18 Greatest Hikes in Colorado For 2023

Should you’ve ever set your desktop wallpaper to magical blue-green waters wishing you possibly can be transported there, you’ll be pleased to know one of the best hikes in Colorado will try this. Colorado is understood for its beautiful pure magnificence in addition to its abundance of outside adventures together with some epic hikes. With its rugged mountains, dashing rivers, and pristine forests, Colorado affords among 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 in contrast to some other. The state is residence to 53 peaks that rise above 14,000 toes, often called “14ers,” and over 40 state parks with a whole bunch of miles of trails.

High Colorado Hikes

On this article, we’ll discover among the finest hikes in Colorado, from straightforward family-friendly hikes to more difficult multi-day hikes. We may also present ideas 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 heart of one of the best 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 form. And surrounding these mountains are many different Colorado parks which might be equally as beautiful. We embody all of them on this listing.

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 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 guaranteeing they’re secure and on pretty degree floor.

The path has an elevation achieve of simply 50 toes. 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 possibly can attain the trailhead from the Beaver Meadows entrance of the park. That is undoubtedly a Colorado mountain climbing path you wish to add to your listing in case you are searching for a pleasant straightforward hike with the household. It is usually used as a jumping-off level for different mountain climbing trails within the space together with the Emerald Lake Path.

Ebook this highly-rated non-public tour of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park from Denver the place your information will discover one of the best spots for wildlife, images, non-obligatory brief hikes, and walks.

  • Size of Hike: .8 mile loop / 1.2 kilometers
  • Problem: Straightforward
  • Elevation Achieve: 50 Toes
  • 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 toes. It’s thought-about a troublesome path as you’ll be beginning out the path at an elevation of just about 9500 toes, 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 possibly can attain the trailhead to Chasm Lake on the Longs Peak Ranger Station, which is situated on the east aspect 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 prime of that, you get to take a look at one of many United States’ most beautiful alpine lakes, Chasm Lake, which is nestled under Lengthy’s Peak. 

  • Size of Hike: 8.5 miles / 13.1 kilometers out and again
  • Problem: Troublesome
  • 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 it’s essential 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 toes.

The path winds via 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 way in which, 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 through the fall when the aspen bushes are altering colours.

Best Colorado Hikes Dream Lake Emerald Lake Trail

If you’re a fisherman you possibly can 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 motive 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.

If you’re 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
  • Problem: Straightforward
  • Elevation Achieve: 650 toes
  • 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 severe 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, observe that yow will discover 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
  • Problem: Laborious
  • Elevation Achieve: 2162 Toes
  • 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. Ebook it right here and really feel snug 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 lots as there are numerous once you go to Colorado. The Alberta Falls path is a 1.7-mile out-and-back hike with elevation modifications of 232 toes which might be gentle and gradual.

Best Colorado Hiking Trails Alberta Falls

Alongside the way in which, 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 possibly can 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 top-of-the-line day hikes once you’re staying on the town.

  • Size of Hike: 1.7-mile loop / 2.7 kilometers
  • Problem: Straightforward
  • 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 in the event you’ve by no means been on the Colorado Path? The Colorado Path is an nearly 500-mile hike that crosses via 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. Whenever 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 will probably be hitting a excessive of greater than 13,000 toes within the San Juan Mountains in your uphill climbing. The Colorado Path is a extremely popular hike since you get one of the best mountain climbing in Colorado alongside one route.

Best Colorado Hiking Trails The Colorado Trail Ridgeway

Most individuals deal with this hike in segments. Should you had been to do the whole hike it might take you wherever from 4 to six weeks. Fortunately, it’s damaged up into 28 segments and you may hike many of those individually. Among the most lovely sections are Segments 5-8. For extra data on every phase take a look at The Colorado Path Basis.

Alongside the way in which, 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 final word north finish can refill quick.

Meaning you’ll have numerous individuals on the hike with you on the prime and backside of the path. Nonetheless, you’ll get one of the best mountain climbing in once 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: Laborious
  • 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 one of the best hike in Colorado to see mountain goats as a herd is understood to roam the realm. The hike is simply 1 mile lengthy with an elevation achieve of simply 108 toes however getting there is usually a problem as you’ve bought 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 observe 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 occasions are potential. Along with the goats, you’ll the gorgeous Blue Lakes and beautiful wildflowers when in season. Do observe that there’s scrambling required. 

