Swimming holes, waterfalls, petroglyphs, and an idyllic campsite—all just a few miles deep in Dinosaur National Monument. BY ROSE CONRY
Cross two high-elevation passes and camp at a lake right out of the Dolomites on this weekend trip in the Indian Peaks. BY MAREN HORJUS
Most people look at Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains and see a line of peaks. Our scout saw an opportunity: pioneering the range’s first traverse.
Find easy-access powder stashes on this beginner-friendly backcountry ski trip to the Nokhu Hut.
Follow this 9.9-mile loop through vibrant wildflower displays and past snow-fed streams to a huge alpine lake with unbeatable campsite views of Mount Meeker.
This stiff but non-technical ascent leads to the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park with unrivaled postcard views.
Thanks to only a little elevation gain, this 7-mile loop offers flatlanders great rewards (big views, wildlife, solitude) without much suffering. Pack plenty of water and sunscreen.
Quiet rules on this mostly off-trail, 5.1-mile scramble up a boulder strewn canyon to a gnarly rocky crown with panoramic mountain views in Pike National Forest.
Hike or ride smooth singletrack on this 7.2-mile lasso-loop, which climbs gently through rich scrubland and ponderosa forest to a killer mountainside overlook.
Get high fast on this 9.1-mile, out-and-back to Fern and Spruce lakes, which sit in gorgeous alpine valleys beneath the Little Matterhorn and several other commanding peaks.
Cruise 5.2 miles along gentle foothills, Ireland-esque pastures, and past an old sawmill to a vista overlooking Boulder Canyon and the Front Range.
This 17.2-mile hike strings together two monster canyons with a hardy bushwhack across red-rock backcountry.
Discover the blue pearls of famed Indian Peaks Wilderness on this moderate 8.4-mile high alpine hike.
This 12.4-mile out-and-back sweeps under a giant evergreen forest to a blossoming burn zone, then ends at an alpine lake perfect for stargazing.
Ascend North America’s tallest dunes for a day surrounded by alpine peaks, a desert valley, and shifting mountains of sand on this 6.6-mile loop in America’s newest national park.
Hike lonely trails filled with Yosemite-like granite formations in Lost Creek Wilderness on this 15.4-mile out-and-back up the Retirement Range’s highest peak.
This 10-mile loop in Hall Ranch begins with a stiff, sometimes technical, climb then speeds into rolling forestland and endless grassy meadows to an old ranch in the shadow of Longs Peak.
This 6.8-mile hike leads through old Indian country and past views of Great Sand Dunes and a sacred Navajo peak to a historic pass traveled by settlers.
Ride some of western Colorado’s finest singletrack with tight turns, long descents, and stunning red sandstone on this 7.4-mile heart-pounder.
Knock off two thrilling 14ers on this strenuous 11.2-mile, out-and-back adventure in Colorado’s rugged Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Also makes a great overnight.
This 10.3-miler outside Vail is a leg- and lung-buster, but at the end of the day you’ll touch the sky on the summit of one of Colorado’s fabled Fourteeners.
Hike into the core of Indian Peaks Wilderness on this 13.6-mile overnight, which leads past waterfalls to a sunbleached valley and a sweet lakeside campsite.
A wicked flood raged through this valley 20 years ago, carving wide furrows down the Roaring River from Lawn Lake. This hike is 11.6 miles round trip.
On this 8.4-miler, you’ll climb well-marked trails to the tentacle-like flanks of Ypsilon Mountain and its namesake lake, then return off-trail by following a mountain stream past unnamed waterfalls.
This moderately challenging 7.2-mile hike to a photogenic summit proves that sometimes it’s not how high you climb–it’s where you climb.
Rolling forestland and endless grassy meadows provide abundant habitat for mule dear, wild turkeys, and other wildlife on this 6.8-miler to an old ranch in the shadow of Longs Peak.
Bag two peaks on this 9-mile, fido-friendly loop around Boulder’s signature Flatirons.
Downtown and need a post-meeting fix? This heart-pounding 4.3-mile scramble in Apex Park gives new meaning to that old runner’s high.
Hike rolling grassland punctuated by towering redrock formations to a ridge overlooking the Front Range on this 6-mile loop just minutes from the city.
Wander through lush forests and high-alpine meadows to a pair of secluded mountain lakes nestled at the foot of the Mummy Range.
