Best Hiking In Colorado In September – Where to go when vacationing in Colorado? There are hundreds of routes and destinations to choose from and it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a top 10 list of Colorado hikes. They range from an easy 1-mile hike at Maroon Bells to a tough 8-mile round trip to a cascading waterfall in Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll find a real variety in this set of hiking trails, perfect for planning your Colorado vacation. Be sure to download our free travel guide to help you prepare and pack smart for your trip.
1. Maroon Bells Hikes Distance: Five trails: 1 to 13 miles round trip – depending on route Travel time from Denver: 4 hours Difficulty: easy to moderate.
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Maroon Bells offers several hiking trails and some of the most beautiful views in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain landscape is full of waterfalls, lakes, golden whistles – all against the iconic backdrop of Maroon Bells Peak. Explore our ultimate guide to Maroon Bells which lists several hiking trails, camping options and transportation details.
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2. Hanging Lake Hike Reopens June 25, 2022 (reservations required) Distance: 2.4 miles Round trip from Denver: 2 hours 45 minutes Difficulty: Moderate.
Hanging Lake is a short but demanding hike to two waterfalls and one of the most beautiful lakes in Colorado. It’s well worth the nearly three-hour drive to the trailhead just south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado—a great Colorado family vacation destination. This is probably the most popular hike in all of Colorado, so be sure to get there early to park. Our Hanging Lake Road guide will give you the most comprehensive set of tips and details to make this day a great family memory.
3. Alberta Falls Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park Distance: 1.6 miles round trip from Denver: 2 hours Difficulty: Moderate
If there is only one waterfall to visit in Rockies National Park, Alberta Falls is a great choice. It is a favorite among short walks in the park. From Lake Alberta, travelers have the option of continuing to explore areas such as the Loch, Timberline Falls, and the George Glacier area—all hikes featured in Day Trips Near Denver.
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4. Fern Falls Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park Distance: 5.4 miles round trip from Denver: 1 hour 40 minutes Difficulty: Moderate
Fern Falls is located on the eastern side of Rocky National Park. The waterfall crashes over rocks and fallen trees, moss and ferns as it makes its way down the forest and sprays a fine mist along the path. Adventurers can hike past Fern Falls to Fern Lake, a breathtaking destination in the jewel of our national park system.
Looking for more waterfalls near Denver? Explore over 50 Colorado Falls hikes, hike our favorite waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park, or 7 waterfalls within an hour of Denver.
5. Fountain Valley Trail at Roxborough State Park Distance: 2.3 miles Driving time from Denver: 45 minutes Difficulty: Easy
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Maybe you’re looking for a trip near Denver. The Fountain Valley Trail in Roxborough State Park in Colorado is Denver’s Park of the Gods. Huge slabs of pink and orange rock contrast with the blue sky, even on a rainy or foggy day, the Fountain Valley Trail feels like a journey into magical nature. As with Rocky Mountain National Park, pets are not allowed in the park, and a state park pass or day fee is required for all visitors.
6. First and Second Flatirons Rock Walk Distance: 2.6 miles round trip from Denver: 45 minutes Difficulty Level: Moderate
Looking for something a little more challenging? A hike on the Flatirons Trail near Boulder, Colorado takes hikers across green grass, then up through the gap between the First and Second Flatirons. The back of the gliders offers a shaded alcove where you can see a view of the snowy front range of the Colorado Rockies.
7. Devil’s Head Lookout Hike Distance: 2.8 miles Round trip from Denver: 1 hour and 15 minutes Difficulty: Moderate
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The Devil’s Head Trail is a classic Colorado Front Range hike and is only about an hour from downtown Denver. The 143-step climb to the fire lookout can be daunting, but the 360-degree panoramic view of the mountain is worth it.
8. Timberline Falls hike in Rocky Mountain National Park Distance: 8 miles round trip Travel time from Denver: 2 hours Difficulty: Hard
Hiking to Timberline Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park is demanding but has many rewards. The trail passes Alberta Falls along the way and into beautiful Loch Veil. Most hikers extend their hike past Timberline Falls to the alpine lake beyond. Explore the full trail profile for details on this Rocky Mountain National Park adventure.
9. Four Lakes and Waterfalls Pattern: Rocky Mountain National Park Loop Hike Distance: 6.4 miles Travel time from Denver: 2 hours Difficulty: Moderate.
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This 6.4-mile loop hike in RMNP takes you to four beautiful subalpine lakes and Alberta Falls, one of the most visited waterfalls in the park. If you are looking for a trip with a lot of bang for your buck, and you only have one day in Rocky Mountain National Park, this would be an excellent choice and an opportunity to take in a wide variety of terrain and destinations.
10. Monarch Lake Loop Hike Distance: 4 miles Travel time from Denver: 2 hours 50 minutes Difficulty: Easy
If you are vacationing in the Winter Park or Granby area, the loop around Monarch Lake is a perfect day trip. The Monarch Lake Loop takes hikers through shady forests, across streams and along the lakeshore. This is one of the easiest but varied trips in the region. Monarch Lake is a popular destination for activities such as kayaking, canoeing and is an access point for backpackers in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. As this is a very popular trip, be sure to arrive early or leave on a weekday.
Aaron Johnson has been traveling in Colorado for over 20 years. The owner and editor of Dayhikes Near Denver, Aaron writes each trail profile as a local guide who has hiked hundreds of miles of trails along the Front Range and deep in the Colorado Rockies. Especially true in southwest Colorado. The crowd is thin, the colors pop, and the excitement in the air is invigorating. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best fall hikes in Colorado from Great Sand Dunes National Park to popular mountain towns like Durango and Telluride.
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Each hike has its own unique characteristics, but all have impressive views, fall foliage, rolling vegetation, and opportunities to see local wildlife around every corner that you won’t want to miss on your trip to Western Colorado.
. This means packing away all your junk, respecting others on busy lanes and following the rules laid out.
Spud Lake (also known as Potato Lake) is below two 13ers, wannabe 13er, Engineer Mountain, and a lake named after Potato Hill.
A drive down Old Clay Creek Road offers a glimpse of what that road will entail. A bumpy road line in Aspen shakes (can be done in a car with good tires and some clearance). Once in the parking lot, head north for 1.2 miles on a gradual climb through beaver ponds, meadows, conifers, and an abundance of collectors, and enjoy a short respite in the calm waters of Speed Lake.
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On your way, watch out for wildlife including beavers, deer, elk, an unlimited number of birds (don’t forget your binoculars) and if you’re a fisherman, plenty of ready-to-eat fish.
This family-friendly hike is great during the fall because the changing colors of the aspen are spectacular. Autumn offers the last breath of shocking yellow before winter. Considering all these features, the crowd tends to form. Enjoy fewer people during the week, and don’t forget the camera.
Take Interstate 550 north of Durango for 18.5 miles. Take a sharp right onto Old Lime Creek Road and the trailhead is on the left 4.8 miles in.
Another great fall Colorado hike is the Pass Creek Trail near Durango, just past Spud Lake. This hike is the fastest way to access Mount Mohandas base. This forest walk does not have the fall colors of the snapdragons, but when you get to the meadows, the amazing views allow you to turn the leaves of many high mountain plants such as yellow Osha and red leafed columbine.
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The hike starts at 10,702 feet and ends at 11,661 feet, so from an elevation standpoint, it’s tough, but the pond on the way up is a great stopping point and some social trails lead to huge boulders, perfect for a break and a snack.
Once you’ve arrived at Green Meadow, you’ll enjoy a nearly 360-degree view of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. From here, paths branch off in several directions, so feel free to keep exploring to see attractive views to the north, east and south.
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