Hiking in Colorado is the second most preferred activity next to skiing. If you aren’t a big skiing buff, then hiking around the beautiful country of this state is well worth the trip. It’s also one of the safest travel options during a pandemic because you are outdoors and breathing in a lot of uncirculated fresh air.
Here are some of the best hiking trails for you to visit when you go to Colorado on vacation.
Seven Bridges Trail
This is a very scenic hike along Cheyenne Canyon. Mountains and hills rise up around you; the aspen trees Colorado is known for growing everywhere. The shortened version of the trek is 1.6 miles one way. Turn around and come back to parking for a full 3.2 miles. If you are much more adventurous and your feet aren’t hurting, you can continue on after 1.6 miles for another two miles to reach Jones Park.
There is a very little elevation on the trail, making it ideal for kids and dogs to trek too. The trail is named for the seven-foot bridges you cross over the brooks, river, and stream on the trail. The prettiest time of year for a hike here is in fall when the leaves all change color and the aspen leaves are all silvery.
Trail Around Bear Lake
Bear Lake is situated in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. You can drive up to Bear Lake and see the mountains from your car. Once you are at Bear Lake, there is a nice, even, flat trail that goes all the way around the beautiful, glassy blue lake that reflects the mountains and the trees around it.
In winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing enthusiasts are able to take the trail around the lake too. Summer is the best time of year for this trail because when you are done hiking once around the lake, you can peel off sweaty clothes and take a refreshing dip in the lake in your swimsuits.
There are other trails around Bear Lake, some much more difficult and strenuous than the one circling the lake. If you have small children, stick to the lake circle as it is the easiest. Older children may be able to make some of the intermediate trails, but only teens and adults will manage the most difficult trails.
Hanging Lake Trail
The draw for this trail is that along the way. You will encounter a beautiful triple set of waterfalls pooling into the most pristine turquoise lake you have ever seen. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime hike not to be missed. The trailhead and related park are only open from May to October, but if you go during this time, you will not be disappointed.
The busiest times, of course, are during the summer months when families are taking vacations. Go in late May or September or October, if you are going alone. Go in early June if you have kids in tow to avoid the heavy crowds on the trails.
Hanging Lake Trail is located near Glenwood Springs, CO. It is a moderate 3-mile round trip trail, making it an easy trail to hike for anyone who thinks they can’t hike more than a couple of miles. It is often a popular field trip for school kids, so you may see a large group hiking on the trail during the school months.
The hike’s first stretch follows the Colorado River’s west bank, and then you are heading through a canyon between mountains and hills to get to the lake itself. After taking some pics and dipping your toes in the turquoise water of the lake, you turn around and head back out. Parking is available near the trailhead if you drive there rather than take an alternate form of transportation.