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10 Reasons Why Hiking In Colorado Is The Best


Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune


In the last few years, Colorado has become a hotspot for those looking to move to an active, beautiful area. And for good reason. Colorado provides some of the best hiking opportunities in the world.

With the Rocky Mountains shooting upwards past 14,000 feet just outside of Denver, city-slickers can’t get enough of the outdoors in the state that has 300 days of sun per year. Still not convinced? Here are ten reasons that Colorado hiking is simply awesome:

1. Altitude
When most hikers set out on a mission, many aim to climb a few hundred feet in elevation; here in Colorado, we measure our climbs by thousands of feet. Plus, hiking at altitude is much more difficult, which makes a sea-level hike seem like a walk in the park.

2. Year-Round Sunshine
With 300-plus days of sunshine each year, hikers in Colorado don’t hang up their boots in the winter because many hiking trails are open year-round. It’s not unusual to have a 70-degree weekend adventure in January.

3. Snowshoeing
Even on cold winter days, hikers strap a pair of snowshoes to their  feet and head up to the mountains. Many hiking trails (like Brainard Lake) have dry hiking trails that morph into snowshoe trails when the snow settles in.

4. Rocky Mountain Terrain
The terrain of the Rocky Mountains provides some of the most unique trails in the country. Tall boulders block some trails, while swamps and river valleys require hikers to tip-toe wood planks to continue their adventure. Nothing that some quality hiking boots can't handle. And, after summiting a Rocky Mountain trail, the view is incredible. Get your camera ready.

5. Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls
Since the Rocky Mountain range is so vast, water tends to settle in the low points of the mountain pockets, which creates a high proportion of mountain lakes with flowing waterfalls that provide epic scenery. There’s nothing like a cool swim in fresh water at the top of a mountain hike to make you feel alive.

6. Outdoor Companies
Colorado is home to some of the world’s best outdoor companies. Experts await to outfit hikers with proper gear, much of which is produced locally. And, if you’re trying to begin a new adventure hobby, there are plenty of shops that can make the process much less intimidating.

7. Post-Hike Breweries
After a long hike, many explorers enjoy sitting at a pub and enjoying a cold beer. Here in Colorado, hikers can stop at one of its 217 (and counting) microbreweries and enjoy a locally-produced, unique craft beer that came from the river that they just hiked along.

8. 14,000-Feet Without Technical Gear
Where in the world can someone climb a mountain peak above 14,000 feet with using technical rock climbing equipment? Colorado, of course! Summiting one of Colorado’s 58 peaks above 14,000 feet can be accomplished as easily as a morning hike.

9. City Proximity
Adventurers in Colorado have the ability to live in the city, hike through beautiful mountain scenery, and be back before lunch. With amazing Rocky Mountain hikes just a few miles outside of downtown Denver, hiking is an easy weekend achievement.

10. Friendly Trail Mates
Colorado’s reputation as a pioneer for outdoor adventure has created a culture of friendly explorers. If you need someone to take a photo of you on the trail, just wait for the next adventurer to arrive.

With so many picturesque hikes in Colorado, it’s nearly impossible to explore every trail. Let us know which hiking trails in Colorado are your favorites. And then, go out and explore!


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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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