Hiking at elevation can be challenging, even for those who live in Colorado. Here are my Top 10 Hikes for friends and family visiting from out of state who still want the views but not the elevation gain.
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
2.9 Miles / 649 ft Elevation Gain
There’s not much that beats this view! It’s only three miles round trip for panorama views. Plus, the drive from Denver is beautiful the whole way and you get a little shade from the brutal Colorado sun.
1.2 Miles / 337 ft. Elevation Gain
Chautauqua is one of my favorite places to bring visitors because of the views, but that initial half mile ascent into them will take the wind out of most people, let alone friends who just got off a plane. Baseline trail offers the views without the steep climb!
7. 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.
3.0 Miles / 679 ft. Elevation Gain
Red Rocks is beautiful for it’s ampitheater, but you can also hike around the park to take in the views! This is a great 3 mile loop that’s steep enough at parts to feel like a work out, but never too overwhelming.
2.9 Miles / 525 ft. Elevation Gain
Lookout Mountain is an amazing viewpoint right over Golden with the Buffalo Bill Museum at the top. If you’re looking for an alternative to driving up to the top, this out and back trail is never too steep but has shade & incredible views.
1.0 Miles / 147 ft. Elevation Gain
This hike is awesome and the watering hole is incredible.. but beacause of that it’s super crowded. This is great for a weekday hike to avoid the bulk of the groups – but bring drinks and lunch plan to hang out for a few hours!
2.2 Miles / 259 ft. Elevation Gain
Castle Trail is perfect for those looking for an easy walk with beautiful views so it still feels like a hike. My parents always feel the elevation gain so this one was perfect for them!
2. Fountain Valley Trail
2.8 Miles / 336 ft. Elevation Gain
Want to check out Garden of Gods but just don’t have the time to get down to the Springs? Roxborough State Park is a great and less busy alternative! Fountain Valley Trail is my favorite and it’s easy enough for all skill levels.
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.