Create an account

Start your adventure today.

    0

    Already a member? Login

    Where to hike in Colorado

    Hiking In Colorado

    State in United States

    Hiking in Colorado is a bucket list activity for many adventure travelers. The Rocky Mountain state is known for the staggering beauty and grandeur of its peaks, offering countless opportunities for hiking and trekking. If you’re craving a fun adventure in some epic landscapes, look no further! Colorado has everything you’re looking for and more.

    The Rocky Mountains rise out of the Great Plains, creating a series of craggy granite peaks that tower over the landscape. Their striking beauty is reflected in the serene alpine lakes that litter the park, and below the treeline the mountains are clothed in aromatic forests of pine and aspen. This is Colorado at its finest, with so many wonderful opportunities for hiking you simply won’t know where to start.

    Hiking in Colorado isn’t just about the Rockies. The Indian Peaks, Vail, Denver, and Aspen all offer a range of pretty forested trails, high ridge walks, and wide expansive meadows covered with flowers in early summer. This sunny state boasts a wealth of riches when it comes to hiking. So what are you waiting for? Check out our guide to hiking in Colorado.

    Types Of Hiking In Colorado

    Colorado’s spectacular landscapes offer tremendous hiking possibilities, whatever your tastes and preferences. If you’re looking for challenging ascents and daring ridge walks, head to Rocky Mountain National Park or the Indian Peaks, where you’ll find some strenuous hikes and incredible panoramas.

    For those looking for moderate, fun hikes surrounded by incredible scenery, Vail, Boulder, and Aspen offer plenty of fantastic trails teeming with wildlife and interesting foliage. Some Colorado trails pack in a lot of variety, with waterfalls, lakes, rivers, wild meadows, craggy ridges, and rocky peaks, so you’ll never want to stop exploring.

    Finally, if you’re traveling with younger kids or simply looking for a relaxing stroll, you’ll find easy low-level hikes all across the state, with plenty to entertain younger hikers.

    Easy Hikes In Colorado

    Maroon Lake Hike: If you haven’t got much time in the Colorado Rockies, but want to stretch your legs and take in some marvelous scenery, try this short hike along Maroon Lake. It’s a popular route, but the view across the lake to North Maroon Peak makes it all worthwhile. This is one of the most picturesque easy hikes in Colorado.

    Ouzel Falls Hike: This Ouzel Falls hike is an easy, accessible route suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels! Although it’s just a short walk, the scenery here really packs a punch and you’ll get the chance to see a series of beautiful cascading waterfalls. This easy hike is best experienced in autumn when the leaves turn and the forest is at its best.

    Family Hikes In Colorado

    Sugarloaf Mountain Hike: The iconic Sugarloaf Mountain provides one of the best views of Rocky Mountain National Park, and is a short, family-friendly hike that kids of all ages will enjoy. There are a few steep switchbacks but it’s a manageable trek and the views are simply magnificent.

    Enchanted Forest Trail Hike: If you’re looking for a magical day out with the kids, you can’t go wrong with this trail through the Enchanted Forest in Apex Park, Denver. At 9.3km it’s a relatively long walk for kids, but the sights, sounds, and smells of this otherworldly forest will keep them distracted! If they’ve still got some energy at the end of the hike, visit the Heritage Amusement Park for more fun and games.

    Day Hikes In Colorado

    Buckskin Pass Hike: If you only have time to do one hike in the Aspen region, make this incredible day hike to the top of Buckskin Pass. Beginning at the stunning Maroon Lake, the trail rises steeply up past the Geneva Lake Trail. Once you finally reach the top, after a somewhat grueling climb, you’ll get a magnificent panorama across to Snowmass Mountain.

    Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes Hike: Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful places for hiking in the United States, and this wonderful day hike will take you on a tour of some of the park’s stunning lakes. Take in the lovely Nymph Lake, covered in floating lilies, and marvel at the way in which Hallett Peak is reflected in the waters of Emerald Lake. However, the best views are reserved for the trail up to Lake Haiyaha. This hike is accessible, varied, and one of the most popular in the park.

