Denver-Thornton Urban Water Cycle Tour (Launched in 2021)

Learn-Cycle-Share (Virtually!)

Join in and ride the Urban Water Cycle Bike tour from Globeville Landing to Thornton!

We invite you to experience the South Platte River up close and on your schedule by walking, riding, or wheeling portions of this self-guided tour, launched in 2021. But, don’t stop there.  You can learn directly about this vital waterway from the experts in a virtual tour of each stop that you pass. Start by watching a video of the tour route and speakers. Then, spend the day riding from Globeville Landing Park and continue north along the South Platte River to 88th Avenue at Thornton’s Wes Brown Water Treatment Plant. The tour is open to the public and free.

By watching the virtual tour video, you will learn how our water is manipulated through extensive man-made infrastructure to ensure we have enough clean water to sustain our Colorado lifestyle. You will hear speakers talk about all the exciting work being done to renovate the river and the area around it. Topics include the Denver Story, the National Western Complex, Colorado State University’s new SPUR complex, instream restoration, stormwater issues, wastewater recycling and drinking water issues.

We thank our sponsors at CDPHE, our co-host the Barr Lake Milton Reservoir Watershed Association, and our partners the Colorado Stormwater Council for making this tour possible. 

Watch the Tour:

After watching this video, we highly encourage you to get out on your bike and connect to your water!

Tour Route:

View an overview of the tour route here.

Beginning (Stop 1) – Globeville Landing Park
  • Jocelyn Hittle, Colorado State University – SPUR Campus
  • Brad Buchanan, National Western Center
  • Jeff Shoemaker, Greenway Foundation – the Denver Story
Stop 2 – Burlington Canal Headgate
  • Keller Smith – FRICO (Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company) – how water rights work
Stop 3 – Metro Wastewater
  • Isaac Avila, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District – water recycling program
Stop 4 – South Platte & Clear Creek Confluence
  • Jordan Parman, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District – instream improvements
  • Juliana Archuleta – Colorado Stormwater Council – stormwater controls
End – Wes Brown Water Treatment Plant
  • James Boswell, Thornton – water treatment



You can explore the route at your own pace with a video, a web link and an app.  The video can be found here and at  The web link and App link are here.  The App can be downloaded for free to your phone (both iPhone and Android are supported). The App is Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) and was developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  You don’t have to have an account to use the App unless you want to post content.  For help using the technology here is an article with instructions.

We recommend a helmet, sunscreen and water. For more information on the tour email

With support from tour sponsors:

…and tour partners:

Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company (FRICO)

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