Backpacking in Colorado

Colorado Backpacking Trails

Colorado has a diverse landscape and a variety of backpacking hikes for one to explore. Use the map above to locate hikes or peruse our list of hikes below.

Snowmass to East Snowmass Creek Loop

Buckskin Pass in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness

The Maroon Bells – Snowmass wilderness is one of the crown jewels of the United States wilderness system. Beautiful rocky mountain scenery consisting of the iconic bell shaped peaks of the Maroon Bells, enchanting aspen forests, soaring lofty peaks, and wildflower meadow lands charm landscape photographers and tourists alike. But finding solitude in the busy Maroon Bells – Snowmass wilderness can be a challenge.

Read More

Backpacking the Maroon Bells 4 Pass Loop

Pyramid Peak from Minnehaha Gulch, Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness

If you’ve decided to backpack the Maroon Bells 4 Pass Loop, then you’ve made a good choice. The Maroon Bells area is one of the most scenic portions of Colorado. Sure, there are other parts of Colorado that are more remote, and perhaps just as inspiring. But there is something about the red and crimson hued peaks contrasting with the verdant greens of the meadows below that has a unique appeal to me. It’s a magical place like nowhere else on earth.

Read More

Missouri Lakes / Fancy Pass Loop

Missouri Lake

A pleasant hike to the beautiful (and popular) Missouri Lakes in the Holy Cross wilderness, this easy 2 day backpacking trip (or single-day in-and-out hike) will whet your appetite for a longer wilderness trek with several tranquil lakes and high altitude alpine scenery.

Read More

Highland Mary Lakes Cunningham Gulch Loop

Alpine Meadow near the Continental Divide in the Weminuche wilderness

The Highland Mary Lakes is a short backpacking loop hike located in the Weminuche Wilderness of southwest Colorado. The Highland Mary Lakes area has wide open feel with broad gradual grassy slopes surrounding three high altitude lakes. The twin Highland Mary Lakes are encountered first, but only a short trip to the south serves up Verde Lake and just beyond… the Continental Divide Trail and a stunning view of the Grenadier Range.

Read More

Five Amazing Colorado Backpacking Loop Hikes

As the hot summer sun melts the winter snows off of the high peaks, I get the itch to hit the trail fill my lungs with piney mountain air and enjoy the sight of jagged peaks lining the horizon for miles and then to relax to sounds of a gurgling brook beneath a canopy of star studded skies. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy these mountain loop hikes picked for their alpine scenery, and because they are loops, they can be done without requiring a shuttle driver.

Read More

Wetterhorn Basin Trail

View of West Fork Valley - Uncompahgre Wilderness

Best experienced as an overnight trip or as a long day-hike, this trail offers spectacular and quintessential Colorado backcountry scenery for the hiker willing to tackle its 10.6 mile (or more, depending on how far you wish to go) roundtrip distance as well as its 2,980 ft. of elevation gain. This hike is unique in that some of the most rugged and fluted peaks in the San Juan mountain range can be seen from vantage points throughout the duration of the hike.

Read More

Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Brainard Lake, Roosevelt National Forest

Offering access to prime backcountry and myriads of trails, the Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a popular jumping off point for adventurers and hikers heading into the Indian Peaks wilderness. Several trails lead to Long Lake, Mitchell Lake, Blue Lake, Lake Isabelle, and the Isabelle Glacier.

Read More

West Maroon Pass to Schofield Park Hike

View from West Maroon Pass looking toward the East Fork of Crystal River

Take a trip through knee-high wildflowers in one of Colorado’s best wildflower hikes in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen. This is a popular hike offering magnificent views of the high peaks of the Maroon Bells wilderness as well as vast fields of wildflowers that grow here in late summer.

Read More