    Challenging Hikes In Colorado

    Lone Eagle Peak Hike: One of our favorite challenging hikes in Colorado is the stunning Lone Eagle Peak in the Indian Peaks region. This epic trek takes you across some rugged terrain, past tumbling waterfalls and glacier-fed alpine lakes. Lone Eagle Peak is known as Colorado’s most picturesque mountain and this hike shows it off at its best, reflected in the crystal waters of Mirror Lake.

    Gore Lake Trail: The beautiful alpine Gore Lake is the destination on this challenging hike, and you’ll need plenty of energy in order to reach it. Although the first part of the route through the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Area is relatively easy and family-friendly, after 6.9km the trail rises steeply, ascending the valley through the forest. Look out for mountain goats when you reach the top and enjoy a well-deserved rest at the stunning Gore Lake.

    Best Hikes In Colorado

    Cathedral Lake Hike: Do you have a head for heights? Then why not try this amazing trek to Cathedral Lake, a stunning alpine lake at the base of Cathedral Mountain. The route to the top is fairly strenuous, but the rewards are incomparable. Enjoy views over Malemute Peak, Leahy Peak, and the ridges and crags of the Rocky Mountains.

    Bear Peak: Looking for a hiking challenge and one of the best treks in Boulder? This Bear Peak hike is an epic climb up some steep and rocky terrain, but the views at the top are a fitting reward. Bear Peak is one of the five tallest peaks along the Boulder Front Range and a great option for hikers looking to get in shape for more adventurous treks.

    Beaver Brook Trail: There are many fantastic hiking trails in Denver, but this exciting route along the Beaver Brook Trail is one of our favorites. It’s not too challenging, but you’ll need to cross a few creeks and do a little scrambling over the rocks and ledges. You’ll be hiking along a route lined with pine trees and populated by birds, butterflies and all kinds of wildlife. Look out for the buffalo herd along I-70!

    Arapaho Glacier Trail Hike: This incredible hike will lead you all the way to the Arapaho Glacier and offers an incredible view of the Continental Divide and Indian Peaks. However, it’s not for the faint-hearted and you may need hiking poles to help you get to the top. The hike may be steep, but the views are truly epic.

    Bluebird Lake Hike: If you’re looking for a way to get off the beaten track and away from the crowds in Rocky Mountain National Park, this beautiful hike may be just what you need. Bluebird Lake is in the lesser-known Wild Basin region of the park and features dense pine forests, cascading waterfalls, and some of the most breathtaking views in the park.

    Pitkin Lake Trail Hike: Looking for a great day of hiking in Vail? Look no further than this adventurous day hike through the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Area. There are a few steep climbs, but the hike isn’t too strenuous, with plenty of variety. The route takes you from rushing creeks and aspen forests to beautiful meadows and tranquil alpine lakes. The dramatic view at Pitkin Lake is worth all your efforts and makes this one of the best hikes in Colorado.

    Crater Lake Hike: The trek out to Crater Lake is an Aspen classic and a must for anyone who wants to escape the crowds of Maroon Lake. This trail will lead you down a less-traveled road where you can see North Maroon Peak from a different angle. The fantastic vista at the east side of Crater Lake is simply stunning.

    Lair o’the Bear Park: This fun hike offers everything of the best that Colorado has to offer – a gorgeous forest hike, views of snow-capped peaks, and a secret castle hidden away in the hills! Dunafon Castle is a restored castle nestled in the gorgeous Colorado scenery, and this hike offers the best view of its enigmatic towers. The hike is an enjoyable, moderate trek and the perfect way to spend an afternoon outdoors.

    Lake Dorothy Hike: Set against the incredible backdrop of Mount Neva in the Indian Peaks, Lake Dorothy is one of the prettiest lakes in Colorado. The trail leads you up through thick pine forests until it rises above the treeline, revealing some incredible vistas over the craggy mountains. Lake Dorothy, surrounded by these epic peaks, is simply stunning.

