Are you looking for a few great places to go forest bathing in Colorado? Colorado has a wide variety of landscapes, including spectacular mountain ranges, dense forests, and winding trails.
The state is dedicated to preserving national woodlands and has over 40 state parks more than 300 wildlife areas. The natural landscape is one of the reasons Colorado has some of the best stats for overall health and wellness.
In this article, we’ll help you find some of the best locations to participate in the healing practice of Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing.
5 Places To Go Forest Bathing Near Denver
If you live in the Denver metro area, you are within driving distance to several state parks where you can take a scenic walk surrounded by nature.
State Parks and Trails
Staunton State Park and Castlewood Canyon have several tree-lined trails ideal for forest bathers. Here are three trails we recommend.
1. Shadow Pines Loop Trail.
Shadow Pines Loop Trail is a beautiful easy walk, suitable for a range of skill levels, and is both dog and kid-friendly. With plenty of tree coverage, the walk is shady about 85% of the time. Located near the small town of Conifer, you’ll find birds, wildflowers, and beautiful views.
2. Staunton Ranch, Old Mill, and Border Line Trail Loop.
This is a fantastic trail near Conifer, Colorado. A little bit longer at just over 8 miles, but the scenery is immaculate, and the hiking is fairly easy. You’ll find a gorgeous view from the overlook and plenty of wildflowers to engage your senses. Other hikers recommend going early to avoid the crowds.
3. Canyon View Nature Trail
If you’d like a paved trail, that all ages can enjoy, be sure to check out Canyon View Nature Trail in Castlewood Canyon Park. Located near Franktown, Colorado, this trail includes plenty of wildflowers and is excellent for nature lovers and bird watchers.
This trail is wheelchair accessible with wide paved paths. While you won’t be as immersed in the forest, you will still enjoy plenty of nature, a pretty stream, and lovely canyon overlooks.
Guided Forest Therapy Walks Near Denver
The Denver metro area also has a few Forest Therapy Guides that will take you on a private or small group outing. Here are two great options.
1. Sunset Forest Bathing/Therapy Walk In Arvada, Colorado
- Location: Golden or up Clear Creek
- Offered By: Forest Therapy Guide – Heather
- Duration: 3 Hours
- For more Information, visit the Airbnb Experience.
This unique experience, available through Airbnb.com, takes place at sunset, allowing you to quiet your mind as you watch the sun go down and gently disappear into the mountains.
You will be introduced to the practice of Shinrin-Yoku and enjoy a two-hour session connecting with nature. The session is ended with a ceremonial tea made from local herbs as you discuss the experience with your guide and fellow guests.
The experience is conveniently located just west of Denver and easy to get to whether you live in Denver or one of the nearby suburbs.
2. Wind in Pines Forest Therapy Guide
Wind in Pines Forest Therapy offers guided walks about an hour’s drive from Denver, Colorado. Private, public and corporate walks are available.
The forest therapy guide’s name is Leona and is certified through the Association for Nature and Forest Therapy. Not only is Leona a certified forest therapy guide, but she is also a professional nature photographer.
Each walk is about two to three hours long. And while you may not cover great distances, you will receive an immersive experience where your senses will be delighted through the sounds and sights of the trees and nature.
Leona offers a variety of nature walks. Join one of the scheduled public walks or plan a company outing as a team-building exercise. Forest bathing can inspire creativity and insight for workgroups in addition to relieving stress. You can book private or couples walks to have a more intimate experience during your tour.
Participants remark that your relationship with nature will never be the same.
Forest Bathing In Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado, is a well-known destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, so it is no surprise that they also have great places for forest bathing.
Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks
Surrounding the city of Boulder is the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Park System. This protected area provides a cushion between the city and the surrounding developments.
Within this protected area, you will find several excellent trails. Here are two where you can enjoy the solitude of the forest.
Long Canyon Trail
Long Canyon is a moderate trail that is more secluded than most, giving visitors the feeling of being insulated from the outside world. It features wildflowers, a rushing stream, wildlife, and stunning views of the forest and meadows.
The 2.9-mile trail is perfect for a quiet walk, with plenty of wildlife to keep you company. Hikers note that the trail goes down first, with a slightly uphill return, so keep that in mind as you make your way along the path.
Lion’s Lair Spur Trail
Lion’s Lair Spur Trail is a slightly longer trail with a good blend of sun and shade. This 4.1-mile trail has excellent views of the mountains just outside of Boulder.
You’ll find the area’s classic wildflowers in the spring to summer months and beautiful colors in the fall. This trail goes up on the way in and down on the way back, but the incline is slight, making it doable for most.
During your walk, you may spot mule deer, bluebirds, woodpeckers, butterflies, chipmunks, and possibly a fox. This is a family-friendly trail, with several areas of extended tree canopy where you can take a break in the shade.
