A spectacularly diverse terrain propels hiking to the top of favorite outdoor activities in Colorado. From alpine lakes and waterfalls to dense forest and open meadows, no single view is like another. With 42 state parks, 13 national forests and grasslands, and 58 mountain peaks that rise over 14,000 feet above sea level, the landscape abounds with trails waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for an easy amble through a field of wildflowers, or a challenging trek up a slope, this roundup of the best hikes in Colorado has you covered.
1. Crater Lake
Located in the rugged West Needle Mountains, Crater Lake is a part of the Weminuche Wilderness Area. Crater Lake Trail is an easy to moderately difficult trail that is the only path through this segment of wilderness. From a rolling terrain of meadows and forests to the panoramic saddle above Crater Lake, the trail spans about 12 miles round trip. Photographers delight in the picturesque beauty of the North Twilight Peak reflected in the still waters of the lake. A trek up the east ridge of the peak gives hikers a bird’s eye view of the Needle Mountains and the Grenadier Range.