could even begin to keep up with you two but it would be fun trying. 🙂 We are looking forward to a less hectic pace.

  • Some dramatic shots that capture the beauty of the park Luann. The infinite shades of blue in the first shot makes it my favourite of your amazing gallery.

  • I just now got around to reading this, we felt the same way about meeting you. You captured a couple of beautiful sunset shots, which is nice, because we didn’t get any, believe it or not. We’re now in Taos, heading back down to Albuquerque as our parts for repairs have come in. Hopefully by end of week we’ll have a new hat on Island Girl :). Looks like we’ll be heading to Page, Arizona at the end of October, then maybe stop in Sedona before heading to Tucson on November 7th. Will you still be in Sedona?

    • Thanks Brenda! I am looking forward to seeing Hector’s balloon festival photos. We are currently in southern Cal at the Jojoba Hills RV Resort. So hopefully we can meet up at the Q in January. 🙂

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