Located in the US, the hiking in Colorado offers over thirty trail routes from which to choose. The best Colorado hiking based on popularity are considered to be Continental Divide Trail, Longs Peak, Colorado Trail - Angel-of-Shavano, Molas Pass, and North Inlet Trail / Tonahuta Creek Trail. For a detailed trail description and printable trailhead map, just select a Colorado hiking trail below.
East of Durango, a nice section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail follows the San Juans from Wolf Creek Pass to Spring Creek Pass (120 miles). A perfect time of year to try this hiking route is in August when it should be snow free and there should still be some wildflowers.
Longs Peak is a classic Colorado 14er hike with 4,800 feet of climbing over 16 miles. As usual, the afternoon storms are reliable and fierce, so start early (3:00 am). The first couple miles wind through dryland pine forest along Alpine Brook before ascending above the treeline into alpine. Make sure you're at the Keyhole by around 7 am. If there's not an ice free route past here, don't bother to continue going up.
Southwest of Aspen, the 29 mile Maroon Bells Loop is a challenging hiking trek mainly above 11,000 feet crossing four alpine passes above 12,000. This 4-5 day route is best traversed clockwise and starts from Maroon Lake. These Elk Mountains have seen a resurgence of the protected Lynx.
Northwest of Buena Vista, the 168,000 acre Collegiate Peak Wilderness has a diverse 22 mile loop which combines Pine Creek Trail, Frenchman Creek Trail and a stretch of the Colorado Trail. The circuit passes through secluded forest and alpine tundra in the shadow of several 14ers and ranges from 8,400 feet to 13,000 feet.
Northwest of Fort Collins in the Poudre Canyon area, the Flowers Trail is a 15 mile one-way route climbing from 8,880 feet to 11,320 feet. This former wagon route enters the Comanche Peak Wilderness after the first couple miles and intersects several other trails.
East of Durango and northeast of Pagosa Springs in the Weminuche Wilderness Area, the Rainbow Trail leads to scenic hot springs pool. There are two man-made, sandy-bottom pools in the rock beside the river perfect for soaking in. While this strenuous 4 mile trek in through scenic wilderness, it is very popular and can be quite crowded on the weekends. Matter of fact, expect plenty of campers near the springs.
East of Durango and north of Bayfield, the Pine River Trail is a very scenic hike into the Weiuminichi Wilderness along the Los Pinos River (aka Pine River). The trail has many side trails for a varied experience. The trailhead is located north of Bayfield and northeast of Vallecito Reservoir.
Northwest of Denver and southwest of Estes Park, the Glacier Creek Trail is a breath-taking 10 mile round trip hike up Glacier Gorge to Black Lake. The narrow Glacier Gorge is known for peaks rising 3,000-4,000 feet above. Black Lake is an alpine tarn situated in a glacial cirque at the base of McHenrys Peak.
North of Crested Butte, the Yule Trail is an 11 mile route across rugged high alpine ridges over Yule Pass and down to the Marble townsite. The loose scree trail starts from Paradise Divide at 11,200 feet on the shoulder of Cinnamon Mountain and winds up to Yule Pass (11,800) on a very narrow rocky trail with steep dropoffs. The vista to the south is amazing of Purple Mountain, Augusta Mountain and Mineral Point.
West of Fort Collins and east of Walden, the 71,000 acre Colorado State Forest State Park has 70 miles of non-motorized trails through unaltered forest, jagged peaks and alpine lakes. There are a variety of hiking trails that lead to Ruby Jewel Lake, Kelly Lake, Clear Lake, Agnes Lake and American Lakes. The American Lakes Trail is a 5 mile one-way route leading from forest to meadow to alpine tundra with spectacular views of spire peaks and on into the Rocky Mountain National Park.