18 Finest Hikes in Colorado For 2023

18 Finest Hikes in Colorado For 2023

For those who’ve ever set your desktop wallpaper to magical blue-green waters wishing you possibly can be transported there, you’ll be joyful to know the most effective hikes in Colorado will try this. Colorado is thought for its beautiful pure magnificence in addition to its abundance of out of doors adventures together with some epic hikes. With its rugged mountains, dashing rivers, and pristine forests, Colorado affords a few of the most scenic and difficult hikes within the USA. Whether or not you’re a newbie or an skilled hiker, there are mountain climbing trails for you in Colorado.

Mountain climbing in Colorado is an expertise not like some other. The state is residence to 53 peaks that rise above 14,000 ft, often called “14ers,” and over 40 state parks with a whole lot of miles of trails.

Prime Colorado Hikes

Top Hikes in Colorado

On this article, we are going to discover a few of the finest hikes in Colorado, from straightforward family-friendly hikes to tougher multi-day hikes. We will even present suggestions for planning your journey and staying secure whereas on the paths. Whether or not you’re a seasoned hiker or a newbie, mountain climbing in Colorado is an journey you’ll always remember.

On the middle of the most effective hikes in Colorado are the Rocky Mountains, which stay pristine regardless of no matter else is occurring in different elements of the US. The Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park is residence to gems of the visible type. And surrounding these mountains are many different Colorado parks which can be equally as beautiful. We embrace all of them on this listing.

1. Bear Lake Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Bear Lake

This can be a half-mile basic hike for the entire household in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. It is without doubt one of the finest hikes in Colorado for households with younger youngsters because it provides them an opportunity to expertise the wilderness whereas additionally making certain they’re secure and on pretty stage floor.

The path has an elevation achieve of simply 50 ft. Regardless of being a reasonably straightforward and flat hike you get completely beautiful views of the encircling mountains, together with Hallett Peak and Longs Peak. You may attain the trailhead from the Beaver Meadows entrance of the park. That is positively a Colorado mountain climbing path you need to add to your listing if you’re on the lookout for a pleasant straightforward hike with the household. It’s also used as a jumping-off level for different mountain climbing trails within the space together with the Emerald Lake Path.

E book this highly-rated personal tour of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park from Denver the place your information will discover the most effective spots for wildlife, pictures, non-compulsory quick hikes, and walks.

  • Size of Hike: .8 mile loop / 1.2 kilometers
  • Issue: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 50 Ft
  • Parking: Bear Lake Street – shuttles obtainable

2. Chasm Lake Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Chasm Lake

If you wish to expertise some of the lovely crystal clear alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, it’s best to take a look at the Chasm Lake Path. The path is 8.5 miles lengthy and has an elevation achieve of 2500 ft. It’s thought of a troublesome path as you’ll be beginning out the path at an elevation of just about 9500 ft, which implies it’s going to be chilly and you possibly can even be in for lightning. 

Best Hikes in Colorado Chasm Lake at Longs Peak

You may attain the trailhead to Chasm Lake on the Longs Peak Ranger Station, which is positioned on the east facet of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, close to the city of Allenspark. From there, you’re going to be handled to 360 levels of the gorgeous surroundings of the Rockies. The path could have you exploring the tallest peak in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, Lengthy’s Peak. On high of that, you get to take a look at one of many United States’ most beautiful alpine lakes, Chasm Lake, which is nestled beneath Lengthy’s Peak. 

  • Size of Hike: 8.5 miles / 13.1 kilometers out and again
  • Issue: Tough
  • Elevation Achieve: 2543 Ft
  • Parking: Longs Peak Trailhead

3. Emerald Lake Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Emerald Lake Trail

To stand up shut and private with blue-green water that can have you ever feeling such as you’re in a Disney film you will need to do the Emerald Lake Path. This Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park path is simple at simply 3.6 miles with an elevation change of 650 ft.

The path winds by way of aspen groves and pine forests, alongside mountain streams, and previous a number of different smaller lakes earlier than reaching the beautiful Emerald Lake. Alongside the best way, you’re going to see Nymph Lake, and Dream Lake and undergo a gorge alongside Tyndall Creek. When you attain Emerald Lake itself your jaw will drop. The lake is surrounded by towering peaks and affords unbelievable photograph alternatives, particularly throughout the fall when the aspen timber are altering colours.

