|Mt. Sniktau, Continental Divide|
After much thought on my part, I have included some of my favorite hikes and trails, they are my favorites for various reasons as well.
The first trail I'd like to include (in no particular order) is Mt. Sniktau, which starts on the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass near the Eisenhower Tunnel. This trail is at high elevation, starting at the top of the pass and my reason for listing this trail as one of my favorites is twofold. First, I love looking at views while on the trail and I'd rather hike where I can see scenery than in a treed forest any-day. Mt. Sniktau offers views in all directions including great views the Continental Divide; its also a high altitude hike which leads to a peak and when I reach a peak I always feel a sense of accomplishment. But the reason that this trail stands out to me was because I was just having a great day on the trail.
I hiked this trail back in 2010, which was the year that I had quit my job to pursue my artistic dreams, this hiking blog and my photography career; so I was in a great place personally, the day was beautiful and I was with my two doggies, there were wildflowers everywhere in August and I spent a good hour or more on the 13,234 ft peak, reading, talking to family on the phone, and enjoying the solitude and views. Click here for info and directions on Mt. Snik' as its called.
|Views looking west from Bear Peak, Boulder Colorado|
|Harmonica Arch in Lost Creek Wilderness|
The next hike I'd like to include is also near Colorado Springs, Raspberry Mountain, which was hiked one weekend with my husband and dogs. This trail was stunning in the fall and offered sneak peek views while hiking in the brightly colored aspen and pine forests and then the final part of the trail gets you out of the trees and you climb up to see views of Pikes Peak and the surrounding mountains and mountain towns. This is definitely a hike to save for the fall foliage because it was amazing! Click here for Raspberry Mountain.
As I type this post, I think of many other trails that I really love, so maybe a part #2 is in order, sometime in the future. Here are a few other trails that you might like. If you are into rock formations, there is an arch in Boulder called Royal Arch, you can find that review here.
If you like waterfall hikes, try Upper Maxwell Falls or Lower Maxwell Falls in Evergreen Colorado, this is a very popular trail in the area, and you can even hike on the Rim trail to see views of the surrounding cliffs and mountains.
My favorites list wouldn't be complete without at least one 14er (peak over 14,000 feet) included. It is hard for me to pick a favorite for a lot of reasons, first 14ers are hard and can be somewhat punishing, also the views are incredible from every 14er and its hard to pick a favorite. Mt. Elbert, which is the tallest peak in Colorado and the second tallest peak in the Continental USA behind Mt. Whitney. It was amazing to stand on the tallest mountain around and the views are incredible. I also loved hiking Mt. Belford; the trail up to the top and back is fairly short, but very steep and punishing. The views on top were amazing, the color during the fall season was beautiful and it was one of the harder hikes that I've ever done. I actually remember sitting down on the trail near the end and telling Josh to leave me because my legs were so tired; I told him I'd catch up later. It wasn't one of my finer moments, but it was memorable for that reason.
Another very cool trails that are at high altitude and must be included in this list are James Peak at St. Mary's Glacier, on this hike you can go just a short way to reach the glacier and lake, but you can venture all the way up to the top of James Peak as well. Also, Mount Audubon is another high altitude hike and one of the first peaks that I summited by myself; it was truly a cold and windy day and I wasn't sure that I could hike all the way up to the peak and back by myself, but I made it and it opened the door for me to hike lots of others solo. It offered good views and a pretty scenic location, but the main reason its memorable is because it was something that I had accomplished.
|From the top of Mt. Elbert|
If you want to hike in Golden, I have two favorite places; Table Mountain, which I have nuked numerous times and offers views of the town of Golden and City of Denver.
But my absolute favorite trail near Golden is Mt. Galbraith; I like this because it was one of the first hikes that I ever did when moving to Golden 10 years ago and it offers scenic views and a longer trail that offers a backcountry experience close to home.
Here are a few more shots of my favorite trails, I hope you like this post and it helps you figure out your next hike. I plan on doing a favorites #2 in the future.