Best Hiking In Colorado In June – Colorado is probably the best state in the country for outdoor activities. Whatever you’re looking for, this state has you covered. And when it comes to hiking in Colorado – it’s truly an otherworldly experience. Whether you want to take a walk on a warm summer day or enjoy Colorado’s hiking trails as the leaves change color in the fall, this state promises to be a trip you’ll never forget.
Altitude sickness is no joke. If you are coming from the mountains you will have a much easier time than at sea level. If you’re not used to being a kilometer (and sometimes more) in the air, take some time to adjust, otherwise you’ll have a hard time.
Best Hiking In Colorado In June
Yes, every hiking guide everywhere says bring layers. Seriously, the Colorado weather changes its mind as a dark student. The last time I was in Colorado was day 92 and it snowed the next day. not kidding
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If you’re hiking in Colorado during the summer months, you’ll want to watch out for thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Colorado is notorious for afternoon showers in the summer, so never hit the trails without a rain jacket.
One more thing that is obvious, but must be mentioned. Colorado gets hot and dry in the summer, and because of the altitude of the hike, you’ll need more water than you might think. Dizziness and dehydration is a recipe for ending your hike earlier than you’d like. Make sure you stay well hydrated or you’ll get altitude sickness (another thing I’ve experienced myself).
In a space synonymous with the outdoors, it’s impossible to build a definitive guide to the best hikes. There’s no wrong route here, but if you’re looking for inspiration, these six trails are a must-visit.
Emerald Lake is easily one of the most popular trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. You may be surrounded by new friends on this journey, but the sacrifices of the crowds will be worth it. You’ll see views of two lakes (three if you count the trailhead Bear Lake) on your way to the Emerald Lake turnoff. If you have camera gear with you, this is one of the best hikes you can book for medium range shots.
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While most people can complete the hike in less than two hours, it’s recommended that you allow more time to stop and sit by the lakes you see along the trail – spend as little time as possible on Emerald Lake.
If crowds during Rocky Mountain season don’t sound like your cup of tea, head south from Rocky Mountain National Park to Granby, Colorado. Hiking in Colorado is about more than just the Rocky Mountains! Choosing trails outside of national parks is also a good plan for dog owners, as national parks are not pet friendly.
Doe Creek is a challenge with four separate climbs during the loop, but the views that greet you more than make up for the effort. You can enjoy views of the lake above, and views of the meadows as you descend to the other side.
This is certainly one of the more challenging trails in the national park, but it’s well worth the avid hiker. If you’re looking for a challenging hike to tick off your Rocky Mountain bucket list, Sky Pond is as tough as it is beautiful.
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Be prepared for altitude as this trail starts at over 9,000 feet. The trail’s peak is nearly 11,000 feet, so expect it to snow into the warmer months and pack accordingly. Rods and poles are usually unnecessary if you’re going in June, although it’s best to pack them in late spring and early summer.
If you’re flying into Grand Junction instead of Denver, the Palisade Rim Trail is the most convenient place to start your Colorado hiking trip. Located between Colorado National Monument and Grand Mesa National Forest, this hike showcases the best of western Colorado.
If you want to experience the state’s rich wilderness, the Palisade is the ideal place to start. Note that temperatures can really rise there in the warmer months so bring lots of water and a hat if you do get hot.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is often overshadowed by the Rocky Mountains or Mesa Verde National Park, but it’s not to be missed. This is one of the most popular hikes in this little-known national park, so you’ll likely run into other visitors on this short hike.
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You’ll see ups and downs on the trail, but this is the most tame on the list. If you have time to explore the rest of the state of Colorado, starting here is a great way to get your feet wet and get used to the altitude.
This is probably the hardest hike on this list, although it’s ironically one of the lower elevations (compared to Colorado, of course). At about 8,500 feet, it may not sound like a challenge compared to other Colorado hikes, but with nearly 2,000 feet of elevation gain over about a mile, it’s not for the faint of heart.
However, there are many things that make the hike worth it. After the first mile, the next three miles are gradual descents with incredible views. The bragging rights you get don’t hurt in the end. If you’re already in the Garden of the Gods neighborhood (which is a must), consider taking the short trip to this part of the Pike National Forest!
Hope this list inspires your next hiking trip! It’s nearly impossible to pick the best option for hiking in Colorado. In a place with plenty of outdoor experiences, you can choose a new outing every day and still have enough to see for a lifetime. Colorado’s hiking trails are second to none, so you really want to take your time and enjoy it.
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Joe Coleman is a freelance travel and outdoor writer based in East Texas. Her love of the outdoors began while living near the Olympic National Park and has remained with her ever since. When you take a break from social media, you can only reach him at [email protected]. Colorado is an outdoor lover’s dream and the perfect travel destination. With four national parks, eight national monuments and 42 state parks, Colorado has something for every outdoor enthusiast.
With a short drive you can visit Colorado’s outback desert on the West Slope, Rockies mountain lakes and vast expanses of Colorado’s East Plains.
From cascading high peaks to whitewater rafting down steep rivers to mountain biking through meadows of wildflowers, a Colorado road trip is sure to be adventurous.
Important reminder: As with all sites we share, please follow good trail etiquette and remember not to leave a trail. This means taking out all trash (including toilet paper), respecting others in busy lanes, and following set rules.
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Located in northern Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to enjoy wildlife, capture the stunning views of carved glaciers, and embark on epic hikes and outdoor adventures. With more than 60 peaks soaring to more than 12,000 feet and more than 150 alpine lakes, this park is the perfect stop on any road trip to Colorado.
I spent 10 days in Rocky Mountain National Park and explored some of the best day hikes, including the stunning Chasm Lake Trail and the short but scenic Emerald Lake Trail. To help plan your Rocky Mountain National Park adventure, use our beginner’s guide for helpful tips like where to camp and what to pack.
Crested Butte, Colorado is a small adventure town nestled on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains. In winter, Crested Butte is a winter playground, but in summer and fall, it’s a great destination for mountain biking, camping, hiking, and fishing.
For mountain bikers, Evolution Bike Park is a great place to spend a weekend or hit the 401 Trail or Dr. Park for an amazing off-road ride.
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For hiking, the Scarp Ridge Loop is great. Hike on the ridge with stunning views of the Oh Be Joyful Valley and Peeler Basin. It is especially spectacular in the fall when the aspen leaves turn gold.
The highest sand dunes in North America are located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Sitting beneath the spectacular Sangre De Cristo Mountains, these sand dunes are backed by high peaks that are often snow-capped, making them one of Colorado’s most beautiful and unique landscapes.
For outdoor adventurers, sand boarding and sand sledding are popular activities. Climb to the top of the dune and surf again! The park also has many hiking trails, including trails to a high-mountain lake and to the top of Mount Herrad, which offers views of the sand dunes far below. For photographers, the night sky over the Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of them
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