Hiking Colorado  by Maryann Gaug, Revised by Sandy Heise

Hiking Colorado Guide Book

by Maryann Gaug, Revised by Sandy Heise (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Colorado  by Maryann Gaug, Revised by Sandy Heise
From mountainous trails to scenic paths, Hiking Colorado, Fourth Edition, provides readers with a comprehensive guide to Colorado's many hikes. With updated maps and photography, reviser Sandy Heise leads readers through Colorado's many exciting outdoor adventures. Using GPS coordinates and detailed maps of each route, Hiking Colorado is the most complete and accessible hiking guide available.

© 2016 Maryann Gaug, Revised by Sandy Heise/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Colorado" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 51.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 51.

Aiken Canyon harbors a rich diversity of life where plains and foothills converge. This nature preserve is home to bear, mountain lion, elk, mule deer, fox, squirrels, rattlesnakes, and over one hundred species of birds. The canyon also provides a wildlife corridor between the plains of Fort Carson Military Reservation to the east and the higher hills and forests to the west. In an area experiencing housing development pressures,Aiken Canyon preserves a foothills ecosystem that is rapidly disappearing along the Front Range.
Canon City, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
This hike follows the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail south from Wolf Creek Pass to Alberta Peak. It climbs through a pleasant spruce-fir forest and passes near a ski lift at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Beyond the ski lift, the trail winds through the forest then out onto the edge of a ridge with great views to the south and west. Passing through willows, the trail ascends above treeline with views in all directions and beautiful alpine wildflowers. A short scramble takes you to the top of Alberta Peak (11,870 feet), with its resident pikas.
South Fork, CO - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6
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The figure-eight trail through Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a real treat! The trail winds through shortgrass and midgrass prairie, where you can see blue grama, Colorado's state grass. Chokecherry, mountain mahogany, wild rose, and a variety of other plants find moisture in the natural drainages. The trail follows a creekbed for part of the journey, while a graveled path finishes the tour, including a great view of brilliantly colored hoodoos and other eroded features. The designated trail takes you close to the formations, but not in them, to prevent damage to these fragile outcrops.
Idaho Springs, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
This hike climbs to the west summit of Black Mountain, a volcanic plateau in the Elkhead Mountains. The trail first winds through an aspen forest with vegetation so thick at times that you might feel the need for a machete. The trail proceeds into drier lodgepole and spruce-fir forests. Once up on the plateau, a spur trail takes you to a raptor viewing area complete with an interpretive poster and views west toward Dinosaur National Monument and Utah.
Craig, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7.4
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Mount Goliath Natural Area contains subalpine and alpine ecosystems along Mount Evans Road. The M. Walter Pesman Trail (Trail 50) winds and climbs through an ancient bristlecone pine forest (some trees are over 1,500 years old) in the natural area. It crosses alpine tundra with fantastic tiny wildflowers (peak bloom is in mid- July) to the upper trailhead. To return, hike a little higher on Alpine Garden Loop (Trail 49) for great 360-degree views, then rejoin the Pesman Trail. End your hike by exploring the Bristlecone Loop Trail and Interpretive Gardens by the Dos Chappell Nature Center.
Idaho Springs, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
This hike takes you into an easily accessible canyon in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area. The trail first crosses open high-desert country of rabbitbrush, junipers, and other thorny plants. It then makes a loop in Devils Canyon, below huge walls of Wingate sandstone and interesting rock formations. Part of the loop follows the creek bottom and should be avoided during thunderstorms. Hiking beneath immense sandstone cliffs and past amphitheaters in a colorful canyon is a real treat! Keep an eye out for desert bighorn sheep and rattlesnakes.
Fruita, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6.9
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This pleasant hike loops along Cascade Falls Trail and Portland Trail in Ouray's Amphitheater area. The trail offers nice views of surrounding mountains, jagged cliffs, and mining operations. The hike includes the trail to Upper Cascade Falls. This spur trail switchbacks its way past cliffs for great views of surrounding mountains. After enjoying the falls, you can walk to the Chief Ouray Mine's bunkhouse.
Ouray, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6.8
Coyote Trail winds past limestone caves, through a lush riparian and forested area, then above for a birds-eye view of Rifle Falls. Kids of all ages will love exploring the caves. Bring a flashlight for the largest one. Squirrel Trail crosses East Rifle Creek and winds through Gambel oak forest to the base of a red sandstone cliff. The trail continues along the Grass Valley Canal, which takes water to Harvey Gap Reservoir. Hiked together, the trails make a lopsided figure eight through a naturally and historically interesting area along East Rifle Creek.
Rifle, CO - Fishing,Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 1.8
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This hike takes you into an easily accessible canyon in the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Area.The trail first crosses open high-desert country of rabbitbrush, junipers, and other thorny plants. It then makes a loop in Devils Canyon, below huge walls of Wingate sandstone and interesting rock formations. Part of the loop follows the creek bottom and should be avoided during thunderstorms. Hiking beneath immense sandstone cliffs and past amphitheaters in a colorful canyon is a real treat! Keep an eye out for desert bighorn sheep and rattlesnakes.
Fruita, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6.9
The hike to Devils Lake is a great warm-up or trial hike for anyone wanting to climb the 14,000-foot peaks near Lake City. The elevation gain is similar but at lower altitude. For those wishing a shorter hike, the old cow camp at mile 2.6 is a good turnaround point. The Devils Creek Trail into the Powderhorn Wilderness was constructed in 1994. The relatively undisturbed Cannibal and Calf Creek Plateaus contain one of the largest, relatively at alpine tundra areas in the lower United States. The Cannibal Plateau is named after the area’s famous cannibal, Alferd Packer.
