best hiking trails in colorado

Top Colorado Hikes: Best Hiking Trails Revealed

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable hiking adventure in the breathtaking landscapes of Colorado? With its majestic mountains, stunning vistas, and diverse trails, Colorado is a hiker’s paradise. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which are the best hiking trails in this outdoor haven?

In this article, we will reveal the top hiking trails in Colorado, taking you on a journey through the Rocky Mountains and showcasing routes that cater to all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking a challenging trek or a beginner looking for a leisurely walk amidst nature, our guide has got you covered.

Key Takeaways:

  • Colorado offers a wide range of hiking trails in its stunning mountainous landscapes.
  • The top hiking trails in Colorado cater to all skill levels.
  • From panoramic vistas to challenging terrains, Colorado has it all for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Whether you prefer scenic hikes, trails near cities, or national park adventures, Colorado has something for everyone.
  • Embark on your next adventure and explore the best hiking trails in Colorado.

Most Scenic Hikes in Colorado

When it comes to choosing the most scenic hike in Colorado, opinions may vary. However, one trail that is widely regarded as the best is the iconic Maroon Bells. With majestic mountain peaks, lakes, wildflowers, and adventurous stream crossings, it offers a postcard-worthy experience. Other top contenders for the most scenic hike include Zirkel Circle near Steamboat Springs, known for its stunning views of the Zirkel Wilderness area, and the Blue Lakes Trail in the San Juan Mountains, which offers unmatchable vistas.

If you’re a lover of breathtaking landscapes and want to immerse yourself in the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness, these trails should be at the top of your list. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, these hikes provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural wonders of the state.

Maroon Bells

“The Maroon Bells are a true gem and one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. The hike offers stunning views that make you feel like you’re walking in a painting.” – Outdoor enthusiast

Zirkel Circle

“Zirkel Circle is a hidden gem in the Steamboat Springs area. The panoramic views of the Zirkel Wilderness area are simply breathtaking. It’s definitely a trail that should not be missed.” – Local hiker

Blue Lakes Trail

“The Blue Lakes Trail provides a truly unforgettable experience. The crystal-clear alpine lakes nestled among the towering mountains create a scene straight out of a postcard. It’s a must-do hike for any nature lover.” – Avid hiker

Embark on these scenic adventures and witness the beauty of Colorado’s landscapes firsthand. The most scenic hikes in Colorado are waiting to be explored, offering a visual feast and an opportunity to connect with the natural wonders of the state.

Best Hiking Trails Near Colorado Springs

Best Hiking Trails Near Colorado Springs

For those who prefer to stick close to a big city, Colorado Springs offers some of the best hiking trails in Colorado. The diverse landscapes and stunning natural beauty surrounding the city provide an excellent opportunity to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re seeking a challenging trek or a leisurely stroll, these trails will not disappoint.

One of the most iconic hikes near Colorado Springs is Pikes Peak. Rising over 14,000 feet, this majestic mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment for hikers. The Barr Trail is the most popular route to the summit and features varied terrain and stunning alpine scenery.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is another must-visit destination for hikers. This unique geological wonder is home to towering red rock formations that create a picturesque and surreal landscape. The park offers a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels, allowing visitors to explore the awe-inspiring rock formations up close.

North Cheyenne Canyon

If you’re looking for a true wilderness experience, North Cheyenne Canyon is the perfect choice. This scenic area is full of trails that wind through dense forests, alongside cascading waterfalls, and up to stunning viewpoints. The Captain Jack’s Trail is a popular option, offering a moderate hike with beautiful views of the canyon.

Whether you choose to hike Pikes Peak, explore the Garden of the Gods, or venture into the rugged beauty of North Cheyenne Canyon, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable hiking experience near Colorado Springs.

Best Time to Hike in Colorado

best time to hike in Colorado

The best time to hike in Colorado largely depends on personal preferences and what you’re looking to experience. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of summer or the peaceful solitude of winter, Colorado offers breathtaking hiking opportunities year-round.

Summer Hiking in Colorado:

If you want to witness wildflowers in full bloom and enjoy warmer days, summer is the ideal time to hit the trails. From June to August, Colorado transforms into a colorful paradise, with alpine meadows bursting with vibrant blooms. Not only will you be treated to a stunning array of wildflowers, but you’ll also have the chance to witness the beauty of cascading waterfalls fed by melting snow.

One of the most popular summer hikes is the stunning Blue Lakes Trail in the San Juan Mountains. This trail takes you on a picturesque journey through fields of wildflowers and offers awe-inspiring views of turquoise alpine lakes.

Important to note:

During summer, be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms. It’s crucial to start your hikes early in the morning to avoid being caught in unpredictable weather conditions.

Winter Hiking in Colorado:

If you’re seeking solitude and a serene winter wonderland, Colorado’s winter hiking season is perfect for you. From December to February, the Rocky Mountains are blanketed in snow, creating a magical atmosphere for hikers. Winter hiking allows you to explore trails without the usual crowds, providing a more peaceful and immersive experience in nature.

One winter hike not to be missed is the enchanting Zirkel Circle near Steamboat Springs. This trail offers mesmerizing views of snow-clad peaks, frozen lakes, and breathtaking winter landscapes. It’s a true winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts.

Important to note:

When hiking in winter, it’s essential to be well-prepared and have the appropriate gear. Dress in layers to stay warm and wear traction devices to prevent slipping on icy or snowy trails.

Whether you choose to hike in summer or winter, Colorado’s diverse landscapes and natural beauty are sure to leave you in awe. Each season offers a unique and unforgettable experience for hikers of all levels, making Colorado a year-round hiking destination.

