Big Thompson River runs alongside the trail for the first few miles.
Length: 7.6 miles roundtrip
Why we love it: Gorgeous forests, serene lake views, and exceptional wildlife viewing make this a relaxing hike with scenic rest areas along the way.
When to go: Fall for colorful leaf peeping; spring and summer for shady...
October 6 2015, 4:00 PM
Crater Lake Trail (and Crater Lake) in White River National Forest, outside of Aspen
Earlier this month, my boyfriend and I followed the 3.6-mile roundtrip Crater Lake Trail from the iconic Maroon Bells to Crater Lake just outside of Aspen. The easy-to-moderate route follows a mostly dirt path through a small aspen grove, with peaks rising almost everywhere you look once you reach...
September 29 2015, 1:25 PM
Hole #12 at Fossil Trace Golf Club has been rated one of the most fun in America.
—Courtesy of Fossil Trace Golf Club
Golden’s Fossil Trace Golf Club offers players much more than 18 fairways. The Jim Engh-designed course, which repeatedly ranks as one of the Front Range’s and the state’s top public courses, also offers visitors a peek at the area’s historic—and even prehistoric—past.
The course is sculpted out...
September 28 2015, 11:33 AM
Why we love it: Moderate hiking, biking, and winter trails through thick stands of quaking aspen and lodgepole pines in a former ranch just off U.S. 285.
When to go: Now, for golden aspens; in winter, for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing; in late spring, to see the forest spring back to life...
September 22 2015, 12:05 PM
Welcome to Paonia!
All photos courtesy of Terri Cook
Autumn—when lush orchards, vineyards and gardens are bursting with fresh produce—is the ideal time to visit Colorado’s beautiful North Fork Valley. Here, the Gunnison River’s crystal-clear waters meander lazily through a fertile vale fringed by tall mesas and towering peaks dotted with aspens,...
September 16 2015, 2:36 PM
Step back from the wildlife, please. —Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Wayne Lewis.
Everything hikers are taught about staying safe in the Colorado outdoors begins and ends with admonitions to give the state's wildlife plenty of space. Yet the call of social media notoriety seems to have overpowered some hikers' basic survival instincts (and common sense), resulting in a spate of...
September 16 2015, 1:30 PM
—Photo by Sarah Boyum
Coloradans fancy themselves experts when it comes to hiking, but what happens when someone from sea level comes to visit and has ‘hike a fourteener’ on their must-do list? “The trick is to not scare people off about a hike, but to be realistic,” says Jeff Alt, author of A Walk for Sunshine: A 2,160...
September 11 2015, 10:35 AM
The summit of West Spanish Peak as seen from the trail. —Phoo credit: Terri Cook and Lon Abbott
Why we love it: A true summit experience, but with only 2,200 feet of elevation gain.
When to go: When the road to Cordova Pass is open—typically from late spring through mid-fall. It's important to get an early-morning start to avoid afternoon buildup and allow plenty of time.
September 8 2015, 10:00 AM