Hikes in Front Range
Hikes within the Front Range are perfectly balanced between exhilarating summit hikes and family-friendly strolls. This expansive range covers thousands of trails from southern Wyoming all the way down to southern Colorado. Spanning over 482.8 km north to south, there is no shortage of hikes. The diversity of the terrain along the Front Range necessitates assorted adventures of varying difficulties.
Travel through alpine tundra, along grassy meadowlands, or under aspen groves. The Front Range is unique in that it includes different regions with different landscapes and climates. Adventure the Rocky Mountain National Park or the Indian Peaks Wilderness; travel along the Continental Divide or explore river canyons. There is no comparable experience to hiking the Front Range. The only way to describe the Front Range adventures is scenic, diverse, and abundant. You will just have to come see for yourself.
Whether you are seeking a meadowland stroll or a scramble up a technical peak, the Front Range delivers. Inexperienced hikers and avid adventurers alike can enjoy the best of what Colorado has to offer. Hike amongst locals and visitors as you adventure the trails amongst the Front Range.
The 20 Greatest Hikes in Colorado’s Front Range Region
- Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail - The Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail is an epic-adventure the whole family will enjoy. Hike the short, woodland path to a scenic swimming hole, nestled among the granite cliffs of the Guffey Gorge. This excursion is the perfect recovery incubator after a long journey up to Pikes Peak the day before. Veg out and relax next to the jade-colored swimming hole, and if you are feeling daring, jump off the vertigo inducing bluffs.
- Mount Evans via Chicago Creek Hike - Hike up to a Colorado 14er. The Mount Evans via Chicago Creek Trail may just be one of the most demanding, but picturesque hikes in the Front Range. Hike up through the postcard-worthy scenery of the Mount Evans Wilderness to the namesake’s summit. Trek past several shimmering blue-hued lakes and through the alpine tundra before ascending Mount Evans. Though challenging, the mountain top vistas are undoubtedly rewarding.
- Loch Lomond Trail - Hike the Loch Lomond Trail to a crystalline alpine lake hemmed by snow-dusted, craggy peaks. The Loch Lomond Trail is a shared OHV route through towering pine trees up to the mountain cirque. Hike, bike, or drive, we love this trail because of its versatility. Situated high on the Continental Divide, the lake offers panoramic views of the encompassing peaks and sights of the diverse Colorado landscape below. Don’t forget to bring your fishing rod if you have a permit!
- Diamond Peaks Hike - The Diamond Peaks Hike is an exciting backcountry excursion through the Colorado wilderness. Hike the steep, but scenic primitive trail up to the summit of North Diamond Peak and the Montgomery Pass. This stimulating trek will guide adventures through dense woodlands, lush meadows, through alpine tundras, and up steep trails to summit the North Diamond Peak. From atop the mountain enjoy 360-degree panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountainous landscape that flanks the lush subalpine forests below.
- Grizzly and Cupid Peaks Hike - Hike the Front Range to not one, but two snow-capped summits. The Grizzly and Cupid Peaks Hike is an ambitious adventure along the Continental Divide to summit the peaks. This excursion is incredibly scenic. Enjoy breathtaking vistas as you make your way along the ridge of the pass and notice the prominent Torreys and Grays Peaks in the distance. Though demanding, this venture to Grizzly and Cupid Peaks is well worth the effort.
- Loveland Pass Lake Trail - The Loveland Pass Lake Trail is a family-friendly nature walk nestled among the demanding summit hikes in the area. Admire shimmering alpine lakes that sit in the foreground of the encompassing snow-dusted peaks and consider having lunch in the scenic picnic area. Adventure this hike with your little ones and keep an eye out for pika, marmots and even mountain goats as you walk the path.
- Colorado Mines Peak Hike - Explore the Berthoud Pass Automated Weather Observing System atop Colorado Mines Peak. The Colorado Mines Peak Hike is a stimulating adventure along the Berthoud Pass up a winding service road. Navigate the seemingly endless number of switchbacks up to the summit of the Colorado Mines Peak and revel in the expansive mountainous vistas. Don’t forget to check out the weather station equipment that the Colorado Mines School uses to help aviation navigation through the Front Range.
- Greyrock Trail - There is no denying that the Greyrock Trail lives up to its name. Hike the meadow-cloaked trail up through an aspen grove to the summit. Explore the pile of granite rocks that structure Greyrock Mountain. Appreciate the grandeur of the surrounding Rocky Mountains and the forested river valleys below. There is no wonder why this trail is so popular, this hike features all the best environments that the Colorado wilderness has to offer.
- Blue Lake Hike - The Blue Lake Hike is a stunning adventure through the Roosevelt National Forest. Travel along the soft, forested floor, past a babbling creek and small cascading waterfalls before ascending the rocky ridge to the blue-hued lake. The Blue Lake Trail is a charming family friendly adventure up to Blue Lake, hemmed by craggy peaks. Get an up close and personal view of Cameron Peak and vistas of Clark Mountain in the distance.
