Explore: Denver-area Trails Mt. Audubon, Indian Peaks Wilderness
Score summit views of Longs Peak and the Gore Range from this relatively mellow 7.6-mile out-and-back to a 13,223-foot summit (no scrambling required). In September, enjoy smaller crowds and the beginnings of fall colors, while getting above treeline before snows hit (Trip ID 53181). Download our free smartphone app, GPS Trails, to check out dozens more Denver-area dayhikes: backpacker.com/gpstrails.
3 Perfect Days
Flagstaff, AZ West Fork Oak Creek Canyon
Arrive by 8 a.m. to hike this popular trail while it’s still cool and crowd-free. Travel six miles out-and-back through a forested canyon with towering, sculpted sandstone walls. Then up the adrenaline on the ropes course at the new Flagstaff Extreme adventure center 20 minutes away ($42; reservations recommended; flagstaffextreme.com). Trip ID 1090796
Helena, MT Helena Ridge Trail Catch the free trolley from the pedestrian mall to the Park City trailhead (it runs twice every weekend morning through September 30), then hike 8.7 miles along a ridge with views of distant peaks and town below. Your route ends just a block from the Blackfoot River Brewing Company (blackfootriverbrewing.com); enjoy a pint of Scottish Ale before heading home. Trip ID782922
Las Vegas, NV Grand Circle Loop Take advantage of cooler fall temps to explore Red Rock NCA’s cliffs and hoodoos on an 11.7-mile loop. Pack a blanket and a picnic, so you can head 10 miles down the road to watch theater under the stars in Spring Mountain Ranch SP (supersummertheatre.org). Trip ID5702