Lake City, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 13.6
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Middle Frisco Trail follows sparkling, gurgling Middle San Francisco Creek and its tributaries up to San Francisco Lakes. Starting among stands of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, the trail slowly gains elevation, eventually switchbacking up to a nice spruce-fir forest and subalpine meadows. Wildflowers are abundant along the trail in July. Keep an eye open for elk and cattle. Near the upper lake, there is an ancient bristlecone pine forest. The lower part of the trail is fantastic when the aspen are golden yellow and orange. The lakes are snuggled in high basins between Bennett Peak and Pintada Mountain.
Del Norte, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 12.9
The First Fork Trail follows a sparkling little creek up to Missionary Ridge northeast of Durango. Although parts of this forest burned in 2002, the vegetation is lush and trees are growing again. The trail travels through a forest of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, Gambel oak, and aspen. After joining the Missionary Ridge Trail, head northeast through mixed conifer and aspen forests and several beautiful meadows, with occasional views north to the craggy San Juan Mountains. Return via Red Creek Trail, which drops down several steep switchbacks, then past huge aspens. A beautiful hike when aspens are golden!
Durango, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10
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Gates of Lodore Nature Trail takes you through semidesert shrubland to a viewpoint near the Gates of Lodore. Here the Green River cuts through the Uinta Mountains, creating the Canyon of the Lodore, a spectacular gorge with towering 2,000-foot vermilion cliffs. Take time to read the nature trail guide. Then sit for a while on the sandstone, looking down the canyon. Listen to the breeze and the crickets, and watch the dragonflies. Look for raptors soaring above. Think back to the time when John Wesley Powell passed here in 1869, at the beginning of his first journey down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Craig, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
The hike up lush Bear Canyon takes you past tilted flatirons and interesting rock formations. Occasionally a view of the high plains to the east opens up. An old wagon road (not obvious) carried ore from the mines near Central City down to Boulder and was also used to transport goods to the miners in the late 1800s. Wander up to the junction of Green Bear and Bear Peak West Ridge Trails for a picnic along the way. For a tougher option, summit Green Mountain after a stairmaster-like climb up log and stone steps for the last 0.2 mile.
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.8
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The Granite Lakes Trail first wanders along the Fryingpan River, meandering up and down through thick forest and around some interesting granitic formations. The first 3.3 miles are fairly gentle.Turning up the Granite Creek drainage, the trail climbs steadily, and often steeply, to Lower Granite Lake, tucked in a bench above Granite Creek. Upper Granite Lake is about 0.75 mile farther along a fairly gentle path. Once in the subalpine zone, the wild flowers and views are beautiful. Backpack in and take an extra day or two to explore this beautiful and quiet area.
Basalt, CO - Fishing,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 13.6
This hike takes you to the historic stone shelter on Notch Mountain for a fantastic view of Mount of the Holy Cross. The trail starts gently, passing through spruce-fir forest with occasional glimpses of the notch in Notch Mountain. Eventually the trail climbs to treeline, then through tundra and boulder fields via switchbacks. Watch for pikas, white-tailed ptarmigans, marmots, and beautiful alpine wildflowers. The switchbacks make the hike easier than most trails up 13,000-foot peaks. Remember to leave early to reach the summit by 11 a.m. so you can head back by noon and avoid thunderstorms.
Minturn, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 10.8
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The Homestead and Arch Rock Trails travel across a variety of landforms and through human history. Rock art from 2,000 years ago to the modern era is pecked and painted onto canyon walls. An equinox carving exists in a crack on a canyon wall. Remains of homesteads from the late 1800s and early 1900s dot the landscape. Hells Half Acre, a rock arch, numerous little canyons, springs, a forlorn windmill, windblown plains, prairie flowers, and juniper trees are some sights you can see as you hike this loop. Watch for great horned owls! The trail, or lack thereof, can be challenging in spots. There’s no garbage service available here—pack it out! There is also no water, so be sure to bring your own.
Idaho Springs, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.5
The Jud Wiebe Trail climbs up and across the hill north of Telluride between Butcher and Cornet Creeks. Although short, it has its steep moments as very precipitous mountains surround Telluride. This trail is a good early season south-facing hike and a great warm-up for longer, more difficult trails in the area. From various points, Bridal Veil and Ingram Falls, the ski area, spectacular craggy peaks, and the town below come into view. The trail was completed in 1987 in memory of Jud Wiebe, a Forest Service employee who designed the trail.
Telluride, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.7
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Lory State Park is a hiker’s dream, with many trails designated “foot only.” Situated next to Horsetooth Reservoir, trails climb into the nearby montane foothills with ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests. Wild turkeys hide, mule deer browse, and Abert’s squirrels and cottontail rabbits frolic. Lory even has six backcountry campsites available by permit. At a lower elevation,this is a perfect place to satisfy early-season hiking and camping urges. Arthur’s Rock protrudes above the park, providing views of the Fort Collins area. This hike makes a loop using sections of six different trails.
Laporte, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6.6
Follow traces of an old wagon road to the Shipler Mine, Shipler cabins, and the Lulu City site. Lodgepole pine and spruce-fir trees line this family-friendly trail. Hiking early in the morning or in the evening, you are likely to see elk, deer, moose, chipmunks, and birds (especially camp robbers). The infant Colorado River winds through the KawuneecheValley on its long journey to Mexico.Lulu City was a lively mining town from 1880 to 1884.The Grand Ditch, which still transports water from the Colorado River watershed to the Cache la Poudre River drainage on the east slope, is visible for much of the hike.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 7.4
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