8 Best Hikes In Colorado: Time To Lace Up Your Boots

Sporting thousands of hiking miles, Colorado is any trekker’s paradise. From easy to difficult, there are all kinds of hiking trails in Colorado that entice the outdoor enthusiasts. Take the Keyhole Route of Longs Peak to experience the thrill of scrambling to the top, or simply walk along the Fountain Valley Loop Trail to bask in nature’s serenity. While the Maroon Creek Trail will treat you to picturesque vistas, the Booth Creek Falls Trail will show you a number of beautiful birds. Take a look at these 8 best hikes in Colorado, painstakingly picked from the many that are no lesser than the other.

1. Keyhole Route: Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park

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There are no prizes for guessing that the Longs Peak is one of the best places to hike in Colorado. Although the Keyhole Route is treacherous, it is famous amongst the outdoor enthusiasts. You will experience an elevation gain of more than 5,000 feet while hiking along this extremely challenging 13-mile roundtrip trail. Better start as early as 2:00 AM and get down the mountain before noon, for the afternoon storms will make the hike even more dangerous.

Difficulty Level: Hard; Top physical fitness required

Time taken to complete hike: 12-15 hours

Attractions along the way: The Keyhole, Glacier Gorge, Chasm Lake, views of the Rocky Mountain National Park

2. North Elbert Trail, Mount Elbert

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Standing tall at a height of 14,440 feet, Mount Elbert is the highest mountain in the state but offers a moderately easy hike as compared to other famous 14ers in Colorado. While hiking along the 4.6 mile long North Elbert Trail, you will experience an elevation gain of about 4,500 feet. Just like Longs Peak, it is recommended that you get down the mountain before noon to avoid the challenges posed by afternoon storms. This is one of the best hiking trails in Colorado if you are climbing your 1st 14ers.

Difficulty Level: Moderate; Modest physical fitness required

Time taken to complete hike: 5-7 hours

Attractions along the way: Twin Lakes’ vista

Also Read -10 Best Spa Resorts in Colorado

3. Hanging Lake Trail, White River National Forest

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The Hiking Lake Trail near Glenwood Springs stands amongst the best day hikes in Colorado. This out-and-back, 2.8-mile long trail is one of the most-visited short hikes. Although short, this is a steep trail which tests your hiking skills. Trekking along the rocky path, you wander through the Glenwood Canyon and pass along the Dead Horse Creek. Once you reach the top, follow the signs leading to Spouting Rock. Here you will see the snow-melt water from the Flat Tops pouring out a hole in the limestone cliff.

Difficulty Level: Moderate; Modest physical fitness required

Time taken to complete hike: 2-4 hours

Attractions along the way: Dead Horse Creek, serene lake and waterfalls at the top, spouting rock

4. Maroon Creek Trail, White River National Forest

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Engulfed in greenery and lovely wildflowers, the Maroon Creek Trail is a mesmerizing path to walk near Aspen, Colorado. This is the trail to take if you wish to avoid heavy crowds and experience solitude. It is a rocky, 6.9-mile long, out-and-back trail, with an elevation gain of about 1,161 feet. Besides hiking, you may also enjoy horseback riding or mountain biking along the Maroon Creek Trail. Dogs are also allowed along the trail, provided they are kept on the leash.

Difficulty Level: Moderate; Modest physical fitness required

Time taken to complete the hike: 2-4 hours

Attractions along the way: Maroon Lake, wildlife sightings, scenic vistas of meadows, Maroon Creek

Also Read -15 Best Romantic Weekend Getaways In Colorado

5. Booth Creek Falls Trail, Vail

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With an elevation gain of about 1,400 feet, the Booth Creek Falls Trail is quite strenuous, owing to some rocky and steep sections. But it is worth all the hassle, as you are welcomed by breathtaking vistas of the Booth Creek Falls at its end. It is a 3.9-mile, out-and-back trail, dotted with wildflowers and tall woods. As you walk along the trail, you will also be able to spot a variety of bird species. It is highly recommended that you hike along the Booth Creek Falls Trail in the month of October when the surroundings are bathed in a golden hue.

Difficulty Level: Moderate; Modest physical fitness required

Time taken to complete the hike: 3-4 hours

Attractions along the way: Wildlife sightings, Booth Creek Falls, sweeping vistas of Vail Valley from the top

6. Fountain Valley Loop Trail, Roxborough State Park

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For beginners, the Fountain Valley Loop Trail offers the best opportunity of hiking in Colorado. Winding through the Roxborough State Park, it is a 2.3-mile trail. With grassy fields around, you will frequently come across elk and deer grazing nearby. The park prohibits entry of pets, personal motor vehicles, and bikes, allowing you to enjoy the undisturbed serenity of nature.

Difficulty Level: Easy; Basic physical fitness required

Time taken to complete hike:1-1.5 hours

Attractions along the way: Wildlife sightings, fascinating rock formations

Also Read -Top 12 Things To Do In Colorado

7. Serpents Trail, Colorado National Monument

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With an elevation of 700 feet, the Serpents Trail in Colorado National Monument is not only ideal for the novice hikers but is also good to sweat in the summers. This 1.75-mile, one-way trail, is a favorite amongst locals who frequent it to enjoy the outdoors on weekends. It can be easily reached from the nearest towns of Fruita and Grand Junction.

Difficulty Level: Easy; Basic physical fitness required

Time taken to complete hike: 1-2 hours

Attractions along the way: Sweeping views of the Grand Valley, and the towns of Palisade and Grands Junction

8. Lost Man Loop, White River National Forest

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The Lost Man Loop near Aspen is great to enjoy nature at its best. Located near the continental divide at the Independence Pass, this is an 8.7-mile long trail. It takes you through verdant forest, along pristine lakes, beautiful alpine meadows, and treats you to stunning vistas of the Rocky Mountains. You will experience an elevation gain of over 1,300 feet while hiking along the trail.

Difficulty Level: Moderate; Modest physical fitness required

Time taken to complete hike: 2-3 hours

Attractions along the way: Lost Man Lake, majestic views of Williams Mountains, Linkins Lake

Apart from these, you may also want to hike along Conundrum Hot Springs trail, the La Plata Peak Trail, the Pyramid Peak hike, the Four Pass Loop. If you are visiting Colorado anytime soon, then it is time to lace up your hiking boots and explore the state’s wilderness.

You Can Also Read :-

4 Beautiful Nature Friendly Colorado National Parks

12 Best Ski Resorts In Colorado

15 Best All Inclusive Resorts In Colorado

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Usually lost in a reverie, Ketki is someone who absolutely refuses to live in the practical world. While she has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, she should be honored mastery in procrastination ...

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