When you think of Colorado, what comes into your mind, first? Is it the breathtaking outdoor adventures or the amazing sceneries? Whichever the case, what’s clear is that hiking sites in this magnificent state are some of the best in the world. Here, you can climb large mountain peaks, walk through fields of colorful flowers, meander through the wildlife or just relax on the gorgeous alpine lakes.
Some of the best hikes in Colorado include the San Juans, the Rocky Mountain National Park, and the perfect sceneries west of Denver. So, if you’re looking for cross country hiking trails or a simple three-hour hike, there are several remarkable Colorado places to go.
Which Are Some of the Best Hikes in Colorado?
Button Rock Reserve’s Sleepy Lion Trail
Just outside Denver is the intriguing Estes Park, a cute little getaway filled with charm. This trail is the one place where you will get very few people which makes it one of the best hikes in Colorado. It’s a trail which begins with a clear service road on the lovely Northern Creek of St.Vrain.
You will start by climbing a couple of switchbacks which provide a wonderful view of the amazing Front Range. As you move on, you might come across some elks grazing or big horned sheep. Finally, the trail will take you to a large mass of water where you are free to fish if you carry a permit.
Camido Perdido’s Centennial Cone Trail
Is distance what you’re looking to add to your hiking expedition? If this is the case, then this trail might just be the Colorado natural attraction spot you need. It’s a place with an extraordinarily shocking and diverse array of ecology. For instance, during the summer, you will find it bursting with colorful wildflowers, and the breathtaking sunrises always seem to lighten up the entire sky.
Now, you will have to follow a rather old trail filled with mining remnants. As you proceed, you’ll come across a cattle range but later, the trip gains elevation allowing you to enjoy some great views of the place. Some of the things you’ll see are huge mountains and a large portion of Jefferson County.
However, despite its fantastic sceneries and fun-filled experience, there’s one thing we need to point out carefully. Because of the rivalry which exists between pedals and boots, Centennial Cone has allocated separate days during the week for both mountain bikers and hikers.
The Indian Peaks Forest and Mitchell Lake Trail Head’s Mount Audubon
Do you live outside Denver? If so, then you’ve heard of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, right? It’s a fantastic Rocky Mountain National Park alternative and one of the best hikes in Colorado especially if you’re a travel blogger. It has many fun activities like paddling, climbing, and hiking. Most importantly, it’s a tranquil environment where you can have fun free from the millions of crowds of people.
Now, the area where Audubon is located is near the Continental Divide. Therefore, you should expect snowy, steep and rugged chains. It provides a gradual hiking experience with several open tundra and broad ridges. As you start the trip, you’ll have to meander through a dense forest terrain.
On the last couple of miles, you’ll climb large ridges to catch a glimpse of the beautiful mountain day time scenery. Even though this may sound quite challenging, the good thing is that 65% of the hike is above treeline making it pretty easy to explore.
However, be prepared for snow especially in July. In fact, this is something which makes people go hiking in Colorado in May when the weather is a bit warmer. The terrain is rocky, and you’ll often see marmots popping out their heads, some ptarmigans, and even pikas while in the summer, the wildflowers will take your breath away.
Finally, there’s an exciting class two scramble competition to the top of the summit. Here, you’ll be descending and ascending giant boulders and rocks.
The exercise requires you to move using your three points of contact (feet and hands). Yes, it’s a rather mild exposure, but towards the summit, there’s room for you to sit and enjoy the surrounding views like that of Longs Peak. Others include Meeker, Twin Sisters, and any other mountain in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Square Top Mountain Day Time from Guanella Pass
Found in the Mount Evans Wilderness off Guanella Pass, this is one of the best mountain hikes in US. Here, there are very popular 14ers like the Grays-Torreys and Evans-Bierstadt. So, you can expect the view from the top to be unique.
As the trail starts to ascend, you’ll come across the Square Top Lake. Take the right direction of the lake and continue hiking forward pas some snow. The other milestones in the exercise include climbing really steep slopes.
Once you reach the summit, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the enormous mountains, including Mount of the Holy Cross. This is something you’ll locate pretty easily as it has a giant cross right in the middle.
Herman Gulch to Herman Lake
Many consider this terrain to be one of the best hikes in Colorado. It starts with the Herman Lake Trailhead right off Bakersville. This trail is part of the continental divide trail which is beautiful and incredibly comfortable to stay on.
A favorable portion of the hike runs through a watershed. So, you might see some cats, moose, nears, different hoofed animals and rodents. The trick here is to make as much noise as possible to avoid spooking them.
Like most other trails in Denver, wild flowers during summer are there to add to the stunning environment. Paintbrush and Columbine coat the entire landscape bringing to life the massive mountains surrounding you. You might even see some mountain goats, marmots and there are also many waterfalls.
Loveland Pass’ Mount Sniktau
Located at the summit of Loveland Pass, Mount Sniktau is one of the most impressive Colorado natural attractions. The beauty of this nature trail is that you get to climb a large mountain heavy with tundra within a brief period. Some of the sceneries you’ll come across include the Torrey and Grays plus you might even catch a glimpse of the mountain from 13,000 feet.
The serenity at the top of the Sniktau Mountain will even allow you to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. This is also an area known for big-horned sheep with marmots scurrying around from time to time. It’s one of the cutest things that you’ll ever see!
After you’ve had your fill of the summit scenery, it’s now time to go down the hill. Although this might seem quite simple, take care of the loose rock and sand. It’s common for people to slip while on this section of the trail.
Cupid Peak All The Way to Grizzly Peak
Are you interested in taking up the challenge of touring maybe the best hikes in Colorado? If so, then we suggest that you get to Loveland pass between 5 and 6 am. During the hike, you will see a couple of marmots and mountain goats as you climb the large mountainous peaks.
For close to a mile, you’ll have to climb very steep slopes, but it does provide for a breathtaking view once you look back down. You may not know this, but these are the most beautiful mountains in the US. In fact, during the morning hours, you’ll be blanketed by pinks, red, and orange skies.
The trail is clear enough, although there a few sections where you’ll be required to scramble through. If you feel that the exposure is getting hard, these are optimal spots for you to gather yourself. As you do so, try and examine your surroundings and enjoy the rich scenery.
The final part before you arrive at the top of the Grizzly peak quite hard and wide. It’s a beautiful collection of Tundra that neighbors Torreys. Now, the wind here can be harsh, but it’s definitely worth it!
Cross Country Hiking Trails to Crater Lake
Although it’s the most comfortable hiking trip on this list, it’s still one of our all-time favorites. You will start the hike at Maroon Lake as you move past the iconic Maroon Bells. As you proceed, you’ll come across other breathtaking views before you reach the much less visited but intriguing Crater Lake. Once you arrive, you’ll discover why it’s one of the most beautiful places to hike in Colorado.
Peace, solitude, and enjoying the wilderness are usually the goals of people hiking in Colorado. Now, although many of these sites are easily found by the locals, it can be a tough challenge for you if you are an out of state visitor. Not even a Denver tourism map will help.
Luckily, there’s no need for you to worry. With this simple list, reviewed by Gear Expert Guides, you have the best hikes in Colorado where you can enjoy the best time with your family, work colleagues or just your circle of friends. So, which spot would you pick to take such an expedition?
About the author: Catherine Wiley is a travel blogger. She shares her own travel stories and her best tips and advice on issues like how to pack a backpack, how to set up a winter camp, how to clean a waterproof jacket. She offers the real-world tips.