- Cheesman Canyon Hike - Cheesman Canyon Hike is one of our favorite adventures! Follow the curves of the South Platte River up to the Cheesman Reservoir. Walk along the river’s edge whilst enjoying the tranquility of the running river and sights of anglers fishing the picturesque waters. Thousands of fly fishermen flock to the South Platte River yearly to fish the abundant waters for trout. If you have a permit, bring your fishing rod and join them!
- Berthoud Pass Trail - The Berthoud Pass Trail is an unforgettable experience up the Continental Divide. This adventure will guide you up various alpine environments to the pass. Hike through the towering fir and spruce trees before ascending the exposed alpine tundra to the Divide. Trek along the ridge and feel as though you are in a movie as you walk the trail set against the picturesque Colorado backdrop. Surround yourself with the incredibly beautiful scenery and the path will reward you with a new perspective of the Colorado wilderness with every step you take.
- Devil’s Head Lookout Trail - 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. This unique excursion up to the ranger’s cabin and historic fire overlook is an ideal family friendly adventure that kids will love. Blow off some steam as you track up 143 steps to the stunning lookout where you will be rewarded with striking views of the Rampart Ranges and the surrounding Colorado landscape.
- Kenosha Pass North Hike - There is no arguing that the Kenosha Pass North Trail is the best place to immerse yourself in the golden aspens in the fall. Bring the whole family on this scenic nature walk through lush aspen groves to a meadow that exposes you to expansive vistas of the encompassing Front Range peaks. Though this trail can be adventured year-round, the autumn vibrance is unforgettable.
- Butler Gulch Trail - The Butler Gulch Trail is a scenic expedition through the Arapaho National Forest. The diversity of this hike will astound you, travel up through towering pine and fir trees, past small waterfalls, along a babbling creek up to the alpine tundra. Ascend the timberline and the path will reveal panoramic vistas of the encompassing snow-capped peaks that hem the verdant forested valleys.
- Pinewood Reservoir Hike - Hike the shoreline of the Pinewood Reservoir along this family-friendly nature walk. The Pinewood Reservoir offers several outdoor activities that outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts will enjoy, hike, bike, kayak, fish, snowshoe, or canoe. Hike the woodland path around the lake’s edge and bask in the impressive vistas. The Pinewood Reservoir Trail and the surrounding recreational area is ideal for a weekend adventure into nature!
- Echo Lake Trail - Located near the Mount Evans Byway, the Echo Lake Park and trail is a popular spot. The Echo Lake Trail is short and sweet. Weave along the shore’s edge and through dense pine forests. This easy to navigate, well-maintained trail is perfect for hikers of all-skill levels and young kids. Adventure this path on your next trip to the Mount Evans Wilderness
- Horsetooth Falls Hike - Hike up to Horsetooth Falls and enjoy the ambiance of the waterfall. This adventure is a crowd-favorite in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. This trail is the perfect excuse to get your whole family out into nature. Trek the incredibly scenic path along plains abundant with wildflowers, through a pine forest and to a cascading waterfall. Dip your tired toes in the waterfall pool and enjoy the relaxing sounds of the cascading waterfall.
- Herman Gulch Trail - Hike the Herman Gulch Trail up to a crystalline alpine lake hemmed by snow-capped mountains. The Herman Gulch Trail is an unforgettable experience up a forested creek valley to unobstructed views of a crystal-clear lake hemmed by the Continental Divide. Challenge yourself as you ascend the rocky terrain to Herman Lake. Explore the lake’s shore and bask in the beautiful scenery that surrounds you.
- Mount Flora Hike - The Mount Flora Hike is a wonderfully scenic trail along the ridgeline of the famous Continental Divide. This adventure demands high effort, but the stakes are highly rewarding. The Mount Flora Trail is an unforgettable adventure through the diverse terrain of the Arapaho National Forest and up to the summit Mount Flora. Revel in the expansive panoramic views of the surrounding mountainous landscape from atop the summit.
- Chief Mountain Hike - The Chief Mountain Hike is an easily manageable summit adventure in the Front Range region. This excursion ascends the woodlands up to the rocky summit. Navigate the switchbacks up to the peak where you will be rewarded with views of the Mount Evans Wilderness and the dozens of peaks that dot the Colorado landscape below.
Scroll down to see all of the hiking trailers in the Front Range.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Front Range?
As Coloradans often preach, the state has the best weather all the time. This answer isn’t wrong per se, but it isn’t exactly true. Like the state of Colorado, the Front Range has two major tourist seasons- the winter months and the summer. Each season attracts a different type of adventurer, so depending on what you intend on doing, dictates the best time of year to visit.
