Twenty easygoing trails in Colorado’s most beautiful areas will get you hooked if you’ve never hiked. Have you been nervous to start hiking? These trails will ease your fears.

Getting into Colorado’s backcountry is easy peasy with the right trail for beginners, and we’ve hiked some tremendous easy trails to share with you.

Note: Colorado mountain hikes are rugged, with rocks and roots and some elevation gain even when considered easy. Having proper footwear and attire for unpredictable weather is recommended!

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MAD CREEK TRAIL

Mad Creek Trail, located 10 minutes from Steamboat Springs, CO, is a favorite among locals and visitors. Hike to Mad Barn, a historical landmark, and find marmots scurrying about. Picnic by the river as you hike to the Barn and take in the sounds of nature.

The marmots were incredible, living under Mad Barn — more than we usually spot on any trail. You will love it.

5 miles out & back

Rated: slightly moderate

800′ elevation gain the first mile

Trail #1100

Routt National Forest

Historical 1906 Landmark

Open to dogs & horseback

Popular MTB area

Family-friendly

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RAINBOW LAKE TRAIL

Rainbow Lake Trail is a surprise in the heart of Colorado. It is a sweet, short Colorado hike hidden off the trails behind Frisco, CO, below Mt. Royal. Bring the kids and dogs, your hiking boots in summer, or snowshoes in winter; this trail is exceptional.

Easy-peasy Colorado hikes; we come here often in every season.

Rated: easy

2.1 mile out and back

Elevation start, 9,089 ft., end 9277 ft.

Open to: hiking, dogs, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing

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INTER-LAKEN TRAIL

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. Sitting at the base of Independence Pass in Twin Lakes, the Inter-Laken Trail rolls gently up and down alongside one of Colorado’s most beautiful lakes.

Your destination is the remains of the historic 1879′  “Inter-Laken Resort,”  beautifully preserved and open to the public.

 

Rated: Easy

4.7 miles out and back

Start Elevation: 9,272 ft., minimal gain

Popular for hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback, fishing and trail running

Open year-round

Nearest Towns: Twin Lakes, Leadville, Buena Vista

Part of the Colorado Trail/Collegiate West Trail

San Isabel National Forest

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MAYFLOWER GULCH TRAIL

Mayflower Gulch Trail is a fantastic adventure in every season. An easy uphill mile tops out beneath the 10 Mile Range surrounded by Mayflower Hill, 12,389 ft’, Pacific Peak, 13,950 ft’, and Fletcher Mountain, 13,951′. It’s gorgeous — especially if the Peaks are snowcapped. Remnants of the historic late 1800s Boston Mine Camp are an added treat. You can explore here or keep going on several trail options leading in several directions!

This trail is one of our favorites and a holiday tradition in winter.

Boston Mine Camp, 1.8 miles out and back

Begins at 10,994 ft.

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

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

Rated: easy to moderate

Open to hiking, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, dogs, mt bikes

Kid Friendly

Easy access to the trailhead

Large parking lot

No restroom

Near Copper Mountain and Frisco, CO

THREEMILE CREEK TRAIL

Threemile Creek Trail is a shady woodland wonder. It is a delightful trek in the forest with dense pine forests, aspen trees, rushing waters, numerous creek crossings, and beaver dams.

A happy place! It is a nice hike to find when it’s hot outside.

9 miles out and back (varies)

Rated: easy/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

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ST MARY’S GLACIER

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! It is a short hike to the Glacier, incredible scenery plus year-round snow!

Years past, St. Mary’s Glacier was ready for sleds and snowboards in the summer months. We spent hours here then. It seems to be shrinking now. However, many still bring their winter play toys!

Hike to Glacier: 1 mile out and back

Rated: Moderate

Portable Restrooms

Open to leashed dogs

Family Friendly

Parking Fee

Nearest Town: Idaho Springs, CO

Clear Creek Ranger District

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SEVEN BRIDGES TRAIL

Seven Bridges Trail is a hike for anyone who loves to enjoy the woods. Waterfalls, bridges, and beautiful forests leave you transfixed and loving every minute as you hike this trail. It’s both enjoyable and gorgeous and has seven bridges!

From the parking lot, head past the gate and hike down Old Gold Camp Road (an old railroad bed) for 3/4 mile. Just before the bend in the road, you will find the signpost for Seven Bridges Trail just off the road. It’s a bit hidden and easy to miss.

I highly suggest purchasing a map of the area if you want to venture past Seven Bridges Trail. The one I use is Pocket Pals #3 Trail Map.

Perfect for families, visitors, and newbies to Colorado.