Bag three peaks and bird’s-eye views of Boulder on this tour of the Flatirons. Bring a few extra energy bars: This out-and-back gains 5,000 feet in 11 miles.
This 5.2-mile trail kicks off with a short albeit aggressive climb, then rambles through meadows that explode with wildflowers in the summer. Craggy mountain vistas abound.
A 1,900-foot gain in 2 miles rewards with stellar views of James Peak on this 6.6-mile round-trip hike beneath the Continental Divide.
This 15.2-mile route runs over gemstone deposits of quartz and aquamarine to a rocky summit in the southern Sawatch Range.
String together three Sawatch summits on this popular circuit with long alpine traverses overlooking the Continental Divide.
Tour three 14,000-foot peaks (and one unranked 14er) on this loop in the Mosquito Range.
Rocky scrambles and a knife-edge ridge lead up one of the most challenging Fourteeners. Stellar views over the untamed Elk Range are endless.
This stiff climb to the tallest peak in the Elk Range offers unforgettable views of the Roaring Fork River and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.
This 11.6-mile route wanders through a lovely forest, climbs wind-swept slopes and ends with top-of-the-world vistas on Colorado’s tallest peak.
The long waiting list to climb the airy spine of Culebra (located on private property) makes this summit one of the hardest to check off your 14er life list.
A well-marked trail unfurls up this mountain and leads to sublime panoramas across a sea of granite and ice in the Sawatch Range.
Solitude rules on this remote trek through wildflower meadows to a skyscraping post above the rugged backcountry of the San Juan Mountains.
Trek up sparsely-covered slopes and a broad talus ridge in the Sawatch Range to an overlook with endless alpine vistas.
Escape the cars and crowds and take this 11.8-mile trip up the glacier-carved slopes of Pikes Peak, a legendary summit noted for its gold rush in the late 1850s.
Tackle the iron-stained slopes of two secluded summits to photograph pristine views of the rugged San Juan Mountains.
A stout 3,382-foot climb up scree-filled gullies ends with rewarding sights on this solitary Sangre de Cristo summit.
Bag a rugged fourteener on this 20.8-mile lasso loop linking shady evergreens and long sunny scrambles to a beautiful peak high above the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
Drawn-out switchbacks lead past jumbled boulder gardens and old mining ruins to a sweeping finale above the high tundra. Post-trip bonus: Soak in the steamy baths at Princeton Hot Springs.
Traverse slippery shale and narrow sandstone ledges up this exposed pinnacle. Helmets recommended and a stomach for gut-clenching scrambles is mandatory.
The perfect prelude to the rest of Colorado’s 14ers is this gentle 8.4-mile climb up talus slopes, past old mines to a broad summit in the Mosquito Range.
Link the bare summits of the Sawatch Range’s southernmost 14ers for far-reaching views over the San Isabel National Forest.
Scale three lofty summits on this route in the sheer contours of the Sangre de Cristo Range, including the signature, knobby face of Crestone Peak.
This backcountry trek to two classic San Juan summits, serves up vertical scrambles, formidable ridges, not to mention miles of stunning scenery.
Earmark 3-5 days for this backcountry trek to a campsite in Chicago Basin, where you’ll have a chance to climb a cluster of three 14ers in the San Juan Mountains.
Lasso two 14ers in 3 hours during the most moderate (and popular) 5-mile ascent you’ll find in Colorado’s Front Range.
A leg-busting 8.4-mile round trip up Yale’s relentless southwest slopes culminates with soaring views over the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and Arkansas River Valley.
Follow this popular route up a long, gentle ridge to gain intimate views of the Tenmile Range and the Continental Divide.
This 4.8-mile out-and-back climbs steep, boulder-covered slopes and an often snow-filled couloir to a compact San Juan summit overlooking turquoise mountain lakes.
This 11.2-mile hike strings together the five summits of Colorado’s second-highest peak where supreme vistas open over a landscape of glacial till and alpine lakes.
Quiet meadows, lonesome tundra slopes, and elk highlight this crowd-free summit tucked in La Garita Wilderness.
See for yourself why early explorers and painters adored these beautiful peaks. This trip highlights two classic routes to the double crowns of the Front Range.
The payoffs at the top are huge, but tricky, technical scrambles and advanced route finding make these photogenic peaks in the Elk Range anything but easy.
These challenging routes run through a land of rugged spires, swift streams, snowy gullies, and golden aspen stands. Experts: Connect the knife-edged ridge between Mount Wilson and El Diente.
