Boulder is, in many ways, the perfect hikers' city: it's surrounded by the trail-laden Flatirons, has a vibrant outdoor culture and is home to Backpacker HQ. Start your Boulder hiking adventure with a trek up 8,500-foot Bear Peak, where you'll find 360 views of Boulder and beyond. Drive an hour to Rainbow Lakes for an easy day-hike that's perfect for families. Or explore the Flatirons on the 2.9-mile Flatirons Loop, in Chautauqua Park.
You don't always need to go far to go big. Case in point: these stunning hikes, all within a day trip of a major metropolitan area.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.