The 15-mile trail is far from easy, we recommend it to experienced hikers and adventurers, as the climb features an elevation gain of over 5500 feet. Love Colorado? This arid national park is home to the famous Star Dune, a sand “mountain” found in Great Sand’s dune field. No matter your preference, the best hiking trails in Colorado await. From butt-busting inclines to gorgeous hikes among scenic forests, hiking in Colorado has something to offer both novice and experienced hikers alike. No matter which hike you decide on, you’ll always want extra time to take in the views. Make people summit Longs Peak via The Keyhole, an iconic landmark who’s route involves a challenging passage through a boulder field. Rocky Mountain National Park spans the Continental Divide, encompassing foreboding mountains, dense green forests, and scenic alpine tundra. The Lost Creek Wilderness is a less-visited attraction in Colorado, but this just means hikers can make the most of a rare opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery in seclusion. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. Unlike the rest of Colorado’s epic mountain hikes, this much more peaceful trail offers a 28-mile loop around some impressively wild territory. Burke Bike Park, VT 4. THE BEST BIKE PARKS IN THE MID-ATLANTIC/SOUTHEAST It’s a hiker’s paradise, with arid deserts and river canyons to explore, as well as countless peaks to summit. Already on this trail hikers will see several incredibly scenic lakes before even reaching the final destination; Emerald Lake. 2. Hikers can summit Pikes Peak via the Barr Trail, which is 13 miles each way and gains 7400 feet in elevation. 1-2 hours: The trails on 18 Road are designed for quick laps so they are perfect for families. We recommend tackling Longs Peak as a multi-day backpacking trip, as you’ll want plenty of time to hang around and take in the scenery. Step out of your normal routine and into Grand Mesa National Forests (complete with stunning views of Bridal Veil Falls, Alpine Tunnel, and much more!). Tell us about them in the comments below! For multi-day backpacking trips, some excellent long-distance hiking trails are on offer. Where can I hike in Colorado that only the locals know about? At nearly four miles, it takes approximately two to two and a half hours to complete. Luis Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, has called it “one of the best-kept secrets” in Centennial State mountain biking. Towering sand dunes and ecologically rich wetlands await in southern Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. With more than 700 miles of trail, the country’s oldest mountain biking club, and some of the best wildflower viewing in Colorado, it’s little wonder Crested Butte is regularly hailed as one of the top mountain biking destinations in America. The Missouri Lakes Basin is a wonderful area featuring a group of breathtaking alpine lakes, with endless beautiful views to enjoy and natural wilderness to explore. Otherwise, any of the 14ers we mentioned make an excellent one- or two-day trip, depending on how much you want to challenge yourself. Upon reaching the Devil’s Head, a steep red rock stairway snakes up to the top. To extend your trip to this part of Rocky Mountain National Park, another hike to Chasm Lake await and the base of the mountain. Hikers can summit this unranked peak at an (ever-changing) elevation of around 8600 feet. This highly picturesque area of the White River National Forest is carpeted with green meadows and rocky embankments. Crater Lake is a perfect two-day hike, where you can pitch your tent by the gorgeous lake. They have a good stock of Kona and Niner bikes. This moderately rated trail passes through conifer forests bursting with wildlife, littered with rocky outcrops and formations. A short drive from Denver, the Springs is surrounded by several gorgeous hiking grounds, including the Garden of the Gods, Palmer Park, and Red Rock Canyon. Deer Creek Canyon Park is a nice intermediate level out-and-back trail that crests at the summit of Plymouth Mountain. Yeah, Longhorn is a pretty good flow trail. Or for some great local park options, check out Boulder Open Space near Boulder or Genesee Park near Golden. At this trails destination, hikers can climb the steps up the side of Devil’s Head, and then scale the tower for breathtaking views at the top. This epic mountain bike tour Colorado will take you from high alpine wild flower meadows and Aspen forests, over mountain passes and into lush valleys, then on to the hot, dry, flow trails of the desert. All of these offer an unparalleled experience to see some of the best of Colorado’s nature in just a single day. Trailforks ranks trails with a combination of user ratings and raw trail usage data from rides. 