We all love to get out there and explore, find the perfect hiking trail for you with this guide!
For the history buff:
Mt. Falcon is located about 40 or so minutes outside of Denver near Morrison, CO. This hike is webbed with several trails and places to break off and explore. Mt. Falcon is a pleasure for history buffs due to the ruins and almost-built buildings around the area. John Brisben Walker owned almost 4,000 acres of land in this area, including Red Rocks, and was the pioneer of the amphitheater’s construction. On this hike, you get a great panoramic view of Red Rocks, Denver, and basically Kansas. Not only that, but you can also turn around and get an awe-inspiring view of the Front Range.
Mt. Falcon is a perfect, low-key hike you can take your dog, or even your stroller, on. With just a few hills on the way back to your car, this hike is perfect for escaping into nature for the day, grabbing some amazing views, as well as seeing a little history.
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For Four Legged Friends:
For those and their dogs who are a bit more experienced, Eldorado Canyon is the perfect hike. The trail is 3.5 miles and is rated moderately difficult; however, the elevation gain is over 1,000 feet so bring your lungs. This hike is essentially the equivalent of walking up and over the Empire State building. It’s only 40 minutes from Denver and is a truly spectacular hike. However, though it is close, I would suggest going earlier because the crowds start to roll in around 10 am.
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For the social hiker:
Mt. Sanitas – Boulder
If you’re in, around, or visiting the Boulder area you must check out the Mt. Sanitas trail. Mt. Sanitas offers three different hiking options, ranging from difficult climbing to an easy walk through the valley. Only one-mile straight up the valley and back, the Valley Hike is definitely low-level difficulty. The trail is essentially in Boulder so there is lots of traffic coming through, especially on the Valley trail, making this an ideal trek for the social hiker.
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For the winter warrior:
Emerald Lake is accessible from the Bear Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Emerald lake trail is moderate, and only 3.6 miles round-trip. If you're planning on going in the winter pack your skis, snowshoes or simply some spikes and you can make your way through the twisting woods to the beautiful fully frozen Emerald Lake, surrounded by craggy amazingness. If you’re brave (which you should be) you can walk on top of the large lake and snap some really great photos while you’re at it.
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For the summer time Hiker:
Boulder Creek is a closer hike and super popular place to cool off in the summer time. I’d like to note this should be more of a summer swimming place, considering the spring runoff has calmed down a bit to make it safe. The best pools are east of the Settler’s Park area. Most of the time there is enough current for tubers to enjoy a float. All in all there is plenty of space to spare, explore the creeks path to find your favorite spot.
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For the ones who chase waterfalls:
Four lakes and Waterfall Loop in Rocky Mountain National Park
This loop nestled in Rocky Mountain National Park lets you venture to four beautiful lakes and Alberta Falls. This trail is a moderate 6.4-mile hike giving you a taste of all the glory national parks have to offer.
Hike Trail Map: Click for Rocky Mountain National Park Map
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Image via Day Hikes Near Denver[/caption]
For those looking for something wheelchair accessible:
Evergreen Lake Trail
This hike is more of a stroll through beautiful nature. A perfect way to spend a weekend morning, the lake trail is a 1.3-mile loop in the town of Evergreen, Colorado. Instead of your typical trek through the wilderness, Evergreen Lake Trail is more like a boardwalk. Overall, making it perfectly accessible and easy for strollers or wheelchairs, guides your path. At a point the trail splits, the lower path will take you to a fishing trail, while the higher one guides you into town to loop around again.
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For the photographer:
Noted as the most photographed place in Colorado, if you’re a photographer you simply can’t miss this beautiful hike. While you can park up to scenic areas to snap pictures of the iconic Maroon Bells, you also have three different hiking options for picture taking. The Maroon Lake Scenic Trail is an easy one mile round-trip trek starting at the parking area and following around the lake. The Maroon Creek Trail starts at the outlet of the lake and goes along the Maroon Creek into the alpine meadows and aspen forests. This trail is about 3.2 miles and ideal for spotting wildlife. Finally, the Crater Lake Trail is a 3.6-mile round-trip trail that provides hikers with breathtaking vistas of Aspen woodlands. Just be prepared for the steep and rocky ascent and spontaneous thunderstorms.
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Photo by Heather Rousseau[/caption]
For the little ones:
Lair O’ the Bear
Lair O’ the Bear is a fun activity-filled park/hiking area that is ideal for the kiddos! There are flat creekside trails for taking long strolls with the kids, or a bit more in depth 1.3 mile stretch of Bear Creek Trail within the park’s boundaries. Additionally, the park has an educational shelter where Lookout Mountain Nature Center holds campfire events and programs for the public.
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For the determined:
Bluebird Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Bluebird Lake is a 6-mile hike (12 round-trip) surrounded by craggy peaks in the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park. Hikers can enjoy full panoramic views of Wild Basin and all the sights and calming sounds of the waterfalls along your hike. This hike isn’t for the novice, and we highly suggest you pack in and out for this one. Six miles is a lot to take on for a day – but who wouldn’t want to camp out in such a beautiful spot?
Distance: 12 miles round trip
Length: ~7+ hr round trip
Trail Type: Out and back
Elevation Gain: ~2478’
Trail Map: Map of Bluebird Lake
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These are some of our favorite hiking trails. Let us know yours in the comments below!