10 Of The Best Hikes In Colorado
Quail lake trail
Quail lake trail is a 1.1 mile trail found near Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s a very easy trail, excellent for individuals just getting started with hiking or families with young children. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on leash. The trail is gently sloped, gaining only 100 feet in elevation total. It’s a looping trail, so after 1.1 miles of walking, you will find yourself back at the trailhead.
The trail to Adams Falls, found near Estes Park, Colorado, is a short and easy one. It’s considered a great hike for children. It’s very easy and gentle, only .6 miles total, and leads to gorgeous falls. Locals say the trail can be a bit crowded on the weekend, so visit on a weekday!
The trail at Mount Goliath in the Mount Evans Scenic Byway near Idaho Springs is a bit more challenging than the other two trails listed here already. It rests at a high elevation, beginning at 11,540 feet and ending at 12,132 feet. Horses and bikes are not allowed, but dogs are welcome if kept on a leash. This is an alpine trail, giving hikers a close up view of Bristlecone Pine trees and rolling meadows.
Mount Falcon Trail
Mount Falcon Castle Trail is a moderately difficult, 7.6 mile trail located near Morrison, Colorado, home of the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. If you’re headed up for a show at Red Rocks, head up early for a good hike. The out and back trail is a bit more heavily trafficked and is best visited between March and October.
North Table Loop
North table loop located in North Table Mountain Park near Golden, Colorado is a looping trail 5.9 miles in total. It features a 475 foot elevation gain, making it moderately difficult. Dogs, horses, and bikes are all permitted on the trail. This table mesa is a great place to see wildlife, like deer, coyotes, ad prairie dogs. Watch out for rattlesnakes though!
Mills Lake is a quintessential Colorado hiking area. The trail is 5.3 miles round trip with a total elevation gain of 780 feet. The lake and trails are found in Rocky Mountain National Park off Highway 36. The hike features creeks, waterfalls, mountains, and forest views leading to a subalpine lake.
Rawhide loop trail
Rawhide loop trail, located in White Ranch Park in Golden, Colorado is a moderately difficult hiking trail that permits bikes, dogs, and horses. It features an 865 foot elevation gain as well as views of rolling hills and varied terrain. This trail will take you through meadows as well as pine forests and is a home to deer, turkeys, foxes, bears, elk, and mountain lions.
Hankins Pass Trail
Hankins pass trail is the southernmost trail in the Lost Creek Wilderness. The trail gradually climbs up Hankins Gulch, which features views of meadows and aspen groves. The trail is easy to follow but difficult to hike. The trail cuts through a wilderness area, meaning that wilderness rules apply.
The Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline near Manitou Springs is one of Colorado’s more unique hiking trails. It’s a mile long, but gains nearly 2,000 feet during that mile. It is an incredibly difficult trail not to be taken lightly. The incline consists of 2,744 steps, making it like a giant nature staircase. The incline is not ADA accessible, and if medical care is needed, it can take hours for first responders to reach you. Dogs are not currently welcome on the incline.
Longs Peak is one of the most difficult hikes in Colorado. The peak is one of the longest climbs in Colorado, with narrow ledges, loose rocks, and steep cliffs. Only one trail, the Keyhole route, is open all year long. 58 people are reported to have died trying to climb the peak. If you take on this hike, set out early in the morning and be conscious of the weather. Exposure to the elements may be the most challenging aspect of this hike.