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
Kruger Rock Trail
The Kruger Rock Trail is a stunning hike through lush aspen forest and between towering granite spires. Hike to the top of the rocky mountain and enjoy panoramic vistas of the forested landscape below. If you are looking to get your heart rate up, then this trail is the perfect adventure.
Elk Falls Hike
The Elk Falls Hike is a stunning hike through the Staunton State Park wilderness. See tons of wildlife, walk through dense aspen woodlands, around a lake and to a grand cascading waterfall. This trail is a wonderful day hike, and we really couldn’t recommend it enough.
Emmaline Lake Trail
The Emmaline Lake Trail has it all. A forested path, babbling streams, waterfalls, a lake, lush meadows, wildlife and mountain views. What more could you ask for? This stunning trail is lengthy, but do not worry, there are seven designated backcountry campsites for you to set up shop and spend the night. This unforgettable trail is a must-add to your Colorado adventure list.
Crosier Mountain via Devil’s Gulch Trail
The Crosier Mountain via Devil’s Gulch Trail is a lovely, forested excursion in the Roosevelt National Forest. With the perfect balance between steep and scenic, this hike is a winner in our books. Hike through the dense aspen forests and once you top the timberline, the trail will open up to expansive views of the encompassing mountainous wilderness.
Idaho Springs Hike
If you still want mountain views but do not necessarily want to hike up a peak, consider the Idaho Springs Hike. Walk through the forested terrain up to Idaho Springs. At the lake you will be rewarded with incredible vistas of the Front Range. Flanked by an alpine forest and set in the foreground of the snow-capped peaks, the Idaho Springs hike is one for the books.
Argentine Pass Trail
The Argentine Pass Trail is a demanding excursion through the Colorado wilderness, but trust us, it is worth the sweat. Hike up the steep ridge to summit the Argentine Pass. From atop the Continental Divide, you will be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views of the Rocky Mountain peaks and the forested valleys below.
B-17 Plane Crash Site
Hike the woodland path to the B-17 Plane Crash Site. The World War II Bomber went down on June 13, 1944. Killing 4 of the 10 onboard, the haunting remains of the crash remain etched in the mountain side. Now hidden among the towering trees in the Colorado wilderness, this primitive hike is a popular historic destination.
Triple Bar and OT Trail
Hike the scenic Triple Bar and OT Trail. This meadowed path will loop you around the plains, offering various perspectives of the Colorado landscape. Enjoy vistas of rolling green hills and sights of craggy, snow-dusted mountain peaks all in one hike. Trek this easy-to-navigate dirt road in a figure-eight shape around a stunning grassy meadow.
The Sawmill Trail is a family-friendly circuit in the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. This magical path will guide you up lush woodlands, along a soft forest path, and down to the shore’s edge. Hike is or bike it, the Sawmill Trail is a wonderful nature adventure.
Blue Sky Trail
Bordering the city of Fort Collins, the Blue Sky Trail is a wonderful escape into nature. Hike it or bike it, this trail will get your blood pumping. Travelling over 20.0 km there and back, you will have ample time to enjoy the impressive Colorado landscape that encompasses the meadowed trail.
Palisade Mountain Hike
Hike the Palisade Mountain Trail to an epic overlook of the surrounding mountainous landscape and Continental Divide. Guaranteed you will break a sweat on this short, but steep hike up the granite summit of Palisade Mountain. Make sure to sign the logbook to let people know you conquered the climb!
Grizzly Gulch Trail
The Grizzly Gulch Trail is not as scary as it may sound. This beautiful trail will guide adventurers up a forested valley before opening to a picturesque meadow with expansive views of the Front Range’s snow-dusted peaks. Trek up the Grizzly Gulch Trail ASAP, because we have a hunch this hidden treasure has been found.
Mount Bailey Hike
The Mount Bailey Hike is a wonderful adventure that the whole family will enjoy. Hike up the short woodland path to the summit of Mount Bailey. Explore the rocky mountain and revel in the overwhelming views that this small mountain offers.
Gibson Lake Trail
Hike the Gibson Lake Trail along the banks of the South Platte River up to the shimmering alpine lake. Whether you are hoping to fish at the lake or simply enjoy the scenery of the Continental Divide, this trail is a must add to your Front Range bucket list. The ideal ratio between challenging and relaxing, this path is a crowd favorite.
Panorama Peak Hike
Hike the Panorama Peak Trail to not one, but two mountain summits. A shared path with OTV vehicles and mountain bikers, this trail offers several outdoor activities. If you don’t mind sharing the adventure with off-roaders and bikers, the Panorama Peak Hike is worth completing.
Mount Stanley Trail
Cruise along the ridges of the Continental Divide up to Mount Stanley. The Mount Stanley Hike is undoubtedly one of the most scenic trails on the Pass. This trail is reserved for experienced hikers who are no stranger to high altitude weather and rocky terrain. We like to describe this route as challenging, but incredibly rewarding.
Urad Lakes Trail
Hike the Urad Lakes Trail in the Arapaho National Forest. This forested trail attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts. Hikers, anglers, hunters and campers alike gather and enjoy what the wilderness has to offer. The Urad Lakes Trail packs just the perfect amount of elevation to get your heart rate up without having to overexert yourself.
The Tanglewood Trail is a demanding hike up a woodland gulch to scenic alpine lakes. Who doesn’t love a good forest hike, right? Well, this one will guide you over Deer Creek, through lush aspens and pines, above the timberline, and up to an overlook of crystalline alpine lakes. It really can't be beat. On your next adventure to the Mount Evans Wilderness, add the Tanglewood Trail to your itinerary.
North Fork Trail
Hike up a forested river valley from the Comanche Peak Wilderness into the Rocky Mountain National Park along the North Fork Trail. This diverse hike will guide you up the scenic canyon of the North Fork Big Thompson River. Enjoy the mediative ambiance of the running river and the wind whistling through the towering trees.
Storm Mountain Trail
Hike the Storm Mountain Trail up a forest road to the summit. The road to the peak is a bit steep, but as you stand on the summit and overlook the beautiful, forested landscape below and the Rocky Mountains that line the horizon, you will forget all about your tired feet. Shared with OTV vehicles and bikers in the summer, this path is a popular outdoor adventure.
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