DENVER — Just a 12-minute drive to downtown Denver and 20 minutes to the closest mountain, you’ll find a place that lets you enjoy the view of both.
Sloan Lake, Sloans Lake, Sloan’s Lake-- while it's often referred to all three ways, the official Denver neighborhood map lists both the neighborhood and the lake with the name "Sloan Lake" without the 's'.
It holds the record for Denver’s biggest lake. Visitors who plan on walking the trail around the perimeter can expect a 2.6-mile walk.
Along the trail, there are plenty of spots to pause and soak in the views and there are also places to stop and play basketball and if you have kids there are a few playgrounds.
Sloan Lake is bounded by West 29th Avenue on the north, Federal Boulevard on the east, West 17th and 19th avenues on the south and Sheridan Boulevard on the west, according to the official Denver neighborhood map.
Blast from the past
The area that is known as Sloan Lake today was built by Thomas M. Sloan in 1861. According to Denver Library records, Sloan tapped into a water aquifer while digging which ended up creating the lake overnight.
The lake would attract people from all over Colorado to enjoy outside activities like boating, swimming and ice skating, according to those records.
Records show that Sloan sold the property in 1872. Over the next century, the area would transform with other ways to attract visitors like an amusement park, a grand hotel and a drive-in theater. However, all of these attractions ended very quickly.
Not everything failed, though. Lake Junior High School, which is known today as Lake Middle School, still stands on the eastside of the lake on Lowell Boulevard. The school, which is part of Denver Public Schools, was built in 1926 by Merril and Burnham Hoyt, according to the Denver Public Library. The architecture of the school can be described as medieval.
Jump to the future
Today the park is known for being very busy, according to multiple posts on Alltrails.com. However, the surrounding area is made up of mainly homes and condos.
As of the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau report, Sloan Lake is home to 8,086 people. The neighborhood is made up of 51% women and 48% men.
The average household income for those living in the Sloan Lake neighborhood was $107,339 as of 2019, according to the U.S. Census. If you plan on living in this neighborhood, you’ll be looking at a hefty price tag. Right now homes and condos are going for a median sale price of $815,00. That’s a 16.9% year-over-year growth in sale price, according to data from Redfin.
Buying property in the neighborhood is very competitive. Homes in the area are usually on the market for an average of 8 days before they are bought, Redfin data shows.
More than just a lake
As the writer of this story, I went out to Sloan Lake to see some of the top-rated places in the neighborhood.
My first stop on my trip to Sloan Lake was at a popular Colorado brewery. Located on Perry Street, Odell Brewing Company is in a very large warehouse building. Walking into Odell you have the option to either sit inside or take the stairs up to the rooftop. The option I took was heading upstairs to the rooftop bar. Once I was upstairs, I ordered a Sippin' Pretty (one of my favorite sours in Colorado) and found a seat outside. The menu has a variety of different beers and pizzas to order right at the bar. Sitting at the rooftop bar you have a view of the mountains and Sloan Lake.
The next stop on my trip to Sloan Lake was to the Little Man Ice Cream Factory. While this isn’t the original location of the Colorado staple, this location gives guests a unique experience. This location is fairly new, opening up in July 2019.
When you walk up to the building, you open up a door that is shaped like a freezer and are then immersed in an ice cream factory. You can see employees behind a glass window crafting some of the goodies that are sold inside the ice cream factory. Inside gives off a Willy Wonka vibe with whimsical decorations and a huge red slide that kids can go down. It’s a great place to grab a sweet treat and escape from the outside world.
My final stop was Whole Sol Blend Bar. Whole Sol is tucked away on Raleigh Street, just a 3-minute walk from Sloan Lake. The menu offers customers healthy food options such as smoothie bowls, hot bowls, toast and juice. I am a big fan of smoothie bowls, so this place has been high on my list for a while and it did not disappoint. I ordered the OG bowl, which is an acai-based bowl topped with bananas, strawberries and granola. After my visit here, I feel like this is the perfect place to stop after a workout at the lake or just to grab a healthy snack.
If you have any suggestions for other neighborhoods I should check out send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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