As summer wraps up and Tomas moves back for school, I wanted to highlight some of our top Colorado hiking spots that we accomplished this summer. For outdoorsy enthusiasts, or Colorado couples looking for a fun date; all of these are a great option. Whether you’re in Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins; you can’t go wrong with any of the following.
Sapphire Point, Lake Dillon Peninsula
You can’t go wrong with any of the little hiked all around Lake Dillon. I actually recommend biking around the entire lake (about 20 miles, but it’s paved). Going up Swan Mountain is pretty difficult, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you’re hiking it, there’s a ton of little trails all over the lake in Dillon, Breckenridge, and Frisco. We hiked out to the Peninsula and back, and then took our friends to Sapphire Point, which is a nice overlook spot if you’ve never been to the summit county area before.
While you’re in the area, visit Isak Heartstone, the amazing troll sculpture in the forest near Breckenridge. People come from all over the world to view him, and he’s absolutely worth the quick trek into the woods!
Loveland Pass- Upper Straight Creek
This was probably the most difficult hike we did all summer, but one of the coolest by far. It’s a SUPER high elevation, getting just above 12,000 feet. So if you’re not in shape or from sea level, it might be a bit difficult for you.
It’s a 5 mile out and back, straight up the pass hike. You park near Eisenhower tunnel and head up the valley towards Loveland Pass and Loveland Ski area. This is a perfect hike for endless wildflowers and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, Summit County, and the Mount of the Holy Cross.
We went in late July, which is best for the wildflower season. Keep in mind it was pretty muddy and very windy at the top! Start early in the day to avoid heat.
Boulder NCAR Trail
Our friends did this hike with us back in June on a foggy, overcast day. You can’t go wrong with Boulder hiked, particularly because the Flatiron rock formations in the area are so unique. If you don't want to deal with the crowds and intense incline of the Flatirons hike, the NCAR trail is a nice oasis.
At 2-6 miles, it’s a nice loop covering everything from forest and mountains to streams and fields. It’s pretty easy until the end when there’s one last intense push uphill. Definitely, recommend for unique views that are closer to the city.
Creedmore Lakes, Red Feather
If you drive about 45 minutes north of Fort Collins to the little town of Red Feather, it’s riddled with great spots for camping, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking.
Our friend group always goes camping here once a year, and it’s a gorgeous and secluded spot to connect with nature. There’s also a spot called Creedmore Lakes that makes for a great hiking adventure.
My family, Tomas, and I traversed around all three lakes, and all were relatively easy hikes, totaling about 6 miles in total. If you’re into fishing or mushroom hunting, this is a prime location. You can also just do one of the lakes if you want an easy, quick hike.
So being that I’m from Fort Collins, this one is a classic and we can easily walk to it from my childhood home in the Foothills of FOCO. It’s a more moderate hike, a 5.7 mile loop with a decent incline. The view from the top is worth it though for sure, allowing you to scale the giant rock that resembles a horse’s tooth. Originally, it was also thought to resemble a giant’s heart.
Once at the top, you can overlook the entire front range area and Horsetooth Reservoir. There is also a shorter, easier hike around this area to Horsetooth Falls that’s about a mile.
Lower Cataract Lake
We did this hike in late May, up past Silverthorne up in Summit County. It’s a quick 2.3 mile loop, around beautiful aspen trees, marshland, and a lake. Perfect for beginners and families, and it’s also dog-friendly. This one is quite muddy though, so bring your hiking shoes and bug repellent to trudge through the marsh!