Top Ten Hikes to Do In Colorado

Top Ten Hikes to Do In Colorado

Colorado, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and diverse terrain, is a hiker's paradise. Whether you're an experienced trekker or a casual nature lover, the Centennial State offers trails that cater to every level of adventure. Here are ten must-do hikes that showcase the best of Colorado's natural beauty:

1.Mayflower Gulch
Located near Copper Mountain, Mayflower Gulch is a hidden gem that offers a moderate hike with spectacular rewards. The trail winds through dense forests and open meadows, leading to the remnants of an old mining town surrounded by towering peaks. In the summer, wildflowers blanket the valley, while winter transforms it into a snowy wonderland perfect for snowshoeing.

2. Hanging Lake
One of Colorado's most iconic hikes, Hanging Lake, is nestled in Glenwood Canyon. This challenging 3-mile trail ascends steeply but is well worth the effort. At the top, hikers are greeted by a crystal-clear turquoise lake perched on the edge of a cliff, with cascading waterfalls adding to its ethereal beauty. Due to its popularity, a permit is required, so plan ahead. (Also check out our Hanging Lake Car Diffuser)

3. Garden of the Gods
Situated in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark known for its striking red rock formations. The park offers numerous trails, but the Perkins Central Garden Trail is a must-do for its easy access and stunning views. This 1.5-mile loop provides an up-close experience with the towering sandstone formations, making it a perfect hike for all ages. (Check out our Garden of the Gods Car Diffuser).

4. St. Mary's Glacier
A short drive from Denver, St. Mary's Glacier offers a unique hiking experience. The 1.5-mile round trip trail leads to a perennial snowfield, surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. In the summer, the glacier-fed lake at the base is perfect for a refreshing dip, while winter attracts snowshoers and backcountry skiers.

5. Blue Lake in Ridgway
Nestled in the San Juan Mountains near Ridgway, Blue Lake is a serene alpine gem. The 6-mile round trip hike takes you through aspen groves, wildflower meadows, and alongside cascading streams. The reward is a pristine blue lake set against a backdrop of rugged peaks, offering an idyllic spot for a picnic or a moment of tranquility.

6. Lake Isabelle
Located in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Lake Isabelle is a popular destination for hikers seeking alpine beauty. The 4.2-mile round trip trail offers relatively easy terrain, winding through lush forests and open meadows. The lake itself is a stunning sight, surrounded by jagged peaks and often dotted with icebergs well into summer.

7. Blue Lake in Brainard Lake Recreation Area
Another gem in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, the Blue Lake trail is a moderately challenging 6-mile round trip hike. The trail offers panoramic views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness and culminates at the stunning Blue Lake, nestled in a high alpine basin. The vibrant blue waters and surrounding wildflowers make this hike a photographer's dream.

8. Rustlers Gulch Trail 

Located near Crested Butte, Rustlers Gulch is a gem that offers hikers a serene and picturesque escape into the heart of the Rockies. This moderate 8-mile round trip trail takes you through lush meadows, vibrant wildflower fields, and dense aspen groves. The trail follows Rustlers Gulch Creek, providing a soothing soundtrack of flowing water as you hike. As you ascend, the valley opens up to reveal breathtaking views of surrounding peaks. The highlight of this trail is the sense of solitude and untouched wilderness, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

9. Red Rocks Trading Post Trail 

Situated in the iconic Red Rocks Park near Morrison, the Red Rocks Trading Post Trail offers an easy yet captivating hike through one of Colorado's most famous landscapes. This 1.4-mile loop trail winds around the base of the park's towering red sandstone formations, providing panoramic views of the amphitheater and the Denver skyline in the distance. The trail is family-friendly and well-maintained, making it accessible for hikers of all ages and skill levels. Along the way, you'll encounter a variety of native plants and wildlife, adding to the trail's appeal.

10. Herman Gulch

A favorite among locals and visitors alike, Herman Gulch offers a moderately challenging hike that rewards with stunning alpine scenery. Located near Georgetown, this 6.6-mile round trip trail begins at the Herman Gulch Trailhead and ascends gradually through dense forests and open meadows. As you climb, the trail offers spectacular views of the Continental Divide and surrounding peaks. The highlight of the hike is reaching Herman Lake, a pristine alpine lake nestled at the base of towering mountains. The vibrant wildflowers and potential wildlife sightings, including marmots and mountain goats, add to the trail's charm.

These top ten hikes offer a glimpse into the diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes of Colorado. Whether you're seeking a gentle walk among iconic rock formations or a challenging ascent to alpine lakes, Colorado's trails promise unforgettable adventures and stunning natural beauty.