Hiking

Colorado provides endless hiking opportunities in all types of environments, from arid plains to the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains. The hikes listed below were selected for showcasing the natural beauty of the state and were exceptional. 

A good rule of thumb to use for calculating hiking times when starting out is “Naismith’s Rule” . Allow one hour for every 3 miles (5 km) forward, plus an additional hour for every 2,000 feet (600 m) of ascent

The difficulty ratings of hikes are based on the conditions at the time.

Leisure Hikes – kid friendly, 30 minutes-2 hours, elevation gain minimized

Moderate Hikes – 1/2 a day or so, good trail, no technical climbing, several thousand foot elevation gain possible

Difficult and 14er’s – whole day hike, usually an alpine start (before sunrise), substantial elevation gain, possibly no trail in sections or entire trip, up to class 3 climbing

Leisure Hikes

View of Trappers Lake from the Arthur H Carhart Trail

Trappers Lake (9,627′), Flat Tops

Roughly a mile and a half long and half a mile wide, reaching depths of 180 feet, Trappers Lake is ...
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Sandstone formations in Cathedral Valley

Garden of the Gods (6,400′) Front Range

Garden of the Gods 480 acre park is geologically unique, having one of the most complete and complex exposures of ...
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From the left to right: Pikes Peak, North Almagre Mountain

Almagre Mountain (12,360′), Front Range

Almagre Mountain is the second highest peak, after Pikes Peak, when viewed from Colorado Springs. Located in the Pike National ...
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Conditions at the summit

Mt Evans (14,264′), Front Range

Mt Evans can be accessed via the highest paved road in North America, reaching an elevation of 14,130'. The Mount ...
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Zapata Falls - 30 ft drop

Zapata Falls (9,250′), Sangre de Cristo Range

The Zapata Falls Recreational Area is approximately three miles south of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve entrance ...
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Paint Mines Park formations

Paint Mines Park (6,791′), Eastern Plains

Paint Mines Park is located in the high plains near Calhan, Colorado. The 750 acre park features geological formations including ...
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Sunset from Windy Point

Spruce Mountain (7,635′), Front Range

Spruce Mountain is located on the Palmer Divide near Palmer Lake, Colorado. It offers great views of the Palmer Divide ...
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Approaching Alberta Falls

Alberta Falls (9,400′), Front Range

Alberta Falls, located in Glacier Gorge, is one of the more popular hiking destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park. The ...
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Moderate Hikes

The Royal Gorge bridge crosses 955' above the Arkansas River

Fremont Peak (7,273′), Royal Gorge

Fremont Peak is the high point along a narrow ridge of hills rising near the eastern edge of the Royal ...
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View back into the valley

The Crags (10,856′), Front Range

The Crags Trail #664 follows Four Mile Creek through deep forests and lush meadows, ending at a rocky dome with ...
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Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake (7,290′), Glenwood Canyon

Hanging Lake, in Glenwood Canyon, is a beautiful travertine lake formed high up in Deadhorse Canyon. The lake was formed ...
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Lake Helene

Lake Helene (10,630′), Front Range

There is no signage and you must follow a social trail to get to the lake, but despite it's obscurity, ...
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Mills Lake with Storm Peak (left) and Spearhead (right) rising above the blowing snow

Mills (9,965′) and Jewel (9,990′) Lake, Front Range

Located within Glacier Gorge, Mills and Jewel Lake provide dramatic views of the surrounding peaks. Mills Lake is named in ...
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Beautiful Lone Eagle Peak (11,920') in the distance

Crater Lake (10,400′) and Mirror Lake (10,325′), Front Range

Mirror Lake and Crater lake are found deep in the heart of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Cascade Falls, found along ...
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Crestone Needle

South Colony Lakes (12,000′), Sangre de Cristo Range

South Colony Lakes Basin lies in the heart of southern Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Range. Surrounded by Crestone Needle (14,197'), ...
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View of Mt Rosa

Mt Rosa (11,500′), Front Range

Mt Rosa is located in the Pike National Forest just south of Pikes Peak and is the only cone shaped ...
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Blue Lake and Mt Toll

Mitchell and Blue Lake (11,360′), Front Range

Blue Lake is accessed from the Mitchell Lake trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Brainard Lake itself is a ...
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Looking into Chaos Canyon

Lake Haiyaha (10,244′), Front Range

Located in lower Chaos Canyon, Lake Haiyaha is unlike other lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park because it is surrounded ...
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Mt Herman

