Some of Colorado’s best day hikes are near the town of Buena Vista, which sits just below the gorgeous Collegiate Peaks. An outdoor enthusiast mecca of adventure.
I’ve added below our favorite trails that you will be your favorites too!
There is nothing like a hike to an alpine lake!
Hike through deep lush forests that eventually lead to stunning views of Colorado’s Collegiate Peaks. Do a few water crossings, and nestled in the basin just below the tree line, you will find beautiful Kroenke Lake.
It’s hard to leave this trail! >>> READ MORE
HARVARD LAKES via COLORADO TRAIL
Harvard Lakes Trail along a section of the Colorado Trail is a casual hike through the forests with intermediate views of the sensational Collegiate Peaks and the Arkansas Valley below. Looking for a quiet trail to a couple of sweet lakes situated below Mt. Columbia 14er, this is it.
Perfect 1/2 day get in the forest trail >>> READ MORE.
BROWNS CREEK FALLS
Browns Creek Falls is exhilarating!
Reach the end of the trail, and you suddenly happen upon Browns Creek Falls. It’s that unexpected and incredible. Rushing white water thundering down from a rocky ledge high above.
Popular family hike >>> READ MORE.
6.2 miles out and back
Start at 8,990 ft, elevation, End at 9,830 ft
Open to: leashed dogs, horses, mountain bikes
No motorized vehicles
Dispersed camping is allowed but not at the Trailhead
Fire restrictions common
PTARMIGAN LAKE TRAIL
Ptarmigan Lake Trail is a fantastic half-day or full-day hike. Ascend a moderate grade through a spectacular forest. Pass a sweet lake and dreamy dispersed campsites along the path before breaking out at the tree line. Views of the highest peaks surround you as you hike across an expansive meadow and upward to Ptarmigan Lake.
A local favorite! >>> READ MORE.
HARTENSTEIN LAKE via DENNY CREEK TRAIL
Rated: Moderate/challenging in spots
6 miles out and back
Start elevation: 9,880 ft.
End elevation:11,480 ft
Parking at trailhead
Restroom at trailhead
San Isabel National Forest
JUST DOWN THE ROAD – at TWIN LAKES
Need an easy trail with stunning views in Colorado’s high country? Inter-Laken Trail is one of our favorite hikes for a laid-back day. Inter-Laken Trail rolls gently up and down alongside one of Colorado’s most beautiful lakes. Explore a historic resort from the late 1800s.
Fun beginner snowshoe in winter too! >>> READ MORE
4.7 miles out and back
Start Elevation: 9,272 ft. minimal gain
Popular for: hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback, fishing, and trail running
Part of the Colorado Trail/Collegiate West Trail
HOPE PASS via WILLIS GULCH TRAIL
Hope Pass via Willis Gulch Trail is a challenging climb that will test your strength & breathing! An incredible trail that takes you far above treeline to views beyond your expectations.
One of Colorado’s amazing hikes! >>> READ MORE.
In the town of Buena Vista are a series of hiking, biking, and running trails across the beautiful Arkansas River. Views of the Collegiate Peaks are tantalizing throughout the hike.
We love Buena Vista in the springtime! The weather is mild and warm, and this area is a great place to hike while waiting for snowmelt at a higher altitude. >>> READ MORE
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