Best Colorado Hikes Dream Lake Emerald Lake Trail

In case you are a fisherman you possibly can attempt your hand at fishing for trout, or just loosen up and luxuriate in a picnic lunch, which is what we did. There’s a purpose this is without doubt one of the hottest Colorado mountain climbing trails. Attending to the path is simple as a result of it’s on Bear Lake Street and also you begin the hike on the Bear Lake Trailhead.

In case you are visiting throughout excessive season, attempt to arrive earlier than sundown or take the park’s shuttle service because the car parking zone on the trailhead fills up quick.

  • Size of Hike: 3.6-mile loop / 5.5 kilometers
  • Issue: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 650 ft
  • Parking: Membership Lake Trailhead

4. Glacier Gorge Path – Sky Pond Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Sky Pond Trail

This is without doubt one of the finest hikes within the Rocky Mountains for critical hikers. It’s a 9-mile loop with a 2162-foot elevation change. You’ll see unbelievable views at Sky Pond in addition to from Glass Lake and Timberline Falls is the piece de resistance.

You will get to the hike from the Bear Lake Trailhead, however the car parking zone is small so arrive early. Additionally, be aware that you’ll find snow proper into June and July so it’s a good suggestion to convey poles and snowshoes.   

  • Size of Hike: 9-mile loop / 14.5 kilometers
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 2162 Ft
  • Parking: Bear Lake Trailhead

Visiting Denver, Colorado? This half-day tour takes you to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to see the Pink Rocks Amphitheater, Evergreen Lake, and a scenic drive across the Lariat Route. E book it right here and really feel comfy with straightforward cancellation inside 24 hours of the tour.

5. Alberta Falls Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Alberta Falls

The Alberta Falls Path is without doubt one of the most beautiful waterfalls within the Rocky Mountains and that’s saying loads as there are a lot of while you go to Colorado. The Alberta Falls path is a 1.7-mile out-and-back hike with elevation adjustments of 232 ft which can be delicate and gradual.

Best Colorado Hiking Trails Alberta Falls

Alongside the best way, you see attractive aspens and expertise the winding and musical Chaos Creek. The falls themselves drop about 30 ft and as you stand there surrounded by the Rockies, it actually provides you an appreciation for the ability of Mom Nature. You may attain the path by heading out on Bear Lake Street to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead.  That’s about 12 miles from Estes Park and makes for probably the greatest day hikes while you’re staying on the town.

  • Size of Hike: 1.7-mile loop / 2.7 kilometers
  • Issue: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 232 Ft
  • Parking: Glacier Gorge Trailhead

6. The Rocky Mountains Colorado Path 


Best Hikes in Colorado The Colorado Trail

Do you even hike when you’ve by no means been on the Colorado Path? The Colorado Path is an virtually 500-mile hike that crosses by way of the state. The path runs from Durango to the Waterton Canyon Trailhead in Durango and is without doubt one of the most troublesome trails in Colorado. 

That is the mom of all of the mountain climbing trails in Colorado. Once you get on this path, relaxation assured that you’re going to see a big swath of Colorado full with rolling hills and rocky inclines. Alongside the path, you’re experiencing 8 mountain ranges and shall be hitting a excessive of greater than 13,000 ft within the San Juan Mountains in your uphill climbing. The Colorado Path is a very talked-about hike since you get the most effective mountain climbing in Colorado alongside one route.

Best Colorado Hiking Trails The Colorado Trail Ridgeway

Most individuals sort out this hike in segments. For those who had been to do your entire hike it could take you wherever from 4 to six weeks. Fortunately, it’s damaged up into 28 segments and you’ll hike many of those individually. A few of the most lovely sections are Segments 5-8. For extra info on every phase take a look at The Colorado Path Basis.

Alongside the best way, you’re going to see wildlife like bighorn sheep simply moseying round. You’re additionally going to be leaping over tiny creeks and strolling alongside rivers because the Rockies watch on. The parking space within the south finish in addition to the last word north finish can replenish quick.

Which means you’ll have plenty of individuals on the hike with you on the high and backside of the path. Nevertheless, you’ll get the most effective mountain climbing in while you’re within the center. Doing the entire path is finest for knowledgeable hikers as the center elements can get a little bit troublesome.

