18 Greatest Hikes in Colorado For 2023


Should you’ve ever set your desktop wallpaper to magical blue-green waters wishing you would be transported there, you’ll be blissful to know the very best hikes in Colorado will try this. Colorado is understood for its gorgeous 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 mountaineering trails for you in Colorado.

Climbing in Colorado is an expertise in contrast to every other. The state is dwelling to 53 peaks that rise above 14,000 ft, referred to as “14ers,” and over 40 state parks with a whole bunch of miles of trails.

High Colorado Hikes

Top Hikes in Colorado

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

On the middle of the very best hikes in Colorado are the Rocky Mountains, which stay pristine regardless of no matter else is happening in different elements of the US. The Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park is dwelling to gems of the visible variety. And surrounding these mountains are many different Colorado parks which can be equally as gorgeous. We embrace all of them on this record.

1. Bear Lake Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Bear Lake

This can be a half-mile traditional hike for the entire household in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. It is likely one of the finest hikes in Colorado for households with younger youngsters because it offers them an opportunity to expertise the wilderness whereas additionally making certain they’re secure and on pretty degree floor.

The path has an elevation acquire of simply 50 ft. Regardless of being a reasonably simple and flat hike you get completely gorgeous views of the encircling mountains, together with Hallett Peak and Longs Peak. You’ll be able to attain the trailhead from the Beaver Meadows entrance of the park. That is undoubtedly a Colorado mountaineering path you wish to add to your record in case you are on the lookout for a pleasant simple hike with the household. It is usually used as a jumping-off level for different mountaineering trails within the space together with the Emerald Lake Path.

E book this highly-rated non-public tour of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park from Denver the place your information will discover the very best spots for wildlife, images, elective quick hikes, and walks.

  • Size of Hike: .8 mile loop / 1.2 kilometers
  • Problem: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 50 Toes
  • Parking: Bear Lake Street – shuttles accessible

2. Chasm Lake Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Chasm Lake

If you wish to expertise one of the vital stunning crystal clear alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, you need to try the Chasm Lake Path. The path is 8.5 miles lengthy and has an elevation acquire of 2500 ft. It’s thought of a troublesome path as you’ll be beginning out the path at an elevation of virtually 9500 ft, which suggests it’s going to be chilly and you would even be in for lightning. 

Best Hikes in Colorado Chasm Lake at Longs Peak

You’ll be able to attain the trailhead to Chasm Lake on the Longs Peak Ranger Station, which is situated 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 attractive surroundings of the Rockies. The path may have you exploring the tallest peak in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, Lengthy’s Peak. On prime of that, you get to take a look at one of many United States’ most gorgeous alpine lakes, Chasm Lake, which is nestled beneath Lengthy’s Peak. 

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

3. Emerald Lake Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Emerald Lake Trail

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

The path winds by means of aspen groves and pine forests, alongside mountain streams, and previous a number of different smaller lakes earlier than reaching the gorgeous 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 in the course of the fall when the aspen timber are altering colours.

Best Colorado Hikes Dream Lake Emerald Lake Trail

If you’re a fisherman you would attempt your hand at fishing for trout, or just chill out and revel in a picnic lunch, which is what we did. There’s a cause this is likely one of the hottest Colorado mountaineering trails. Attending to the path is straightforward as a result of it’s on Bear Lake Street and also you begin the hike on the Bear Lake Trailhead.

If you’re visiting throughout excessive season, try 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
  • Problem: 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 likely 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 may get to the hike from the Bear Lake Trailhead, however the car parking zone is small so arrive early. Additionally, be aware that yow will discover snow proper into June and July so it’s a good suggestion to carry poles and snowshoes.   

  • Size of Hike: 9-mile loop / 14.5 kilometers
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 2162 Toes
  • Parking: Bear Lake Trailhead

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5. Alberta Falls Path

Estes Park

Best Hikes in Colorado Alberta Falls

The Alberta Falls Path is likely one of the most gorgeous waterfalls within the Rocky Mountains and that’s saying so much as there are a lot of whenever 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 comfortable 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 offers you an appreciation for the facility of Mom Nature. You’ll be able to 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 the most effective day hikes whenever you’re staying on the town.

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

6. The Rocky Mountains Colorado Path 


Best Hikes in Colorado The Colorado Trail

Do you even hike for those who’ve by no means been on the Colorado Path? The Colorado Path is an nearly 500-mile hike that crosses by means of the state. The path runs from Durango to the Waterton Canyon Trailhead in Durango and is likely one of the most troublesome trails in Colorado. 

