If you live in the Denver area chances are you’re familiar or at least aware of the existence of Green Mountain. Its official name is actually William Frederick Hayden Park. Although if I’m being perfectly honest I didn’t know it’s “official” name till about five minutes ago when I tried to find a trail map (which I failed at by the way.) Everyone locally just calls it Green Mountain.
In my opinion Green Mountain isn’t the most exciting of hikes, but it’s good for a quick (or not so quick if you please) adventure/workout for you and your dog that doesn’t take you too far from civilization.
There are many options to venture on depending on what you’re looking for. If you stick to the base trails it’s pretty easy, you have some slight hills to hurdle, but that’s about it. Even Petie could handle doing it in short spurts.
Another option is to take one of the many trails to the summit. Those trails are a little more moderate, but they’re also not lung bursting difficult… Depending on your fitness and health level of course. This hike is normally one I can withstand going to the summit to even if I’m out of shape (my fitness level fluctuates like nobody's business.)
The mountain itself is, in my opinion, kind of a barren wasteland. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy going on it, just don’t go expecting to be surrounded by lush greenery. Ironically given the name it’s really only green if we’ve been receiving a lot of rain, otherwise it mostly consists of dead grass.
Because of the lack of trees, those trails can get toasty as Hell. If Laverne has her full long coat at the time of hiking it she tends to have a harder time. I have to dowse her in water, make her drink more water than usual, and we have to keep the hike on the shorter side so she doesn’t over heat. So keep a closer eye on your dogs than usual, no matter the coat or the breed to make sure your buddy doesn’t overheat.
The perk of the direct sunlight is it melts the snow and ice quickly so it’s a good hike even in the winter if we’ve had a few sunny days. It’s a nice way to thaw out in the middle of winter and take in that vitamin D our bodies crave during our Coloradan winters.
Something to be aware of is to look out for rattlesnakes. They can be seen most anywhere in Colorado, but they are especially fond of the heat Green Mountain houses. For the most part they mind their own business and you won’t even know they’re there.
Although every now and then there will be that one ass that decides to chill in the middle of the trail and claim that chunk of land theirs. They’ll rattler their tails as a warning if you are getting too close for comfort for them, so just give them plenty of space and walk around them and you should be fine.
However, if your dog is off leash things may not go as smoothly. No matter how well trained your dog is it will always be their instinct to investigate strange animals and that’s exactly how they get bit. The snake is also more likely to get agitated if there is a dog freely roaming through its space, which will put you and your dog in danger.
Lastly, there was an incident when a man got bit by a rattlesnake, and his dogs where off leash. When flight for life came to get him (he was having a particularly bad reaction), the paramedics had a hard time with the dogs because they were extremely shook up and weren’t responsive which made the situation more difficult. If you read my blog you know I endorse leashing your dog, but it is particularly important here.
The main perk of Green Mountain, besides its convenience, is the scenery. It’s vast fields and summit views aren’t too shabby.
If you haven’t already, check it out. Just because it’s not one of my favorites doesn’t mean it’s not worth the time!
*These photos are from a hike we went on, on the west base of the mountain. More pictures coming soon!
1000 S. Rooney Rd.
Lakewood, CO 80228
There are multiple parking lots and places to access the trails on Alameda Parkway and Rooney Road.