  • Size of Hike: 485 miles / 780 kilometers however you are able to do sections.
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 89,000 Ft
  • Parking: Waterton Canyon Trailhead 
  • Web site: The Colorado Path Basis

7. Blue Lakes Path

Best Colorado Hiking Trails Blue Lakes Trail

That is doubtless the most effective hike in Colorado to see mountain goats as a herd is thought to roam the realm. The hike is simply 1 mile lengthy with an elevation achieve of simply 108 ft however getting there is usually a problem as you’ve bought to stand up a steep gravel street to get to the Blue Lakes trailhead which is best for 4WD automobiles. Alternatively, you may simply stroll the gravel street as much as the trailhead. Simply be aware this hike is to not be confused with the Blue Lakes Hike close to Telluride. They’re 2 totally different hikes.

This place can get fairly busy and the car parking zone is small so, we advocate carpooling and visiting mid-week, when the crowds are at their lowest.

Extra individuals report seeing mountain goats within the afternoon than within the morning, however each instances are potential. Along with the goats, you’ll the gorgeous Blue Lakes and wonderful wildflowers when in season. Do be aware that there’s scrambling required. 

  • Size of Hike: 1 Mile or 1.6km
  • Issue: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 108 Ft
  • Parking: Blue Lakes Trailhead 

8. Hanging Lake Path

Glenwood Springs

Best Hikes in Colorado Hanging Lake Trail

Certainly the identify alone entices many. What precisely is a dangling lake? Properly, this hanging lake is a results of some geological actions that pushed the lake mattress off the cliff it was on. The results of that could be a lake sitting just under the cliff with remnants of its lake mattress nonetheless on high of the cliff from which a waterfall drops into it.

Best Hikes in Colorado Hanging Lakes Trail Waterfall

The lake itself is a crayon blue-green and all of that magnificence has made the Hanging Lake Path a preferred hike in Colorado. This can be a 3-mile hike in White River Nationwide Forest, taking you proper into the thick of the park. You will get to the path by way of the Glenwood Springs trailhead. Hike early to keep away from crowds.

  • Size of Hike: 3 miles / 5.0 kilometers
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation Achieve: 1188 Ft
  • Parking: Glenwood Springs trailhead
  • Allow: Required – Go to the Web site for particulars

9. Mayflower Lake and Mohawk Lakes Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Mohawk Lake Trail

For probably the greatest hikes in Colorado to get a taste of the entire state, you want this hike It’s positioned in White River Nationwide Park, and the Mayflower Lake and Mohawk Lakes path affords probably the greatest hikes. This can be a 7.8-mile hike with a 1920-foot elevation achieve. This is without doubt one of the finest hikes in Colorado if you’re touring along with your canine as many trails don’t let enable your pooch on the paths. 

You can begin your hike on the Spruce Creek Trailhead which is discovered simply exterior of Breckenridge on Spruce Creek Street. You’ll be crossing streams and testing waterfalls alongside the best way.  The start of the path is average alongside the Mohawk Lakes however will get steep midway by way of at Mayflower Lake. The views of Decrease Mohawk Lake after which Higher Mohawk Lake are beautiful.

  • Size of Hike: 7.8 miles / 12.7 kilometers
  • Issue: Average
  • Elevation Achieve: 1923 Ft
  • Parking: Spruce Creek Trailhead
  • Allow: Not Required

10. First and Second Flatirons Loop Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Flatirons Loop

This 2.7-mile path goes to take you thru a few of the most beautiful surroundings in Colorado, but it surely actually isn’t going to be straightforward. You’ll have to do some mountaineering if you wish to see Boulder’s iconic flat irons. This flatirons path is concrete and steep at first however then softens out while you get to the filth path portion.

Best Hikes in Colorado Flatirons Loop Trail Sunrise

Once you get to the highest you may completely spectacular views of the Rocky Mountain vary. To get to the path you may take Baseline Street to the Gregory Canyon trailhead the place you may park and begin your journey. You are able to do the path in about 2 hours at a leisurely tempo. 

  • Size of Hike: 2.7 miles / 4.3 kilometers
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 1428 Ft
  • Parking: Gregory Canyon Trailhead or Chautauqua Trailhead
  • Allow: Not Required

11. Fountain Valley Path (Backyard of the Gods)

Colorado Springs

Best Hikes in Colorado Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs

The Fountain Valley Path is 2.2 miles lengthy with a 324 elevation change. The path is positioned in Roxborough State Park, close to Colorado Springs, which is taken into account the Backyard of the Gods and consists of the Gods trails, and is taken into account fairly straightforward. Regardless of being a straightforward hike, there’s plenty of journey available alongside the best way with crimson rock formations abound.

For those who’re fortunate, you may even see a fox or mule deer poke their head up from behind a type of formations. You will get to the trailhead from Willow Creek Path close to the doorway of Roxborough State Park. 

