Bucket list summer mountain trails that will leave you wanting more!

With so many hikes under our boots, choosing only ten was extremely difficult!

Moderate to strenuous, these trails will leave you speechless.

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LOST MAN LAKE TRAIL

Lost Man Trail is a Colorado gem! It is near the Summit of Independence Pass, a high alpine wonder with unstoppable views and two gorgeous alpine lakes.

I can’t recommend it enough — it is one of our favorite trails.

TIDBITS

The trail is located just west of Independence Pass Summit.

5.5 miles out and back to Lost Man Lake

Rated: moderately challenging

Nearest town: Aspen, CO

Easy to get to from Leadville, CO 

Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness

The trail is above tree-line with total sun exposure – Elevation ranges from 11,000’+ to 12,800′

WHAT IS IN YOUR BACKPACK? Always be prepared for extreme sun exposure, cooler temperatures, and unpredictable weather conditions in Colorado’s Mountains. Ensure you have the > appropriate gear with you to keep you safe. 

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HOPE LAKE TRAIL

Hope Lake Trail is one of the most sought-after trails near Telluride, CO; we enjoyed discovering why. We loved it!

High peaks hover above us as we hike through lush green forests, crossing creeks, views all around, and a beautiful alpine lake high above the treeline in a basin lined with 13ers.

TIDBITS

5.3 miles out and back

Rated: Moderate

Start Elevation: 10,750 ft.

Lake Elevation: 11,880 ft.

Open to hiking and horseback.

Uncompahgre National Forest

Closest town: Telluride, CO

No restroom

Dispersed camping along FR #627

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RUSTLER GULCH TRAIL

Rustler Gulch Trail is a fantastic trek near Crested Butte, CO, which leads to meadows of wildflowers, spruce, and pine forests and ends above timberline with panoramic mountain peak views and a waterfall. 

A wildflower haven in July! Loved this trail.

TIDBITS

9 miles out and back from the road (CR317) parking area – or 7.8 miles if starting at the trailhead on 4×4 road (FR317B)

Rated: Moderate

Highest Elevation: at Waterfall 11,100′

> Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness

Nearest Town: Crested Butte

No Restroom

Leashed dogs ok

Download the app > SEEK by iNaturalist and identify wildflowers, shrubs, and trees along the trail. It’s Free!

Or purchase a highly recommended Colorado wildflower guide > Wildflowers of Colorado Field Guide.

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MOHAWK LAKES TRAIL

Mohawk & Mayflower Lakes is one of Colorado’s favorite day hikes. This hike has it all. You begin at 10,390′ elevation and reach 12,000′, with alpine lakes, old cabins, creek crossings, summer wildflowers, a dazzling waterfall, and incredible views.

It’s a favorite trail we’ve hiked over and over…

TIDBITS

The trail begins at Spruce Creek Trailhead

6 miles out and back – to the lower lake

6.7 miles out and back – to the upper lake

Rated: moderate/strenuous

No restrooms

It’s crazy crowded in the summer months – come early!

Nearest Town: Breckenridge, CO

Open to hiking, snowshoeing, dogs on leashes, horses, and mountain bikes

White River National Forest

Dillon Ranger District – dispersed camping information

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BRIDAL VEIL BASIN to BLUE LAKE TRAIL

Bridal Veil Basin to Blue Lake will leave you stunned with its scenic beauty. The famous 365′ Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado, is the first highlight of many more to come as you hike deeper into the Bridal Veil Basin.

Hiking in the San Juan Mountains never disappoints! Located at the edge of town in Telluride, CO, it is one not to miss!

TIDBITS

Rated: Moderate/strenuous

The trail starts above Bridal Falls

6 miles out & back

Start Elevation: 10,400′ End 12,220″

Start at Bridal Veil Falls Trailhead in Telluride, CO

8.7 miles out & back

Portable Potties

Uncompahgre National Forest

Zero Breeze Cordless AC!

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BOOTH LAKE TRAIL

Booth Lake Trail was strenuous and exhilarating, leaving us speechless when reaching the tree line. Beautiful from beginning to end with the added bonus of popular 60′ Booth Falls!

TIDBITS

10 miles out and back

Rated: Difficult

Trail # 2011

Elevation gain: 3,053 feet

Open to hiking, horseback, dogs on leash

Not open to mountain bikes

Popular for trout fishing in late summer – Colorado Fishing License

Parking: limited – another option: East Vail Free Shuttle

White River National Forest

Eagle – Holy Cross Ranger District – Camping Information

Eagles Nest Wilderness

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ISABELLE LAKE TRAIL to ISABELLE GLACIER

Isabelle Glacier Trail is like hiking into a Colorado postcard. Its scenic beauty is unmatched. It’s a hike that screams, “This is Colorado”. You can hike to gorgeous Isabelle Lake for a more leisurely yet beautiful day or be adventurous and hike onto Isabelle Glacier.

NOTE: Reservations are required from late June to mid-October as of late Sept. 2021. Located in the Brainard Recreation Area > CLICK HERE for more information. > CLICK HERE for reservations.

TIDBITS

Isabelle Lake

4.2 miles out & back

Rated: moderate

Isabelle Glacier

8.4 miles out & back

Rated: strenuous

Indian Peaks Wilderness

Restrooms

No bikes, no horses

Dogs ok

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FISH CREEK FALLS to LONG LAKE

Fish Creek Falls to Long Lake Trail is a mecca of stunning waterfalls that will steal your heart. It is beautiful from start to finish and full of all Colorado offers. 

TIDBITS

Located: Steamboat Springs, CO

13 miles out & back

Rated: hard

2522′ elevation gain

Fish Creek Falls, 1/4 mile paved, wheelchair accessible to overlook

Upper Fish Creek Falls – 2.5 miles one way

Long Lake – 6.5 miles one-way

$5 vehicle fee

Open 6 am – 10 pm

Something for all skill levels!

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PTARMIGAN LAKE TRAIL

Ptarmigan Lake Trail is a Colorado favorite trail for 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.

TIDBITS

Rated: Moderate

6.8 miles out and back

Trail #1444

Located: Cottonwood Pass

Elevation start: 10,680 ft.

Elevation end: 12,300 ft.

Restroom at trailhead

Dog friendly

Chaffee County

San Isabel National Forest

Nearest town: Buena Vista

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OURAY PERIMETER TRAIL

Ouray Perimeter Trail, I’d call this more of an adventure than a hike with many natural sites along the trail — bridges, aspen fields, unusual rocks, cliff drops, waterfalls, mining tunnels, and views! It’s approx. 5-6 miles of not knowing what to expect on the next corner. Great fun and a great hike.

Just a super FUN hike! Full of mystery and curiosity. Highly recommend!

Good hiking shoes, water, and all the backpack essentials on this one, even close to town. It’s primitive in spots, and some parts of the trail took a bit of skill. It encircles the town of Ouray on the mountainsides in rugged terrain.

TIDBITS

Rated: moderate/strenuous

5.9-mile loop

Elevations range from 7661 ft to 8413 ft

Located: Ouray, CO

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Below are fifty-nine trails we love. Explore all Colorado has to offer!

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