Must-Do Hikes in Steamboat Springs

Zirkel Circle Trail

Steamboat Springs is a paradise for hikers, offering a variety of must-do hikes. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a beginner looking to explore Colorado’s natural beauty, these trails in Steamboat Springs should be at the top of your list.

Zirkel Circle Trail

Considered one of the best hikes in Colorado, the Zirkel Circle Trail takes you through the breathtaking Zirkel Wilderness area. This 10.4-mile loop offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes. One of the highlights of this trail is Gilpin Lake, a picturesque alpine lake that rewards hikers with its serene beauty. The Zirkel Circle Trail is a challenging hike but definitely worth the effort for the incredible vistas it provides.

Hahns Peak

If you’re up for a challenging hike with rewarding panoramic views, Hahns Peak is a must-do. This iconic Steamboat Springs hike takes you to the top of the 10,839-foot Hahns Peak, where you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail is 4.7 miles round trip and is known for its rocky and steep terrain. As you make your way to the summit, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Additional Steamboat Springs Hiking Trails

Steamboat Springs offers a plethora of other incredible hiking trails to explore. Here are a few more notable options:

  • Fish Creek Falls: A popular hike that leads to a stunning 280-foot waterfall.
  • Emerald Mountain: Boasts multiple trails with varying difficulty levels and fantastic views of Steamboat Springs.
  • Lake Katherine: A scenic hike that takes you to a picturesque alpine lake surrounded by towering mountains.

No matter which trails you choose to tackle in Steamboat Springs, you’re in for a memorable adventure filled with captivating scenery and the tranquility of nature.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Hiking Paradise

best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an abundance of breathtaking hikes. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner looking to explore the natural beauty of Colorado, this national park has something for everyone. From challenging trails that lead to magnificent views and wildlife encounters to serene paths that meander through forests and meadows, there are countless opportunities to connect with nature and find your own adventure.

One of the standout hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park is the Mount Ida Trail. This challenging trek takes you to an elevation of over 12,000 feet, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. As you ascend, keep an eye out for a variety of alpine wildlife, including bighorn sheep and elk. The beauty and serenity of Mount Ida make it a truly rewarding destination for seasoned hikers.

The Cascade Trail to Mirror and Crater Lakes is another must-do hike in the park. This trail takes you through dense pine forests and alpine meadows, with cascading waterfalls and vibrant wildflowers lining the path. The highlight of the hike is the picturesque Mirror Lake, reflecting the surrounding mountain peaks and providing a serene spot to rest and take in the natural beauty.

For those who appreciate the beauty of wildflowers, the West Maroon Pass trail in Crested Butte is a must-visit. This trail offers a stunning display of colorful blooms, including alpine sunflowers, primroses, and columbines. The trail leads you through lush meadows and over mountain passes, with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. It’s a favorite among photographers and nature lovers alike.

Mount IdaA challenging hike with panoramic views and wildlife encounters.
Cascade Trail to Mirror and Crater LakesA scenic trail with waterfalls, wildflowers, and serene lakes.
West Maroon PassA vibrant trail showcasing wildflowers and stunning mountain views.

Exploring the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park is not only an opportunity for physical activity but also a chance to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring nature of Colorado. Each trail offers a unique experience, whether it’s the challenge of reaching a high summit, the tranquility of a peaceful lake, or the vibrant colors of wildflowers in bloom. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this hiking paradise.


Colorado is a hiking paradise, offering an array of trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a beginner, the state’s diverse landscapes and stunning vistas guarantee a memorable hiking experience. This Colorado hiking guide has highlighted some of the best hiking spots in the state, allowing you to explore the breathtaking wilderness and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

From the scenic hikes in the majestic Rocky Mountains to the challenging treks in national parks like Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado has something for everyone. The iconic Maroon Bells, Zirkel Circle, and Blue Lakes Trail are just a few of the many must-visit hiking destinations in the state. Whether you are seeking panoramic mountain views, picturesque lakes, or vibrant wildflowers, Colorado offers a trail that will captivate your senses.

So lace up your boots, grab your backpack, and embark on your next adventure in the great outdoors of Colorado. As you traverse the miles of hiking trails, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas, encounters with diverse wildlife, and a sense of tranquility that can only be found in nature. Get ready to create unforgettable memories as you explore the best hiking spots that Colorado has to offer.


What are the best hiking trails in Colorado?

Some of the best hiking trails in Colorado include the iconic Maroon Bells, Zirkel Circle, Blue Lakes Trail, Mount Ida, Cascade Trail, and West Maroon Pass.

Where can I find the most scenic hikes in Colorado?

The most scenic hikes in Colorado can be found at Maroon Bells, Zirkel Circle, and Blue Lakes Trail.

What are the best hiking trails near Colorado Springs?

The best hiking trails near Colorado Springs include Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and North Cheyenne Canyon.

When is the best time to hike in Colorado?

The best time to hike in Colorado depends on personal preferences. Summer offers wildflowers and waterfalls, while winter provides solitude and snowy wonderlands.

What are the must-do hikes in Steamboat Springs?

Must-do hikes in Steamboat Springs include Zirkel Circle, Gilpin Lake, and Hahns Peak.

What are the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park?

Some of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park are Mount Ida, Cascade Trail to Mirror and Crater Lakes, and West Maroon Pass.

What are the best hiking spots in Colorado?

Colorado offers a plethora of amazing hiking spots, including Maroon Bells, Zirkel Circle, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and many more.

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