Colorado hikes that will leave you wanting more! I put together all my favorite hikes of 2020 for ideas of where to go in your 2021 spring/summer/fall outdoor adventure list. All of these trails have their own unique beauty and I am thrilled to share them with you.

Hoping one or two or all of them grab your heart and lead you out to explore beyond where you live.

 

Hope Lake Trail, Colorado hikes, hiking trails, Telluride

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).

 

Hope Lake Trail – near Telluride, CO

IS A HIKE LIKE NO OTHER! BEAUTIFUL …

Hope Lake Trail is one of the most sought-after trails near Telluride, CO and we had the pleasure of finding out why. Loved it! High peaks hovering above us as we hike through green lush forests, crossing creeks, and hiking up switchbacks to find a beautiful alpine lake high above the treeline in a basin lined with 13ers. READ MORE…

5.3 mile out and back

Rated: moderate 

Start Elevation: 10,750 ft.

Lake Elevation: 11,880 ft.

Open to hiking, horseback

Uncompahgre National Forest

Closest town: Telluride, CO

No restroom

Busy in summer, popular

Known for wildflowers

Dispersed camping alongside FR #627

 

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Wasatch Trail to Nellie Mine – Telluride, CO 

AND THE ADDED BONUS OF BEAR CREEK FALLS!

Wasatch Trail is a loop of 14 miles across Telluride’s high peaks and known as one of Colorado’s most spectacular hikes. We hiked to the historic Nellie Mine and not the entire loop for our day hike and found ourselves lost in wonder at the surrounding terrain and views. READ MORE… 

Rated: strenuous

Approx: 9 miles out and back

No restrooms

Popular wildflower hike in summer

Uncompahgre Wilderness

Located end of Pine Street downtown Telluride

PLEASE check at the Telluride Visitor Center at 236 W. Colorado Ave. for accurate directions before deciding on the entire loop. It’s a full  8-10 hour day hike. Lots of trail options too!

On your way up to Wasatch Trail or on your way down take a detour of only 1/2 mile and see Bear Creek Falls!

 

Perimeter Trail, Ouray, Colorado hikes, What to do in Ouray Colorado, hikes in Ouray

Perimeter Trail – Ouray, CO

A TOTAL SURPRISE AT HOW AMAZING IT IS!

Ouray Perimeter Trail, I think I’d call this more of an adventure than a hike with so 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. A super FUN hike! Full of mystery and curiosity. Highly recommend! READ MORE…

Rated: moderate/strenuous

5.9-mile loop

Elevations range from 7661 ft – 8413 ft

In the town of Ouray, CO – start at the Visitor Center

 

Herman Gulch Trail, best hikes in Colorado, day hikes, Alpine Lake Hikes

Herman Gulch Trail – Bakerville, CO

BEST WILDFLOWER HIKE OF THE SUMMER!

Herman Gulch Trail, a heart-pumping summer hike through fields of wildflowers, and landing at a crystal clear alpine lake surrounded by the Continental Divide Peaks. One of the most sought after hikes in the front range of Colorado, for good reasons. I’ve often hiked here in the offseason but decided to try a summer day which turned out to be spectacular. READ MORE…

6.5 miles out and back

Elevation gain: 1,755ft.

Herman Lake sits at 11,987 ft. 

Rated: moderate

2 portable potties at the Trailhead 

Open to leashed dogs, horses, bikes

Arapahoe National Forest – for camping information

Clear Creek Ranger District – for trail conditions

Nearest Town: Georgetown

Late fall is a great time to hike in Colorado. The wildflowers and fall colors are gone but so are the crowds. Herman Gulch in Late Fall

 

 

 

Native Lake Trail, Hangerman Tunnel, Leadville hikes, Hiking, Colorado Trails

Native Lake Trail – Leadville, CO 

LOVED, LOVED IT & NO CROWDS TOO!

Native Lake Trail is a bucket list hike in Colorado. One of my favorite hikes this summer. You’ll find yourself hiking uphill through dense pines and spruces, crossing creeks, hiking across alpine tundra above treeline then down again with towering views of Mt. Massive and the Continental Divide.  READ MORE…

8.2 miles out and back

Rated: moderate

Elevation start: 10,780 ft. Across the tundra 11,879 ft. at the lake 11,293 ft,

Open to leashed dogs

No restrooms

Mt. Massive Wilderness

San Isabel National Forest

Nearest town: Leadville, CO

So much variety in terrain and scenery. One of those pleasant hikes you can’t go wrong choosing.

