The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Steven Bratman on Flickr

Baby, it's cold outside — but that's no reason to stay inside. All good Coloradans have a stockpile of winter hiking gear that will keep them warm in the great outdoors, and those stunning snowcapped views are always worth the trek, no matter the temperature. Here are our ten favorite winter hikes in Colorado. 

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall on Flickr

10. Lily Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park

This hiking trail is great for beginners — flat and under a mile round-trip. Rocky Mountain National Park acquired the Lily Lake area two dozen years ago and constructed the trail with help from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. The trail is hard-packed gravel and handicap-accessible.

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Michael Calhoun

9. Staunton State Park
12102 South Elk Creek Road, Pine

Located just forty minutes up 285, Staunton State Park is relatively close to the city. It's Colorado's newest state park, with plenty of territory to explore on a winter hike. Despite its proximity to Denver, the park is as quiet and peaceful as it is cold. Be prepared with snow boots and plenty of layers. 

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Eli Duke on Flickr

8. Saint Mary's Glacier
7599 Fall River Road, Idaho Springs

This winter hiking spot in Arapaho National Forest is both well known and well worth the trek. People will often bring snowboarding gear, hike up the glacier, and then board down the glacial front. When it's snowy or icy, make sure you have shoes with good traction. Otherwise, this is an easy hiking trail. 

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Lindsey Bartlett

7. Alderfer/Three Sisters Park
30299 Buffalo Park Road, Evergreen
A beautiful trail full of snowshoers, dog walkers, runners and hikers, Three Sisters is easily accessible in the winter — and beautiful, especially when there's a new layer of snow. Make sure you walk around the rock structure to find the secret caves in back. 

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Mark Lund on Flickr

6. Roxborough Park 
4751 North Roxborough Drive, Littleton 

Roxborough is the closest cool winter hike, but also one of the best. The park is just south of C-470 in the foothills, with stunning geological formations along the hiking trails. There's a fee to enter, but it's worth it.

Continue reading for five more winter hikes.
 

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Dustin Gaffke on Flickr

5. Chasm Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park

This hidden lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning sight to behold — but you'll have to work to get there. The round-trip hike is 8.5 miles, taking you through steep terrain to Chasm Lake. The trail begins near the Longs Peak Ranger Station, and although it's strenuous, it's open year-round. Check out the exact coordinates and other details of the hike.

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in ColoradoEXPAND
Susan Calhoun

4. Philip S. Miller Park
1375 West Plum Creek Parkway, Castle Rock

This 270-acre park in Castle Rock has a cool staircase with 150 steps, which can be slick in winter but is still doable; it's like a more accessible version of the Manitou Springs Incline. Biking and dogs are allowed, and there's even a zipline that launches from the top in warmer months. 

A chilly mountain sunset view from Daniels Park in Highlands Ranch.
A chilly mountain sunset view from Daniels Park in Highlands Ranch.
Lindsey Bartlett

3. Daniels Park
Off Castle Pines Parkway in Highlands Ranch

Daniels Park is located in what we like to call "deep Highlands Ranch." Surrounded by a golf course, this 1,000-acre Denver Mountain Park features several trails as well as stunning views — not just of the mountains, but also of one of Denver's bison herds.

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in ColoradoEXPAND
Michael Calhoun

2. Centennial Cone Park
U.S. Highway 6, Golden

You can take everything from a short jaunt to a twelve-mile hike at Centennial Cone Park. There's little shade in some spots, so you can soak up the sun even when it's freezing out. There's a set schedule for hiking, riding mountain bikes and horseback riding that you'll need to plan for — but at least hunting is off limits until January 31. 

The Ten Best Winter Hikes in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Steven Bratman on Flickr

1. Two Rivers Lake 
Rocky Mountain National Park
Notchtop Mountain stands in the background at this stunning lake in Rocky Mountain National Park that's off the Bear Lake Trail (exact coordinates here). The round trip is 6.4 miles, which makes it long for a beginner's hike, but since it's since Two Rivers Lake is downstream from Lake Helene, it's a much less busy spot. Plan to stay for a while to take pictures...and catch your breath.


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