3.5 miles out and back

Rated: Easy/slightly moderate

Dogs on leash ok

Portable Potties

North Cheyenne Canyon Park

Parking: Lot 18

Nearest Towns: Manitou Springs, CO

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SAWMILL GULCH TRAIL

 

Sawmill Gulch Trail is a family-friendly Breckenridge, CO summer surprise under the Snowflake chairlift. The trail has a slight incline through fairytale-like forests and a creek flowing down the slope. With muddy areas, water to run through with leaves squishy beneath your feet, bridges to cross, and sticks and rocks to collect, your kids will feel like they are on a great adventure.mTo our surprise, at the end is Sawmill Reservoir, nestled in Pine Trees. Bring your fishing pole. 

The adventure continues… local tip: look for the Fairy Forest Signpost located on a tree and be immersed in a Mile of homemade Fairy homes built my local families and visitors. 

Brings out the child in you this trail is steps away from town. It’s not a cardio workout, but in just a little over a mile, up and back, you come down smiling…

It’s a good hike if you haven’t acclimated to the altitude yet.

Approx: 1.5 miles out and back

Rated: Easy

Dog friendly

No fishing along the trail

Fishing allowed at Sawmill Reservoir

Loop trail around Sawmill Reservoir

NOTE: On some maps, it is listed as Snowflake Trailhead

Located: Breckenridge, CO

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GEYSER SPRINGS TRAIL

Geyser Springs Trail is a hidden gem located off the beaten path near Dunton Hot Springs in Southwest Colorado. One-of-a-kind hike featuring the only geyser in Colorado.

So many leaves are beneath our feet, on tree limbs, and everywhere. I did not want to leave; it was sensational in October. I could say we could smell fall, but there was a tinge of sulfur smell from the geyser in the air. It’s not horrific, but it’s certainly noticeable.

We loved it; it will be one we will never forget!

2.9 miles out & back

Rated: Moderate

San Juan National Forest

No Restroom

Nearest Town: Dolores, CO

No Cell Service

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SALLY BARBER TRAIL

Sallie Barber Trail in Breckenridge, CO, was the perfect springtime getaway for an early afternoon hike with a fantastic destination, the historic Sallie Barber Mine. Snow-laden trees and  sparkling deep snow lined our way. Since this hike is popular, the snow was packed down, and traction devices, not snowshoes, were sufficient.

It was one of the prettiest trails we’ve hiked in snow. Of course, you can do this trail in any season!

2.8 miles out & back

Rated: Easy

Minimal elevation gain

Popular for XC Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Horseback riding, and Trail running.

Limited parking

No Restrooms

Dog friendly

Family-friendly

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LOVELAND LAKES TRAIL

Want to see one of Colorado’s most beautiful spots without any effort? Here you go, Loveland Lakes Trail is easy peasy and breathtaking.

Going over Loveland Pass, not far from the top on the west side, you’ll find a short road that leads to a parking area and the trailhead.

We often stop here and stroll, picnic, and gawk over the views and wildflowers.

Rated: easy

0.8 mile out and back

Trail #9044

Elevation: Above 11,000 ft.

No Restrooms

Dog friendly

Family friendly

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BEAR CREEK FALLS

Bear Creek Falls Trail is one of Telluride, CO, most popular hikes. A wide path winds through the 325-acre Bear Creek Preserve, lined with aspens, pines, and views of the high peaks ahead.

Bear Creek Falls: What a sight to behold! It’s beautiful at 80 feet high. It took us by surprise at how stunning it was with the startling bold colors in the rocks. I can see why this is so popular in summer with water pools and mist at the bottom — there is lots of room for everyone.

It’s not a strenuous hike to the falls, but a hike that anyone, whether avid or beginner, will enjoy.

Rated: easy/moderate

5 miles out and back

Elevation gain: 1,100 ft

Open to leashed dogs, mountain bikes, horses

Family-friendly

No restrooms at the trailhead

LOCATED: At the end of Pine Street in downtown Telluride, CO. No parking at the Trailhead. Limited parking on the streets nearby, but they have a 3-hour limit with a fee. We found free parking at the Carhenge Lot on the southwest corner of town off West Pacific Ave.

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THREE LAKES TRAIL

Immediately, you are emersed into yet again another magical Colorado setting. Tall Aspens and pines surround you with breaks of sunshine filtering through the trees.

It’s close to Timberline, yet perfect for seasoned or newbie hikers. Sporadic views of the Ruby Range & Beckwith Mountain were stunning, yet you’ll find that Dollar & Lost Lake are the highlights!

We loved this trail and all the surprises that seemed to be on every bend. One of our favorite “off the beaten path” trails we’ve happened upon.

4.7-mile loop

Trail #843

Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests

Start elevation: 9,612 ft

Rated: Easy/moderate

Open to hiking and horseback

Located at Lost Lake Campground

Nearest towns: Crested Butte, Paonia, CO

Dispersed camping

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BRIDGEPORT TRAIL

Bridgeport Trail, Dominguez Escalante Wilderness, easy hiking near Grand Junction. Off the beaten path doesn’t even begin to explain the unsurpassed beauty and solitude of Colorado’s Dominguez Canyon Wilderness.