 

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Mayflower Gulch Trail – Summit County, CO

I HAVE AN OBSESSION WITH THIS HIKE! 

Mayflower Gulch Trail is an awesome adventure in any season. An easy uphill mile tops out at what some call the Mayflower Amphitheater with its surrounding views of Mayflower Hill (elevation 12,389 ft), Pacific Peak (elevation 13,950 ft), and Fletcher Mountain (elevation 13,951 ft). Stunning! You can explore here or keep going on several trail options leading in all directions. READ MORE…

Boston Mine Camp, 1.8 miles, starts at 10,994 ft., ends at 11,980 ft.

Gold Hill and across top: approx: 4 miles out and back

Gold Crest Mine Site: approx: 3 miles out and back

No restrooms at the trailhead

Rated: easy to moderate

Open to: hiking, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, dogs, mountain bikes

Kid-Friendly

Located in: Arapaho National Forest

Snowshoeing Mayflower Gulch is Magical


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Booth Lake Trail – Vail, CO

ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR HIKES I’VE HIKED!

Booth Lake Trail was strenuous, exhilarating, and left me speechless when reaching the treeline. Beautiful from beginning to end with the added bonus of popular 60′ Booth Falls!  READ MORE…

10 mile 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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Kroenke Lake Trail – Buena Vista, CO

WAY BACK IN THE COLLEGIATE PEAKS WILDERNESS AND JUST PLAN FUN!

There is nothing like a hike to an alpine lake and Kroenke Lake Trail is one to add to your bucket list! Beautiful from start to finish, we hiked through lush forests, leading to incredible views of Colorado’s Collegiate Peaks, did a few water crossings, and nestled in the basin just below treeline, found Kroenke Lake. READ MORE…

8.6 miles out and back

Rated: moderate

Start elevation: 9,860 ft

Lake elevation: 11,500 ft

Open to: hiking, dogs on leash, horses

Collegiate Peak Wilderness

San Isabel National Forest

Nearest town: Buena Vista

Salida Ranger District


 

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Ptarmigan Lake Trail – Cottonwood Pass, CO 

YOU WILL HIKE THIS ONE AGAIN AND AGAIN!

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 trail before breaking out at the tree line.  Here, views of the highest peaks surround you as you hike across an expansive meadow and upward to Ptarmigan Lake. READ MORE…

Rated: moderate

6.8 miles out and back

Trail #1444

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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Hartenstein Lake Trail – Buena Vista, CO

YOU CAN’T GO WRONG IN THE COLLEGIATE PEAK WILDERNESS!

Hiking to Hartenstein Lake is for Colorado outdoor enthusiasts! In the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, you will find your trail options are so many. Start on Denny Creek Trail and find Hartenstein Lake Trailhead just before reaching the top of Browns PassREAD MORE…

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

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area

San Isabel National Forest

Nearest town: Buena Vista

 

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Brown’s Creek Falls – Nathrop, CO 

GREAT TRAIL FOR A FAMILY ADVENTURE!

Browns Creek Falls is an exhilarating day hike in Colorado’s Mountains. Reach the end of the trail and you suddenly happen upon the falls, it’s that unexpected. Roaring, rushing, white water thundering down from a rocky ledge high above. My description just doesn’t give it the credit it deserves. You’ll just have to hike to Browns Creek Falls and see for yourself! READ MORE …

Rated: moderate

6.2 miles out and back

Trail #1429

Start at 8,990 ft, elevation, End at 9,830 ft

Open to: leashed dogs, horses, mountain bikes

No motorized vehicles

San Isabel National Forest

Dispersed camping allowed but not at the Trailhead

Fire restrictions common

Salida Ranger District


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Chief Mountain –  Near Evergreen, CO

SHORT, STEEP, AND UNSURPASSED VIEWS! 

