Hike Up to Where the Marmots Hang Out
Hiking above timberline in Colorado is the wildest, most weathered, beautiful and most rugged parts of Colorado you will encounter.
Hiking a trail to get there is exhilarating, stepping beyond the trees at timberline is spellbinding. Each hike I’ve done that goes to timberline, whether easy or strenuous has been something to behold.
If you’ve acclimated to the altitude, know the need for water and energy snacks, have a few small hikes under your belt, (or boots) then these 4 easy trails will leave you wanting for more, and you might just become a Colorado outdoor addict.
Here are 4 of our favorite high alpine easy hikes you might enjoy, each offering something to tickle your curiosity about what it’s like near the peaks, at timberline.
LOST LAKE TRAIL – Cottonwood Pass
2.6 miles out and back
This hike took us completely by surprise, such unexpected beauty when reaching Lost Lake. Slightly frozen, sitting beneath jagged peaks, you will be mesmerized.
The trail starts out on a gentle jeep trail, eventually leading to a single path, and becoming a bit steeper as you head to timberline. Hiking out of the pines, was like coming upon a Colorado postcard with sweeping views of the Collegiate Peaks surrounding you before venturing to the right on your way to Lost Lake.
Being such a short distance, about a 1.3 mile hike up, I put this on the list of easier hikes, even though parts are a bit steep, it’s a “you gotta see this” kind of day hike.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO for more on hiking Lost Lake Trail
BLUE LAKES TRAIL – Hoosier Pass
Not sure whether to call this a hiking trail or a day adventure. You can drive right up to Blue Lakes and simply hang out and admire the views of Quandary Peak, North Star Mountain, and Wheeler Mountain surrounding you or start hiking…
The short, yet exhilarating trails will be beyond your expectations, being above timberline where Mother Nature is obviously in charge. Wind blown twisted dwarfed pines, tundra, and steep rocky slopes surround an amazingly blue lake. Marmots everywhere, the chirp of the little Pika mouse scrambling the rocks and maybe even a greeting by mountain goats.
A great hiking adventure for families. A perfect spot to show off Colorado to visitors.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO for more on hiking Blue Lakes Trail
MAYFLOWER GULCH – Summit County
Distance: 1.8 miles
Rated: Easy to slightly moderate
Truly one of our favorite hikes, even though we hike anything, we’ve been hooked on this trail since the first visit. In a just over a mile you will be above timberline. After hiking up an old ore road lined with dense spruce forest, the valley floor opens up before you and you’ve reached the real treasure, remnants of the historic “Boston Mine Camp” nestled beneath Mt. Fletcher and the Ten Mile Range. The surroundings are breathtaking.
Just getting started hiking? This trail will make you long for more! Simply one of the best hikes ever to experience Colorado. Perfect for families and a fun way to try snowshoeing too… just say’in.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO for more on hiking Mayflower Gulch
WHEELER TRAIL to Wheeler Lake – Alma, CO
Distance: 6 miles out and back
Rated: Easy to slightly moderate
Wheeler trail is actually a rugged Jeep Trail popular with hardcore 4×4 enthusiasts. But don’t let that stop you, the trail is easily shared. Starting at Montgomery Reservoir, and passing historic Magnolia Mine, the trail follows the valley between Mount Lincoln, Park County’s highest peak, and Northstar Mountain, on the Continental Divide.
We loved it here. Beautiful Reservoir, amazing waterfall, large rocks, and then a gentle 3 mile trek up the valley. Just another amazing way to experience the high country up close and personal.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO for more on hiking Wheeler Trail
Hoping these 4 amazing trails, leading to some of Colorado’s most spectacular timberline settings, will get you excited about hiking and make you giddy about getting out there.
So many trails in Colorado from mild to wild … Happy Trails!