This challenging hike ascends steep gullies and traverses serrated ridges for a chance at three peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Range.
It’s a scholarly debate on which summit–Mount Columbia or Mount Harvard–is the best. So reserve a long weekend to climb both in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, and decide for yourself.
Moose, knee-high flowers, two alpine lakes, and infinite views are just a few reasons to hike this 19-mile loop in the Never Summer Wilderness.
This interactive map highlights each of the 54 highest peaks in Colorado with links to more detailed routes, maps, and photos. Bonus: Fly over these monster peaks in 3-D with Google Earth.
The must-see list for this 5.7-mile dayhike to Glacier Gorge is long: raging waterfalls, alpine lakes, and a skyline of humbling mountain views.
No ropes required, but a camera is recommended, on this shady and scenic 5.6-mile out-and-back stroll into the heart of Eldorado Canyon climbing country.
This 17.2-mile hike strings together two monster canyons with a hardy bushwhack across red-rock backcountry.
Wind across vibrant landscapes cut dramatically by sheer-walled canyons and rising plateaus to a sandstone monolith in Colorado National Monument.
Don’t forget the camera: This scenic 7.1-mile loop in Pike National Forest serves up short climbs, fast descents, and fine views of Pikes Peak.
This 4.6-mile out-and-back twists through a red rock canyon ending at a towering rock monolith in Colorado National Monument.
Trek across vibrant wildflower meadows to two alpine lakes tucked into a rocky chasm below Mt. Massive on this 5.8 miler outside Leadville.
Just a short bus ride from downtown, this 5.1-mile dayhike climbs loops around the panoramic ridgelines of Indian Mountain.
Leave your car at home: To explore Continental Divide country, you only need a bus ticket and your bike.
The views on this 5.9-miler are so grand that this parkland was once proposed as the summer grounds for a second presidential White House.
Try a stunning new hike in the Colorado Rockies’ top spot for big backpacking adventures.
This 5.7-mile loop features golden hills rimmed by crimson mesas, abundant rock formations, and revealing views into Colorado National Monument.
Tour a rock garden of giant proportions on this 4.8-mile loop, passing towering redrock monoliths, golden hillsides, and views of Pikes Peak.
Put your quads and endurance to the test on this 6.6-mile hike that features steep scrambles, boulder-strewn canyons, and dramatic views from Bear Peak.
Scramble up a forgotten peak in the Lost Creek Wilderness.
This 3-day trek follows a choice route through Colorado’s high and wild Collegiate Peaks.
Connect subalpine waterfalls, gurgling creeks, and overlooks above Wild Basin on this 5.3-miler in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Travel across lush forest, grassy meadows, and exposed alpine slopes to the rocky crown of Grays Peak on this 67-mile section of the Continental Divide Trail.
Explore remote Rockies scenery and WWII history on this 22-mile hike in the Roosevelt National Forest.
Check off seven kinds of forest ecosystems on this 7.6-mile shuttle hike in Grand Mesa National Forest.
Pine-dotted canyons, a gurgling creek, and summit views of Rocky Mountain National Park highlight this 5.4-mile dayhike near Boulder.
This intro to Fruita, CO mountain biking speeds along smooth singletrack for 4.8 miles passing sandstone domes and overlooks perched above the Colorado River.
Blast through rock gardens and banked singletrack before a final downhill blitz on this 7.7-mile ride on Horsethief Bench.
This 6.5-mile mountain bike loop features the best of the Bookcliffs trails: Zippety Do Da’s steeps, the gnarly drop off Joe’s Ridge, and Kessel Run’s slalom course.
Scream down chutes, spin up ladders, and squeal like a little kid on this 5.5-mile loop of sick singletrack rollers near Fruita.
A favorite of hikers and mountain bikers alike, this 7.2-mile out-and-back rolls through a creek wash and climbs an expansive slickrock ribbon overlooking the Grand Valley.
This 11.8-mile dayhike links quiet forests and wildflower-filled meadows to a broad mountaintop overlooking Lake Dillon.
Compared to its jagged neighbors, this 13,000-foot summit is one of the easier peaks (no technical scrambling required) to tick off in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Take in far-reaching vistas of high peaks and russet canyons on this 5.4-mile shuttle hike in Colorado National Monument.
Explore a Durango secret: This network of trails in San Juan National Forest is just minutes from town.
This 3.4-mile loop, featuring countless log steps and narrow rock passages, travels up and over one of Boulder’s challenging summits.
