Colorado has long been recognized as a hikers dream. The magnificent Rocky
Mountains, which cover the vast majority of the state, are one of Colorado's most
notable assets. There are so many trails in Colorado, that sifting through all of
the state's best hikes might appear daunting. So we've done the work for you and
compiled a list of the seven best hikes in Colorado that are perfect for everyone
from first-time hikers to the ultra-experienced.
There are numerous paths and backcountry treks in this area of the world, and
most, if not all of them, are worth seeing. There are so many excellent hikes in
the state that you could do one every day and never get bored or weary, from
breathtaking mountain views to fascinating sandstone formations!
1. Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs
● Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
● Length: 1.2 miles
● Completion Time: 2 hours
Hanging Lake is one of the state's distinctive natural wonders. Its feathery
waterfall droplets, sparkling green water, and sheer cliffs are enough to take your
It is a tough, rocky climb of more than 1,000 feet from the bottom of Glenwood
Canyon to Hanging Lake, with steep and rocky terrain. Hanging Lake is one of
those places so stunning, so otherworldly, it feels as though Mother Nature
modeled it after another planet.
2. Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
● Difficulty: Easy
● Length: 0.6 miles
● Completion Time: 30 minutes
The best day hikes in Colorado just might be those that don't require any exertion
whatsoever. Walking around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is as
relaxing as it gets. Plus, it is handicap accessible. This is a wonderful trek for
families with children.
Located in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, you may explore a variety
of trails from here. However, the area tends to be crowded, so get there early!
3. Cascade Creek to Mirror Lake, Rocky Mountain National
● Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
● Length: 16 miles
● Completion Time: 9 hours for experienced hikers
If you're up for an adventure, this stunning hike has four lake views and several
waterfalls to explore. The terrain is steep and rocky in several areas, making it
quite technical. You'll come across some unique footbridges along the way.
This route has spectacular scenery, plenty of wildlife, and a rich variety of
vegetation. Because of the difficulty and length, many hikers enjoy camping
along the trail overnight.
4. Star Dune, Great Sand Dunes National Park
● Difficulty: Difficult
● Length: 6 miles round trip
● Completion Time: 5-9 hours, depending on experience and acclimation to
Star Dune is one of North America's two tallest dunes. It is also one of the
darkest-sky regions in Colorado, which makes it ideal for viewing the Milky Way.
Many trekkers enjoy camping out overnight.
Before heading onto the trail, be sure to wear sturdy boots with long pants to
keep sand out of your shoes. Also, be prepared for the sand to swirl around you
as the wind blows. Climbing the dune through the sand might be tiring (but well
5. Mt. Elbert North Trail, Leadville
● Difficulty: Difficult
● Length: 10.4 miles
● Completion Time: 5-7 hours
Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak and the Rocky Mountains' tallest summit,
is a quiet giant that rises 14,433 feet. Despite its towering elevation, it is usually
regarded as one of the simpler 14,000-foot summits (also known as the "14ers").
You'll pass through many fields of colorful wildflowers on the way. The summit
has spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains beyond.
The trail is very busy in the summer and fall months so try to get there early.
6. Rim Trail Classic, Snowmass
● Difficulty: Easy
● Length: 1.3 miles
● Completion Time: 45 minutes
This is a popular out-and-back hike, with stunning sights of Snowmass Village
and the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is also the shortest version of the
full Rim Trail, which makes it a great choice for beginners.
The path will take you past lakes, magnificent vistas, wildflowers, rolling
meadows, dense woods, and a variety of animals that may be spotted while on it.
Take in the panoramic view of the valleys, reservoirs below, and summits above
once you've arrived at Spiral Point's beautiful viewpoint.
7. Emerald Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park
● Difficulty: Easy to moderate
● Length: 3.2 miles
● Completion Time: 2-3 hours
The Emerald Lake Trail is a popular destination trek found in the Rocky Mountain
National Park. It is an easy hike and it has some great views of the mountain and
glaciers as well as picturesque scenes of pine forests and sparkling lakes.
This path is extremely well-known, so it is best to take a shuttle if you want to go
there when the park is at its most crowded. This spectacular trail is near Estes
Park, just 90 minutes north of Denver.
If you’re looking for adventure, then it doesn’t get much better than exploring
nature. The best Colorado hikes are located all over the Rocky Mountains and
there is no shortage of trails to explore. From easy walks to difficult treks, these
hikes offer something for everyone. You can also find endless opportunities to
enjoy outdoor activities like rock climbing or mountain biking if that's what you're
into. While most people think of Colorado as a ski destination, this state has so
much more to offer when it comes to outdoor recreation. Get outside today and
start exploring some of the best hikes in Colorado!