Top Five Colorado Hikes

Time for that stress to take a hike.


Lola Baum, Staff Writer

“Where we are/ I don’t know where we are/ But it will be ok”
Turn on The Lumineers and grab your hiking boots because it is time to go explore.

The weekends are a great time to relax but also to stay active, hiking is a perfect way to end your week and get back to nature. Driving through the traffic, and struggling to get through the school week, folks often forget the natural beauty Colorado has to offer.

Ditch the suburbs and hit the back roads. These hikes range from twenty minutes to two hours from Broomfield, so the choice is yours. Remember that the travel time is just an estimation and doesn’t include traffic.

#1: Mount Margaret Trail

This hike is just about two hours away from Broomfield but is worth every minute of the drive. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway located in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Throughout the hike there is a lot of natural beauty to see, in the autumn months the aspens are in full color, and throughout the summer months, the wildflowers are in full bloom. This hike welcomes a broad range of activities including hiking, backpacking, bird watching, and camping so expect to see other explorers. There is also a chance you may encounter an elk or moose if you are lucky. Keep your eyes peeled for all different kinds of wildlife.

#2: Hessie Trailhead

This hike is just about forty-five minutes away from Broomfield. Located just outside the cutest little town in Nederland, Colorado. This trail is extremely popular during the summer but is still accessible during the winter months. Hessie Trailhead is one of the best hiking trails near the front range to see fall colors. When coming during the late fall into the winter season consider spikes for the bottom of your shoes to prevent falling on ice, or trekking poles to keep you stay steady on the ice. The trailhead eventually drops you off at Lost Lake, which is the golden prize at the end of the hike. There are also some hidden waterfalls throughout the hike, so it is like a scavenger hunt! Parking is very limited, so it’s recommended to hit the road early. Again, remember to always be aware of the wildlife you may encounter.

#3: Maxwell Falls Lower Trail

This hike is just about forty-eight minutes from Broomfield located in Evergreen, Colorado. This hike is just a quick trek through a forest down to the waterfall where you eventually loop around back to where you started. The best seasons to visit this trail are through summer and fall. But with your trekking poles, and spikes it is still very doable during the winter and spring seasons. This hike is extremely popular, which causes some damage to the trails, meaning you especially must remind yourself and others to follow basic trail etiquette to keep it green.

#4 Skunk Canyon and Kohler Mesa Loop

This hike is just about twenty-five minutes from Broomfield located in Boulder, Colorado. The hike features stunning scenery of Bear’s Peak, Devil’s Thumb, and the Flatirons. If you are a beginner hiker to even an experienced hiker, this hike is for you. The hike only takes around an hour and twenty-five minutes which is perfect for an afternoon stroll. The trail takes you through a field of brush and wildflowers where in around a mile you then excel to a shaded forest. Some of the best times to visit are from April to October, which I highly recommend coming during the wildflower season (May-July. Officials warn to beware of certain wildlife in the area, there have been sightings of, although rare, rattlesnakes, deer, and black bears.

#5 Emerald Lake Trail

This hike is just about an hour and twenty minutes away from Broomfield, located within Rocky Mountain National Park. Because of the high volume of visitors, you need to have reservations to enter the park, to make reservations you can visit The Rocky Mountain National Park Website. You also have to pay to enter the park, but it is worth every penny! This hike may be the most breathtaking of them all. For further directions on how to get there, talk to the park rangers at the entrance or follow the maps located throughout the park.

From the Flatirons to the Rockies, the mountains are calling you. If you answer, remember to always leave no trace. Don’t be that guy; please pick up after yourself, respect other visitors and wildlife, and properly dispose of all trash.

Wherever you find yourself, always wear the proper gear. You don’t have to own the hottest Patagonia, the trails are no fashion show. The bears genuinely don’t care what you wear but don’t keep your pockets full of sweets. Leave the Crocs at home, and wear some sensible hiking shoes, like trail runners or boots. Prepare for all kinds of weather since mother nature can’t make up her mind, which means the more layers the better.

Throw your trail mix in your bag or any snack of your choice. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches at the top of your summit truly hit different things though. Always pack water, unfortunately, there are no water fountains on the trails. And no, rivers are not drinking water.

Lastly, go have fun enjoying all that Colorado has to offer.