From high mountain passes to fields of wildflowers, from Class IV rock scrambles to nature walks ending at breathtaking waterfalls, hiking trails in Colorado really have it all. Some of the best hiking in the country can be found in the foothills of the Denver Metro area, on the high alpine slopes of the Fourteeners that dot the 11 National Forests of the Centennial State, and the desert trails of historic Mesa Verde National Park and the National Monuments on the Western Slope.
If you’re up for a big adventure, the 28-segment Colorado Trail is a gorgeous through-hike that begins in the San Juan mountains and ends just south of the Denver Metro area. The 500-mile route takes you through all Colorado ecosystems and is the perfect way to truly immerse yourself in Colorado’s natural environment.
Other popular trails include Crested Butte’s famed 401 Trail known for stunning wildflowers and above-treeline vistas. Manitou Springs’ Incline located just outside of Colorado Springs has become a destination for professional athletes, tourists, and everyone in between. This cable railway turned hiking trail gains more than 2,000 feet of elevation in less than a mile. The half-mile Maroon Lake Scenic Trail in the Maroon Bells just outside of Aspen leads to one of the most photogenic alpine lakes in the state and is a beautiful destination in both summer and fall.
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