Hiking Trails In Denver Colorado

Hiking Trails In Denver Colorado – From the ski herds to the cross-country transplants who moved here for the great outdoors, no one loves their mountains more than Coloradoans. Below are our picks for the best day hikes in Denver, from relatively easy hikes in the foothills to the 14th highest peak in the state (and the second highest peak in the United States) . All Colorado hikers should pay close attention to height and drink water and not push your body beyond its comfortable limits. Also note that afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer, especially lightning. Those heading to the high country should plan to get up early and climb around noon before the weather turns.

The Trading Post Trail is the easiest and most convenient hike on this list, but it’s still a great way to get out of Denver, stretch your legs, get some fresh mountain air, and even visit the Amphitheater Denver. the famous Red Rocks. Less than 20 miles from downtown is the small town of Morrison and one of the best concert venues in the country. The entire area is a public park (Red Rocks Mountain Park) and famous for the dramatic cliffs that rise from the foothills. South of the Amphitheater is the Trading Post Trail: a groomed 1.8-mile loop with great views. Make sure you get there early as everything closes around 2pm. on concert days, which are more common than not during the summer months.

Hiking Trails In Denver Colorado

About 30 miles west of Denver is outdoor mecca Boulder. Historic Chautauqua Village is located just below the Flatirons with great views and lots of hiking in the area. A series of easy trails wind from the Chautauqua Ranger Station through Bluebell Mesa, and many people simply hike until they want to return. If you want to have a goal in mind, the first Flatiron Trail is about 1.9 miles round trip with good views of Boulder, and the Royal Arch is 2.2 miles round trip. Note that given Chautauqua’s scenic beauty and proximity to US-36, these are Boulder’s most popular trails for visitors. The Flatirons also love rock climbers, so keep an eye out for abseiling or free-standing rock climbers.

Hikes Just 30 Minutes From Denver, Colorado

If you have two cars, our favorite is the Mesa Trail from Chautauqua to the Eldorado Springs parking lot (or vice versa). This 4.7-mile hike covers classic Boulder terrain with views of the Flatirons, foothills, and Denver. Park on either trail, park on the other, and you’ll have a great trip to Boulder. And don’t forget to stop by Pearl Street on your way out of town to celebrate your day.

This National Natural Landmark outside of Colorado Springs is another example of beautiful red rock formations nestled in the foothills. The roads from the visitor center wind through the park with short hiking trails in all directions (some are paved, but you can veer off the main road to avoid the crowds). Cathedral Valley is one of the most striking areas of the park, and Longs Peak can be seen in the background on clear days. Garden of the Gods is great for families: the full route is about 4 miles, but the walking is relatively easy and the parking lots are never far away. For more solitude and similar views, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is just two miles south.

One could argue that Brainard Lake Recreation Area is the true beginning of Rocky Mountain wilderness. The mountains above are foothills—beautiful as they are—but Brainard feels like the original Colorado: a stunning alpine lake, rugged snow-capped peaks, spring and summer wildflowers, and coolness in the air. Brainard can be crowded because of the big mountain experience, but for more solitude you can walk the sidewalks and picnic tables near the parking lots to both Mitchell and Blue Lakes (Blue Lake is 2.5 miles from the Mitchell Trailhead Lake). An added bonus is the scenic drive along the Peak to Peak Highway, but beware of the high altitude coming straight from Denver.

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado’s jewels, and Emerald Lake is the best short day trip from the park. Starting at the Bear Lake Trailhead at 9,475 feet, the trail passes Nymph Lake and Dream Lake with views of Longs Peak in the distance. 2.8 miles from the trailhead and over 10,000 feet in elevation, the stunning Emerald Lake appears. The lake feeds the Tyndall Glacier, one of five active glaciers in the park, and is a great place to have lunch and enjoy the views. For a more challenging hike in the area, the nearby Flattop Mountain Trail bypasses the Continental Divide and is 8.6 miles round trip to the Bear Lake Trail. For any hike, be sure to leave early or use the park’s shuttle service, as parking fills up quickly. Also note: from spring to fall, a timed entry permit is required to drive in RMNP (unless you have a reservation for services – such as camping or hiking), so plan ahead .

Five Must See Waterfalls Close To Denver

Breckenridge is less than two hours from Denver on I-70 and one of our favorite mountain towns in Colorado. A weekend in Breck is ideal, but you can hike the Mohawk Lakes in a day with plenty of time to get back to town. Elevation is a factor here: Lower Mohawk Lake is at 11,861 feet, and Mohawk Lake itself at 12,110 feet. If you can enjoy the vertical climb, the views are spectacular of the Colorado mountains, alpine lakes, wildflowers, and wildlife. This favorite spot ends with plenty of looping opportunities and views of Pacific Peak and Crystal Peak, which are just shy of 14-year status. Peak climbers staying in Breckenridge can climb the nearby 14er Quandary, the state’s 13th highest mountain.

Length: 14.2 miles each way to Fern Lake departure point; 0.8 miles further to Fern Creek Boat Station

To beat the crowds in Rocky Mountain National Park, look no further than the one-way hike from Bear Lake to Fern Lake. The park offers a free and efficient shuttle system: for altitude reasons, most hikers start at Bear Lake and end at Fern Lake and return to their cars (shuttles run from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from spring to fall) . Those who choose this hike will be rewarded with untouched land, alpine lakes, waterfalls and beautiful mountain views. An accidental fire at Fern Lake in 2012, caused by an illegal campfire, caused significant damage to the vegetation surrounding that lake. However, things move quickly and shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle for those who opt for this trip.

Gray and neighboring Torres Peaks are the most accessible 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation) in Colorado and the two highest peaks on the Continental Divide. With the summit off I-70 at 11,280 feet, the hike to Gray and the saddle to Torres is strenuous but manageable for many hikers (again, elevation is one of the biggest struggles here). The easiest way up starts from the Gray and Torres Trail on Stevens Gulch Road, just 3 miles from the highway. The road to the trailhead can be bumpy in places – if you have a vehicle with limited clearance, it might be wise to park in the dirt lot near the highway exit and get a ride from another hiker. On a walk, reaching Gray’s peak is first and it’s easy to cross the saddle to Toris if you’re tired or the weather looks questionable (the saddle requires any class 2). The total round trip distance is 8.4 miles and the summits of both peaks are over 14,270 feet.

Best Hikes In Colorado For 2023 (by A Local)

We don’t have Longs Peak listed here because it’s classified as a climb, not a hike. The popular Keyhole route has plenty of Class 3 pitches: roll climbing or no-rope climbing, when a rope is often a good idea. Because of its difficulty, a significant number of people (estimated at around 50%) who attempt to reach the summit fail. However, the stunning Prozno Lake lies below Long Peak’s famous diamond face in a dramatic cirque of rock, offering views of Longs Peak itself that are certainly more beautiful than what you can see from the summit. Plus, you’ll likely see fewer people there than at the summit. The trail is also a great place to see wildlife, including deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and marmots. Conditions are changeable at any time of the year, so prepare for wind and cold weather even in summer – and don’t forget to check the forecast before you go: the high face of Longs Peak blocks any view of storms coming from the west.

At 14,439 feet, Mount Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado and the second tallest in the contiguous United States (Mt. Whitney in California is first at 14,505 feet). Outside of Colorado, Mount Elbert does not

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