Navigate an obstacle course of countless log steps, steep rock slabs, and giant boulders on this 2.8-mile hike to a small summit overlooking Boulder.
This 4-miler starts with a gentle climb along rolling ridgeline, then cranks it up a notch with an obstacle course of steep rock steps and tightly-spaced boulders.
Snowshoe into a small mountain lake on this gentle, 5-mile out-and-back in Indian Peaks Wilderness–a perfect winter getaway from the city.
The climb on this 7.6-mile loop to Bear Peak is, well, a bear, gaining 2,800 stair-studded feet. The payoff: Long views into Boulder, Denver, and the Indian Peaks.
Lost Lake. Stormy Peaks. These places represent their names well on this 19.4-mile out-and-back in the northeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Go counterclockwise on this 10.2-mile loop touring the rocky cliffs and odd-shaped boulders of Lumpy Ridge to an alpine lake and several campsites in Rocky Mountain National Park.
This 5.9-mile loop is great for eager flatlanders who are acclimating to the thin Rocky Mountain air.
Summit a lesser-traveled 13,000-foot peak, then catch some summer alpine fishing at Timber Lake on this 13.4-mile out-and-back.
In the shadow of Caribou Peak and Bald Mountain, this easy 1.6-mile out-and-back leads to a pot of gold—a cluster of Rainbow Lakes.
Catch views of the Continental Divide (and mule deer, elk, and black bear) on this 12.3-mile loop in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
Following an ancient glacial retreat, this 13.5-mile out-and-back on the East Inlet Trail traverses moose country toward a couple of lonely alpine lakes.
Test your endurance on this 5.6-mile loop that powers up Animas City Mountain to a remote mountain viewpoint and stellar mesa-edge views of downtown Durango.
There is fierce competition for the finest scenery on this challenging trek to Snowmass Lake: alpine lakes, rocky chasms, and 14,000-foot peaks.
This moderate 12.7-mile out-and-back climbs a glacial valley under America’s most photographed peaks, where sweeping views from 12,480-foot West Maroon Pass are more than picturesque.
Four 12,000-foot passes, classic alpine views and a rugged loop around Colorado’s most-photographed peaks make this 26.5-mile backpack a Rocky Mountain epic.
One of Colorado State Forest’s most recommended trails, the short and steep trip to Lake Agnes delivers with craggy peaks, scree fields (home to pika), and fish-filled alpine waters.
Inspiring views of Big Thompson Valley await at the north end of this trail
Rushing waterfalls, mountainous views, and a healthy dose of altitude highlight this 6.3-mile loop in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Amble along rushing creeks, waterfalls, and lichen-covered rock outcroppings on the way to a secluded alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Wild Basin.
From coniferous forests to intimate alpine lakes to views of the Continental Divide, this 12-miler offers classic Rocky Mountain scenery.
Tour Rainbow Lakes’ subalpine waters before climbing through pine forests, past hidden lakes, and over 13ers en route to the Continental Divide.
Sampling the best of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, this 5-milers traverses alpine meadows up to a sparkling lake perched below the Continental Divide.
Sweeping views and a memorable elk-spotting traverse at 11,000 feet await on this 22.3-mile multi-day loop in the Rio Grande National Forest.
For the ultimate view of Longs Peak’s 1,000-foot Diamond Face, climb to Chasm Lake on this 8.2-mile out-and-back that tops out above treeline.
This 18.8-miler follows the North Inlet through aspen groves, spruce stands, and marshland (feeding grounds of bugling elk) to a campground tucked beneath the Continental Divide.
Hike this gentle, 6.1-mile out-and-back in midsummer when an explosion of wildflowers dominates the climb to this grassy pass in the Indian Peaks.
This popular loop through Boulder’s Chautauqua Park tops out at a stunning rock arch framing views of Front Range foothills and the plains.
Sample suburban recreational trails on this easy 3.8-mile Niwot route that showcases views of the Front Range along it’s eastern fringe.
Perfect for an after-work trail run or leisurely stroll, this 2.7-mile lollipop loop explores wide-open meadows in the shadow of Boulder’s iconic Flatirons.
Climb 2,400 feet to twin peaks on Rocky Mountain National Park’s east side. Aspen-shaded trails and unobstructed views of Longs Peak are just two rewards of this 7.2-mile out-and-back.
