Hiking in Colorado

The best way to define hiking in Colorado is through the numbers: 42 Colorado state parks, 13 national parks and monuments, 13 national forests and grasslands and 58 14ers (peaks that rise more than 14,000 feet above sea level). All of these add up to more than 39,000 miles of Colorado hiking trails (and there’s 17,000-plus of those) waiting to be explored.


Explore Colorado hiking trails with COTREX

Redcloud Peak near Lake City, CO
Piney Lake in Eagles Nest Wilderness near Silverthorne
Backpacking in the Maroon Bells Wilderness near Aspen
Hiking near Vail
Hiking in the Gore Range
Hiking near Grand Junction
Castle Rock
The popular trail to Brainard Lake near Ward
Hikers in Unaweep Canyon
Hiking in Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Hiking Devil's Causeway's narrow trail near Yampa, CO
Hiking Devil's Causeway near Yampa, CO
Views of Mount Blanca and the Rio Grande River in Alamosa
Great Sand Dunes National Park Near Alamosa
The Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs
The Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs
Helen Hunt Falls
Helen Hunt Falls
A view of Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods Park
A view of Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods Park

Where to Hike in Colorado

If you’re somewhere within Colorado’s state lines, there’s a good chance you’re pretty close to a hiking trail — even in major cities like Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs.

Our state and national parks offer seemingly endless options across varied landscapes. Find high-desert routes dotted with scrubby juniper and flowering cacti. Look for birds on treks that cut through golden prairie grasses. And take on the famously mountainous Colorado hikes that lead to icy blue alpine lakes. Park visitor centers provide excellent trail maps and advice on which Colorado hiking trails are best suited for your skill level.

Learn more about Colorado’s national parks >>

Colorado Hikes

Thanks to our many trails and the variety found within each route, it can seem overwhelming when you’re trying to decide which Colorado hiking trail to set out on. Here are some ideas to get you started:

The Colorado Trail

One of the state’s highest profile routes is the Colorado Trail. Popular with backpackers and experienced hikers, the nearly 500-mile trail climbs, crosses and descends the Rocky Mountains between Denver and Durango, passing beneath 14ers, beside rushing rivers, along alpine ridges and through wildflower meadows. One of the nation’s premier long-distance trails, the Colorado Trail takes at least four to six weeks to complete as a whole, though backpacking shorter sections is also a popular pursuit.

Read more about the Colorado Trail >>

Hiking Words of Wisdom

Before setting out on any Colorado hike, make sure you have adequate water (at least two quarts per person), sunscreen, enough clothing and layers for changing conditions, and a good map.

Read more safety tips for backcountry hiking in Colorado >>

Featured Destinations

Flatirons in Boulder at sunrise

Visit Boulder

A laid-back lifestyle, breathtaking views of the Flatirons and Rocky Mountains and celebrated culinary offerings are just a few reasons that make Boulder one of Colorado’s most beloved cities.

Denver skyline

Visit Denver

Denver — The Mile High City — is where urban sophistication meets outdoor adventure. Denver is an outdoor city known for its art, culture, food, music and sports in the Rocky Mountain region.