2,744 steps. Colorado: There are few states as well associated with outdoor recreation as this one—and for good reason. With glowing red rock formations and panoramic views, the geological wonder is a sight to see. Did you get a good look at this picture? Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our favorite national parks (Colorado has four) because it’s easy to get to, accessible to tourists of all levels and ages and close to the charming town of Estes Park.There are too many excellent, year-round trails in the park to list, but one of the standards for beginners is Lily Lake. The Garden of the Gods is full of interesting red rock formations. This lake trail also has some excellent viewpoints from which to see some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s most iconic sights, including Flattop Mountain, Hallett Peak, and Glacier George. For more, visit Stay the Trail Colorado. #2: Ridgeline Trail, Dupont State Forest (North Carolina) Greg ripping the Ridgline trail on a hardtail Trek 820 just a few weeks ago. Rental Jeeps are excluded from being able to drive this trail. This popular hiking trail is littered with, ← The Best 12 Person Tents in 2020 (Top 6 Reviewed), The 5 Best Inflatable Tents in 2020 Reviewed →. The trail passes through varying terrain, some forested and the rest rocky. Hence the season for the Colorado Trail starts only in July (some parts of it are covered with snow till late June) and runs through September. More information. Like the view? If you’re searching for a Colorado hike that’s worth its reputation, just choose one from this selection. Below is a list of excellent trails in Colorado that just barely missed the cut. The clear blue-green water is so inviting on a summer day, and in the winter, snow covers the surrounding peaks. While we would love to talk about all of these trails (Colorado Springs was a tough exclusion), there are just too many great adventures in Colorado. Pikes Peak is a hike for experienced adventurers only, a difficult trail in Pike National Forest, just 5 miles from Colorado Springs. Hikers on the Crater Lake Trail can enjoy an 8-mile round trip, a great trail for hiking with dogs as long as they’re kept on-leash. If none of the trails we’ve mentioned so far sound like a big enough challenge, this next one is for you. The Garden of the Gods trail is a great family-friendly hike, as the trail is easy and highly accessible. With accessible trails, challenging treks, and picturesque vistas at every turn, hiking is an activity that everyone in Colorado can enjoy. While you may argue that the lift-serve trails on the mountain are better (think Rustler's Ridge), NPR offers the same style of trail, with rollers, pumps, and plenty of tabletop jumps, without any of the deterioration that the bike park trails see over the course of the summer. Plenty of scenic views can entertain hikers along the way through, with interesting rock formations and endless mountain vistas. Hiking trails in Colorado are abundant, with so many miles to meander through while you take in the refreshing natural scenery. About Us | Camping | Tents | Fishing | Game Cameras | Hiking & Backpacking | Privacy Policy | Affiliate Disclosure | DMCA Here are 15 of the best hiking trails in Colorado that offer an unforgettable experience. Are there any that deserve a place on our list? At only 3.7 miles, this short but popular day hike offers an impressive number of sights and attractions. Everyone should try them at least once. There are 1,931 moderate trails in Colorado ranging from 0.6 to 234.1 miles and from 4,258 to 14,251 feet above sea level. Walk the pathway through pine and aspen forests past alpine lakes and mountain vistas, this gorgeous area offers one of the best hiking trails in Colorado. Here are three of the best options. What are some of the best hidden gems in Colorado? As one of the best hiking trails in Colorado, we expect only great things from the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail. , the climb to Longs Peak is a Colorado trail not to be missed. Green Mountain is among the best hiking trails in Colorado. Bear Creek Falls Trail, Colorado 81426, USA For a simple day hike suitable for the whole family, head to the end of South Pine Street in Telluride and jump onto the Bear Creek Trail, a 2.5-mile path that leads to a jaw-dropping waterfall. If you’re looking for sunny day hikes, Colorado is a great spot, where the weather is favorable almost year-around. Get more stories delivered right to your email. The lookout is a 100-year-old fire tower which is open to hikers when staffed during peak season. Ronda Kimbrow Photography/Getty Images. It’s a quintessential Rocky Mountain trail, offering the ideal hiking experience to see some of this iconic national park. If you're looking for great Colorado state park trails, check out Eldorado Canyon State Park. 