FATMAP by Strava
Lower Ice Lake Basin

5 of the Very Best Day Hikes in Colorado

A sampler platter of the epic array of hikes that Colorado has to offer.

Alpine Climbing, Hiking Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Lower Ice Lake Basin
Lower Ice Lake Basin Photo: Daniel Weber


The Colorado Rockies are one of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth. Here, you’ll experience soaring mountain peaks rising high into the sky, tumbling streams, endless fields of wildflowers, groves of whispering aspens, and so much more. This unbelievably beautiful landscape should, in and of itself, qualify all five of these epic hikes for your bucket list… but there are hundreds of epic hikes in Colorado, if not thousands.

And these hikes are five of the very best.

With just the trails on this list, you’ll have the opportunity to climb four 14ers in one seven-mile hike on the DeCaLiBron. And if you want to summit one of Colorado’s most infamous 14ers, the Key Hole Route to the summit of Long’s Peak will fit the bill perfectly.

If you’re not interested in climbing a mountain, the Ice Lakes Basin hike will still bring you into the alpine, serving up views of one of the most beautiful valleys in all of Colorado! You could also try crossing the Elk Mountains between two of Colorado’s most iconic mountain towns, Aspen and Crested Butte, on the stunning West Maroon Trail.

Finally, for an otherworldly hiking experience, try climbing to the top of the tallest sand dune in North America: High Dune in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

This list of five hikes is just a small sampler platter—just a taster of the epic adventures that Colorado has in store. If you check off all five of these incredible adventures, there are hundreds more trails just waiting to be explored!

Routes included

Related guidebooks