Where To Go Backpacking In Colorado?

where to go backpacking in colorado

Where to go backpacking in colorado? Colorado has over 22 million acres of public land to explore. Within a few hours’ drive from wherever you start your trip, you will be able to discover soul-refreshing waterfalls, covert pathways, and breathtaking summit views. We have compiled a list of the finest beginner backpacking excursions in Colorado based on their location across this fantastic state.

woman with black backpack standing on brown dessert

These backpacking outings last anywhere from two to five days and cover everything that Colorado has to offer while being ideal for novices! We are going to take a look at some of the best trails across the state right now. So, regardless of where you live or where you are visiting, you will be able to locate an adventure!

Pine River Trail

Are you looking for a peaceful location to unwind? The Weminuche Wilderness in southern Colorado is the answer. This region is said to be the most inaccessible in Colorado. The Pine River Trail features 23 miles of stunning mountain and valley scenery.

Although it is rated as moderate, you will climb some height on this route. It is also a great choice for intermediate hikers since it takes them through several terrains. The river is ideal for wilderness fishing. The sound of the rapids and thundering waterfall is magnificent. For good measure, the route mixes in open pastures and coniferous forests. Starting in late July, wildflowers bloom in spectacular colors.

Lost Creek Wilderness Loop

For something more difficult, consider this. It has a variety of terrain. This includes evergreen woods to open mountain meadows. The route is dotted with numerous interesting granite formations as well. The region’s name comes from a creek that disappears underground and reappears elsewhere. There are numerous water sources to replenish, however.

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Furthermore, there are several excellent riverside campsites available. Depending on the other sections included, this journey will vary in length. But if you go round-trip, it is roughly 29 miles long. Counterclockwise hiking is generally advised by authorities. It makes some of the heights increase a little simpler.

Colorado National Traverse Monument

The 95-mile North Park and Lake Estes Hiking Trail are NPS areas of Colorado. The park and trail are located in the western extremity of the state, near Grand Junction. As a result, it gives a taste of the desert southwestern without having to go that far. The Traverse goes 20 miles across the entire Monument.

This is where you will find out what the place has to offer. Which includes lovely desert vegetation combined with towering rock spires. The trail is classified as moderate, but be sure to bring plenty of water. There is not anywhere to get supplies. March through October is the best time to go when it is not too hot. However, in the summer months, it can get really scorching.

Gore Lake And Deluge Lake

What is better than sitting next to a lake on a beautiful evening? This path will take you to two tranquil mountain lakes, one of which is just a few miles from Gore Lake. The circle is only 14 miles in length. This makes it ideal for an extended weekend getaway since it allows you to relax and enjoy the outdoors at your leisure. You may fish, explore, or stargaze as desired. This excursion is rather slow. (Do not forget to admire the flowers, too.) Although the height may be difficult, keep in mind that the pace of this journey is leisurely. Our entire Hike of the Week story discusses this rejuvenating walk in Vail.

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How To Choose An Appropriate Trail

person carrying yellow and black backpack walking between green plants
where to go backpacking in colorado

We have created a list of trips geared toward all first backpackers, regardless of their prior experience or skill levels. These journeys must meet a number of conditions:

  • For the bulk of the journey, you will walk modest distances.
  • For the site, we recommend that you check out these popular hikes in East Tennessee: The trails do not have a lot of elevation gain for the region (However, due to the heavy amount of rain, the Washington mountains are recognized for being steep and rugged.) 
  • You will go on smooth pathways and avoid difficult terrain like rock fields. 
  • Whether it is in the form of peaks, alpine lakes, or lush meadows, you will get a lot of bang for your buck. (Many individuals neglect this important factor.)

Tips For Backpacking In Colorado

Backpacking in the Rocky Mountains is extremely gratifying. However, if you are new to mountain settings, keep these suggestions in mind when hiking in Colorado.

Follow Leave No Trace principles, fire bans, and bear protection regulations at all times. Every year backpackers come into contact with animals, start wildfires, and leave pristine wilderness areas in a state of devastation. Do not be the one who does it.

Check out current trail conditions by phoning a local ranger station or visiting AllTrails.com. Snow might stick around into the middle of summer on some trails, so have your supplies ready.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Is It Great For The Beginners?

This excursion is fantastic because you will get to see the Rockies’ beauty while also having the option to adjust the length to your own liking. Hikes from camp or simple lounging at Ouzel Lake may be added to extend the distance, or you may just unwind at camp. You may see elk and moose along the road, or you could glimpse rock climbers on the cliffs of Mt. Copeland. You will not be disappointed by this trip whether you choose to fish in the lake or add more walking to your schedule. 

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Do You Need The Permit To Backpack In Colorado?

It all depends on the circumstances. Some trails need a backcountry permit in order to backpack in Colorado. Advanced permits are necessary for particular national parks and unique wilderness areas such as the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

However, the majority of trails do not need any special permissions. Just keep in mind that as Colorado becomes more popular with hikers, more and more areas are becoming permit-only. Always double-check before you go!

When Can You Start The Backpacking In Colorado?

There are only a few backpacking routes in Colorado that may be utilized all year. However, if you plan to backpack in the mountains, especially at higher elevations, you should begin your journey no later than mid-June.

Where Are You Allowed To The Backpack In Colorado?

In Colorado, almost all of the state’s public lands are open to trekking. The major exception is state parks, which, with the exception of a few that do not provide overnight camping options, include only day-use areas.

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