On these classic Colorado hikes you’ll get your heart pumping, breath in some fresh mountain air, take time to smell the wildflowers, and cool off in alpine lakes, shake off the daily grind, find some quiet time with your thoughts, and create lifelong memories. These hikes can last a day or several, but each Colorado hike is a world-class experience. Give yourself plenty of time to take it all in, and remember to leave only footprints, take only selfies.
Hiking in Colorado
The entire state of Colorado is like one big outdoor adventure. In this list of classic Colorado hikes, we’ve got a bit for everyone. Be sure to research each hike to make sure that you carry the right gear, and that you are physically capable of completing the hike. Many classic hikes take place on our famous 14ers, so you need to think about changes in altitude and the difficulty of the hike.
Classic Colorado Hikes
- Four Pass Loop – A four-day trek over four mountain passes. With an elevation gain is over 8,000 ft., this hike is not to be taken lightly.
- La Plata Peak – A class 2 climb in the middle of a long range of 14ers. It begins with the idyllic Twin Lakes and peaks with a world-class view from the top.
- Longs Peak – As the name implies, this is a long, advanced hike to the tallest peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Blue Lakes Trail – This is an epic day hike in the San Juan Mountain Range. But, give yourself plenty of time to swim in the lakes and smell the wildflowers.
- Lost Man Loop – You start at high elevation, but the gain is fairly low as you pass three alpine lakes and majestic peaks.
- Caribou Lake – Great intermediate day hike for Denver residents. Don’t forget to bring your fishing gear.
- Mount Elbert Peak – If you’re looking for bragging rights, this is your hike. But, although Mount Elbert Peak is the highest peak in Colorado and the second highest peak in the lower 48, it’s a fairly simple hike. As long as you’re in good physical condition, of course.
- Mount Sniktau – A simple trail for beginners with panoramic mountain views and a quick skip and a jump from downtown Denver.
- Butler Gulch – A great all season beginner hike for wildflower lovers and alpine lake enthusiasts. It’s a quick 5 miles with a low elevation gain.
- Crater Lake – A short, easy hike to one of the most spectacular, yet overlooked, lakes in Colorado.
Go here for more details about these ten classic Colorado hikes.
Rent a Backpack
You’ll need a good backpack for every hike. Getting fitted for a backpack that fits your body. A fitted backpack will make any hike much more enjoyable.
Outdoors Geek is an outdoor retail shop located in Denver. We carry top brands backpacks. Stop by Outdoors Geek to get fitted for the perfect backpack for classic Colorado hikes.