Mt Herman (9,104′), Front Range

Mt Herman is the highest point on the Palmer Divide, just west of Monument, Colorado. It lies along the Rampart ...
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Near Emerald Lake

Nymph (9,705′), Dream (9,905′), and Emerald Lake (10,110′), Front Range

Starting at the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, the trail passes Nymph and Dream Lakes on the ...
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Sunrise on the dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park (8,700′), Sangre de Cristo Range

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet ...
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Scenic American Basin

American Basin to Sloan Lake (12,920′), San Juan Range

The Handies Peak trail to Sloan Lake offers views of American Basin, one of the most scenic basins in the ...
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Red rock formations

Carpenter Peak (7,166′), Front Range

Carpenter Peak is located in Ro​xborough State Park,​ which is a Colorado Natural Area and a National Natural Landmark. The ...
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Estes Cone from the Longs Peak trailhead

Estes Cone (11,007′), Front Range

Estes Cone is located about 3 miles from the Longs Peak trailhead on the east side of Rocky Mountain National ...
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Devils Head Fire Lookout

Devils Head Fire Lookout (9,748′), Front Range

Note: As of 2020 the trail is open, but the stairs leading to the tower and the tower are currently ...
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Mt Morrison summit view

Mt Morrison (7,881′), Front Range

Mt Morrison stands above Red Rocks park, home of the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. The mountain can easily be identified ...
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Difficult Hikes

Beautiful views of the Crestone's from the trail

Humboldt Peak (14,064′), Sangre de Cristo Range

Humboldt Peak is part of the Crestones in the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The Crestones are a cluster ...
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Mt Audubon 13,223'

Mt Audubon (13,223′), Front Range

Mt Audubon is the highest peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness that has an established trail nearly to the summit ...
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Bear Lake with Hallett Peak in the distance

Hallett Peak (12,713′), Front Range

Hallett Peak, in Rocky Mountain National Park, is very distinctive when viewed from the east side of the park with ...
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Print of a meat eating Allosaurus

Picket Wire Canyonlands Tracksite (4,403′), Eastern Plains

Picket Wire (Purgatoire) Canyonlands, in the Comanche National Grasslands, is home to the largest dinosaur track site in North America ...
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View of West Spanish Peak (13,265')

West Spanish Peak (13,625′), Sangre de Cristo Range

West Spanish Peak (13,625') and East Spanish Peak (12,684') have world class geological features that made the two peaks a ...
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La Plata Peak southwest ridge with abandoned mining track. View of Huron Peak and the Three Apostles in the background.

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak is the 5th highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and is known for it's distinctive Ellingwood Ridge ...
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Cheyenne Mountain from Mt Rosa

Cheyenne Mountain (9,565′), Front Range

Cheyenne Mountain's geological summit lies on the southwestern portion of the mountain. The mountain always intrigued me because the front ...
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Looking back across the Narrows

Longs Peak (14,255′), Front Range

Iconic Longs Peak (14,259') is the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the northern most 14,000' peak in ...
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Near the upper trailhead

Mt Sneffels (14,150′), San Juan Range

Mt Sneffels is situated in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness of Uncompahgre National Forest, and the Lavender Couloir route can be ...
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Huron Peak view of the Three Apostles

Huron Peak (14,003′), Sawatch Range

Huron Peak is known as one of the most beautiful hikes in the Sawatch Mountain Range of Colorado. It is ...
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View southeast

St Vrain Mountain Trail (12,162′), Front Range

The St Vrain Mountain trail straddles the border between the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area (south) and Rocky Mountain National Park ...
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Flattop Mountain

Flattop Mountain (12,332′), Front Range

The hike to the summit of Flattop Mountain can be accessed from the very popular Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky ...
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View La Plata Peak

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak is the fifth-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains and is considered one of the more challenging hikes ...
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Quandary Peak summit ahead

Quandary Peak (14,265′), Ten Mile Range

Quandary Peak is the highest peak in the Ten Mile Range. It is a popular destination, just 8 miles outside ...
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Sky Pond and Taylor Glacier

Sky Pond (10,900′), Front Range

Begin at the Glacier Gorge trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park and follow a well maintained trail to Timberline Falls ...
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Missouri Mountain

Missouri Mountain (14,067′), Sawatch Range

The most popular approach to the summit of Missouri Mountain is from the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Missouri Mountain is connected ...
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Twin Lakes with Mt Elbert on the far right