Chief Mountain Trail is a great beginner summit hike. It’s a decent climb, right from the start for 1.5 miles while gaining 1000 ft in elevation. 360-degree views at the summit rival those of Colorado’s 14ers. Once you do this trail, you’ll be excited to do more high altitude hikes in the substantial peaks! READ MORE…

3 miles out and back

Rated: moderate

Trail #58

Elevation start: 10,800′ gain: 1,000′

No restrooms

Family-friendly

Open to leashed dogs, hiking, snowshoeing

Arapaho National Forest

Clear Creek Ranger District

 

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St. Mary’s Glacier Trail – Near Idaho Springs, CO

CROWDED BUT DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER HIKE YOU WILL FIND! 

St Mary’s Glacier Trail is a must-see hike in Colorado not far from Denver and doable for anyone. Avid hikers can keep on going and it just gets better! Short hike to the Glacier and incredible scenery plus snow year-round!. READ MORE...

HIke to Lake: 1 mile out and back

Rated: moderate

Portable Restrooms

Open to leashed dogs

Family Friendly

Nearest Town: Idaho Springs, CO

Arapaho National Forest

Clear Creek Ranger District

 

 

 

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Threemile Creek Trail – Near Grant, CO

DELIGHTFUL HIKE THROUGH TREES, ROCKS, AND BEAVER PONDS! 

Threemile Creek Trail is a moderate hike through the forest with numerous creek crossings as you hike up into the Mt. Evans Wilderness. The added treat was finding the biggest beaver pond I’ve run across to date. READ MORE…

9 mile out and back (varies)

Rated: moderate, lots of rocks & roots

Open to leashed dogs, horseback

Known for wildflowers, fall colors

Family-friendly

Restroom at Trailhead

Large parking area

Pike & Arapaho National Forest

Mt. Evans Wilderness

South Platte Ranger District

 

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Silver Dollar Lake Trail  – Guanella Pass, CO

I’ll BE HONEST, THIS TRAIL IS CROWDED, BUT IT’S GORGEOUS!

Silver Dollar Lake Trail on stunning Guanella Pass is a true Colorado experience! Beautiful dense pine forest to high above timberline reaching spectacular views while passing one alpine lake, being greeted by a 2nd alpine lake, and reaching the 3rd lake at 12,178 in elevation. READ MORE…

Trail #79

3.3 miles out and back to Silver Dollar Lake

4.3 miles out and back to Murray Lake

Rated: moderate

Silver Dollar – 11,950′ elevation

Murray Lake – 12,178′ elevation

Camping: Guanella Pass Campground

Open to leashed dogs, horses

Nearest town: Georgetown, CO

Clear Creek Ranger District

 

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American Lake Trail – Aspen, CO 

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING TOP TO BOTTOM AND A LUNG BUSTER! 

American Lake Trail has got it all. Just minutes from Aspen CO, this hike is what Aspen is all about. Beautiful aspen groves line the trail soon leading into a dense forest of pines and spruces, arriving at an alpine lake with sweeping high peaks views. READ MORE…

6.4 miles out and back

Rated: Strenuous

Elevation gain: approx: 2000′

Highest elevation: 11,390′

No restrooms

Dogs ok on leash

Nearest Town: Aspen, CO

Known for Wildflowers in Summer!

Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness

After the hike check out Ashcroft Ghost Town. A short hike through Colorado history just minutes from American Lake Trailhead. 


 

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Crater Lakes Trail – Rollinsville, CO

MOUNTAIN AMAZING ALL THE WAY! 

Crater Lakes is in the heart of the James Peaks Wilderness and the perfect day hike or backpacking weekend. Nestled just below the Continental Divide, the setting is unbeatable. READ MORE…

6.5 miles out and back

Rated: moderate

Restrooms at Trailhead

The trail starts on South Boulder Creek Trail

No bikes

Open to dogs on leash & horses

James Peak Wilderness

Boulder Ranger District

Roosevelt NationalForest

 

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Crystal Mill Hike – Marble, CO 

HIKING TO CRYSTAL MILL IS THE WAY TO GO! 

Crystal Mill and the town of Crystal are the main attraction but hiking the 9 miles there and back is packed with pristine views along the Crystal River, passing colorful Lizard Lake, and the amazing mountains of the White River National Forest surrounding you. You can go by 4×4, by horse, by bike but hiking in is magical and much more rewarding. READ MORE…

9 miles out and back

Rated: easy/moderate

Open: only in summer and fall months

High 4×4 off-road traffic in summer

Family-friendly

Rough, rocky & muddy

No restrooms

Bring water & snacks!