A must-do for dayhikers, this 8.1-miler traverses windswept alpine tundra with dramatic overlooks and 360-degree views of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Trace a mountain stream through knee-high grasslands and shady aspen groves to a 20-foot waterfall on this moderate 6.2-miler in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Climb past ponderosa stands, golden meadows, and Boulder’s iconic Flatirons to a hidden cave in Chautauqua Park on this 6.8-mile out-and-back.
Trek from a golden, mountain-rimmed valley to a ponderosa and lodgepole forest with towering rock formations on this 8.3-miler in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Waterfalls, alpine lakes, and mind-blowing scenery. It’s all included on this 9.1-mile out-and-back hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Trek past cloud-scraping peaks and shimmering lakes en route to breathtaking views of the Isabelle Glacier on this 8.1-miler in the untamed Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Enjoy the views and high elevation while looping around Long Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Get up-close and personal with Boulder’s signature Flatirons on this popular 2.9-mile loop that leads to a rocky perch high above Chautauqua Park.
Nestled between Nederland and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, this 4.3-mile lollipop trail reveals mountain vistas en route to a 19th-century homestead.
An invigorating climb at the base of Lookout Mountain, this 5.4-mile lollipop loop follows a bustling creek into a forest thick with trees and elk.
This 8.1-mile hike skirts wind-scoured lakes and scrambles up the edge of a waterfall before arriving at Sky Pond, where crumbling spires stretch 2,000 feet into the air.
This 5.4-mile out-and-back in Rocky Mountain National Park leads to The Loch, a mountain lake ringed by spectacular granite cliffs.
Grab your skis or snowshoes to experience this wintry route that climbs past snowy landscapes to Montgomery Pass, a ridge-top lookout in Colorado’s Medicine Bow Mountains.
Tour two mountain lakes en route to Emerald Lake, a picturesque tarn with stunning views of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, on this popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.
One of the Front Range’s best hikes, this 10.1-mile point-to-point offers solitude, mountain views, and a couple of thigh-burning climbs.
Gaining 2,300 feet in just 2.6-miles, this out-and-back climbs the slopes of Engineer Mountain and rewards with high-altitude wildflowers and views of a rare rock glacier.
This popular, and moderately challenging, 4.7-miler climbs through mixed forest and over talus fields to lofty views of Colorado Springs, the eastern plains, and Pikes Peak.
Follow a long-forgotten 5- to 7-day loop in Rocky Mountain National Park across the Continental Divide, through moose-infested meadows, and up Longs Peak via a rarely climbed route.
Hit the Enchanted Mesa en route to this little-visited destination–stone recliners overlooking the city of Boulder–on this 2.9-mile loop in Chautauqua Park.
The rocky recess of Fourmile Canyon offers up one of Boulder’s less-traveled foothill trails. Canyon shade and a crisscrossing creek keep this 3.1-miler perfect for a summer afternoon.
This 3.5-mile out-and-back climbs into Shadow Canyon, passing an old homestead and striking views of Boulder’s Flatirons.
Traverse exposed ridgelines and thick pine forests for postcard views of Rocky Mountain National Park on this 20.6-mile lollipop loop.
Just a 30-minute trek from downtown, this short-and-steep trail lands at the base of Cornet Falls, an 80-footer that is one of Telluride’s most accessible cascades.
Warm up to Telluride’s steep ascents with this mellow 4.5-miler that climbs steadily along Bear Creek to a 100-foot falls in the Uncompahgre National Forest.
Cruise the high-mountain desert to a pinnacle overlook in the Curecanti National Recreation Area. This 3.8-miler offers an up-close look at the volcanic activity that shaped the natural wonders nearby.
Set aside a couple of hours for this 3.3-mile loop on the north end of Telluride that climbs 1,200 feet to breathtaking views of this small mountain town.
Rounded granite knobs and sweeping valleys in the Lost Creek Wilderness set the stage for this spectacular 27.6-mile loop that rewards with rugged panoramas and killer riverside campsites.
This Front Range dayhike is short on mileage and big on payoffs. In less than a mile, you’ll skirt a mountain lake and climb the snowy slopes of a Rocky Mountain glacier.
Named as Colorado’s best dayhike in the May 2009 issue of BACKPACKER, this spectacular loop in the Mosquito Range hits three Fourteeners (two official, one unofficial) that were only recently opened for hiking.
Bring your binoculars and circle Barr Lake on this easy 9.3-mile loop in prime birding territory. You may spot one of the Front Range’s only pair of nesting bald eagles.
