Whenever I have a friend coming from sea level, they always want to go hiking and get that Colorado experience! Before I choose which one, I have to take myself back to when I was living out of state. And honestly, no matter how in shape I was the elevation would kick my butt every time. So here are the ones I’ve taken my sea level friends on and they really enjoyed (and weren’t completely fried after.)
Tenderfoot Trail (2.6 miles / 574 ft Elevation Gain)
I brought my friend from Texas on this trail & it had the most incredible views of Lake Dillon & Frisco! It’s a quick one, less than three miles without too much elevation gain. The only tricky part? It starts at 9,200 ft
Panorama Point (2.9 Miles / 649 ft Elevation Gain)
There’s not much that beats this view! Plus, the drive from Denver is beautiful the whole way and you get a little shade from the brutal Colorado sun.
South Table Mountain (1.4 miles / 482 ft Elevation Gain)
This one is just challenging enough to feel like a good workout, but is less than two miles and has incredible views of the foothills and Golden. Plus, you’re steps away from grabbing a beer after in Golden’s very cute downtown.
Red Rocks/Morrison Trail (3 Miles / 679 ft Elevation Gain)
What visitor doesn’t want to experience Red Rocks? Swing by the amphitheater after giving this trail a go. You’ll hike right through massive red rocks and get some incredible views of the foothills.
Lake Isabelle (7 miles / 902 ft Elevation Gain)
If your friends want more of a challenge, head to Indian Peaks Wilderness! Lake Isabelle is challenging but doable if you take your time! You can also make it shorter by just hanging out at Brainard Lake or Long Lake. Your friends will appreciate that it’s mostly flat with the only steep part is at the end before Lake Isabelle!
Out of town friends – Don’t feel bad stopping to take breaks! There’s less oxygen here and if you take a minute to stop and catch your breath, you’ll enjoy the hike so much more. A little headache and feeling slightly lightheaded happens, so take your time and drink plenty of water, even more than you think you need.