Check out our Biker’s Guide to Denver

Travel writer Shauna McCrudden shares the sights to put on your bucket list on a motorcycle trip to Denver in this Biker’s Guide to Denver

“The Colorado Rocky Mountain high I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly Rocky Mountain High” Rocky Mountain High’ By John Denver

Roaring engines, wind rushing through your hair, and the open road stretching ahead. There’s something exhilarating about exploring the scenic wonders of Colorado on a motorcycle!

But it’s the capital, Denver, which offers a truly unforgettable experience. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Mile High City, named as such due to its elevation of 5,280ft above sea level, is a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts.

With its stunning mountainous landscapes, scenic byways, and vibrant neighborhoods, Denver has it all – adventure, exploration, and just plain old fun!

And while Denver’s weather can change quickly, especially in the mountains, there are plenty of motorcycle gear and accessories shops to help you prepare. As well as motorcycle maintenance services scattered around the city, so you can take care of any needs while there.

For anyone seeking the ultimate two-wheeled adventure, the Mile-High City has something for riders of all levels. Here’s what you can expect from a motorcycle journey through Denver:

Scenic beauty

From the moment you hit the open road, you’ll be captivated by the beauty that surrounds you – towering peaks, winding canyons, and blue skies stretching as far as the eye can see. Denver’s diverse terrain caters to every riding style, whether you crave the adrenaline rush of mountain passes or the tranquillity of cruising through rolling plains.

Highways and byways

Denver has a veritable treasure trove of scenic routes and epic bike rides that showcase not only the beauty of Colorado’s landscapes but also the adrenaline-pumping heights. These include:

    • Peak to Peak Highway – Start your biker’s journey by taking a ride on the legendary Peak to Peak Highway. This scenic byway spans approximately 55 miles and offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. As you wind through the landscapes and through all the twists and turns, you’ll encounter dense forests, alpine meadows, and charming mountain towns such as Estes Park and Nederland. The twisty roads and elevation changes make it a favorite for any motorcyclist.
    • Mount Evans Scenic Byway – For a truly awe-inspiring ride, head to Mount Evans Scenic Byway. This road takes you to the summit of Mount Evans, one of Colorado’s highest peaks. As you ascend to an elevation of over 14,000ft, you’ll witness panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains, alpine tundra, and lots of wildlife. This is for seasoned riders only and you should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions, as the high altitude can bring about sudden temperature drops and strong winds.
    • Trail Ridge Road – Another must-ride is Trail Ridge Road, which runs through Rocky Mountain National Park. This 48-mile stretch of road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, reaching heights of over 12,000ft. The road offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks, glacial valleys, and wildlife sightings.
    • Pikes Peak Highway – No biker’s guide to Denver would be complete without mentioning the iconic Pikes Peak Highway. This scenic road takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s most famous fourteeners (a collection of 54 peaks that soar to 14,000ft and beyond). The 19-mile journey rewards you with views of deep canyons, cascading waterfalls, and the vast expanse of the Colorado plains. Pikes Peak can occasionally be closed during winter months, so always check before taking off!

Explore Denver’s iconic neighborhoods

Beyond the scenery, Denver’s neighborhoods offer such unique Colorado charm and plenty of attractions.

Consider exploring areas such as LoDo (Lower Downtown), RiNo (River North), Highlands, and Cherry Creek. These areas have trendy restaurants, breweries, art galleries and shops, so there’s everything you could want for some downtime. When you’re ready to explore, hop off your bike and immerse yourself in the local culture.

LoDo offers a mix of historic buildings, trendy bars, and lively nightlife, and Larimer Square has plenty of upscale boutiques. And of course, LoDo is synonymous with sports in Denver. It is home to Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies, the city’s Major League Baseball team, play their home games.

RiNo, or River North, is an artsy neighborhood with vibrant street art murals, craft breweries, and hip restaurants making it a foodie’s delight. Try out Work & Class, a RiNo staple with an ever-changing menu specializing in unique fusion entrees that combine Southern-style cuisine with Latin favorites.

The Highlands neighborhood has Victorian-era homes and a bustling dining scene. It also has a lively street scene particularly along its main streets, such as West 32nd Avenue and Tennyson Street. These areas are lined with bustling sidewalk cafes, outdoor patios, and vibrant storefronts.

Cherry Creek is known for its upscale shopping, art galleries, and picturesque Cherry Creek Trail. This is 40 miles of mostly paved beauty that winds from Denver’s Confluence Park all the way to Franktown.