Not ready to tackle a 14er (yet)? Try this 2.5-mile gem in Golden Gate State Park for a view of the continental divide where you can pick the target of your next alpine adventure.
Five-star mountain views, two alpine lakes, and gold mine relics highlight this 4.5-mile out-and-back dayhike south of Breckenridge, Colorado.
Explore tiny lakeshore beaches (and don’t forget your fishing pole) on this 3-mile trek that heads cross-country on the southeast corner of Gross Reservoir.
Stretch your legs on all–or just part–of this 3.6-mile trail that climbs steadily alongsideGlenwood Canyon’s Grizzly Creek. The only bear here is the 1,800 foot gain in elevation.
Follow alpine streams through verdant valleys on this overnight trek from Crested Butte to the base of West Maroon Pass and Hasley Basin in Colorado’s fourth largest wilderness area.
Red Rocks isn’t just a great place for a concert, this 4.5-mile out-and-back starts among red-tinted outcroppings and heads north to Mathews/Winters Park for a fun and easy-access day hike.
A picture-perfect pond at the end of this mellow 0.8-miler makes this Roosevelt National Forest hike an easy overnight option for families—and the faint-of-heart.
A picture-perfect pond at the end of this mellow 0.8-mile hike makes this trip in the Roosevelt National Forest an easy overnight option for families—and the faint-of-heart.
Climb through pungent ponderosa to the summit of Arthur’s Rock for views of Ft. Collins and the Colorado plains. It’s a far-away feeling, but close-to-town 4.4-mile dayhike loop through Lory State Park.
The Eagles Nest Wilderness doesn’t attract regular Colorado crowds—unless you count the mountain goats. Explore rugged peaks, and pristine alpine lakes on this 13.3-mile route in an under-appreciated Rocky Mountain getaway.
Begin exploring the South Platte River’s Greenway Trail on this 7-mile out and back intro to the paved, 30-mile-plus vein through the heart of the Mile High City.
Want an easy hike and a shot at seeing a monster moose? Then earmark this 3.4-mile out-and-back on the westside of Rocky Mountain National Park.
This easy, 4.4-mile loop outside Boulder links Big Bluestem Trail to South Boulder Creek Trail and features vibrant wildflowers and 5-star views of the Flatirons.
Tag two neighboring summits that overlook Boulder (and climb nearly 3,000 feet in the process) on this 8.3-mile lasso loop to Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak.
Catch breathtaking views of Summit County and the Tenmile Range on this 6.9-mile out-and-back that climbs to the 12,805-foot summit of Peak 1.
Just two hours from Denver, this 7.4-mile out-and-back passes several waterfalls en route to a magnificent lake basin that provides off-trail access to Pacific Tarn, the highest officially named lake in the United States.
This 7.6-mile hike in the San Juan Mountains travels past golden meadows and three waterfalls en route to a stunning tarn in Ice Lake Basin.
Explore Colorado’s Gore Range on this 12.4-mile shuttle hike that begins in Vail, crosses Red Buffalo Pass, and drops into Silverthorne.
Power up more than 2,600 feet of rugged, backcountry trails on this 12.4-mile out-and back that climbs from Vail to a pristine lakeshore in the heart of the Gore Range.
Climb to a scenic viewpoint overlooking Boulder and the Flatirons on this moderate, 3.1-mile out-and-back in Chautauqua Park.
Almost entirely above treeline, this 6.5-mile day-hike loop cruises below rounded 12,000-foot ridges en route to Tobacco Lake in the heart of Colorado’s South San Juans.
Climb more than 2,000 feet from aspen groves near Woods Lake to the dramatic Navajo Lake basin. This 10.2-mile out-and-back is a San Juan classic that spends a dramatic mile above treeline.
Traverse a red-rock hillside on this easy 1-mile out-and-back that lands atop a cluster of sandstone pinnacles in the Colorado National Monument’s grandest canyon.
“Camp” in style on this out-and-back to a 10th Mountain Division hut just north of Leadville, CO. A full kitchen, wood-stove heat, and sprawling views of 14,421-foot Mt. Massive are just a few of the amenities.
This 10.5-mile out and back promises wildflower drenched meadows, stunning vistas, and two pristine alpine lakes perfect for a cold dip or sunrise photo op.
Impressive mountain views and thick aspen stands await backpackers on this 30-mile section of the Colorado Trail perfect for a two or three day trip.