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This short trail is open year-round, and the minimal elevation gain makes it the ideal family day hike. No matter your preference, the best hiking trails in Colorado await. Conveniently located near Estes Park, this trail takes hikers to the summit of Rocky Mountain National Park’s most iconic peak. After the first leg of the trail, hikers will walk along the Missouri Creek past several small waterfalls and tall cliffs, through clusters of conifer trees. ... Turkey Springs / Brock­over Mesa Area—Pagosa Springs, Colorado ... gy, rid­ers can expect to nav­i­gate through an envi­ron­ment of vibrant col­ors, rocky out­crop­pings and fast-flow­ing sin­gle­track. Deer Creek Canyon Park, Morrison. Vistas of Colorado’s Front Range and the Rocky Mountains span miles into the distance, from this vantage point hikers can truly appreciate the vastness of Colorado’s natural wilderness. Hikers on the Crater Lake Trail can enjoy an 8-mile round trip, a great trail for, Upon reaching the gorgeous Crater Lake, hikers will also be treated to a privileged perspective of Lone Eagle Peak and Mount Achonee. via National Park Service: "Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America." Sights along the Lost Creek Loop Trail include towering stone pillars, immense rolling meadows, and scenic little creeks. Pikes Peak and Mount Evans stand out from the Front Range, and to the west stand the Rockies, immense as ever. This trail is one way (down) and only recommended for experienced drivers with short wheelbase off road vehicles. There are easier ways to traverse Pikes Peak, but this extremely challenging trail is the only one to reach the summit. 4. Colorado is also an excellent state for long-distance hiking, with abundant trails for multi-day backpacking trips. Mount Snow Bike Park, VT 3. Here are 15 of the best hiking trails in Colorado that offer an unforgettable experience. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. My legs burn just thinking about it...let's go! Some of these must-try trails include the Sleepy Lion Trail, Centennial Cone Trail, Mount Flora Trail, Square Top Mountain Trail, Cupid Peak and Grizzly Peak via Mt. Once in the basin, the trail passes by five beautiful alpine lakes, before a short but steep ascent up to the final pass. So the very best time to hike Colorado Trail … Some of these landmarks include the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, Canyons of the Ancients in Towaoc, the Swetsville Zoo in Fort Collins, Linger Eatuary in Denver, Cheyenne Mountain Nuclear Bunker in Colorado Springs, Rainbow Falls in Manitou Springs, Pikes Peak Summit House in Cascade, Denver’s Dinosaur Hotel in Lakewood, the Magic Mushroom House, the Indiana Jones Home in Antonito, the UFO Watchtower in Crestone, and Mount Elbert in Buena Vista. Called "the most diverse forest throughout the five-state Rocky Mountain region," Pike National Forest offers not only hiking, but cabin rentals, water recreation, and much more! © 2020 Outdoor Command. The Indian Peaks Wilderness is a stunning and pristine natural area, with miles of scenic hiking trails. 7. 2,000 vertical feet. Only an hour away from Denver, this popular 2.7-mile out-and-back trail leads to a singularly astonishing destination; Devil’s Head Lookout. Other popular hiking trails in Colorado include Mount Bierstadt Trail, Royal Arch Trail, Sky Pond Trail, and Quandry Peak Trail. Mountain bike tour Colorado Itinerary. The Best Mountain Bike Trails in the American Southwest. If you can only do the Colorado … However, an argument could be made for fall, when the aspen trees turn golden. Ride If: All these loops are tried and true Fruita – flowy, fun and fast! Sniktau Trail, and Herman Gulch Trail to Herman Lake. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. I know where I'll be headed this summer! Colorado is a state of dramatic and varied landscape, with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains encompassing almost the entire area. If northern Colorado’s mountainous landscape sounds like too much rocky climbing to you, don’t worry, this diverse state has a lot more to offer. Hikers of the Garden of the God’s trail can add an extra sight to their excursion by visiting the Sleeping Giant Trail along the way. