Moderate hikes that we love, so when you are ready to step it up, these trails will get you loving Colorado’s Mountains. Beautiful waterfalls, alpine lakes, and adventure into some of our most scenic areas that some never see.


> Altitude sickness is real, know the signs and symptoms

Check the weather before you go. Colorado weather can change rapidly in our mountains, especially at higher altitudes. Watch for lightning and quickly get down from the tree line if thunderclouds are approaching.

Bring appropriate clothing for rapid temperature changes


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Browns Creek Falls

Browns Creek Falls is an exhilarating day hike in Colorado’s Mountains. Reach the trails end, and you suddenly happen upon Browns Creek Falls; it’s that unexpected and incredible. Rushing white water thunders down from a rocky ledge high above.

I’d recommend this hike even if you are new to hiking and have acclimated to a higher elevation. It’s moderate initially, but If you can do the first mile and a half, the rest is a stroll. You’ll be excited about the next hike you do…


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 Trail

Summit hike perfect for your first easy/moderate trail, Chief Mountain is a 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. The views are mind-boggling!

Once you make this trail, you’ll want to do high-altitude hikes to the substantial peaks!


3 miles out and back

Rated: Moderate

Trail #58

Elevation start: 10,800′ gain: 1,000′

No restrooms


Open to leashed dogs, hiking, snowshoeing

Arapaho National Forest

Clear Creek Ranger District

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Ptarmigan Lake Trail

Ptarmigan Lake Trail never disappoints and is a Colorado favorite 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.


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, CO

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Ouray Perimeter Trail

Ouray Perimeter Trail, 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. Full of mystery and curiosity. Highly recommend!

Good hiking shoes, water, and all the backpack essentials on this one even with it 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.


Rated: moderate/strenuous

5.9-mile loop

Elevations range from 7661 ft – 8413 ft

Located in the town of Ouray, CO

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Native Lake Trail

Native Lake Trail is ever-changing scenery! One for the bucket list of hikes in Colorado. 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. 

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


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

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Lost Lake Trail via Hessie Trailhead

Indian Peaks Wilderness, near Nederland, CO, is a mecca of sensational hiking trails. Hessie Trailhead is a starting point for several hikes within Indian Peaks. Today’s adventure, Lost Lake, is a family-friendly trail for backpacking and day hiking. Waterfall, bridges, and an alpine lake; you can’t go wrong!


Four miles out and back

Rated: Moderate

Portable Potties

No horses, bikes

Dogs ok on leash

Camping Info: > Roosevelt National Forest

Nearest Town: Nederland, CO

> Shuttle service in Summer to Trailhead


Boulder Ranger District; 303-541-2500

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Isabelle Lake Trail

Isabelle Glacier Trail is unstoppable beauty. Unmatched in its scenic beauty from beginning to end. You can hike to gorgeous Isabelle Lake for a more leisurely moderate hike or be adventurous and trek onto Isabelle Glacier.

Moose sightings are common here!

NOTE: In Late June to Mid Oct this is a fee area and reservations are required as of late Sept. 2021. Located in the Brainard Recreation Area > CLICK HERE for more information. > CLICK HERE for reservations.


Isabelle Lake

4.2 miles out & back

Rated: Moderate

Isabelle Glacier

8.4 miles out & back

Rated: strenuous

Indian Peaks Wilderness


No bikes, no horses

Dogs ok

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Gem Lake Trail

Gem Lake is just how the name sounds! Fun hike with water crossings, rock steps, and gorgeous sweeping views. Not a long trail but full of adventure as you hike upward. We loved it. 


Gem Lake Trail via Lumpy Ridge Trailhead

3.1 miles out and back

Rated: Moderate/slightly strenuous

Elevation gain: 994′

Located: > Rocky Mountain National Park

> Info Shuttle Service

> Info Timed Permits & Reservations

No dogs

Restroom at Trailhead

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Raspberry Mountain via Ring the Peak Trail

Raspberry Mountain is about the Summit and the 360-degree views of Colorado’s incredible mountain peaks & valleys. The fun of scrambling and finding your spot among the boulders to take it all in is the best part!


6 miles out & back

Raspberry Mountain via Ring the Peak Trail

Rated: Moderate

Nearest town: Divide, CO

Dog & Family-Friendly

Popular for Mtn Biking, Hiking, Snowshoeing

Lots of shade for summer hikes

Pike National Forest

Open year-round

Road closed in winter, hike in 1/2 mile to the trailhead

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Butler Gulch Trail

Butler Gulch is a lovely hike amid a sprinkling of wildflowers, old mining remnants, a waterfall, and snow-capped peaks. Take the loop hike and find incredible views that take your breath away while Marmots and Pikas check you out. Note: The loop trail takes you on a steep short ascent and descent. Hiking into just the basin as an out-and-back is moderate.


5.5 miles out & back

Rated: moderate/strenuous

Arapaho National Forest

Nearest Towns: Empire, CO

Dogs ok on leash

No restrooms

Elevation Start 10,500′ – end 12,000+’

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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