Best Bike Path in Metro Denver 2019 | South Platte River Trail | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Not only is the South Platte River Trail a pleasant and smoothly paved ride for its entire eighteen miles, but as it passes through Denver, the iconic views — of Mile High Stadium, Confluence Park, the Pepsi Center, Overland Golf Course and the Auraria campus, to name just a few — make it ideal for newcomers to get their bearings. Named for the river it follows for most of its journey, the north-south path runs from East 88th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Thornton to the River Point at Sheridan shopping center, and along the way passes through an eerily desolate stretch of sewage plants and oil refineries as well as lush city parks and ever-changing neighborhoods. Looking for a longer excursion? Jump onto one of the dozen trails that intersect it, including Cherry Creek, Clear Creek and the Mary Carter Greenway.

Readers' Choice: Cherry Creek Bike Path

Betasso Preserve sports a varied-terrain tangle of trails for a mix of mileages and skill levels, but combined they make up the Super Betasso, a 16.2-mile, mostly singletrack ride with a brutal climb, some technical rocks-and-roots sections, a few hairpin turns and a sweet downhill payoff. This is also one of the few metro-area trails that successfully accommodates its diverse users — bikes are prohibited on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and all bikers have to go in the same direction — so hikers and horseback riders can easily share the space. Start at Eben G. Fine Park at the start of Boulder Canyon and follow the Boulder Creek path to the Betasso Link Trail, then hang on for the roller-coaster ride of your fat-tire dreams.

Readers' Choice: Apex Park

Best Mountain-Bike Company With a Rock-and-Roll Influence

Guerrilla Gravity

It takes balls to barrel down a singletrack on a bike into banked turns between trees before dropping six feet into transition. Maybe that's why Denver-based mountain-bike manufacturer Guerrilla Gravity christens its bikes with some of the most hard-core musical references. Fancy a braap? Check out Clash namesake "The Smash," a full-suspension trail-eater inspired by the rebel spirit of Joe Strummer. Or lose the suspension and crank around town on the Lemmy-inspired "Pedalhead." Elsewhere, you'll rest easy knowing your "Megatrail" will never "Rust in Peace" thanks to GG's Revved Carbon Technology, which basically makes these heavy-metal frames indestructible.

Donation-based yoga isn't hard to come by in Denver, but finding a group of like-minded yogis and a teacher willing to consistently foster that community can be. Isabel Rotteveel Belliard does just that, guiding her students through gentle vinyasa flows each week. In the spring and summer, she teaches evening classes at City Park, and in the colder months she takes her community to the GrowHaus and donates part of the suggested $10 drop-in fee to the nonprofit indoor farm. Whether she's helping advanced students get into deeper poses or first-time yogis find their way around the mat, Rotteveel Belliard creates an affordable and welcoming space for all.

Some yoga classes wrap up with a few minutes lying in savasana and a cold towel infused with essential oils. Après Yoga, however, ends with a cold pint. Après has held its yoga series at breweries throughout Denver and is currently holding classes at Ratio Beerworks on the first and third Sunday of each month. This "yoga with benefits" practice is $17 online ($20 at the door), which includes the beer. Grab your mat, grab your friends and enjoy!

There's nothing quite like transitioning from Crescent Lunge to Warrior II while a giant sawfish shark swims right at you. The Downtown Aquarium currently offers this unique yoga experience on select Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., with several upcoming opportunities to unroll your mat in front of a gigantic tank. The class is limited to yogis sixteen and older — remember: sharks right up in your face — and the fee is only $15. For less than the drop-in rate at many yoga studios, Yoga With the Sharks gives you a workout and a show.

Hot-shot golf course architect Tom Doak really outdid himself with his 2009 renovation of Lowry's absolute goat trail of a municipal course, Mira Vista. Now called CommonGround, it's a breathtakingly perfect collection of varied terrain and confounding angles and has nearly enough fairway width to make the quick, subtle and cavernous greens seem downright fair. Almost. Beyond that, CommonGround is walkable, offers an affordable annual pass, and has top-notch practice facilities, including a grass range and a lovely par-three course. Book your tee time well in advance, because this place cooks in the summer.

As far as Aurora golf goes, Aurora Hills does not have the pedigreed, pardon-me-miss demands for accuracy of Meadow Hills. It doesn't have the no-holds-barred, chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out intensity of east Aurora's treacherous Murphy Creek. What it does have is one hell of a breakfast burrito. Tin Cup's breakfast offering is fresh, hot, spicy, full of chorizo and perfectly portioned. Pro tip: Order your burrito, tee up before 7:30 a.m., and re-up at the turn to get to the kitchen while it's still serving breakfast.


Take it from us: Few things are more satisfying than spending the day shredding a ski hill and the night slamming mai tais at a tiki bar. It doesn't even have to be a good ski hill or a good tiki bar — but as luck would have it, Denver has easy access to both. Back in town after a day full of powder, head straight to Adrift, where you'll step out of the cold and into a welcoming island paradise. Shed the snow gear and let your mind drift away at Adrift.

Skiing is expensive. Passes will set you back a couple hundred dollars, and even "skinning" up mountains to catch some backcountry turns requires a whole setup of specialized equipment. But what if you could use your skis or snowboard to shred some technical runs at no cost? Hitchhiking rides up Loveland Pass has long been a local strategy. After taking Exit 216 along I-70 westbound (right before the Eisenhower Tunnel), go 1.8 miles up Loveland Pass, until you reach a wide hairpin turnout. This is where runs from the top of the pass bottom out. Park here and join your fellow ski bums hitching rides to the top of the pass. Once you're there, get into your gear on the tunnel side of the road and make your way down.

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