  • Size of Hike: 1 Mile or 1.6km
  • Problem: Straightforward
  • Elevation Achieve: 108 Toes
  • 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 may be a lake sitting slightly below 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 well-liked 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
  • 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 top-of-the-line 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 top-of-the-line 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 in case you are touring together 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 way in which.  The start of the path is average alongside the Mohawk Lakes however will get steep midway via 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
  • 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 among the most beautiful surroundings in Colorado, however it actually isn’t going to be straightforward. 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 once you get to the dust path portion.

Best Hikes in Colorado Flatirons Loop Trail Sunrise

Whenever 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: Laborious
  • 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 straightforward. Regardless of being a simple hike, there’s lots of journey available alongside the way in which with pink rock formations abound.

Should you’re fortunate, you would possibly even see a fox or mule deer poke their head up from behind a kind 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
  • Problem: Straightforward
  • Elevation Achieve: 324 Toes
  • 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 top-of-the-line hikes in Colorado for households. It takes you round Monarch Lake and makes for a pleasant strategy to spend time with household. Some animals do frequent the realm with a majority of the sitings being of moose. The trailhead is situated on Freeway 125 close to Monarch Lake. Right here you’ll find bogs and parking.

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

13. Pawnee Go Path


Best Hikes in Colorado Pawnee Pass

You possibly can take a look at a glacier as you make your method alongside Pawnee Go 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 Go Path is 10 miles lengthy with an elevation change of near 3000 toes 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 12 months past the July and August months. You will get to the Pawnee Go 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: Laborious
  • Elevation Achieve: 3000 Toes
  • Parking: Brainard Lake Conservation Space
  • Allow: Conservation Space costs a payment per automobile. Particulars right here

14. Ice Lakes Basin Path


Firstly, it’s essential 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- toes which is lots for common Colorado hikes. It is best to have poles in the event 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’ll be able to 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 in the event you like an journey.

  • Size of Hike: 8.2 miles / 13.2 kilometers
  • Problem: Laborious
  • 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 without doubt one of the finest hikes in Colorado and doubtless one of the best in Aspen. It’s situated 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.

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 mountain climbing 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 via among the most beautiful pure landscapes within the nation.

The trailhead for the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path is located at Maroon Lake, which is a well-liked vacation spot for each locals and vacationers alike. From there, hikers can comply with the path because it winds via the wilderness space, passing by groves of aspen bushes, 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 among the most iconic within the Rocky Mountains, and their towering presence is a sight to behold.

The Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path is rated as average problem, making it accessible to hikers of all ability ranges. The path is well-maintained and clearly marked, guaranteeing that hikers can navigate it safely and simply.

Along with mountain climbing, the Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Path affords a wide range of different outside actions, together with fishing, tenting, and wildlife viewing. The world is residence to a various array of wildlife, together with black bears, mountain lions, and elk, offering hikers with the chance to come across these majestic creatures of their pure habitat.

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 situated within the Sangre de Cristo Vary of the Rocky Mountains, close to Westcliffe, Colorado. The path spans roughly 12 miles and takes hikers via among the most beautiful 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 straightforward, passing via a forest of aspen and pine bushes. Nonetheless, 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 might be over 14,000 toes in elevation, together with Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. These majestic peaks are among 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 circumstances.

  • Size of Hike: 8.5 miles / 13.7 kilometers
  • Problem: Laborious
  • Elevation Achieve: 2286 Toes

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 situated close to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The trailhead for Fish Creek Falls will 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 beautiful views of the 283-foot Fish Creek Falls. The rocky path is strenuous, with an elevation achieve of roughly 1,450 toes, 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 searching for a better route you’ll be able to take the straightforward, 0.3-mile paved path to the falls viewing space.

  • Size of Hike: 4.7 miles / 7.6 kilometers
  • Problem: Laborious
  • Elevation Achieve: 1450 Toes

Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park Entrance Charges

The primary half of this information to one of the best hikes in Colorado focuses on among 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 entire information to one of the best Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park hikes

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

Often Requested Questions

Best Hikes in Colorado FAQ

What’s the most scenic hike in Colorado?

One of the crucial 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 mountain climbing trails, take a look at the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Go. That’s situated within the San Juan Mountain vary and provides you beautiful views.

What’s the toughest hike in Colorado?

The 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. High Mountain Path will provide you with an elevation achieve of 2500 toes with rock scrambles, 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 possibly can’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 couple of completely different hikes however an amazing place to start out a hike in your street journey in Colorado proper now could be to go to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. There you might have numerous decisions and you may 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

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