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. The 15-mile trail is far from easy, we recommend it to experienced hikers and adventurers, as the climb features an elevation gain of over 5500 feet. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here: "Take a hike" from your regular trails and mountains by hiking this beautiful 30 square miles of dune-field (Word to the wise: Don't hike this in shorts if it's windy. As you work towards the summit, views to the south include the gorgeous Blue Lakes. Located at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Emerald Lake is the perfect place to stop for lunch and take in the huge mountains which encompass it. Unlike many of the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, there are lots of treks that only the locals know about. From hundreds of options and endless miles of trails, we’ve narrowed down the best hiking trails in Colorado to these few. This beautiful day hike packs a lot of sightseeing into a 3.1-mile out-and-back trail, it’s a great choice if you’re short on time. Most of the trail lies above 3,000 m or 10,000 feet. For any outdoor-lover, Colorado is a great destination. It's close enough to the city yet far enough away to experience nature and lush shrubbery as far as the eye can see. Rocky Mountain State trails offer a variety of phenomenal backdrops: from dramatic mountain peaks to windswept prairies, hot urban destinations to small towns with … There are endless hiking adventures to be had in the state of Colorado, home of the 14ers, multiple mountain peaks each well worth summiting. Read on, and find out exactly why this gorgeous state is definitely worth a visit. Turn off your devices, pitch a tent, and enjoy Pike's "sister" Forest the way that nature intended. Read on, and find out exactly why this gorgeous state is definitely worth a visit. Photo: reid.neureiter. These are the 14 highest peaks in the state, each offering a slightly different but always breathtaking way to experience Colorado’s numerous mountains. This short trail loop leads off the main hike to the base of the Sleeping Giant rock formation, an iconic attraction in Colorado Springs. Target the South Shore Trail Network, a 24.2-mile double loop skirting the mesa’s edge and dropping into arroyos with twists, turns and fun surprises. The easily accessible trails at Bear Creek are some of the most popular in the area, for both locals and visitors. This area encompasses all manners of terrain, with the varied scenery including mountainous views, fields of wildflowers, and crashing waterfalls. There are several large waterfalls in the area, including the particularly beautiful Cascade Falls. From 14000 feet above sea level, hikers who complete this 14er will see miles around the state of Colorado, with mountain vistas and gorgeous green forests. Plattekill Bike Park, NY 5. The trail begins in sparse forests and turns slowly to a steep and rocky climb. Explore the best bike trails in Colorado on TrailLink. Countless views over boulder-filled valleys await hikers on this trail, along with various different ecosystems and terrains to explore. What is the most popular hiking trail in Colorado? The Garden of the Gods Loop Trail connects four trails together where you’ll see unforgettable rock outcrops and dancing wildflowers. It has a couple of technical section, but it's steep enough that you can keep flowing through/over them. Another difficult hiking trail in the state of Colorado, the Missouri Lakes Trail is the very best way to experience this beautiful area. If you’re looking for a short day hike, then check out the Emerald Lake Trail, Garden of the Gods Trail, Missouri Lakes Trail, or the Devil’s Head Lookout Trail. This hiking trail isn’t quite as well-maintained as you may be accustomed to in Colorado, but many rewards await those who walk the path less traveled. Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. About 50 miles from Boulder, it’s an ideal day trip destination. The hike is only a 90-minute drive from the state capital of Denver and is the ideal first 14er to climb. If you are traveling to Colorado to mountain bike, you can hire one at Big Als for around $45 for the day. Upon reaching the gorgeous Crater Lake, hikers will also be treated to a privileged perspective of Lone Eagle Peak and Mount Achonee. The best hikes in the state are located mostly in its national parks and wilderness areas, but Colorado’s state parks have plenty on offer as well. Castlewood Canyon offers something for everyone with trails ranging from mild to moderate; short to long. Top Colorado Hiking Trails: See reviews and photos of hiking trails in Colorado, United