    Lake Haiyaha: Lake Haiyaha is one of the finest gems in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the steep hike up to it is a treat for keen trekkers. The lake itself is surrounded by boulders and jagged rocks, and a series of magnificent peaks form a remarkable backdrop. You’ll get an incredible view of Chaos Canyon and the two mountains that rise on either side: Otis Peak and Hallet Peak.

    When Is The Best Time To Hike In Colorado?

    Colorado’s diverse terrain means that hiking is possible in some areas throughout the year. Low-elevation trails in the foothills close to the big cities are accessible even through the winter, as are some of the trails in the eastern grasslands and western deserts. In the Rocky Mountains, the hiking season usually runs from late spring to fall, although you should expect the highest trails to only be open between July and September. Early or late snows can also affect possibilities for hiking during the shoulder season. As with any mountain hiking, always check the weather forecast and take advice from local guides before you set off.

    In the west of the state, the mountains tail off into orange desert canyons and plateaus, creating very different conditions for hiking. Here the best seasons for hiking are spring and fall, to avoid the blazing summer sun. These desert trails are best avoided in the extreme weather of summer and winter, as conditions can change quickly, unexpectedly cutting off trails.

    Best Regions For Hiking in Colorado

    Colorado boasts some of the most incredible scenery in the United States and is blessed with several amazing regions for hiking. Many hikers are drawn here for the splendor of Rocky Mountain National Park, 265,000 acres of epic mountains, crystal lakes, cascading waterfalls, and wide, grassy meadows. Nearby Denver might be a big city, but it offers easy access to some fabulous walking trails, teeming with wildlife.

    Boulder and Aspen are also popular cities that offer fantastic opportunities for hiking, especially if you’re looking for accessible, family-friendly trails. Vail might be best known as a ski resort, but in the summer months you’ll find vast meadows of wildflowers and beautiful forested hillsides. Finally, the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area is perhaps Colorado’s finest hidden gem, a lesser-visited region with some rewarding and challenging hikes over rugged, wild terrain.

    Other Outdoor Activities in Colorado

    Although hiking is one of the most popular things to do, there are many other outdoor activities in Colorado! The area around Boulder is perfect for mountain biking and road biking, as well as offering fabulous hiking opportunities. If you like to ski and snowboard, head to Vail, or try your hand at snowshoeing in the Indian Peaks. Alternatively, head to Rocky Mountain National Park for some really fun scrambles.

    How To Plan A Trip To Colorado

    Are you ready to plan your hiking trip to Colorado? If you’re looking for advice, top tips, and recommendations, why not check out our Indian Peaks guide, Aspen guide, Denver guide, Rocky Mountain National Park guide, Vail guide, and Boulder guide! We’ve put together everything you need to know, from transport advice to recommended trails and guides. Planning a hiking trip has never been so easy!

    Download the 10Adventures App

    View Hiking In Colorado on Map

    View Map

    Hiking regions in Colorado

    Best Hikes in Colorado

    Showing 101 to 120 of 1,000+
      Open details for Medano Lake Trail

      Medano Lake Trail

      Moderate
      12.7 km
      698 m
      4-6h

      The Medano Lake Hike is an awesome alpine adventure in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Immerse yourself in the alpine environment as you explore mixed pine forests and shimmering lakes bounded by the craggy Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Palmer Trail Section 16

      Palmer Trail Section 16

      Moderate
      9.2 km
      394 m
      2.5-4h

      The Palmer Trail Section 16 is an amazing circuit hike near Colorado Springs. This path travels through a wonderful wilderness escape through diverse topographies, including red rock outcroppings, mixed pine forestlands, brush meadows, and wide creek canyons. Whether you are seeking a quick mountain bike or a day-trek, this revered adventure through the Manitou Section 16 Open Space and Bear Creek Cañon Park will not disappoint.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Davos Trail

      Davos Trail

      Easy
      9.2 km
      205 m
      2-3h

      The Davos Trail follows a dirt service road. It hikes through aspen groves and meadows of wildflowers. Looking across the I-70, hikers are greeted by the peaks of the Holy Cross Wilderness.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.6
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for The Grottos Loop