The trail is easy up and down and doable for most. Unfortunately, there is no water source, and it’s hot between the canyon walls. Wide open with little shade. Bring plenty of water & sunscreen. The deeper we hiked into the canyon, the more rugged and solidarity it became.

About 3.75 miles into Dominguez Canyon, you will come upon a large boulder full of petroglyphs. This was worth the trek to get here!

Hands down, it’s one of our favorite Colorado hikes on the western slope.

Bridgepoint Trail – Big Dominguez Canyon – 7-14 miles out and back

Rated: easy/moderate

2 miles from Trailhead to access Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

Approximate 2 miles from access to petroglyphs

What are Petroglyphs?

Backpacking haven

No fresh drinking water

Family, dog & horseback friendly

Horse trailer parking

Minimal cell service

ESSENTIALS to CONSIDER

.
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LOWER CATARACT LAKE TRAIL

Beginner Trail on beautiful Lower Cataract Lake Loop: An adventure for both young and old. It is the perfect casual day hike or beginner snowshoe trek.

2.5 miles loop

Rated: Easy

Trail # 57

Family and dog-friendly

Open to: Hiking, Snowshoeing, Fishing

Start Elevation: 8,652’ Minimal elevation gain

Restrooms

Eagles Nest Wilderness

White River National Forest

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LOST LAKE TRAIL

Cottonwood Pass connects the town of Buena Vista in the east to the town of Almont in the west. Views from the summit show both sides of the Continental Divide — a scenic drive loaded with spectacular hiking trails. Just minutes from the summit is a Colorado favorite, Lost Lake Trail.

Trail #1532

3.3 miles out and back

Rated: Easy/slightly moderate

No restrooms

Nearest Town: Buena Vista, CO

> Seasonal Closures on Cottonwood Pass (generally Nov-May)

> San Isabel National Forest

Leashed dogs ok.

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SAPPHIRE POINT TRAIL

Sapphire Point Overlook and Trail – Head out for a short drive from Breckenridge or Dillon, in the heart of Colorado’s Ski Country, and find a “not-to-be-missed” easy peasy trail— the perfect spot for bringing all ages, including kiddos, visitors, and newbie hikers.

The overlook and trail show off Colorado in spades, with sweeping views of surrounding mountain towns and snow-capped peaks.

o.6 Mile Loop

Easy with a minimal elevation gain

Open to dogs on a leash

Ample parking

Wheelchair accessible

Picnic tables and benches for your use

Restroom

White River National Forest

Elevation 9,500 ft

Views of the Gore Range and Ten Mile Range Mountains
Closest Towns: Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon & Keystone

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JUDD FALLS TRAIL

Judd Falls is a hike for all levels, and if you’re new to hiking, you’ll soon be hooked! You can’t go wrong hiking Judd Falls or any trail near Crested Butte, CO

Rated: Easy to moderate

2.2 miles out and back from the parking lot

Start Elevation: 9,600 ft. Gain 300 ft.

Family-friendly

June – October: Best months

Gunnison National Forest

Nearest Towns: Crested Butte, Gunnison

Free Shuttle to Trailhead in the summer months

Popular Event: Crested Butte’s Annual Wildflower Festival

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SAND CANYON TRAIL

Sand Canyon Trail, located in the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, is remarkable and scenic. Find Ancient Puebloan ruins deep in the Canyon walls: Desert landscape, numerous canyons, and views.

It’s a stunning hike, and we loved it starting at the lower trailhead.

Two trailheads provide access to the canyon. The upper trailhead can be found near the Sand Canyon Pueblo off of N Road. The lower trailhead, where we started, is off of G Road, about 12 miles west of Cortez, CO.

Sand Canyon & Rock Creek Trailhead

12.4 miles out and back

Rated: Moderate

Open to Hiking, Mtn Biking, and Horseback

Free

Trail Map – Sand Canyon & Rock Creek

Located: Canyon of the Ancients National Monument

Canyon of the Ancients Visitor Center, Dolores, CO

NOTABLE: Summer temps are high, and it is minimal shade, so a hat, sunscreen, lots of water, and good shoes are essential.

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NORTH TEN MILE CREEK TRAIL

Are you looking for a relaxing hike through classic Colorado scenery and a babbling creek alongside you? North Ten Mile Creek Trail 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.

Trail #37

7.3 miles out and back

Rated: Easy/moderate

No restrooms

Nearest town: Frisco, CO

White River National Forest

Dillon Ranger District; Silverthorne, CO

Be aware of altitude sickness when hiking at high elevations > Colorado High Altitude Hiking Effects and Advice. Be prepared for extreme sun exposure, cooler temperatures, wind, and unpredictable weather conditions. Make sure you have the appropriate gear with you to keep you safe. >Day Hiker Checklist.

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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