Mountain towns in Colorado are charming and quaint and are our favorite places to stay for year-round hiking vacations. I decided to list particular areas we go back to over and over and love.

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BRECKENRIDGE, CO

Breckenridge is an authentic historical Colorado mining town that boasts world-class skiing and year-round outdoor adventure. Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and horseback riding touch the surface. Downtown Breckenridge is charming and packed with restaurants, shopping, history, galleries, and more.

> Breckenridge, CO Best Hikes!

The trails in Breck will take your breath away.

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO

Steamboat Springs is a warm welcome to a laid-back and inviting out-of-town experience. There is less hustle and bustle, with exceptional skiing in winter and spectacular hiking in summer/fall months.

> Fish Creek Falls to Long Lake – a waterfall haven!

> Mad Creek Trail is a family-friendly adventure – with history and loads of cute marmots!

Rabbit Ears Peak Trail – jaw-dropping views!

Three popular brands of day hiking backpacks to consider: > Osprey (my personal favorite), > Deuter, and > Gregory backpacks.

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LEADVILLE, CO

Leadville is one of our favorite mountain towns. Quaint, full of history, and world-class hikes keep us coming back often. 

> Leadville, CO, is a Hiking Haven

We love the trails in Leadville!

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CRESTED BUTTE, CO

Crested Butte is unique; it is way off the beaten path with an authentic mountain town atmosphere. It’s cute, it’s funky, it’s fun. Hiking here never disappoints! The wildflowers in summer here are mind-boggling!

> Rustler Gulch Trail – the prettiest wildflower hike we’ve hiked!

> Washington Gulch Trail – unbelievable peak views and wildflowers. Gorgeous!

> Scarp Ridge Trail – 360-degree sensational, mind-boggling peak views!

> Judd Falls to Copper Lake – Options: easy to Judd Falls, moderate to Copper Lake.

> Dark Canyon Loop – is a gem on Kebler Pass with stunning Aspens, wildflowers, and rugged mountain views.

NOTE: A hike for avid hikers that is on my wishlist!  > Hike Crested Butte to Aspen

LEAVE NO TRACE 

ENCOUNTERING WILDLIFE  

APPROPRIATE HIKING GEAR

BUENA VISTA, CO

Buena Vista is situated at the base of the sensational Collegiate Peaks. A small town with big views and incredible hiking.  

In the town of Buena Vista, there are year-round hiking, biking, and running trails across the beautiful Arkansas River. Views of the Collegiate Peaks are tantalizing throughout the hike.

Buena Vista is our go-to for fabulous hikes in the Collegiate Peaks!

> Browns Creek Falls Trail (our favorite  > winter hike too!)

> Ptarmigan Lake Trail – The most popular hike among my hiking buddies!

> Kroenke Lake Trail – Fabulous!

> Lost Lake Trail – Beautiful family-friendly alpine lake hike on Cottonwood Pass.

> Denny Creek Trail to Hartenstein Lake – Idyllic Colorado!

> Harvard Lakes via the Colorado Trail – A casual hike through the forest to two sweet lakes!

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LAKE CITY, CO

Lake City is delightful. We love it. Located way off the beaten path, it is charming and has no stoplights! Cinnamon and Engineer Pass start here, plus Lake Cristobal adds to your adventure. 

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TELLURIDE, CO

Telluride is located in one of Colorado’s most gorgeous settings and has charm galore. Some of our favorite trails are right here, with more to go…

> Bear Creek Falls – Family-friendly hike to a beautiful waterfall!

> Bridal Veil Basin to Blue Lake – The first treat is Bridal Veil Falls, then a gorgeous high alpine hike.

> Wasatsh Tral to Nellie Mine – Just before Bear Creek Falls, take Watsach Trail, an intense climb to alpine splendor!

> Hope Lake – I’d do this hike again and again!

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OURAY, CO

Ouray is the “Little Switzerland of Colorado,” a perfect description. Everyone loves this mountain getaway! We have so much more to explore here …

> Perimeter Trail – Full of surprises, an adventure. We loved it.

> Blue Lakes Trail – One of the best and most gorgeous day hikes ever!! 