  • Size of Hike: 2.2 miles / 3.7 kilometers
  • Issue: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 324 Ft
  • Parking: Willow Creek Path
  • Allow: Charge to enter Park

12. Monarch Lake Loop Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Monarch Lake

This 4.2-mile path in Arapaho Nationwide Forest is tremendous straightforward and tremendous in style and makes it probably the greatest hikes in Colorado for households. It takes you round Monarch Lake and makes for a pleasant technique to spend time with household. Some animals do frequent the realm with a majority of the sitings being of moose. The trailhead is positioned on Freeway 125 close to Monarch Lake. Right here you will see that bogs and parking.

  • Size of Hike: 4.2 miles / 6.4 kilometers
  • Issue: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 279 Ft
  • Parking: Gregory Canyon Trailhead or Chautauqua Trailhead
  • Allow: Not Required

13. Pawnee Move Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Pawnee Pass

You may take a look at a glacier as you make your approach alongside Pawnee Move Path to Isabelle Lake. After that, you’re performing some switchbacks to get to beautiful views. You’ll see Mount Audobon and Apache Peak. The Pawnee Move Path is 10 miles lengthy with an elevation change of near 3000 ft so it’s not precisely a family-fit journey you probably have younger youngsters.

Best Hikes in Colorado Pawnee pass Isabelle Lake

It’s a nice journey for each intermediate hikers and avid hikers alike with alpine meadows, lovely surroundings, and enjoyable rock scrambles. You’ll expertise snow and icy patches for many of the yr past the July and August months. You will get to the Pawnee Move trailhead from Brainard Lake Street to the Brainard Lake Conservation Space. The precise trailhead inside Brainard Lake is on the Lengthy Lake trailhead which is within the Indian Peaks Wilderness Space.

  • Size of Hike: 10 miles / 17.2 kilometers
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 3000 Ft
  • Parking: Brainard Lake Conservation Space
  • Allow: Conservation Space costs a payment per automotive. Particulars right here

14. Ice Lakes Basin Path


Before everything, you will need to have mountain climbing boots if you wish to do an outside journey on the Ice Lakes Basin Path mountain climbing trails. This path sits in San Juan Forest and also you’re going to have an incline of 3000- ft which is loads for common Colorado hikes. It is best to have poles when you selected going to this mountain climbing vacation spot.

There are steep climbs however you’re additionally rewarded with views of ice lakes, together with an island lake, and even an previous stone constructing you may discover. There are switchbacks and as we talked about, steep inclines, however this is without doubt one of the finest mountain climbing trails in Colorado when you like an journey.

  • Size of Hike: 8.2 miles / 13.2 kilometers
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 3070 Ft
  • Parking: South Mineral Campground
  • Allow: Not Required

15. Crater Lake Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Crater Lake Trail

This 3.5-mile path is without doubt one of the finest hikes in Colorado and doubtless the finest in Aspen. It’s positioned within the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness Space. It was shaped from geological processes that passed off 1000’s of years in the past when glaciers began floating away and left what we all know as Crater Lake.

For those who’re staying in Aspen then there’s a shuttle that may take you to the trailhead from Rubey Park. Alternatively, you may drive there on Freeway 82 and get off on Maroon Creek Street to park within the parking space.

16. Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Maroon Bells Scenic Loop

The Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path is a picturesque mountain climbing path that can be positioned within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Space, close to Aspen, Colorado. The path spans roughly 3.3 miles and takes hikers by way of a few of the most beautiful pure landscapes within the nation.

The trailhead for the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path is located at Maroon Lake. From there, hikers can comply with the path because it winds by way of the wilderness space, passing by groves of aspen timber, cascading waterfalls, and fields of wildflowers.

One of many highlights of the path is the chance to catch breathtaking views of the Maroon Bells themselves. These majestic peaks are a few of the most iconic within the Rocky Mountains, and their towering presence is a sight to behold particularly as they’re mirrored within the lake beneath. They’re also called essentially the most photographed mountains in North America.

The Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path is rated as average problem, making it accessible to hikers of all talent ranges. The path does get actually busy within the excessive season, however the views are value it. That is additionally the kicking-off level for the hike to Crater Lake and we might counsel incorporating that into your day as nicely.

17. South Colony Lakes Path

Canon Metropolis

Best Hikes in Colorado South Colony Lakes Trail

The South Colony Lakes Path is a difficult mountain climbing path positioned within the Sangre de Cristo Vary of the Rocky Mountains, close to Westcliffe, Colorado. The path is about 12 miles and takes you thru a few of the most beautiful pure landscapes within the space.

