Colorado is a state known for its stunning scenery. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a prime vacation destination for anyone looking to reconnect with nature. Opportunities for outdoor adventure abound around the state; regardless of the time of year you visit, you can find ways to heal your body and soul by getting in touch with all things natural.
Even if you are staying in an urban center like Denver, there are plenty of ways to let nature in. Here are a few ideas for getting out and healing during a trip to Denver, CO.
Pay Attention to How Your Body Feels
The first step toward connecting with nature involves reconnecting with your body. Though our culture often places humanity and nature in opposition to one another, the truth is that you are physically part of the world around you, even if you feel emotionally or spiritually separate from it. Before you can put your spirit into nature, you need to put your spirit back into your body and take the time to feel every part of yourself.
Denver is a full mile above sea level, and that altitude can affect your body in unique ways. As soon as you get to Denver, you should take a couple hours to meditate on your physical experiences. Do you feel lightheaded? Do your muscles ache? Do you have any physical needs, like fatigue, hunger or dehydration? You should check back in with your body frequently during your trip, to give your body the strength to continue exploring the great outdoors.
Go for a Hike Through a Truly Wild Place
The best and most rewarding way to embrace nature is to go on a leg-powered journey in an area where evidence of humankind is scant. Fortunately, hiking opportunities abound around Denver thanks to the beautiful Rocky Mountains that surround the city. Some excellent hikes that aren’t likely to be overpopulated include:
- Sleepy Lion Trail. This 5.4-mile hike is perfect for the morning, when the sound of rushing water won’t be interrupted by the sounds of other hikers. You will also be treated to dramatic views of the mountain range.
- Square Top Mountain. A more difficult 6.9-mile hike, this trek runs directly between two of the largest mountains in the range. Though the trailhead parking lot might be busy, this trail is much less popular than others nearby, so you can enjoy the views in solitude.
- Herman Gulch to Herman Lake. Easy and peaceful, even in the summertime, this 6.4-mile trail is often frequented by wildlife. When the weather is warm, the landscape is covered in picturesque wildflowers.
Indulge in a Natural Psychostimulant
Humans have been using cannabis as a spiritual tool for millennia, and even today, plenty of cannabis users attest to the power of the drug to unlock new levels of thinking and feeling. Even better, unlike other intoxicating substances, cannabis is completely natural; it doesn’t need to be refined or processed to provide psychoactive effects.
Colorado was one of the first two states to pass recreational cannabis regulations, allowing adults aged 21 years and older to buy and use weed for fun. During your trip, you can visit a Denver dispensary to pick up pot products, which you can use in a licensed cannabis lounge or in your own 420-friendly accommodations. Once pleasantly high, you can explore the natural spaces in and around Denver, if you have a sober tour guide to keep you safe. Otherwise, you might use your weed experience to fuel deeper meditation on human nature.
Enjoy Farm-to-Table Food
Surrounding yourself with nature is important, and so is filling yourself with nature. Though highly processed foods can be tempting, they usually aren’t as satisfying as foods that come fresh from the farm. Therefore, you should consider spending your meals at one of the following top farm-to-table eateries in Denver:
- Root Down. A restaurant with a cult-like following, this eatery grows many of its ingredients on-site and sources the rest from local ranches.
- Fruition Restaurant. For an haute-cuisine experience, this restaurant offers comfort foods reimagined as upscale fare and uses only food grown at its own Fruition Farms.
- Potager. This eatery is not committed to a type of cuisine or style of cooking; instead, it is committed only to using fresh, local ingredients.
Denver is a big city with skyscrapers, highways and millions of residents. Yet, it doesn’t take much effort to find nature in Denver.