Colorado is world renowned for its beautiful Rocky Mountains, coated with snow as far as the eye can see. As the snow melts, what remains are luscious wooded areas that that offer some of the best hiking terrain in the United States.
Hiking adventures in Colorado vary from family friendly day trips to the daring and dangerous Long Peaks for those who seek adventure. Colorado is sure to have a hiking experience that you will never forget. Being this terrain can be pretty rough, it is imperative that you buy the best hiking shoes you can afford.
- Glacier Gorge
Many trekkers call this the gem of the Rocky Mountain National Park. The scenery is incredible. The large array of dynamic waterfalls flowing robustly over the rivers, creeks and picturesque mountainous lakes are mesmerizing. As you pass through the many delicate wildflowers and the extraordinary mountain views, you will find that the strenuous workout is well worth it. Even in June, you can expect to encounter snow through your hike, so come prepared with the proper clothing, footwear and the best hiking backpack, having a good one does make a difference. This 9.6-mile adventure has a nominal raise in elevation and should take approximately 4-6 hours to complete, making it the perfect day trip. Don’t forget to say hello to the heard of elk that may pass in your path. They are harmless and quite comfortable with trail-goers. The only downfall for this destination is that it is often crowded, so plan to start your trip early.
- Conundrum Hot Springs
This two in one adventure should be on everyone’s bucket list. Though the trail is considered to be “moderate” level of difficulty, the 3,000-feet increase in elevation can be a challenge for some of the less experienced hikers. The 18-mile hike includes numerous hot spring pools reaching temperatures up to 102 degrees, even as the ground fills with snow. The hot spring pools and the twinkling stars will definitely make your overnight camping trip a night to remember. If you take a daytime dip in the hot springs, you will be amazed at 360-degree view of heavenly beauty.
- Blue Lake
Blue lake is the perfect trail for the novice hiker. It has a minimal raise in elevation while extending only 5-miles in length. The tranquil Blue Lake is lined with voluminous mountain trees. The short hike continues to provide magnificent views at each level. This family friendly trip can get fairly crowded, so keep that in mind as you plan your hike.
- Deer Creek Canyon Park
This year-round park in the foothills west of Denver remains open year round. With minimal elevation change, the 5.6-mile trail is ideal for a leisurely family hike. It is best known for the astounding views from the Plymouth Mountain summit and the colorful summer wildflowers. The trails are very clearly marked, which any hiker can appreciate. You can bring your canine buddy, as long as he remains on a leash. The downside to this destination is that it gets very crowded with the four legged friends and bikers. It is known to have more bikers than hikers, which can drastically slow down your pace.
- Boulder County: Long Peaks
Long Peaks is nicknamed “The most famous climb in Colorado”. The 14-mile hike across ledges and slabs combined with the 5,255-feet rise in elevation is quite the challenge for even a seasoned trekker. It is a Class 3 hike and has made it on the list of the top 20 dangerous hikes in the world—yet it remains to be one of the most exciting and popular treks. There are great camping spots so you can break the trip up a bit. Prepare for rain. Many rise early to hit this trail, as afternoon showers are almost guaranteed. One of the classic scenic points is a rock formation called the Keyhole. It is a one of a kind sight that you don’t want to miss. Some people turn around and descend the trail after seeing the Keyhole in an effort to beat the daily afternoon rain showers. Committing to going the full distance is well worth risking a little rain. When you reach the summit, you will be at the highest point in the county and have indescribable views to take in. This is a popular trail and can be moderately crowded during hiking season.
It is essential that you do diligent research on safety precautions before planning your hike at Long Peaks.