The Front Range can be enjoyed year-round, but if you are hoping to backpack, camp, bike, or hike, consider heading out to the mountain range in the summer. Summers in the Front Range region see vibrant wildflowers, verdant vegetation and optimal fishing or swimming weather. It is worth noting that along with the warm air and lush greenery presents the increased possibility of getting caught in an afternoon thunder and lightning storm. These afternoon occurrences are notorious among the sky-scraping peaks in the Front Range.
Our favorite month to visit the Front Range might just be autumn. The thinning crowds and the crispness of the fall air appeals to us. Enjoy the sights of the vibrant aspen trees and trek along the crispy leaves that line the paths. Note that the autumn at high elevation warrants snowfall so though it may be warm at the trailhead, an autumn summit hike will usually culminate on a snow-dusted peak.
The winter months are equally as busy as the summer months in the Front Range. Adventurers trade their hiking boots for snowshoes or skis as they explore the snowy mountain range. There are plenty of ski resorts that litter the Front Range region and intrepid adventurers can even backcountry ski down the impressive peaks. The Colorado Front Range is a crowd-favorite for a reason, and the versatility of its peaks attract adventurous spirits year-round.
Other Outdoor Activities in the Front Range
The Front Range offers much more than just breathtaking wilderness hikes and summit treks. There are outdoor activities to satisfy all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts, and hiking is just one. There are plenty of exciting opportunities to participate in, like off-roading up one of many certified OHV summit trails, backcountry skiing down the Berthoud Pass or snowshoeing through Homestead Meadows.
There are also many reservoirs, alpine lakes, and rivers perfect for fishing! The Cheesman Canyon is not only an awesome hike, but a renowned fishing destination. Like we said, this region has it all and will please all sorts of adventurous spirits.
Frequently-Asked-Questions About the Front Range
How long is the Front Range?
The Front Range is approximately 482.8 km long. The Front Range spans from Casper, Wyoming all the way down to Pueblo, Colorado.
How many peaks are there in the Front Range?
There are 917 named mountains in the Front Range.
What is the highest peak in the Front Range?
Grays Peak is the highest mountain in the Front Range that stands at about 4,352 m in elevation. Grays Peak is also the highest summit along the Continental Divide.
What is considered the Front Range?
The Front Range includes the Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Medicine Bow, Laramie Mountains, Pikes Peak, Mummy Range, and more. The expansive mountain range also borders the cities of Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Colorado Springs.
Is Breckenridge the Front Range?
Yes, Breckenridge Mountain is located within the Front Range region. The Breckenridge Ski Resort’s highest summit peaks at 3,962 m, awarding it the title of the highest ski resort on the Front Range.
Adventures Tours in Colorado
Bummer, we have yet to create a Front Range adventure package…ensure to keep an eye out as we are working to add more tours in the area! Until then, take a look at our other epic Colorado Adventure Tours, like the Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Tour.
Find other amazing hiking regions in Colorado
Best Hikes in Front Range
Round Mountain Nature Trail
If you are seeking a short hike to let the kids burn off some energy, then the Round Mountain Nature Trail is your goldmine. Hike along an old service road through striking ponderosa pine trees before culminating at an impressive rock hut that overlooks Big Thompson Canyon. Kids will love exploring the rock hut and you will love the stunning scenery. This trail is a win-win.
Dowdy Lake Trail
Hike the Dowdy Lake Trail around the lovely shoreline. Enjoy sights of paddlers, kayakers and anglers all enjoying what Dowdy Lake has to offer. This trail is perfect for a family nature excursion in the Colorado Wilderness. Kids will love exploring the shoreline and you’ll love the scenic vistas that encompass the lake.
Mount Flora Hike
Hike the Mount Flora Trail up the Continental Divide and enjoy overwhelming 360-degree vistas of the surrounding Front Range. This hike is challenging, but manageable and well worth the effort! The next time you find yourself near Idaho Springs, make sure you plan an adventure day to Mount Flora.
Horsetooth Mountain Hike
The Horsetooth Mountain Hike guides its hikers through various landscapes up to a stunning lookout. Hike through wildflower plains, through pine trees, and up to the Horsetooth rock. This trail is a great day hike in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space that will challenge you enough but won’t overly exhaust you.
Horsetooth Falls Loop
Hike the lovely lollipop loop up to Horsetooth Falls. The Horsetooth Falls Loop is a wonderful nature trail that the whole family will enjoy. Hike through grassy plains, beneath towering pine trees and up to an overlook and cascading waterfall. This hike is an awesome excursion in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space.
Squaw Mountain Hike
The Squaw Mountain Hike is an awesome and accessible hike up to the summit of a Colorado Mountain. Adventure up the well-marked path to an old fire tower that has been converted into a rental property! Enjoy the panoramic views from the overlook and take yourself back in time to when this tower was an essential structure to safeguard the surrounding wilderness.
