Nature January 25, 2021
In 2021, Take These 12 Incredible Colorado Hikes, One For Each Month Of The Year
It’s a new year, which means now is the time to figure out your goals and dreams for 2021 and how you plan to accomplish them. If being more active and/or seeing even more of the Centennial State is on your list of things to do, read on, as we think you should take these 12 incredible Colorado hikes in 2021, one for each month of the year:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Rueter-Hess Incline Challenge (Parker)
It may be one of the newest trails in Colorado, but the Rueter-Hess Incline Challenge is also one of the best, as it boasts 132 butt-busting steps via a steep incline. Need we mention that the top of the Rueter-Hess Incline Challenge also features incredible, 360-degree views?
2. Wager Bulch Road (Gunnison National Forest near Lake City)
Arguably one of the coolest historical hikes in Colorado is Wager Bulch Road, which is home to not only a stunning landscape but surprising ruins as well. Located atop the defunct mining town of Carson, Wager Bulch Road is a 7-mile, out-and-back trail that passes through many of the c. 1889 town's abandoned homes and businesses, making for a one-of-a-kind experience.
3. Devil's Head Lookout Trail (Pike National Forest near Larkspur)
Courtesy of Alaina Nutile, Only in Your State
For a Colorado hike with a killer payout, there is no better place to be than the Devil's Head Lookout Trail: a 1.4-mile trail that begins near the popular Devil's Head Campground and ends at the c. 1919 Devil's Head Lookout! In addition to the can't-beat views, the Devil's Head Lookout is a history lover's dream come true, as it is the last lookout tower of its kind in the region.
4. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (Commerce City)
Whether you are out exploring with kids or just want to get a closer look at area wildlife, you will want to visit the suburban gem that is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Showcasing 15,000 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and prairies, Rocky Mountain Arsenal is home to 330 species of animals that can be seen via the area's 10 miles of easy to moderate trails.
5. Rim Rock Nature Trail (Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Gunnison)
Are you looking for a hike that is both short and sweet? Then we have what exactly what you are looking for via the 1.5-mile out-and-back Rim Rock Nature Trail! Not only is Rim Rock easy to navigate, but it is surrounded by incredible landscape and jaw-dropping views of the must-see Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
6. Yankee Boy Basin (San Juan Mountains near Ouray)
You have read "The Secret Garden" and have maybe even dreamed of having your own hidden oasis, which is where the little-known Yankee Boy Basin comes into play. Featuring off-roading, camping, and wildlife sightings, Yankee Boy Basin is also home to a 9.3-mile point-to-point trail that is chock-full of colorful flowers and flora.
7. Paradise Cove (Florrisant)
In the summertime, when the weather is high, nothing beats a dip in a refreshing swimming hole like Paradise Cove, which comes complete with a 1-mile out-and-back trail and picturebook surroundings.
8. Paint Mines Archeological District (Calhan)
Welcome to the exciting and colorful Paint Mines: a whopping 750-acres that were once home to Native Americans some 9,000 years ago. In total, the area houses 4 miles of walking trails, all of which run through the Mines' many chalky and colorful spires (pictured).
9. Gnome Road (Red Feather Lakes)
You are not dreaming, Coloradan, as Gnome Road is a real place and is as magical as it sounds! Arguably the happiest trail in Colorado, Gnome Road (or Elf Lane) spans 1/4-mile and passes through numerous scenes, including gnome's homes, hidden fairies, storybook characters, and more.
10. Carter Lake (Loveland)
If you are looking for a spooky hike during the spookiest time of the year, look no further than Carter Lake. Located in Loveland, Carter Lake is said to be the final resting place of a man named Bennet who lived in the area 100+ years ago and was shot and killed over a land dispute. While this is obviously a legend, countless visitors have shared that they have encountered the shadow of a man in old fashioned clothes who disappears whenever approached. Coincidence? You decide.
11. Hanging Lake (Glenwood Springs)
Hanging Lake is a popular destination in the summer and fall months, but did you know that it is equally gorgeous when frozen and covered in snow? Now you do (and we highly recommend you check out this incredible Colorado landmark for yourself!).
12. Blossoms of Light (Denver Botanic Gardens)
Okay, so technically, this isn't a hike, but you know we couldn't talk about a December trek without sharing something holiday-related! Taking place every holiday season, the 24-acre Denver Botanic Gardens becomes a real-life winter wonderland complete with decorated trees and ponds, state-of-the-art animated LED lights, and other festive surprises.
For even more of our favorite Centennial State trails, check out
The Unique Hike In Colorado That Leads You To Plane Wreckage From 1943. Address: S Rampart Range Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135, USA Address: Gunnison National Forest, Colorado 81210, USA Address: Yankee Boy Basin, Colorado 81432, USA Address: Paradise Cove / Guffey Gorge, 13999 Main St, Guffey, CO 80820, USA Address: Loveland, CO 80537, USA Address: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado, USA Address: Unnamed Road, Castle Rock, CO 80108, USA Address: Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545, USA Address: 29950 Paint Mine Rd, Calhan, CO 80808, USA Address: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, 6550 Gateway Rd, Commerce City, CO 80022, USA Address: Hanging Lake, Colorado 81601, USA Address: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206, USA