That is the mom of all of the mountaineering trails in Colorado. Once you get on this path, relaxation assured that you will see a big swath of Colorado full with rolling hills and rocky inclines. Alongside the path, you’re experiencing 8 mountain ranges and will likely 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 fashionable hike since you get the very best mountaineering in Colorado alongside one route.

Best Colorado Hiking Trails The Colorado Trail Ridgeway

Most individuals sort out this hike in segments. Should you have been to do the complete hike it will take you anyplace from 4 to six weeks. Fortunately, it’s damaged up into 28 segments and you’ll hike many of those individually. Among the most stunning sections are Segments 5-8. For extra info on every phase try 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 a lot of individuals on the hike with you on the prime and backside of the path. Nevertheless, you’ll get the very best mountaineering in whenever you’re within the center. Doing the entire path is finest for knowledgeable hikers as the center elements can get a bit troublesome.

  • Size of Hike: 485 miles / 780 kilometers however you are able to do sections.
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 89,000 Toes
  • 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 very best hike in Colorado to see mountain goats as a herd is understood to roam the world. The hike is simply 1 mile lengthy with an elevation acquire of simply 108 ft however getting there could be a problem as you’ve acquired to rise up a steep gravel street to get to the Blue Lakes trailhead which is healthier for 4WD autos. Alternatively, you’ll be able to 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 completely different hikes.

This place can get fairly busy and the car parking zone is small so, we suggest 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 attainable. Along with the goats, you’ll the attractive Blue Lakes and beautiful wildflowers when in season. Do be aware that there’s scrambling required. 

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

8. Hanging Lake Path

Glenwood Springs

Best Hikes in Colorado Hanging Lake Trail

Absolutely the identify alone entices many. What precisely is a dangling lake? Effectively, 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 prime 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 may 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
  • Problem: Average
  • Elevation Achieve: 1188 Toes
  • 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 the most effective hikes in Colorado to get a taste of the entire state, you want this hike It’s situated in White River Nationwide Park, and the Mayflower Lake and Mohawk Lakes path affords the most effective hikes. This can be a 7.8-mile hike with a 1920-foot elevation acquire. This is likely one of the finest hikes in Colorado in case you are 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 trying out waterfalls alongside the best way.  The start of the path is reasonable alongside the Mohawk Lakes however will get steep midway by means of at Mayflower Lake. The views of Decrease Mohawk Lake after which Higher Mohawk Lake are gorgeous.

  • Size of Hike: 7.8 miles / 12.7 kilometers
  • Problem: Average
  • Elevation Achieve: 1923 Toes
  • 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 gorgeous surroundings in Colorado, however it definitely isn’t going to be simple. You’ll have to do some mountain climbing if you wish to see Boulder’s iconic flat irons. This flatirons path is concrete and steep at first however then softens out whenever you get to the grime path portion.

Best Hikes in Colorado Flatirons Loop Trail Sunrise

Once you get to the highest you’ll be able to completely spectacular views of the Rocky Mountain vary. To get to the path you’ll be able to take Baseline Street to the Gregory Canyon trailhead the place you’ll be able to 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
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 1428 Toes
  • 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 situated in Roxborough State Park, close to Colorado Springs, which is taken into account the Backyard of the Gods and contains the Gods trails, and is taken into account fairly simple. Regardless of being a straightforward hike, there’s a whole lot of journey available alongside the best way with purple rock formations abound.

Should you’re fortunate, you may even see a fox or mule deer poke their head up from behind a type of formations. You may 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
  • Problem: Simple
  • Elevation Achieve: 324 Toes
  • Parking: Willow Creek Path
  • Allow: Price 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 simple and tremendous fashionable and makes it the most effective hikes in Colorado for households. It takes you round Monarch Lake and makes for a pleasant method to spend time with household. Some animals do frequent the world with a majority of the sitings being of moose. The trailhead is situated on Freeway 125 close to Monarch Lake. Right here you’ll discover loos and parking.

