Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Estes Park, Colorado Driving Directions: The Bear Lake Trailhead is located at the end of Bear Lake Road (see map). The easiest way to access Bear Lake Road is by entering Rocky Mountain National Park from the east at the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Hiking Distance: 0.6 mile loop Description: Rocky Mountain National Park is very busy during the summer. Bear Lake is no exception. We prefer to snowshoe in the area during the winter to avoid the crowds. This hike is an excellent adventure for little ones who can’t tackle a long journey. The 0.6 mile loop wraps around Bear Lake and can be enjoyed year-round. Worth Noting: Keep a keen eye out for wildlife. Additional Information: Official Rocky Mountain National Park Website
Lost Lake Hike Trailhead: Hessie Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado Driving Directions: From the Peak-to-Peak Highway (Highway 119/72), turn west on County Road 130, located just south of Nederland town center, and follow signs for Eldora and Eldora Ski Resort. At the fork in the road, keep right, through the town of Eldora. At the end of town, continue westward as the pavement ends; veer left at the next fork towards Hessie Trailhead. The Hessie Trailhead sees extremely high use, especially on weekends, and parking is very limited. Plan to arrive early and watch for signs along the road indicating which parking spots are legal. ***Please note that a stretch of the road from County Road 130 to the Hessie Trailhead is a cobblestone creek bed. It carries water year round and runs heavily in the early summer. It is passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles; however, high clearance is recommended. There is a parallel trail so hikers can bypass the water.*** Hiking Distance: Approximately 3 miles (roundtrip). Description: The trail up to Lost Lake begins around 9,000′ in elevation and ends at approximately 9,800′. It follows a closed jeep track the majority of the way […]
Trailhead: Just about anywhere (there really are no formal trailheads used to jump onto the Great Sand Dunes, although most people begin their hike near Medano Creek) Activities: Hiking, Camping (paid campground or backpacking) Closest City / Town: Blanca, Colorado Driving Directions: From Denver, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo, the fastest route is to start by heading south on I-25 to Walsenburg. Head west on US 160. Finally, swing north on state highway 150. Colorado 150 will take you directly to the Great Sand Dunes. Hiking Distance: As short or as long as you desire. The Great Sand Dunes — encompassing 30 square miles — offer excellent free-lance hiking. Description: We can’t provide you with too much information because there is no trail on the dunes. What we can say is that visiting the Great Sand Dunes is a life experience that you will likely never forget. Try to visit the Great Sand Dunes during the late spring or early summer when Medano Creek is flowing full-force. Bathing in the creek is a great way to beat the heat. It’s also a perfect way to keep your kids happy and fully entertained. The “High Dune” is neither the highest in elevation nor […]
Trailhead: Treasure Falls Activities: Hiking, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Pagosa Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: From Pagosa Springs, drive east (towards Wolf Creek Pass) on Highway 160 for about 15 miles. There is a large parking area located at the trailhead. If you’re approaching from the east, descend from Wolf Creek Pass; the trailhead is located at the last switchback on Highway 160. Note: The trailhead is well-signed; you really can’t miss it from 160. Hiking Distance: Approximately 1.0 mile (roundtrip) Description: This hike is a piece of cake and is recommended for people of all ages. That said, be cautious in the spring and after rains because the trail can become rather slick. Note that Treasure Falls can be seen from Highway 160. However, it is definitely worth the short hike up to the actual base of the 100-foot tall falls. Worth Noting: Treasure Falls gets its name from rumors that a chest full of gold was hidden in the area when a group of French explorers was being tracked over 100 years ago.
Paint Mines Park Trailhead: Paint Mines Road Activities: Hiking Closest City / Town: Calhan, Colorado Driving Directions: From Colorado Springs, head east on Highway 24. Go through the Town of Calhan. Hang a right (south) on Yoder Road; Yoder Road is located at the eastern end of Calhan. Take a left (east) on Paint Mines Road. Follow the road for approximately 1 mile. The trailhead is located on the left-hand side of the road. Hiking Distance: 1.8 miles (roundtrip) Description: One of the best things about this park is its close proximity to Colorado Springs. The hike down the paint mines formations is a relatively gentle stroll that follows a well-maintained foot path. All you have to do is continue to make right-hand turns at the three trail junctions that you will encounter while hiking (see the attached map). Visit the area during dawn or dusk when it’s most photogenic! Worth Noting: Paint Mines holds numerous treasures, human and natural alike. Human history in the park can be traced back 9,000 years. Native Americans used the colorful clays for pottery and ceremonial paints. The natural geological features are mind-boggling. Hoodoos have been shaped by millions of years of clay deposits and […]
Trailhead: Summit of Berthoud Pass (Parking Lot at the top) Activities: Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Empire or Winter Park, Colorado Driving Directions: From I-70, head west beyond Idaho Springs. Get off on Highway 40; head north towards Empire/Winter Park. Take Hwy 40 to the summit of Berthoud Pass and park in the summit parking lot. Hiking Distances: 3.0 miles (roundtrip) – but you can go further in the summer. Description: The Berthoud Pass Ditch trail/road is not really a designated trail, but it is a well used route on the Pass for hikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers. This is a great trail if you are looking for something easy that can be accomplished in just a couple of hours, it’s close to Denver, and has amazing views. The “trail” starts at US 40, just north of the Berthoud Pass warming hut and parking lot. It is not marked, since it is not really a trail, but rather an access road for the Berthoud Pass Ditch and a USGS Snotel site. It does have a green gate that is visible after the snow melts, but that is the only indication of the road and trail. Individuals that wish to hike the […]