Sitting at 5,920 feet, Highlands Ranch is a large suburb just 12 miles south of Denver. Once an operating ranch, Highlands Ranch is now home to 107,017 residents as of 2020, restaurants, a shopping mall, and over 50 miles of hiking trails and backcountry area.
While modern-day Highlands Ranch was just founded in 1981, the Denver metropolitan area comes with its own rich history dating back more than 100 years. The town sits within Douglas County, and is a great spot to check out if you’re already visiting the Mile High City.
Highlands Ranch Mansion – As one of the first homes built in Highlands Ranch, the Mansion was home to several notable Denver families who occupied the grounds in the city’s early beginnings. Today, the Mansion is accessible to the public for guided and self-guided tours.
Civic Green Park – This popular park is the perfect gathering place in the community, hosting many large events throughout the year. There are multiple pavilions, an amphitheater, splash pads, a playground, and walking trails.
Camping – Chatfield has plenty of individual and group camping sites available for visitors to reserve. All are within a short walk to the reservoir, bathrooms, and grills.
- Chatfield State Park has a reservoir filled with walleye and smallmouth bass to fish for on over 1,500 acres of water.
- McLellen Reservoir is just north of town and has bass, catfish, and walleye.
- Highlands Ranch boasts over 50 miles of interconnected trails through varying neighborhoods, parks, and streets. All trails are ideal for walking, running, and biking
- The western edge of town borders Chatfield State Park, which has beautiful walking trails along the reservoir.
- A hidden gem in Highlands Ranch is the 8,200 acres of conservation space, known to residents as the Highlands Ranch backcountry. While the trail system in the backcountry is reserved for Highlands Ranch residents only, views can be enjoyed along Griggs road and into Daniels Park.
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Home2Suites by Hilton Denver/Highlands Ranch – Offering easy access to the business park and Chatfield State Park, this hotel is in a great location no matter your purpose of travel. The rooms are spacious, there is a free breakfast, and multiple common areas both indoor and outdoor for guests to enjoy.
Hilton Garden Inn Denver Southwest – With an on-site restaurant and bar, this Hilton accommodation makes traveling even easier. There is a fitness center and indoor pool to take advantage of as well.
Comfort Suites Highlands Ranch Denver Tech South – Bright rooms, an indoor hot tub, and a fully stocked business center make these suites a comfortable option for business and leisure travelers alike.
Read about the best hotels in Highlands Ranch.
Pablito’s Burritos – This small food truck is a local favorite for giant, delicious breakfast burritos at an affordable price.
Mici Handcrafted Italian – Owned by a local Italian family, the dishes at this restaurant have taken generations to perfect. Their menu has a large selection of fast-casual dishes and desserts.
Woodgrain Bagel and Deli – Perfect place to stop for lunch, this deli serves up bagels, sandwiches, roasted chicken, and salad options to enjoy.
May – Taste of Highlands Ranch – This community favorite event features delicious cuisine from over 30 local restaurants and a chance to sample wine, beer, and spirits. Typically held in May.
Jun – Kidsfest – A morning filled with family fun in Civic Green Park. The fire department and police officers will be there for touch–a-truck, there will be bounce houses and nerf wars, and plenty of food options.
Jun – Highlands Ranch Beer Festival – While not quite as big as the Great American Beer Festival, beer connoisseurs will enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and savor several chances to try over 250 local breweries and brewpubs at the Highlands Ranch Beer Festival. Typically held in June.
Aug – Ice Cream Social – Gather in the park for all-you-can-eat ice cream and vendors to browse.
Sep – Summer Sunset Concert – Civic Green Park hosts an evening concert to celebrate the end of summer. There will be food trucks and space to picnic while you enjoy the music.
Dec – Holiday Celebration – Join the community at Highlands Ranch Mansion for a beautiful start to the holiday season. There will be multiple holiday-themed vendors, a gingerbread scavenger hunt, and self-guided tours through the mansion.
Activities near Highlands Ranch
- Castle Pines (8mi)
- Castle Rock (18mi)
- Colorado Springs (58mi)
- Deckers (38mi)
- Denver (18mi)
- Franktown (22mi)
- Littleton (7mi)
- Lone Tree (5mi)
- Monument (39mi)
- Parker (13mi)
- Roxborough Park (14mi)
- Sedalia (12mi)
Visit the town’s official page.