The very best section of the 483-mile Colorado Trail lies along this 40-mile San Juans stunner. Start at 12,500 feet and drop past hidden waterfalls into the Animas River Valley, where the Grenadier Peaks tower overhead.
Thru-hike America’s highest trail.
Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You’ll love this Rockies classic.
Climb this iconic summit on an uncrowded sneak route.
Explore a secret wonderland in the West Needle Mountains.
Scramble to a remote refuge on this peak’s secret side.
Hike high on this above-treeline route through the Weminuche Wilderness.
Hoof it to the top of Golden’s South Table Mountain on this 1.5-mile out-and-back for close-up views of Colorado Landmarks—Golden, the Front Range, the Denver skyline, and even the Coors Brewery.
A dark, cozy cabin overlooking the Holy Cross Wilderness is your reward for this winter 2.75-mile trek. Ski- or snowshoe-appropriate grades and easy access from Tennessee Pass make this a great novice 10th Mountain Division hut trip.
Stretch your legs on this easy out-and-back off the Colorado National Monument’s Rim Rock Road. The A gently sloping 0.4-mile downhill ends at an overlook of Monument Canyon’s best.
Warm up with a huff-and-puff climb to Montgomery Flats and wind through a forested ridgeline. This 13.5-mile out-and-back ends at the 10th Mountain Division’s Harry Gates Hut, a cozy destination that’s worth the trek.
Climb 600 feet above Golden to one of its guardian mesa-tops. Big views of the Denver skyline and the continental divide reward the 0.9-mile one-way climb.
Stand atop 11,237-foot Grand Mesa, the world’s highest mesa.
Visit a dreamy, emerald-green lake just below the Continental Divide after climbing 2,099-feet in 4.2 miles. Icing: sweet alpine views and abundant trout along shore.
Stay above treeline and cross a 12,796-foot pass on this nine-mile loop through the jagged Elk and Sawatch Ranges.
Discover a wonderland of sparkling lakes, rolling meadows and spiny ridges on this 9.5-mile loop through Colorado’s magnificent Grand Mesa.
An out and back along the Piedra River, through the scenic San Juan National Forest.
Beautiful hike up through aspen groves and across meadows to Opal Lake.
A scenic trail through aspen and spruce-fir following Fourmile Creek to a 300-foot waterfall.
Follow a well-established trail to Mount Ida before ducking into the rugged backcountry surrounding the Gorge Lakes on this 10.7-miler through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Trace a granite-toothed section of the Continental Divide to the rugged Mount Neva on this 9.4-miler through Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Discover solitude in busy Rocky Mountain National Park on this 8.7-mile out-and-back leading to a pristine lake perched beneath the Mummy Range.
Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn-busy flats on this park’s quiet side.
Find unusual solitude at this popular alpine park on a 16.4-mile peakbagging overnight to the Continental Divide.
Feel like you’ve notched a first ascent.
An easy mile and a quarter loop to get high enough to get a nice view of Boulder. Lots of other trail options to make a longer hike.
A gentle hike with moderate uphill through the canyon.
One of the best and most accessible backcountry ski day trips.
Visit the highest lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness on this 6.9-mile out-and-back through steep alpine terrain.
Connect two remote lakes on this challenging off-trail alpine adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.
This rolling, 20.6-mile lasso, only a few miles from Longs Peak, climbs to views on Granite Pass, drops down Boulder Brook, then ascends to forested Storm Pass.
For pure Rocky Mountain highs, these five select hikes payoff with plenty of grandeur and park highlights–alpine lakes, granite peaks, and rushing waterfalls galore.
Get in-depth beta for a complete Rocky Mountain weekend with this PRO bundle, and find your way to pure solitude and backcountry bliss.
Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes on this challenging point-to-point in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Descend from a cliff-rimmed mesa to a trout-filled lake on this 22-mile, two-night loop
An 8.1 mile out and back that offers hikers sweeping views of Indian Peaks Wilderness, a waterfall and an alpine lake to cool off in before heading back down.
Swimming holes, waterfalls, petroglyphs, and an idyllic campsite—all just a few miles deep in Dinosaur National Monument. BY ROSE CONRY
Liberty Cap-Ute Canyon Loop, Colorado National Monument, Colorado
Faces six months imprisonment, public lands ban.
Even locals hardly know about Hesse Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC, this secluded spot is the perfect nature get away to explore.
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