Guided Forest Therapy Walks Near Boulder
1. Free Forest Bathing Hikes Near Boulder
The City of Boulder has a wide variety of free nature hikes and programs led by its staff members and local volunteers. One of those programs is Forest Bathing, where naturalist David Ford will lead you on a two-hour relaxing walk.
The program aims to help you develop a reciprocal relationship with nature, boost your immune system, and increase your overall happiness. What could be better than that?
The next scheduled walk is Forest Bathing for Older Adults on November 3, 2021. Be sure to check out the Nature Hikes and Programs section of the website to see the schedule of events.
2. Immersion into Nature’s Splendor – Near Boulder
- Location: Boulder Trailhead
- Offered By: Kat, a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Herbalist & Nature Connection Mentor.
- Duration: 2 Hours
- For more details, visit the Airbnb Experience
This unique experience begins in one of Boulder’s nearby trails, where you will be led in a nature mediation by your guide. You will enjoy a slow walk along the trail path and be invited to partake in several exercises designed to help you connect with your surroundings.
A perk of this walk is that your guide is also a herbalist. She will also provide information about the medicinal properties of the trees and plants you see during your excursion. The trip will conclude with a ceremonial tea and a discussion of your observations.
3. Forest Bathing Tea Ceremony
- Location: Boulder, CO
- Offered By: Rachel Bare, a low waste activist and student of tea.
- Duration: 90 minutes
- For more details: check out the Airbnb Experience.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the forest while sharing a cup of tea with your guide. This quiet but joyful experience will begin with a silent walk into the forest. After arriving at your destination, you will participate in the graceful tea ceremony.
The tea ceremony will help you connect with nature, yourself, and your group by sharing bowls of tea together in a beautiful location. The ceremony is a type of moving meditation that quiets the spirit allowing you to achieve a sense of peace and belonging.
Each experience is unique and crafted for the individuals in the group.
Colorado Springs Forest Bathing Locations
Colorado Springs is another popular destination for forest bathers. Home to the Garden of the Gods Nature Center and Pikes Peak, there are plenty of nearby places to enjoy some quiet time in the woods.
Hotels & Resorts – Pagosa Hot Spring Resort
The Pagosa Hot Spring Resort offers daily forest bathing hikes from Monday through Saturday. During the guided wellness walk, you will explore the woodlands of Reservoir Hill, connecting with nature and awakening your senses.
The resort is built around the healing hot springs at the base of the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs, CO. You can book a relaxing stay at the hotel or even opt for a day pass if you live nearby to enjoy the healing mineral pools after your hike.
Guided Forest Therapy Walks Near Colorado Springs
Discover Nature With An Artistic Twist
- Location: Colorado Springs
- Offered By: Summer – Artist and community leader
- Duration: 2 Hours
- For more details: view the Airbnb experience.
Enjoy a mindful hike with a talented artist. During the walk, she will invite you to observe and collect small things that appeal to your senses. At the end of the session, she will help you arrange & photograph your findings to create a truly memorable event.
This experience is designed to be creative and playful, where you can find simple ways to appreciate the beauty in nature and create your own piece of “land art.”
Depending on the attendees, you will have an opportunity to meet and connect with other nature-minded folks. You can also contact the host for a private experience where you can bring your children and help teach them how to appreciate the nature connection.
No artistic skills are required!
State Parks Near Colorado Springs
There are several state parks in the Colorado Springs area, including Cheyenne Moutain, Mueller State Park, and Eleven Mile. Here are a few trails in these parks that are uniquely suited to forest bathing walks.
- Cheyenne Mountain. A favorite trail at Cheyenne Mountain is Blackmer Loop Trail. The path is 3.5 miles long and features a walk through the great pines. Several rock garden areas offer a place for quiet reflection.
- Mueller State Park. There are over 50 miles of trails in the park. The Grouse Mountain Overlook in the park is an ideal spot to go forest bathing. The 1.8-mile round trip will take you through a quiet timbered forest and a spectacular view of Pikes Peak.
- Another option at Mueller is the Wapiti Self-Guided Nature Trail. The trail takes you on a winding stroll through the mountains, with a wide variety of plant life and animals to enjoy along the way. The trail is just under a mile, so a good option for a slower pace.
- Eleven Mile Park. A good spot at the Eleven Mile park is The Coyote Ridge Interpretive Trail. Take a self-guided tour through its many ecosystems, where you can view different types of plants and wildlife. You can download a list of the birds and plant life found on the trail. Dogs are welcome on a leash.
If you are a Colorado native, you are very fortunate to have so many unique places to go forest bathing. And if you don’t live in the area, Colorado is a great place to visit, especially if you enjoy being outside!
No matter the season, there are plenty of options for either self-guided tours or book one of our recommended forest guides to show you the way. And if you are new to the practice, be sure to check out our how-to article with some good recommendations to get the most out of your experience.