Hell’s Hole Hike
Hell’s Hole Hike is a demanding but stimulating hike through forested valleys. This adventure is reserved for those who don’t mind scrambling up rocky terrain and who enjoy a bit of a challenge. This woodland trail is a wonderful day hike through the mountainous landscape.
Fall River Lake Trail
A hike around a stunning crystalline lake? Yes, please! The Fall River Lake Trail is a wonderful adventure in the wilderness that hikers of all skill-levels will enjoy! Contrary to the name, you can enjoy this excursion year around, though the changing foliage in the fall does add a little je ne sais quoi.
Jones Pass Hike
The Jones Pass Trail is a popular route in the Arapaho National Forest. This adventure can be completed in several different ways. Drive the Jones Pass Trail, hike it, bike it, run it or snowshoe it. Whether you come in the peak of summer or in the dead of winter, we can almost guarantee that you will encounter many adventurers on this path!
Square Top Mountain Trail
Avoid the crowds of the neighboring 14er hikes. The Square Mountain Hike is an isolated hidden gem that provides the same, if not better, dumbfounding mountainous panoramas than its busier counterparts. Hike up the meadow trail, past crystalline alpine lakes and up the rocky summit. This trail is one of a kind, and you are going to want to add it to your Colorado peaks itinerary—right now!
Seaman Reservoir Trail
Hike along the Seaman Reservoir Trail and enjoy the stunning mountainous landscape that hem its shores. Hike up the North Fork Cache La Poudre River before summiting the dam to the reservoir. This trail is great for all skill levels and kids! Kids will especially enjoy the grandeur of the dam and its rushing waters.
Wichita State Plane Wreck
On October 2, 1970, a plane carrying the Wichita State Football Team went down near Georgetown, Colorado. With a devastating 31 fatalities, there were 9 sole survivors. The catastrophic crash left tons of steel metal wedged into the hillside. Tourists can explore the wreck and pay respect to the memorial at the crash site.
Butler Gulch Trail
The Butler Gulch Trail is an incredible day hike through the Arapaho Forest. This hike offers several outdoor adventure possibilities. You can bike the trail, hike it, snowshoe it, or ski it. The Butler Gulch Trail is more than just an adventurer’s haven, it is also a photographer’s dream. Revel in the diverse scenery that guides you among towering fir and spruce trees before revealing panoramic vistas of the encompassing snow-capped peaks. With just the right amount of intensity, this beautiful trail is at the top of our list.
Bison Peak Summit
Hike the Bison Peak Summit Trail to one of the most unique mountain plateaus. Dotted with large granite sculptures, Bison Peak is well worth exploring. Adventure to Bison Peak as a lengthy day hike, or consider camping on the summit, sheltered by large boulders. This hike is one for the books. On your next adventure to the Lost Creek Wilderness, make sure you hike the Bison Peak Summit Trail.
Sheep Mountain Trail
The Sheep Mountain Hike is a great introductory or training hike for those who wish to conquer a Colorado 14er. This trail will guide you up rocky terrain above the timberline. Enjoy impressive views from the exposed path and get your blood pumping. With just the right amount of elevation, this hike will leave you satisfied, not exhausted.
James Peak Hike
Bask in beautiful scenery along the entirety of the James Peak Hike. This demanding trail will guide its conquerors through subalpine woodlands, through alpine tundras and up a glacier all before culminating at the summit. This trail is no-joke, but the views from the summit are well worth the effort.
Mount Bethel Trail
If you are seeking an isolated excursion among the packed 13er and 14er trails, then you will love the Mount Bethel Hike. The Mount Bethel Trail is a primitive and unmarked path up to the prominent peak along the edge of Continental Divide. This trail is perfect for adventurers who enjoy off-roading and blazing their own trail.
Elkhorn Creek Trail
Weave through ponderosa pine forests and lush Colorado plains, abundant with vibrant wildflowers on the Elkhorn Creek Trail. This easy out-and-back hike is perfect for the whole family. Enjoy the views of the encompassing alpine landscape and keep your eyes peeled for moose!
Horsetooth Rock Trail
Located within the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, the Horsetooth Rock Trail offers a unique experience. Enjoy various views of the surrounding terrain as you make your way around the nature loop. This trail will not guide you up Horsetooth Summit, instead it will deliver you to its base and will reward you with striking views of the distinctive rock feature.
Homestead Meadows Hike
The Homestead Meadows Trail is a hike that will appease adventurers and history buffs alike. Walk this lovely meadowed trail over several log stream crossings to the homesteads. There remain eight historical log homesteads in the area that are worth exploring. This stimulating adventure trail is perfect for a family excursion.
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