Colorado is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wealth of scenic views and thrilling possibilities. One of the most popular activities in this state is hiking. In fact, there are paths for all skill levels, from day walks to challenging multi-day treks.
There are countless routes and places to tackle here, making it difficult to know where to begin. For that reason, I’ve put together this top 4 list of Colorado hikes for you. This collection of hiking trails offers a lot of variation, making it ideal for organising your Colorado holiday. Let’s get right into it.
1. Emerald Lake Trail in Estes Park
One of the most well-known hiking paths in Colorado is the Emerald Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Even families and anyone who aren’t acclimated to the altitude will appreciate this out-and-back hike because of its moderate difficulty.
When hiking the 5-kilometre Emerald Lake Trail, you see several glistening alpine lakes. First, is the smallest of the pools, Nymph Lake. The next sight is Dream Lake, where you find elk herds and rainbow trout swimming in the lake. The last is Emerald Lake, which is encircled by Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak.
It takes about 1 hour and a half to complete the Emerald Trail. Because snowshoeing and hiking are fairly popular activities here, expect to run into other people while exploring. The trail is lovely to explore at any time of the year and is open all year around. However, keep your dogs at home since this trail is off-limits to them.
2. Royal Arch Trail in Boulder
One of the finest day excursions from Denver is to Boulder, where there are several hiking trails. Locals strongly suggest the Royal Arch Trail since it leads to an outstanding rock feature. Although this trail only has an elevation gain of 448 metres, it is considered a challenging hike.
The journey starts in Chautauqua Park. From there, a variety of different pathways to the Royal Arch. The shortest and most direct path is just 5 kilometres long, although it has multiple switchbacks and is steep and rocky. Best of all, the trail’s end rewards you with a spectacular sight.
This trail has a 6-metre stone arch that enables you to view the whole trail. At any time of year, the views into Bluebell Canyon and above the town of Boulder are beautiful. But, since there are fewer tourists in the winter, that is the best time to go on this hike. Be sure to wear appropriate traction, though! This is a rocky one!
3. Mount Bierstadt Trail in Silver Plume
The Mount Bierstadt Trail, which is about 12 kilometres long and is situated near Silver Plume, is a rather well-loved path in the region. The entirety of the path now consists of traversing Mount Evans’ expanses. Nonetheless, always be sure to stick to the pathways to protect the indigenous flora.
Take caution if there is a lot of snow. In this environment, hiking can be quite difficult and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. If you do venture out into the snowy conditions, be sure to have lots of thermal layers you can add or remove and complete microspikes. Despite this, Mount Bierstadt remains one of the top trails in Colorado to hike when visiting the state.
Many people consider Mount Bierstadt a difficult trail. Nevertheless, hiking is highly popular in this region, so expect to run into other hikers while doing your exploration. For the best hiking experience, visit Mount Bierstadt from May to October. Even better, dogs are welcomed but they must be leashed.
4. Hanging Lake Trail in Glenwood Springs
Hanging Lake is one of the most beautiful hikes in Colorado. The 3-kilometre journey, however mild in the effort, gains about 365 metres in height. Bring plenty of water so you’re prepared! The terrain involves some rock scrambling, so bring a hands-free hydration reservoir.
While on this hike, you cross several wooden bridges to Deadhorse Creek, another trail nearby. Take a little trail detour to the summit to observe Spouting Rock, a waterfall that bursts through granite.
The path to Hanging Lake will then end with a brief railing stretch. It’s an amazing view as several waterfalls stream into the turquoise pool. Remember to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous Glenwood Canyon to the south.
Explore More Hiking Destinations
There you have it, 4 of the best places to hike in Colorado. The trails have different levels of difficulty so choose the one that fits best with your level of fitness. Looking for more hiking destinations to tackle? Why not try Europe? Here are 5 breathtaking hiking trails to explore in magic Norway. Have a wonderful time!