Mt Elbert (14,433′), Sawatch Range

Mt Elbert is the highest peak in the 3,000 mile long Rocky Mountains, a mountain chain which stretches from Canada ...
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Snow-capped Mt Sherman

Mt Sherman (14,036′), Mosquito Range

Mt Sherman, Colorado's 46th highest peak, is a great first 14er. It is possible to park as high as 12,000 ...
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Near Mt Lincoln summit looking at Mt Cameron

Mt Democrat (14,148′) , Mt Cameron (14,238′), Mt Lincoln (14,148′), and Mt Bross (14,172), Mosquito Range

DeCaliBron" (Mt Democrat, Mt Cameron, Mt Lincoln, Mt Bross) provides an opportunity to do four 14ers in one day. The ...
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2011 landslide area

Twin Sisters (11,428′), Front Range

The Twin Sisters ridge runs nearly two miles along the east central boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. From the ...
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Grays (left) and Torreys (right) Peak's

Grays(14,270) and Torreys(14,267) Peaks, Front Range

Grays Peak and Torreys Peak are the only two 14er's situated on the Continental Divide and provide great views of ...
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Mt Bierstadt trail to the summit

Mt Bierstadt (14,160′), Front Range

Mt Bierstadt is a few miles east of Guanella Pass, in the northernmost part of the Pike National Forest. This ...
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14er’s

Beautiful views of the Crestone's from the trail

Humboldt Peak (14,064′), Sangre de Cristo Range

Humboldt Peak is part of the Crestones in the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The Crestones are a cluster ...
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View of Cronin Peak (13,870') from the west side of Mt Antero

Mt Antero (14,269′) and Mt White (13,667′), Sawatch Range

Mt Antero is one of only a handful of 14,000' peaks that has a road that travels to within a ...
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La Plata Peak southwest ridge with abandoned mining track. View of Huron Peak and the Three Apostles in the background.

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak is the 5th highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and is known for it's distinctive Ellingwood Ridge ...
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Looking back across the Narrows

Longs Peak (14,255′), Front Range

Iconic Longs Peak (14,259') is the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the northern most 14,000' peak in ...
Read More
Conditions at the summit

Mt Evans (14,264′), Front Range

Mt Evans can be accessed via the highest paved road in North America, reaching an elevation of 14,130'. The Mount ...
Read More
Near the upper trailhead

Mt Sneffels (14,150′), San Juan Range

Mt Sneffels is situated in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness of Uncompahgre National Forest, and the Lavender Couloir route can be ...
Read More
Huron Peak view of the Three Apostles

Huron Peak (14,003′), Sawatch Range

Huron Peak is known as one of the most beautiful hikes in the Sawatch Mountain Range of Colorado. It is ...
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View La Plata Peak

La Plata Peak (14,336′), Sawatch Range

La Plata Peak is the fifth-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains and is considered one of the more challenging hikes ...
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Quandary Peak summit ahead

Quandary Peak (14,265′), Ten Mile Range

Quandary Peak is the highest peak in the Ten Mile Range. It is a popular destination, just 8 miles outside ...
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Missouri Mountain

Missouri Mountain (14,067′), Sawatch Range

The most popular approach to the summit of Missouri Mountain is from the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Missouri Mountain is connected ...
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Twin Lakes with Mt Elbert on the far right

Mt Elbert (14,433′), Sawatch Range

Mt Elbert is the highest peak in the 3,000 mile long Rocky Mountains, a mountain chain which stretches from Canada ...
Read More
Snow-capped Mt Sherman

Mt Sherman (14,036′), Mosquito Range

Mt Sherman, Colorado's 46th highest peak, is a great first 14er. It is possible to park as high as 12,000 ...
Read More
Near Mt Lincoln summit looking at Mt Cameron

Mt Democrat (14,148′) , Mt Cameron (14,238′), Mt Lincoln (14,148′), and Mt Bross (14,172), Mosquito Range

DeCaliBron" (Mt Democrat, Mt Cameron, Mt Lincoln, Mt Bross) provides an opportunity to do four 14ers in one day. The ...
Read More
Grays (left) and Torreys (right) Peak's

Grays(14,270) and Torreys(14,267) Peaks, Front Range

Grays Peak and Torreys Peak are the only two 14er's situated on the Continental Divide and provide great views of ...
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Mt Bierstadt trail to the summit

Mt Bierstadt (14,160′), Front Range

Mt Bierstadt is a few miles east of Guanella Pass, in the northernmost part of the Pike National Forest. This ...
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