      The Grottos Loop

      Very Easy
      1.0 km
      25 m
      0.5h

      Hiking into the Grottos is like visiting an alien country. It’s different from all the other more mountainous hikes on the list. The Roaring Fork River carves the rocks smooth, giving them statue-like properties.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.6
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Trail Ridge Road

      Trail Ridge Road

      Very Easy
      1.7 km
      46 m
      0.5h

      The Trail Ridge Road hike climbs high into the alpine tundra to an elevation of 3,713 m with incredible panoramic views of RMNP. Trail Ridge Road itself is the destination with many unique and exciting hikes along the way! Most are short so make a day out of travelling the road and stopping for several hikes.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.4
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Open details for Mount Falcon Park Trail

      Mount Falcon Park Trail

      Hard
      15.1 km
      557 m
      4-6h

      Mount Falcon Park is a challenging trail that’s not short on elevation gain; however, this lovely route through the Colorado woods does boast some “castle” ruins. We like to think this walk is fit to please the explorer and the history buff in all of us!

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.4
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Open details for Tomichi Hike

      Tomichi Hike

      Very Hard
      2.1 km
      545 m
      2-2.5h

      The Tomichi Hike is the steepest hike on the South Rim of the Black Canyon. This unmarked hike will lead you down the side of the canyon's rugged cliffs into the gorge. This hike is not for the faint of heart, and even the most experienced hikers may have difficulty navigating the terrain. Though the Tomichi Trail is extreme, it is tons of fun, and you will be rewarded with a unique perspective of the steep walled canyon from the riverbed.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Browns Lake Trail

      Browns Lake Trail

      Moderate
      14.8 km
      631 m
      4.5-6h

      On your next trip to the Roosevelt National Forest make sure to add the Browns Lake Trail to your itinerary. This adventure is challenging, but the stunning scenery will make you forget all about your tired feet. Enjoy the fresh mountain air as you ascend the pine woodlands, cross lush alpine meadows, and summit a peak’s ridge all before culminating at the breathtaking alpine lake.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Island Lake via Ice Lakes Trail

      Island Lake via Ice Lakes Trail

      Hard
      12.4 km
      817 m
      4.5-6h

      Hiking to Island Lake via Ice Lakes Trail is a popular outdoor activity in the San Juan Mountains that will allow you to experience truly stunning alpine scenery. While out on the trail, you will climb up the mountainside through serene forests and tranquil meadows, before taking in the beautiful mountain views from beside Island Lake. The parking area next to the trailhead does fill up extremely quickly, especially during peak hiking season, so be sure to arrive early enough to secure a space.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Ashcroft Ghost Town Hike

      Ashcroft Ghost Town Hike

      Very Easy
      0.6 km
      10 m
      0.5h

      The Ashcroft Ghost Town Hike is a short adventure south of Aspen, Colorado that will take you through an historic site surrounded by mountain views. While out walking this trail, you will meander along the streets of a forming silver mining town that was abandoned in 1885, investigating the various buildings that stand as a reminder of the fleeting nature of the mining booms experienced in the region. This quick and informative walk is perfectly suited for a fun family adventure in the Elk Mountains.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Mount Yale Summit Hike

      Mount Yale Summit Hike

      Hard
      16.4 km
      1,292 m
      6.5-9h

      The Mount Yale Summit Hike is an amazing expedition up to the summit of a Colorado fourteener (14er). Located in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, this hike is a picturesque adventure that exhibits the diversity and beauty of the Colorado wilderness. Perfect as an introductory ascent to 14ers, the Mount Yale Summit Hike has the ideal ratio between strenuity and scenery.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Dunes Overlook and Sand Ramp Trail

      Dunes Overlook and Sand Ramp Trail

      Very Easy
      2.4 km
      81 m
      0.5-1h

      The Dunes Overlook and Sand Ramp Trail is an easy-going adventure that can be enjoyed by hikers of all ages and skill levels. This quick walk exhibits the enormity of the looming dunes without having to overexert yourself climbing up the sandy terrain.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Garden of the Gods Loop

