Colorado might be known for world-class ski slopes in the Rocky Mountains, but there are also endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors during summer vacations in Colorado. Think fields of wildflowers, thick forests, and mountains with peaceful alpine lakes, diverse trails, and close to 60 peaks rising above 14,000 feet. Colorado is a dream for hikers, wildlife photographers, or those who appreciate being in the great outdoors on summer vacations in Colorado.
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Most Scenic Hiking Destinations in Colorado
When it comes to hiking trails, there is something for everyone who spends their summer vacations in Colorado. Whether you're a novice or seasoned hiker, it's hard to find a hike that doesn't offer spectacular natural landscapes in this state. Expect cascading waterfalls, big meadows, rivers cutting under scraggy rocks, dramatic vistas and more. Check out our list of some of the most scenic hiking trails in Colorado.
1. Hanging Lake
A popular day hike for beginners is the Hanging Lake trail, which takes just about two hours (plan for four hours if you're a newbie), and winds through canyons and along a creek, ending at a green-blue lake with interesting rock formations at its edges. This trail is pretty easy, short, and only ten miles from the hot springs at Glenwood Springs, so it's a good idea to camp nearby or set off early if you want to avoid a crowd.
2. Long's Peak Trail
The tallest peak in the Rocky National Park, at 14,259 feet, Long's Peak certainly offers stunning views as well as a moderately difficult trail. Known for its elk sanctuary and other wildlife sightings, here you can consider camping at the Longs Peak campground overnight. Sleep under the twinkling stars and get a good head start on this tall peak in the morning, pass waterfalls and end at Chasm Lake, one of the most beautiful alpine lakes near the top of the mountain.
3. The Four Pass Loop
For serious backpackers, this will be one of the most memorable summer vacations in Colorado: the Four Pass Loop. It's a four-day path around waterfalls, mountain lakes, and flower-filled meadows that is sure to stick in your memories forever. Bring your A-game, as this hike is set more than 8,000 feet above sea level.
4. The Blue Lakes Trail
See how beautiful the San Juan Mountain range can be on this stunning hike that covers 8.6 miles in total, passing wildflowers, alpine lakes, and plenty of rocky peaks to scramble over. Remember to bring a camera and a bathing suit to properly experience the natural beauty and wonder of these Blue Lakes.
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