Explore 101 most beautiful hikes in colorado - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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tricky hike. some parts very steep and rocky. went with kids (4 and 7) and they were capable - but we took several stops on the way up.
the payoff is the lake at the top and spouting rock. very beautiful.
as others mentioned, lots of people on the hike. this isn't so bad as most are friendly, but if you are looking for a serene hike this is not it. the real problem are the hikers who bring their dogs (not allowed) and cut the switchbacks (not allowed) etc.

hiking
39 minutes ago

Did this hike on a Thursday morning. Parking was tight but found a spot around 1130. Started the hike, took a detour to the left and found some beautiful waterfalls. Had to backtrack to get to the main trail. Rocky in parts. A bit of an incline at the end, but worth the view at the lake at the end. Not as narrow on the trail as other hikes. Quite a few bugs along the way but none at the lake which was a great place to grab a bite and enjoy the view.

beautiful trail. long, but not terribly difficult. I've hiked it several times, including the full loop. It's a popular hike, maybe the most popular on the Mesa. Got caught in a thunderstorm once up top, which wasn't entirely pleasant. Check the weather before you go! If you can, go in the fall - the aspens are lovely.

Amazing!!! And worth the hike up!! ❤️ Spouting Rock was spectacular as well!!

Gorgeous view. Great walk from the town up to Red Rock.

Awesome hike, but very steep at times. If hiking with younger children, be prepared to take frequent rests, water breaks and snacks. The view is worth the effort. Make note due to popularity, they will limit daily access to 615 people starting May 2019.

nature trips
15 hours ago

I enjoyed my walk.

I realize that this is a relatively short hike, but I am still surprised that this isn't listed as "hard." The climb up to the lake is super steep with no switchbacks - you just follow the path of the creek the entire way up. The lake is, of course, pretty amazing. Deep turquoise water with trickling falls feeding it from the other side. Mossy rock faces and rugged canyon walls on either side of the valley.

Worthy of its reputation, for sure.

Great hike awesome view from the arch. steep in places and rocky. worth the trip.

hiking
18 hours ago

Spectacular hike overall, with amazing views, varied terrain, and quite a few wild flowers left. The lake was predictably crowded, with lots of off-leash dogs. Our 5 year old hiked the whole thing unassisted, though it was a bit of a challenge for her and we did take snack breaks. Lots of marmots in the rocky areas.

hiking
22 hours ago

Ok, so this hike is brutal only because it is so long. I did it all, so 26 miles, starting no at 6am. It took me 6 hours to climb to the summit, and I’m not an amazing athlete though I’m athletic. It then also took me 5 hours to get down the mountain. The hike is easy when it comes to actually climbing and the terrain, but the altitude makes it hard. The trails are well marked and clear. This is my second 14er and I found it to be easier than the other one that I did, Elbert. Of you are thinking about doing it, do a steady pace and take as few of breaks as possible. When hiking at high altitude, take super short and frequent 30 second breaks opposed to less infrequent 10 minute breaks. You’ll get up the mountain way faster. Overall it’s great, but the tourists at the top are really annoying so there’s that.

Great trail, hard climb, worth every step

hiking
23 hours ago

This hike is beautiful and it is steep. The hike is not that far of a distance, but with the elevation gain it takes a lot longer than a normal 3 mile hike. The views are amazing and the lake at the top is magical. My favorite part is actually just before the lake where there is a wonderful look out of the steep, chiseled canyon. Not too many other places in the US where you can see something like that!
The drive through Glenwood canyon to get here in the first place is pretty spectacular, as the highway follows the river through the canyon. This hike follows another narrower side canyon. There were lots of people on the trail when we went on a Wednesday in August around lunch time. Parking was tight and we had to circle the lot a couple times before getting lucky and getting someone's spot as they left. Unfortunately there's nowhere else to park further away as the road only takes you right back to the highway entrance.
I would definitely recommend this hike for some great views and a beautiful blue lake, but be prepared to fight for parking and climb some elevation. Its definitely worth it!

Amazing!!!!!

hiking
1 day ago

Just an awesome trail with a creek, giant waterfall, panoramic Mountain View’s, wildflowers, and the choice of 4 lakes. It’s a very good workout, so bring enough water and snacks. Enjoy!

scenic driving
1 day ago

Easy and beautiful scenery, plus close to the amphitheater and other lookout points as well

Beautiful trail - definitely spend some time by the lake if you can! I went in the afternoon on a weekday and it wasn't too busy.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice varied trail. Nice lake destination at the end. I arrived at 8am and there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I had the lake all to myself for a half hour, and then only 6 other people were there for the next half hour. On the way down I did pass 50 people hiking up. So maybe get there early because it is pretty peaceful. I wish people didn’t leave their dog poop bags all over the trails though. Just why????????

trail running
2 days ago

Great trail, lots of hills

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

The view was worth the hike!

hiking
3 days ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

It was a little longer than a mile, honestly wasn’t worth it. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong but it’s so small and the fact you can’t swim in it anymore makes it out for a little disappointing. Other than that the trail has 7 bridges you cross before you get to the end, was super rocky and the scenic views were gorgeous.

Challenging (moderate/difficult) to Surprise Lake and a more moderate second half to Upper Cataract Lake. We left the TH at 6:30am, arrived at Upper Cataract shortly after 9:00am. We fished with small spinners and spoons and caught four brook trout. Great hike, we will be back to camp at Surprise Lake!

hiking
3 days ago

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail. Lots of climbing on the way up, but it’s all worth it for the views at the top. Go early to avoid the crowds – it was already pretty busy at 7am and people were lined up inching along the narrow paths on on the way down. Free parking is available about 10 blocks away.

My tenth 14er and goes down as my favorite because the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a little deceiving because you’re surrounded by a forest and creek for about half the climb and you can’t see the exposed tree line area at all, but it’s nice this trail spoils you a little bit before the hard work starts. The trail was nice until the very top of the summit where there were big boulders. We had a Boston Terrier who struggled on this part a bit, definitely more class 3 terrain at the top. We only saw 4 other people and had the summit to ourselves, a first for me! The descent was nice and easy since it’s not too steep and you also end in a beautiful forest to reward yourself from the tough climb! Highly recommend.

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