      Garden of the Gods Loop

      Very Easy
      6.4 km
      137 m
      1.5-2h

      There is no question as to why the Garden of the Gods attracts millions of visitors each year. This stunning landmark situated in the high alpine desert presents awe-inspiring scenery of sandstone spires, red rock slabs, and unique outcroppings that protrude from the grasslands. Exhibiting the diversity of the topography, flora, and fauna, the Garden of the Gods Loop is a truly breathtaking experience.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Pawnee Pass

      Pawnee Pass

      Hard
      18.7 km
      529 m
      5-6.5h

      This is a burly hike that can be done as either a long day-hike, or it can be stretched out into a multi-day backcountry camping trip, with access to the Continental Divide. There’s lots of elevation to be gained, so be prepared.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      10.0
      Technical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Open details for Elk Meadow Park

      Elk Meadow Park

      Hard
      17.2 km
      565 m
      4.5-6.5h

      Walk through the meadows and forests of Evergreen. Hike to the top of Bergen Peak. Capture beautiful views of the neighboring 14ers, the city below and hopefully see an elk or two. It’s a great escape into nature.

      User Ratings
      Overall Rating
      9.5
      Technical Difficulty
      Easy (Circle)
      Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
      Physical Difficulty
      Intermediate (Square)
      Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
      Open details for Devil’s Head Lookout Trail

      Devil’s Head Lookout Trail

      Easy
      4.0 km
      270 m
      1.5-2h

      The Devil’s Head Lookout Trail is a perfect family-friendly excursion in the Front Range. Located in the Pike National Forest, the Devil’s Head Fire Lookout is the last of the original seven fire lookouts that dotted the granite peaks in the Front Range. Hike up 143 steps to the Devil’s Head Lookout and enjoy the expansive views of the surrounding Colorado wilderness.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Handies Peak Hike

      Handies Peak Hike

      Hard
      8.5 km
      744 m
      3.5-5h

      The Handies Peak Hike is a breathtaking adventure in the San Juan Mountains that will lead you up to the summit of a rugged fourteener. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill above the American Basin, before traversing the steep slopes of Handies Peak on the way to the summit for spectacular views. Hikers should take note that the road leading into the trailhead is quite rugged and will require a 4x4 high clearance vehicle to safely traverse.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Nolan Lake Trail

      Nolan Lake Trail

      Hard
      9.8 km
      519 m
      3-4.5h

      The Nolan Lake Trail is an exceptional adventure in Colorado that will take you to the shores of a charming lake set in the mountains. While out hiking the trail, you will climb uphill through the forest alongside Nolan Creek, passing by mature aspen trees and scenic mountain views, before arriving at the shores of Nolan Lake. This route features a good amount of elevation gain and an intermediate length, making it suitable for casual hikers looking to push themselves.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Baldwin Lakes Trail

      Baldwin Lakes Trail

      Hard
      15.4 km
      740 m
      5-6.5h

      The Baldwin Lakes Trail is a wonderful adventure in the San Isabel National Forest up to a mountain basin laden with shimmering, blue-hued alpine lakes. Flanked by snow-capped Sawatch Mountain Range summits, this scenic hike delivers postcard-worthy views. Traveling along a shared off-roading route, this is an easy-to-follow path through Colorado’s alpine environment.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews
      Open details for Wellington Ditch Trail

      Wellington Ditch Trail

      Very Easy
      2.9 km
      48 m
      0.5-1h

      The Wellington Ditch Trail is an easy-going nature walk along the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As you wander through the mixed forests and meadowlands, you will be granted breathtaking views of the sand dunes that dominate the landscape.

      User Ratings
      No Reviews

      Other Activities in Colorado

      Essential Tools for Any Adventure

      Find a hotel in some of the most beautiful locations on earth.

      Book your own car to have complete freedom on your next adventure.

      Gear-up for your next adventure.

      This page may include affiliate links. We may get a small commission for the purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you.
      We only recommend tools we personally think are great.

      Detailed Route Guides
      Real GPS Coordinates
      Reliable Trail Reports
      Experienced-Based Travel Tips
      GPS App
      Extensive Travel Guides

      Tours

      Routes

      Blogs

      Get travel inspiration and discounts

      Join our weekly travel newsletter