Are you wanting to see Colorado’s highest areas without a long strenuous hike? We have happened upon several short hikes that we found just as beautiful as our long day hikes have been.
Have visitors to Colorado or little kiddos? These short trails might just be what you are looking for.
Just be aware that the few listed below are high altitude and the weather can change in minutes. Bring extra clothing, & drink lots of water to keep hydrated.
LIMBER GROVE – FAIRPLAY
Limber Grove Trail is a little-known hidden gem and just off the beaten path, it’s a bit of a secret! Short 1.5 miles and you are above tree line among ancient trees. Hike through a spectacular forest of Bristlecone & Limber pines. Views of 14er Mt. Sherman and even down the valley towards South Park are amazing. Wow, a true gem!
3 miles out and back
Start Elevation: 10,565 ft. end 10,921 ft.
No restrooms at 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
MAYFLOWER GULCH – FREMONT PASS
Mayflower Gulch Trail is an awesome adventure in any season. An easy uphill mile tops out with surrounding views of Mayflower Hill (elevation 12,389 ft), Pacific Peak (elevation 13,950 ft), and Fletcher Mountain (elevation 13,951 ft). Stunning! One of the best areas to show off Colorado, with remnants of old mining buildings to explore. We go every year in summer & winter.
Boston Mine Camp, 1.8 miles out & back
starts at 10,994 ft., ends at 11,980 ft.
Gold Crest Mine Site: approx: 3 miles out and back
Rated: easy to moderate
Open to: hiking, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, dogs, mountain bikes
Dog & kid-Friendly
Located in: Arapaho National Forest
BLUE LAKES – BRECKENRIDGE
Blue Lakes Trail, This short, yet exhilarating trail will be beyond your expectations, above the timberline where Mother Nature is obviously in charge. Wind-blown twisted dwarfed pines, tundra, and steep rocky slopes surround an amazingly blue lake. Marmots are everywhere and you’ll hear the constant chatter of pika mice letting you know you are wandering into their territory.
Bring the kids, on an amazing family-friendly hike close to Breckenridge. Where else can you be greeted by mountain goats … really!
You can park at the first lake and wander around or do the short trails.
> READ OUR HIKE (hiked this trail years ago but the memories are vivid!).
Various short trails
Rated: easy, moderate
Dog & family-friendly
Weather can change in minutes
Hiking, walking, fishing, camping, snowshoeing
White River National Forest
LOVELAND LAKES – LOVELAND PASS
Want to see one of Colorado’s most beautiful spots without any effort? Here you go, Loveland Lakes Trail is easy peasy and breathtaking. Hike around several lakes and in summer fields of wildflowers greet you. Gorgeous!
Going over Loveland Pass, not far from the top on the west side you’ll find a road that leads to a parking area.
0.8 mile out and back
Elevation: Above 11,000 ft.
Three Pocket Naturalist Guides to Colorado, Trees & Wildflowers, Birds, and Wildlife. Waterproof and easy to carry in your backpack.
I have never had to use my bear spray but it is a comfort to have with us on every hike in Colorado’s Mountains.
LOST LAKE – COTTONWOOD PASS
Hiking to Lost Lake is unexpected, captivating beauty…
Lost Lake sits just below the Continental Divide not far from the top of Cottonwood Pass. We passed the trailhead coming up from Buena Vista, turned around, and found the unmarked trail. No signs, just a small paved area with a gate and the beginning of a dirt road. We did this years ago and want to go back. Was sensational.
2.6 miles out and back
Elevation: start 11,195 ft. gain, 680 ft.
Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
GOT THE ITCH TO DO MORE HIKES?
Three favorites for easy trail ideas
Sitting at the base of Independence Pass in Twin Lakes, CO, Inter-Laken Trail rolls gently up and down right alongside one of Colorado’s most beautiful lakes. Explore the historic “Inter-Laken Resort” built-in 1879. One of our favorite trails!
Rainbow Lake Trail, a surprise in the heart of Colorado A sweet, short Colorado hike hidden off the trails behind Frisco, CO, below Mt. Royal. Bring the kids, the dogs, you’re hiking boots in summer, or snowshoes in winter, this trail is exceptional.
LIKE TO EXPLORE?
Have visitors, new to Colorado, or just like to explore? Some areas we have loved are “Independence Town Site” on Independence Pass, ‘The Grottos” in Aspen, CO, and “Iowa Hill Trail” in Breckenridge. Short hikes and fun!
Two notable non-hiking areas that require some walking are – St. Elmo Ghost Town, & South Park City Open Air Museum. Both are absolutely worth exploring!
Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).