Skateboarding culture is big in Colorado with the state boasting over 200 skateparks. The sport was born around the 40s or 50s, depending on where you get your info, but it’s long been known as a sport that was created in California. A group of surfers wondered what they could do when the waves were flat and skateboarding, originally called ‘sidewalk surfing,’ was born (and initially done barefoot). The sport eventually swelled to global popularity in the 60s, with commercial skateboards being widely distributed. Even popular brands like ‘Vans’ got their start around this time.
While Colorado has a decent amount of skateparks which is perfectly suited for the big skateboarding culture in the state, according to a feature in Westword, most skateparks around Denver are uninspired and created by non skateboarders, making it a bit of a challenge to find a park to frequent.
What exactly makes a good park anyway? A good “flow” is one thing–meaning designed in a way that skateboarders could hit the obstacles in a series, as well as a different amount of areas that cater to different skillset and types of skateboarders. With design teams like Team Pain having left its mark on many Colorado skateparks, as well as a movement that pushes for better quality, you can rest assured you’ll be able to find a world class park not too far from home. We’ve rounded up 6 of our favorite skate parks all within 30 or so minutes from Denver. Happy shredding!
1. Arvada Apex SkatePark
A 30 minute drive out from Denver, Arvada Apex SkatePark is a 40,000 sq. ft. skate park worth shredding at. Built by Team Pain, who is known as one of the best skate park design teams around, this is the group behind many popular Colorado skateparks, Apex included. Open until 10pm, Apex is a concrete lights-on skatepark that’s considered a favorite among skaters.
Where: W 72nd Ave, Northwest Arvada, CO 80005
2. Lafayette SkatePark
This 19,000 sq. ft. skatepark is made of granite, marble, and boulder and was designed to cater to every type of skateboarder, whether street or traditional. Another Team Pain design and only 30 minutes from Denver, this is the perfect place for all levels. From different types of bowls ranging in different skill levels to a street section, this makes it a great contender for skaters.
Where: 111 W. Baseline Rd, Lafayette, CO 80026
3. Northside DIY
Probably one of the most frequented skateparks in Fort Collins, Northside DIY is hit up by the eclectic occupants of the skating scene and locals alike. Every year, they throw an event here thrown by Launch: Community Through Skateboarding, and Market skate shop, called Nightmare at Northside, where funds are raised for the development of the skatepark.
4. Downtown Denver SkatePark (D Park)
Conveniently located and considered one of the best, Denver SkatePark has 60,000 sq. ft. of skate-able, concrete terrain and is perfect for boarders and bikers. Not to mention, it’s also the biggest skatepark in Colorado. The park is open from 5am to 11pm, with limited hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 7am-10am for maintenance, for the time being.
Where: 2205 19th St, Denver 80202
5. Ulysses Skate Park
Drive down 20 minutes to Golden, and you’ll find another Team Pain original–Ulysses Skate Park, coming in at 27,000 sq. ft. The park was designed to replicate ‘the Big ‘O,’ which is located in Montreal, Canada and considered to be one of the most excellent skate parks in North America. An excellent feature of the skate park is their tunnel with an etched ‘Golden’ over-top, allowing for a unique stencil that hits the tunnel depending on the sunlight. Other features include a large carving bowl framed with stairs, ledges, and quarter pipes. The park even won ‘2017 Best Skate Park Aware’ by Denver Westword.
Where: 1181-1199 Ulysses St, 80401 Golden, United States
6. Scott Carpenter SkatePark
Scott Carpenter SkatePark opened in 1999 and has been an excellent choice for skateboarders in Boulder. CU Boulder is nearby which has a healthy skating culture there since a decent amount of people commute via longboards. There was a recent expansion in 2021, bringing the skate park to 16,000 sq. ft. It’s a lights off place, so you can only skate in the day.