Dogs ok on leash

TIP: go in late October to miss most of the 4×4 traffic!

 

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Limber Grove Trail – Fairplay, CO

OFF THE BEATEN PATH AND FIND ANCIENT TREES!

Limber Grove Trail is a little-known hidden gem and just off the beaten path, it’s a bit of a secret! We had an adventurous snowshoe hike leading us to a forest of ancient trees above the tree line. I’ve also hiked this in summer and found it just as exciting. It’s like a magical forest in the middle of nowhere on top of nowhere! READ MORE…

Rated: easy

3 miles out and back

Start Elevation: 10,565 ft. end 10,921 ft.

No restrooms at the trailhead

Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative: has a brochure you can print

Closest Town: Fairplay, CO

Located between Horseshoe Campground and Four Mile Campground

South Park Ranger District: for more information

Not recommended for horses

Dog and family-friendly


 

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North Ten Mile Creek Trail – Frisco, CO

A TRAIL FOR ANYONE – SO PEACEFUL!

Looking for a relaxing hike through classic Colorado scenery and a babbling creek alongside you? North Ten Mile CreekTrail is it! Perfect trail for all seasons. Bring your snowshoes in winter, your camera in fall, your fishing pole, your wildflower book in summer, and relish all Colorado has to offer in one place. READ MORE…

Trail #37

7.3 mile out and back

Rated: easy/moderate

No restrooms

Nearest town: Frisco, CO

White River National Forest

Dillon Ranger District; Silverthorne, CO

 

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Buffalo Mountain Trail – Silverthorne, CO

KNEE BENDER, LUNG BUSTER, AND EXHILARATING!

Incredible scenery as you hike 3008 ft in elevation in just 3 miles to the summit. Definitely worth the climb for the views! Sounds difficult but if you take your time it’s doable for moderate hikers who don’t mind a lot of rock scrambling. READ MORE...

6 miles out and back

Rated: strenuous

3008 ft Elevation gain

Open to leashed dogs, horses

No restrooms at the trailhead

Eagles Nest Wilderness, White River National Forest – for camping information

Dillon Ranger District – 970-468-5400, for the latest trail & weather conditions

Nearest Towns: Silverthorne & Frisco

 

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Mohawk Lakes Trail – Breckenridge, CO

THE FAVORITE HIKE FOR LOCALS LIKE ME! I KEEP GOING BACK…

Mohawk Lakes Trail is one of Colorado’s best day hikes. Starting at 10,390′ elevation and reaching 12,000′ this hike has it all. Alpine lakes, old cabins, creek crossings, summer wildflowers, a stupendous waterfall, and unimaginable views.! READ MORE…

6 miles out and back – to lower lake

6.7 miles out and back – to the upper lake

Rated: moderate/strenuous

No restrooms at the trailhead

Crazy crowded in summer months – come early!

Nearest Town: Breckenridge, CO

Open to: hiking, snowshoeing, dogs on leash, horses and mountain bikes

White River National Forest

Dillon Ranger District – dispersed camping information


 

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Hoosier Pass Loop – Hoosier Pass Summit, CO

EASY WAY TO BE ABOVE TREELINE & GAP AT ALL THE VIEWS!

Hoosier Pass is an adventure in any season. Glorious views when summer hiking, famous for winter backcountry snow sports, skiing, snowshoeing & snowboarding. We hit the top of the pass just a week before the winter snows came. Great summer hike to grab mind-boggling views! READ MORE…

Loop is approx. 3.5 miles

Rated: moderate

No restrooms

Large parking area

Known for extreme weather conditions

Dogs ok on leash

Mosquito Range

Park & Summit County

AND THAT IS THE BEST OF THE YEAR in 2020, IT’S BEEN A PRIVILEGE SHARING TRAILS WITH YOU AND HAS PUSHED ME TO GET OUT THERE MORE AND I AM HOPING IT IS DOING THE SAME FOR YOU, 

Connect with me on Instagram! I love hanging out there and leaving tidbits of trails I’ve hiked in Colorado. Follow me and say hi – send me a message! Follow other hikers and be inspired!


Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).