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

13. Pawnee Move Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Pawnee Pass

You’ll be able to try a glacier as you make your method alongside Pawnee Move Path to Isabelle Lake. After that, you’re doing a little switchbacks to get to gorgeous 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 when you’ve got 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, stunning surroundings, and enjoyable rock scrambles. You’ll expertise snow and icy patches for many of the 12 months past the July and August months. You may 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
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 3000 Toes
  • Parking: Brainard Lake Conservation Space
  • Allow: Conservation Space expenses a payment per automobile. Particulars right here

14. Ice Lakes Basin Path


Initially, you have to have mountaineering boots if you wish to do an outside journey on the Ice Lakes Basin Path mountaineering trails. This path sits in San Juan Forest and also you’re going to have an incline of 3000- ft which is so much for common Colorado hikes. You must have poles for those who selected going to this mountaineering vacation spot.

There are steep climbs however you might be additionally rewarded with views of ice lakes, together with an island lake, and even an outdated stone constructing you’ll be able to discover. There are switchbacks and as we talked about, steep inclines, however this is likely one of the finest mountaineering trails in Colorado for those who like an journey.

  • Size of Hike: 8.2 miles / 13.2 kilometers
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 3070 Toes
  • Parking: South Mineral Campground
  • Allow: Not Required

15. Crater Lake Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Crater Lake Trail

This 3.5-mile path is likely one of the finest hikes in Colorado and possibly the finest in Aspen. It’s situated within the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness Space. It was shaped from geological processes that came about hundreds of years in the past when glaciers began floating away and left what we all know as Crater Lake.

Should you’re staying in Aspen then there’s a shuttle that may take you to the trailhead from Rubey Park. Alternatively, you’ll be able to 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 mountaineering path that can also be situated within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Space, close to Aspen, Colorado. The path spans roughly 3.3 miles and takes hikers by means of a few of the most gorgeous 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 means 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 referred to as essentially the most photographed mountains in North America.

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

17. South Colony Lakes Path

Canon Metropolis

Best Hikes in Colorado South Colony Lakes Trail

The South Colony Lakes Path is a difficult mountaineering path situated 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 gorgeous pure landscapes within the space.

The trailhead for the South Colony Lakes Path is situated on the finish of a dust street, and the primary few miles of the path are comparatively simple, passing by means of a forest of aspen and pine timber. Nevertheless, because the path progresses, it turns into steeper and harder, 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 must be ready for steep climbs and probably difficult climate situations.

  • Size of Hike: 8.5 miles / 13.7 kilometers
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 2286 Toes
  • 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 mountaineering vacation spot situated close to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The trailhead for Fish Creek Falls may be accessed from Fish Creek Falls Street, which is situated roughly three miles from downtown Steamboat Springs.

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

If you’re on the lookout for a better route you’ll be able to take the simple, 0.3-mile paved path to the falls viewing space. Be sure to verify the web site as this path is usually closed attributable to avalanche threat within the winter and early spring.

  • Size of Hike: 4.7 miles / 7.6 kilometers
  • Problem: Arduous
  • Elevation Achieve: 1450 Toes
  • Allow: Not Wanted

Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Entrance Charges

The primary half of this information to the very best 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 very best Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park hikes

Notice: Reservations Required for Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park: From Could 26 by means of October 22, 2023, guests to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park will want a timed entry allow and an entrance go 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 Greatest Simple Day Hikes of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park
  • Choose up your map of the Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Trails on Amazon

Often Requested Questions

Best Hikes in Colorado FAQ

What’s the most scenic hike in Colorado?

One of the scenic hikes in Colorado is the Alberta Falls Path which supplies 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 mountaineering trails, try the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Move. That’s situated within the San Juan Mountain vary and provides you gorgeous 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 acquired to dig in for the lengthy haul and be ready to camp and expertise incremental climate.

The Sq. High Mountain Path provides you with an elevation acquire 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 bunch of hikes in Colorado. You’ll be able to’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 a number of completely different hikes however a fantastic place to begin a hike in your street journey in Colorado proper now could be to go to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. There you will have a lot of selections and you’ll ask the park ranger which is finest to go on proper now relying on the season and closures.

Map of Colorado Climbing Trails

In Conclusion

There is no such thing as a doubt that mountaineering in Colorado is one thing that must be added to any outside lover’s bucket record. With one of the vital stunning Nationwide Parks within the US, well-maintained trails, contemporary mountain air, and the chance for backcountry mountaineering there isn’t any doubt you’re going to find it irresistible right here. So seize your sturdy mountaineering boots, do your analysis, and plan your subsequent mountaineering journey in Colorado.

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