The trailhead for the South Colony Lakes Path is positioned on the finish of a dust street, and the primary few miles of the path are comparatively straightforward, passing by way of a forest of aspen and pine timber. Nevertheless, because the path progresses, it turns into steeper and tougher, with switchbacks and rocky terrain.

One of many highlights of the South Colony Lakes Path is the chance to view a number of peaks which can be over 14,000 ft in elevation, together with Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. These majestic peaks are a few of the most difficult to climb in Colorado, and their towering presence is awe-inspiring.

The South Colony Lakes Path is rated as troublesome, making it appropriate for knowledgeable hikers who’re in good bodily situation. The path is well-maintained and clearly marked, however hikers needs to be ready for steep climbs and doubtlessly difficult climate situations.

  • Size of Hike: 8.5 miles / 13.7 kilometers
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 2286 Ft
  • Allow: Not Wanted

18. Fish Creek Falls Path

Steamboat Springs

Best Hikes in Colorado Upper Fish Creek Falls Trail

Fish Creek Falls Path is a well-liked mountain climbing vacation spot positioned close to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The trailhead for Fish Creek Falls could be accessed from Fish Creek Falls Street, which is positioned roughly three miles from downtown Steamboat Springs.

The path is roughly 4.7 miles spherical journey and affords beautiful views of the 283-foot Fish Creek Falls. The rocky path is strenuous, with an elevation achieve of roughly 1,450 ft, so be ready for a exercise. Lots of people flip round at Higher Fish Creek Falls, however if you’re extra adventurous you may proceed on to Lengthy Lake (this provides one other 7.6 miles to your journey, so be ready).

In case you are on the lookout for a neater route you may take the simple, 0.3-mile paved path to the falls viewing space. Make sure that to test the web site as this path is usually closed resulting from avalanche danger within the winter and early spring.

  • Size of Hike: 4.7 miles / 7.6 kilometers
  • Issue: Onerous
  • Elevation Achieve: 1450 Ft
  • Allow: Not Wanted

Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Entrance Charges

The primary half of this information to the most effective hikes in Colorado focuses on a few of the finest Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Hikes. We then department out to discover extra of Colorado within the second half of the information. Learn this whole information to the most effective Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park hikes

Observe: Reservations Required for Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park: From Could 26 by way of October 22, 2023, guests to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park will want a timed entry allow and an entrance cross to recreate within the park. Go to the RM Nationwide Park web site for extra particulars and path closures.

  • Get your Pocket Information to the Finest Simple Day Hikes of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park
  • Choose up your map of the Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Trails on Amazon

Regularly Requested Questions

Best Hikes in Colorado FAQ

What’s the most scenic hike in Colorado?

One of the vital scenic hikes in Colorado is the Alberta Falls Path which provides you views of beyond-real inexperienced waters and a waterfall that’s magical. If you wish to really feel like an actual explorer out on the mountain climbing trails, take a look at the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Move. That’s positioned within the San Juan Mountain vary and offers you beautiful views.

What’s the toughest hike in Colorado?

The Basic Colorado Path might be one of many hardest hikes in Colorado as a result of it’s lengthy and takes you over many geographical landscapes. To do that hike, you’ve bought to dig in for the lengthy haul and be ready to camp and expertise incremental climate.

The Sq. Prime Mountain Path provides you with an elevation achieve of 2500 ft with rock scrambles, and steep climbs, and in flip, is taken into account troublesome.

What number of hikes are in Colorado?

There are a whole lot of hikes in Colorado. You may’t put a quantity to it as a result of many are mixed and others are off-trail.

The place can I hike in Colorado proper now?

You are able to do just a few totally different hikes however an ideal place to begin a hike in your street journey in Colorado proper now can be to go to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. There you will have plenty of decisions and you’ll ask the park ranger which is finest to go on proper now relying on the season and closures.

Map of Colorado Mountain climbing Trails

In Conclusion

There isn’t any doubt that mountain climbing in Colorado is one thing that needs to be added to any outside lover’s bucket listing. With some of the lovely Nationwide Parks within the US, well-maintained trails, contemporary mountain air, and the chance for backcountry mountain climbing there isn’t any doubt you’re going to adore it right here. So seize your sturdy mountain climbing boots, do your analysis, and plan your subsequent mountain climbing journey in Colorado.

Plan Your Subsequent Journey to Colorado With These Assets

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