States on Tripadvisor. There are plenty of hiking trails throughout Colorado that are relatively undiscovered. Thank you! Expect to stop frequently along this trail, you’ll need to allow plenty of time for taking in the sights. Best Colorado Hikes – Honorable Mentions. Read on, and find out exactly why this gorgeous state is definitely worth a visit. Quandary Peak is one of the most popular 14ers, due to its excellent accessibility. From short hikes of just a few miles to multi-day trips across challenging terrains, Colorado has it all. Located minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, Bear Creek Canyon Regional Park is tucked away in the rolling and forested foothills of Pikes Peak. One such creek must be crossed using a log and ropes, but the water isn’t deep or fast-moving. Wagon Wheel Trail System Located in Meeker, this system's 250 miles of trails run through the White River National Forest and feature 16 interconnecting loops, ranging from expert to beginner. Living in — or visiting — Colorado definitely has its advantages: great food, diverse cultures, beautiful weather, and some of the best hiking in the country. This popular hiking trail is littered with camping spots, it’s a wonderfully peaceful place to spend the night. Ready for some activity? There are plenty of backcountry campsites available around the lake, just pick up a permit to spend the night in this prime location. This Colorado trail is an ideal wild camping spot, so why not read up on everything you need to know about wild camping and pitch your tent by Crater Lake. Beautiful wildflowers line much of the pathway on this scenic trail, a great option for hikers who want to see all the sights in the Garden of the Gods without too much exertion. Just like with any summit, hikers must be prepared for elevation gains, unpredictable weather, exposure to harsh elements, and the dangers that come along with them. Contrary to the ever-popular 14ers, hikers on the Lost Creek Loop Trail will see few others, so it’s the perfect place to get lost in nature and remember what hiking is all about. Among our favorites is the Lost Creek Trail too, as here the peace and serenity of Lost Creek Wilderness can be fully appreciated. The trail starts from Bear Lake and passes two pristine alpine lakes; Nymph Lake and Dream Lake. Also, be sure to pack plenty of water and appropriate layers as weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the mountains. Conveniently located near Estes Park, this trail takes hikers to the summit of Rocky Mountain National Park’s most iconic peak. Beyond that, vistas continue across the valley to the North Star Mountain. If you’re looking for sunny day hikes, Colorado is a great spot, where the weather is favorable almost year-around. Dubbed one of the undiscovered jewels of Colorado, the Rio Grande National Forest offers a unique experience you won't find anywhere else sporting caves, Native American rock art, and much more! With 12 ski resorts and trails galore what's not to love? The Devil’s Head Lookout fire tower sits at 9750 feet above sea level, and the panoramic views from the top are jaw-dropping. White River National Forest is the most visited national forest in the nation -- and for good reason! This area encompasses all manners of terrain, with the varied scenery including mountainous views, fields of wildflowers, and crashing waterfalls. 1 mile. Plenty of interesting sights make this trail one of the best in Colorado, with a plethora of pretty waterfalls, rocky cascades, and lush meadows to soak in. View trail maps with detailed amenities, guidebook descriptions, reviews, photos, and directions. Durango has a new downhill mountain biking trail with construction of the Chapman Hill Flow Trail. I learned this the hard way!). Some of these trails pass through the best camping spots in Colorado, so the destination couldn’t be much better. You can’t really go wrong with any of them. This multi-use trail is very famous with hikers and use by bikers too. For a picturesque lake trail in one of the USA’s best known national parks, consider hiking the Emerald Lake Trail in Estes Park. This hike can be enjoyed as a challenging day hike or a more relaxed overnight backpacking trip, we recommend the latter because once you see the views, you’ll want to stay for longer. Words cannot fully capture how spectacular the views from the top are, so you’ll just have to climb it yourself. From Manitou Springs, the trail winds up to 14000 feet above sea level to the summit of this rocky mountain. Lunch Loops MTB Trail. NPR is hands down the best new school flow trail in the Yampa Valley. Alpine lakes and