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TWIN LAKES, CO

Twin Lakes is a general store and numerous cabins. In summer and winter, this is a favorite quiet getaway. Situated at the base of Independence Pass and the shores of beautiful Twin Lakes, the outdoor adventures are endless.

> Hope Pass via Willis Gulch – Challenging and one of my favorites. It’s a beauty!

> Inter-Laken Trail – Summer and > winter, this family-friendly trail is a must!

> Mountain Boy Ridge – An epic Independence Pass summit hike.

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ASPEN, CO

Aspen is a year-round destination known worldwide among the rich and famous for its outdoor recreation and gorgeous surroundings. Hiking here is unparalled. 

> Lost Man Trail – Unstoppable views on Independence Pass with two alpine lakes. Another favorite trail!

> Linkin Lake Trail short, steep, gorgeous, and packed with everything Colorado on such a small adventure

> American Lake Trail – (+ Ashcroft Ghost Town) – Aspens galore, dense pines, alpine lake, it’s all here.

> Hunter Creek Trail – Lush, green, tumbling river, history. Hike, bike, running haven of trails.

> Iconic Crystal MillYou can go by 4×4, horse, or bike, but hiking to Crystal Mill is magical and much more rewarding. (Near Marble, CO)

Notable: on Independence Pass when visiting Aspen, CO: > Independence Ghost Town.

Booth Lake Trail, hikes Vail,

VAIL, CO

Vail has tremendous trails for all levels. We personally have never stayed in Vail, but our hikes here have all been exceptional. 

> Booth Lake Trail – One memorable hike! We loved it.

> Piney River Falls Trail – Off the beaten path and gorgeous. Easy yet rugged trail.

> Davos Trail – We did this in winter, with sparkling snow fields and incredible snow-capped peak views!

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FRISCO / SILVERTHORNE

Frisco and Silverthorne is Colorado’s outdoor year-round playground. Something for everyone: this area is a mecca of stunning trails. We find ourselves here often!

> North Ten Mile Creek – The perfect trail in every season!

> Willow Lakes Trail – It is high in the Gore Range, surrounded by its jagged rugged peaks, and is breathtaking!

> Masontown Loop and Rainbow Lake – A pleasant, family-friendly hike minutes from Main Street in Frisco, CO

> Ptarmigan Trail – Breathtaking views of the Gore Range

> Willow Falls via South Willow Creek Trail – Peaceful, easy, stunning waterfall, moose sightings, and mountain goats.

> Mayflower Gulch – We love winter here, but Mayflower Gulch is incredible in > summer, too! We hike here often. 

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DURANGO / CORTEZ / DOLORES, CO

The southwest corner of Colorado is our late fall getaway area. The terrain changes depending on your town choice, from mountains to desert landscapes, and hiking combines Puebloan ruins and Colorado history. There are fewer crowds, beautiful hikes and this area is sensational!

> Gudys Rest via Colorado Trail – (Durango) Forested wonder!

> Sand Canyon Trail – (Canyon of the Ancients, Cortez), this is remarkable!

> Geyser Springs Trail – (Dolores) the only geyser in Colorado!

> McPhee Reservoir Overlook Trail – (Dolores) is an easy hike and miles long!

> Petroglyph Trail – (Mesa Verde National Park) is a must-do!

Notable: > Durango and Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad, in our opinion, is one of Colorado’s best tourist attractions.

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GRANBY / GRAND LAKE, CO

Granby and Grand Lake sit at the base of the West Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is captivating in charm, scenery, and lakes. I would live here! 

> Strawberry Lake Trail – A fairytale dream of lush forests, wildflowers, and stream crossings.

> Cascade Falls via North Inlet Trailhead is a series of enchanting waterfalls through a trail that is packed with wildflowers. (Located in Rocky Mountain National Park)

Nearby

> Mt. Flora 13er – Jaw-dropping views the entire hike!

> Twin Cone Peaks via Second Creek Trail – Incredibly scenic hike. One of my favorite high alpine treks!

Notable: from Granby and Grand Lake: > Trail Ridge Road!

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ESTES PARK, CO 

Estes Park is located at the base of East Entrance to Rocky Mountian National Park; it is a popular destination with endless trail options. 

With Rocky Mountain National Park in the backyard, the hiking when staying in Estes Park is endless!

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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