Motorcycle-friendly city

After a day of riding, bikers need a place to relax and connect with fellow riders. Denver has a vibrant motorcycle community with several establishments catering to riders. So, you will always have the local community to hang with, share stories and enjoy a well-deserved break.

Some popular spots include the Dirty Duck Bar, a laid-back biker bar with live music and a welcoming atmosphere. The Piper Inn is a historic dive bar famous for its chicken wings. Not to mention the famous My Brother’s Bar which has been frequented by famous Beat Generation figures such as Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. The bar has a lot of historical ambiance, as well as great burgers!

But it’s not just hangouts – Denver’s motorcycle scene is second to none. Keep an eye out for motorcycle events happening in and around Denver. The city hosts bike rallies, group rides, and motorcycle shows throughout the year.

The Colorado Motorcycle Expo is a two-day, annual event every January with motorcycle showcases, vendors, live music, stunt shows, tattoo contests, bike races, and more.

And every Labor Day weekend, Thunder in the Rockies, a four-day motorcycle rally, takes place. The event is held at Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson, a large dealership and event venue located in Loveland, just an hour away from Denver. One of the highlights is the opportunity to participate in organized motorcycle rides through the scenic landscapes of Colorado.

Event details, dates, and specific attractions may vary from year to year. Always check the websites for more information.

National Parks

There are plenty of scenic parks and hiking trails throughout the city too. So, you can enjoy some peace and quiet or some thrilling bike rides – whatever you’re in the mood for that day! These include:

Rocky Mountain National Park – No trip to Denver would be complete without a mention of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Rocky Mountains are such an iconic part of Colorado, that they have made it into popular songs throughout history and even in the state’s official song. Just a short ride from the center of the city, this national park offers a vast playground for motorcycle fans. As you venture into the park, you’ll be greeted by towering peaks, alpine lakes, and an abundance of wildlife. The Trail Ridge Road, which traverses the park, is an exhilarating ride with its sweeping curves. Keep an eye out for elk, deer, and even the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep that roam the park. With numerous pull-offs and overlooks along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to take pictures and soak in the natural beauty.

Great Sand Dunes National Park – For a complete contrast to the greenery of Rocky Mountain, venture south of Denver to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and its red and orange sand. Nestled at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this park is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America. The dunes, sculpted by wind and time, offer a surreal backdrop for a motorcycle ride unlike any other. Take a break from riding through and hike to the top of the dunes for some panoramic views or cool off in Medano Creek during the spring and summer.

Great attractions

There aren’t just great motorbike areas, parks, and events in Denver. It also has some of the greatest attractions in the US to explore:

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

With its towering red sandstone formations, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a must-visit. Not only is it a stunning natural landscape, but it also hosts world-renowned concerts and events every year. Ride your motorcycle up to this iconic venue, take in the views, and you might be able to catch an incredible live performance. deadmau5, Janelle Monae, The Strokes and The Chainsmokers are just a few of the acts appearing this year.

Denver Art Museum

For art enthusiasts, the Denver Art Museum has an extensive collection spanning genres and time periods, including Native American, European, and contemporary art.

Denver Union Station

A historic landmark and transportation hub, Denver Union Station is more than just a train station. This beautifully restored building features plenty of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. Grab a bite to eat, enjoy a drink, and rest and refuel.

Denver Botanic Gardens

With its meticulously manicured gardens, ponds, and floral displays, the Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis of tranquillity within the city. Take a stroll through the themed gardens, and you might be lucky as throughout the year, it hosts concerts and art exhibitions.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Expand your knowledge at this renowned museum which offers a fascinating journey through science, nature, and history. It has everything from dinosaur fossils to interactive exhibits exploring space and the natural world.


16th Street Mall

This pedestrian-friendly promenade is a bustling hub of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. You can cruise down this street on your motorcycle, stop for a bite to eat, or browse the shops for unique souvenirs.

Denver Zoo

If you’re an animal lover, the Denver Zoo is the place to be. Home to exotic and native animals, you can marvel at the majestic lions, playful primates, and colorful birds.

Empower Field at Mile High

For sports enthusiasts, catching a Denver Broncos football game at Empower Field at Mile High is unforgettable! Join thousands of passionate fans cheering on their team. You could even try to plan your visit to coincide with a home game for the ultimate football experience.

Denver Museum of Contemporary Art

Delve into the world of contemporary art. The museum showcases a range of modern artworks, from thought-provoking exhibitions to innovative installations.

Whether you’re interested in art, nature, sports, or simply exploring the city, Denver offers something for everyone. So, gear up, rev your engine, and embark on a two-wheeled journey through the heart of Rocky Mountain High – a ride that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a longing to return to this biker’s paradise time and time again.