meadows of wildflowers are standard in the gorgeous White River National Forest. The Colorado Trail, Waterton Canyon or Silverton to Durango Colorado Trail biking in Waterton Canyon. If you're looking for some of the best hiking trails in Colorado, you can't go wrong with this famous national park. Even if you’re just pulling off on a side road, you’re bound to find a trail that goes into the woods or up the mountain. Miles of hiking trails feature magnificent alpine lakes and forested tundras, and from each lookout, there’s a new exceptional view. 5 Best Off-Road Trails in Colorado Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page Send by Email If there’s one thing the state of Colorado is known for, it’s adventure. You have your pick of the land! When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains. Any serious hiker who’s even heard of the state of Colorado knows about the 14ers. We’ve included only the very best hiking in Colorado, so we know you won’t be disappointed. When it comes to visiting Colorado, hiking is among the most popular activities. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! Bonus tip: Check out this video for a sneak peek of Cascade Falls along the Crater Lake Trail! Here are among the top mountain biking trails in Colorado, in no particular order: 1. According to the USDA: "The forests and grassland (of Arapaho) encompasses 1.5 million acres and extends north to the Wyoming border, south of Interstate 70 to Mount Evans, west across the Continental Divide to the Williams Fork area and includes short grass prairie east of I-25. " You'll receive your first newsletter soon! Ouray is unreal (and they leave you no excuses for not hiking with their short, ambitious, and profound trails)! Let’s start with Garden of the Gods because the National Natural Landmark offers some of the best hiking in Colorado. Although it’s only a 6.4-mile trail, this out-and-back hike is no easy undertaking. Wildflowers are abundant in the spring when this scenic trail is most beautiful. This 5.6 mile trail is open to hikers year round and is a nice way to build up your hiking skills if you're training for some of Colorado's higher elevation peaks. The network of small trails offers more of a challenge to navigate, but along the way, you’ll see numerous impressive landmarks. The final mile is the hardest, where hikers must cross a boulder field before receiving breathtaking views as a reward. This multi-tiered waterfall is well worth seeing, so if you decide to hike the Crater Lake Trail, be sure to pay it a visit. This spectacular lake trail offers yet more stunning views, so check out both trails for a diverse Colorado hiking experience. Alberta Falls is just one of many scenic waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Some of these trails pass through. And find our listings for off-road outfitters and tour companies here. If you love exploring the state of Colorado, you’re likely curious about the best hidden gems in the state. This difficult trail is worth it for the rewards, as at the summit of the 13th highest peak in Colorado, hikers will be treated to some breathtaking views. Top Colorado Hiking Trails: See reviews and photos of hiking trails in Colorado, United States on Tripadvisor. Which of these trails have you hiked? Late September is likely to bring snowstorms. No matter your preference, the best hiking trails in Colorado await. Dramatic and varied landscape, with abundant trails for multi-day backpacking trips, some long-distance. 8600 feet lush shrubbery as far as the eye can see area, including the particularly beautiful Cascade Falls the... 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Particular order: 1 passage through a Boulder field flowy, fun fast! Order: 1 made for fall, when the aspen trees turn Golden ; Devil ’ s most iconic.! Probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains Colorado knows about best... Inclines to gorgeous hikes among scenic forests, and crashing waterfalls Park options, check out both trails multi-day! The state capital of Denver and is the only one to reach the summit aren ’ t much! Canyon Regional Park is a freelance writer, content editor, and in the refreshing natural scenery ski resorts trails! Denver, this trail takes hikers to the summit of Rocky Mountain National Park ’ s only a 90-minute from. Lookout trail stand the Rockies, immense as ever vistas at every turn hiking! Hiking, with abundant trails for multi-day backpacking trips, some excellent long-distance hiking trails in await. Rocky mountains encompassing almost the entire area including mountainous views, fields of wildflowers, and trails!