Have you been searching for that next day hike in our beautiful state? Well, you certainly have plenty of options. Colorado boasts a variety of environments that range from on-trail walks to difficult 14ers. Let’s get right to it.
Longs Peak - This isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Nearly 15,000 people each year try to reach the summit of Longs Peak and yet a mere 50 percent of them get there. With 15 miles roundtrip and just about 5,000 feet of elevation gain, it’s no wonder why it’s so challenging. But don’t be intimidated if you’re in great shape. The postcard-esque views and terrain certainly make it worth your while.
Mount Bierstadt - Not ready to tackle Longs Peak? Then Mount Bierstadt might be more up your alley. It’s a six-mile round trip along a well-maintained trail. If you’re just beginning that 14er journey, give some thought to Mount Bierstadt. More experienced hikers will appreciate the challenge of Sawtooth Ridge.
Bison Peak - How does a collection of breathtaking rock towers built up from a flower-adorned alpine meadow sound? That’s just what to expect from Bison Peak. Though it’s not quite a 14er (12,431 feet), Bison Park requires plenty of stamina. Prepare yourself for an 11-mile gradual hike up to treeline. What makes this trek so unique is the views of the wobbly, blocky, stone towers.
Lion Lakes at Rocky Mountain National Park - If you’re planning a vacation in Colorado, be sure to put Lion Lakes on the itinerary. You and your group will appreciate the lakes, waterfalls, and pristine meadows. The 12-mile jaunt certainly isn’t easy, but isn’t all that difficult either. Just don’t be surprised by the crowds in RMNP, especially if you’re going on a weekend.
San Luis Peak - Imagine working your way through large meadows and dense beds of colorful flowers near the Stewart Creek Trailhead. That’s just what you get with San Luis Peak. Even though it’s a 14er, San Luis Peak is rarely crowded. Just remember to start early on this one, as it’s 13.5 miles. Trust us, though, the views make it worth your while.
Mount Elbert - The highest peak in Colorado stands at 14,433 feet. But don’t let that scare you away. Mount Elbert is just nine miles round trip, but does feature a pair of false summits. Once you reach the actual summit, be sure to take in the views of Leadville and the Sawatch Range.
Lost Man Lake - The trailhead for Lost Man Lake is one mile west of the Independence Pass summit. Depending on how much you hang around the lake itself, expect a hike of about seven miles. Note the chunky glacial rock debris that’s offset by serene lakes on the south side of Independence lake.
Boulder’s Guardians of the Flatirons - You can choose which trailhead you want to start at here. We recommend beginning your trek at Gregory Canyon Trailhead near Chautauqua. From there, it’s about a three-mile hike to Green Mountain. Maybe the best part about this hike? You should be able to see from Denver to Longs Peak and Pikes Peak on a clear day.
Star Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park - Looking for an easy hike for all fitness levels? Star Dune would have to be at the top of the list. Be sure to go in the early spring when the rivers run through the fine sand basin. You can watch as the landscape transforms into a living, breathing desert. Simply put, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a sight to behold.
Rattlesnake Arches - McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area - This underappreciated area boasts the second highest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world. See for yourself how the areches along the trail resemble prehistoric fossils. At just seven miles round trip, you should have plenty of time to detour and explore the countless formations.
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Now that you know about some of the more popular hikes in Colorado, it’s time to start making plans. Before you head out to the trail, though, think about stopping by Elevation Hydration for IV therapy packages. Our Weekend Warrior treatment will have you feeling your best thanks to a combination of B-Complex vitamins and B-12 for energy.
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