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The Best Backpacking in Colorado

Looking for the best backpacking in Colorado? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Colorado. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Colorado

  • Nederland, Colorado

    3 Crater Lakes via South Boulder Creek

    5.0
    6.5 mi / 2100 ft gain
    After turning on to Co. 16 (Tolland Rd.) from 119 at Rollinsville, drive about 8 miles down the dirt road along South Boulder Creek. The road will dead end at Moffat Tunnel where you'll find ample parking in a gravel lot with restrooms. You'll begin your hike along sweeping meadows until you ent...
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  • Granby, Colorado

    Mirror and Crater Lakes via Cascade Creek Trail

    4.6
    14.94 mi / 2421 ft gain
    Start at the Monarch Lake trailhead (where there is a $5 parking fee unless you have one of the national lands passes) and follow the cascade creek trail around the north side of the lake. After about 1.5 miles the trail splits with the Arapaho pass trail, follow the cascade trail to the left as ...
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  • Nederland, Colorado

    Hike to King Lake

    5.0
    11 mi / 2500 ft gain
    The normal route from the east side is via the Hessie trailhead outside Nederland Colorado. From the west it is most often accessed via the short trail from Rollins pass, which is open in the summer. As noted above, it is also a lake and area ripe for creating your own adventure. The description ...
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  • Larimer County, Colorado

    Hike to Sky Pond

    4.7
    10 mi / 1780 ft gain
    Start at the Glacier Gorge trailhead on Bear Lake Road. Parking is limited so it is advised to get there very early. It's a longer hike so plan on taking a full day to complete or stay overnight to enjoy more of the scenery. Within the first mile on the Glacier Gorge Trail you will pass by Alber...
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  • Aspen, Colorado

    Backpack to Conundrum Hot Springs

    4.3
    18 mi / 2500 ft gain
    After picking up your required overnight permit, start your morning with a coffee in Aspen, then drive out 15 min to the trailhead at the end of Conundrum Creek road. The trail is a straight shot 9 miles up the valley, through expansive meadows and an always incredible view of the mountains and ...
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  • Pitkin County, Colorado

    Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells

    4.8
    26.04 mi / 7572 ft gain
    *A landscape-changing avalanche event has impacted Maroon Creek Road. The event occurred in early March during an active avalanche cycle across the Colorado mountains.  Maroon Creek Road will have a delayed opening this season while Pitkin County and Forest Service crews work to remove avalanche...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Hike to Nymph, Dream, Emerald, and Haiyaha Lakes

    4.9
    5.5 mi
    From the Bear Lake Trailhead, the path to Nymph Lake is a moderate paved trail. At the lake there are several places to sit and take in the scenery. This is also where you'll find the most people. From here, continue up the trail towards Dream Lake. On the way, the trail forks. The left will take...
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  • Durango, Colorado

    Ice Lakes Trail to Island Lake

    5.0
    7.75 mi / 2690 ft gain
    Just north of Silverton, CO, lies the South Mineral Valley which is reachable down a well maintained, and paved dirt road and ends in the South Mineral Campground. The hike starts out with a sweat generating 1500+ feet of gain over its first two miles. However, there are numerous spots to stop a...
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  • Aspen, Colorado

    Explore the Maroon Bells & Snowmass Wilderness

    5.0
    The beautiful and iconic Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness is home to some of the most amazing scenery and adventures to be had in all of Colorado. It is world famous for the Maroon Bells, two challenging 14ers just outside of Aspen Colorado. The third 14er, Pyramid Peak is also considered a class...
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  • Dillon, Colorado

    Hike the Silver Dollar Lake Trail

    5.0
    4 mi / 1060 ft gain
    Guanella Pass, which connects the charming and historic town of Georgetown in the north to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Grant to the south, is a recreational outdoorsman’s dream. Volumes could be written on what this 22-mile scenic byway has to offer.Silver Dollar Lake Trail is just one tiny port...
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  • Nederland, Colorado

    Hiking to Heart and Rogers Peak Lakes

    4.8
    8.75 mi / 2200 ft gain
    The hike begins at the East Portal Trailhead outside Rollinsville. Start hiking along the South Boulder trail to the right (north) of the very obvious Moffat Rail tunnel. The trail begins with moderate grades past the Forest Lakes cutoff just 1.25 miles from the trailhead. Continue hiking straigh...
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  • Breckenridge, Colorado

    Lakeside Camping at Lower Crystal Lake

    5.0
    To get to the Crystal Lakes take the Spruce Creek Trailhead. You can hike or drive to the Lower Crystal Lake. If you choose to drive, you will need a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. There are no fees to camp here.If you want to hike to the Upper Crystal Lake follow the trail past Lower Crystal Lake a...
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  • Aspen, Colorado

    Crater Lake via Maroon-Snowmass Trail

    4.6
    3.77 mi / 722 ft gain
    The crater lake trail begins at Maroon Lake and quickly breaks off from the scenic trail at .3 miles. Be sure to follow the signs to crater lake, which will be heading higher into the valley. The trail passes through a beautiful Aspen grove most of the way with wonderful views of 14ers, the Maroo...
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  • Idaho Springs, Colorado

    Hike to Lower and Upper Chicago Lake

    4.5
    9.8 mi / 2390 ft gain
    From the parking lot, stay to the right of Echo Lake and you will run into the Chicago Lakes Trailhead. Follow the switchbacks down and across Chicago Creek. After crossing the creek, follow the sign indicating that the trail follows the dirt road and hang a left; from here, you'll reach the Idah...
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  • Lyons, Colorado

    Camp at Coulson Gulch

    4.0
    9 mi
    Coulson Gulch is a lightly used area of the Roosevelt National Forest which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway without the crowds. This is a great place to camp out under the stars!To get to Coulson Gulch From Lyons, head west on U.S. Highway 36 for about 9 miles. Turn southwest onto Larimer ...
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  • Allenspark, Colorado

    Backpack to Lake Verna

    5.0
    13.5 mi / 2500 ft gain
    Want to get away it from it all and enjoy some high alpine lakes? The East Inlet Trail is just outside Grand Lake, on the westside of Rocky Mountain National Park, 2.35 miles east of Highway 34 on West Portal Road. From the trailhead, one can access 8 different campsites. The campsites are as ...
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