Bear Creek Lake Park is just a 15 minute drive (in good traffic) out of Downtown Denver but also provides beauitful open space in the Denver Metro Area. I am lucky enough to have this park as my backyard. The park entrance is a 5 minute drive from my apartment or a 15-20 bike ride along the bike trails in Lakewood. This particular photo is of Bear Creek Lake but Big Soda and Little Soda lake are also a part of the park.
The park offers opportunities for boating, hiking, mountain biking, camping, picnicing, archery, and horseback riding year-round. A variety of other activities are available during winter months include ice fishing. A general daily pass is $5.00 per vehicle or $4.00 for seniors. Hours vary seasonily so it is best to check their website for information.