Colorado is a state with a hiking problem. Or maybe it’s an outdoor activity problem in general, though hiking is the main draw to this recreational capital. But whether it’s hiking, biking, skiing, river rafting, horses, or another of the many highlights of this landlocked headwaters state, it’s likely some type of outdoor pursuit that will top the list when you ask someone about their favorite Colorado experience.
With over 5,500 miles of strictly hiking trails and over 300 days of sunshine a year, the hiking opportunities are endless. Plus the landscape is incredibly varied with grassy plains, high mountain plateaus, rivers, and the jagged Rockies splitting the state in two. In short, it’s difficult to find yourself ‘bored’ in Colorado.
With all of this in mind, here are a few of our favorite Colorado locations that showcase some of the best this mountain state has to offer.
First, the quiet and stunningly beautiful town of Crested Butte famously hosts the most dramatic wildflowers in the state, endless mountain top views, and classic small-town western living. Fair warning: you will likely begin your moving plans pretty soon after your arrival as most people find themselves falling in starry-eyed love with this active little town. You can venture in most any direction to find hiking trails worthy of your top favorites list. And, because hiking and biking above 8,8000 feet isn’t challenging enough, Crested Butte founded TrailQuest which challenges visitors and residents to run, ride or hike all 750 miles of trail in and around Crested Butte. If you’re looking for a fun challenge, you can find the details here.
Our next favorite is the swanky town of Aspen. With its over-the-top beauty and endless outdoor opportunities, this town is a recreational gem. While it’s true that Aspen is no longer a sleepy mountain town, it still boasts some of the most picturesque mountain views in the state including the Maroon Bells, the Elk Mountains and Independence Pass. After a few days of trail adventures in the shadows of 14’ers, with good food and drink to follow, you too will understand why this is a top Colorado destination.
If you’re ready for a hiking adventure, but aren’t interested in the overseas flight to the alps or another international destination, Colorado will surely check all of your ideal holiday boxes. Colorado’s outdoor enthusiasm is palpable and the hiking culture is woven seamlessly into most any activity you choose during your visit. Your biggest challenge will be narrowing your itinerary as there are so many fun places to explore and activities to enjoy!