Best Spring Hiking Destinations in Colorado
From the Front Range to Southern Colorado, These Spring Hikes are Must-Dos
Are you ready to get those legs and lungs pumping after a long winter hiking hiatus?
Spring is a transitional time in Colorado, so planning your hikes carefully is important. High altitude trails are often covered in snow and ice until July (with northern facing slopes hanging onto winter even longer), and spring snow melt can make some creek crossings tricky. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to explore, though! Here are some fantastic spring hiking destinations in Colorado.
Spring Hiking on the Front Range
Head over to the Front Range for some excellent spring hiking trails. If you keep to the lower elevations, avoiding excess ice and snow should be a snap.
This quick and easy hike is a stone’s throw away from Boulder and the 360 degree views of the Rockies are phenomenal.
The distance clocks in just over a half mile each way, with an elevation gain of approximately 400 feet. You can be on the summit in about 15-20 minutes, making this a great place for a sunrise or sunset hike. Consider bringing a picnic or some snacks and hang out for a bit. Unlike many other trails in Boulder, Sugarloaf isn’t too hectic.
Want more of a challenge? Then head over to Manitou Springs, near Colorado Springs, to try your luck with the Manitou Incline. The Incline was originally constructed as a cable car that helped carry construction materials for pipelines on Pike’s Peak, and it’s a serious challenge.
It’s one mile to the top, but you’ll gain nearly 2,000 vertical feet, which is what makes the journey so difficult. Pack plenty of water and snacks!
Spring Hiking in Western Colorado
As you drive west toward Grand Junction the scenery changes quickly. Desert hikes in areas like Dinosaur National Monument are perfect in the spring before temperatures have gotten too scorching.
Dinosaur National Monument spans parts of Northwestern Colorado and Northeastern Utah… and, you guessed it, there are indeed real life dinosaur fossils preserved within the monument. In Colorado, you’ll be exploring the Dinosaur Quarry portion of the park.
There are several trails to choose from but if you’re looking for a moderate to difficult trek with expansive views, then Ruple Point Trail
is a great choice. This out and back trail is 9.5 miles round trip and near the end you’ll be rewarded with views of Split Mountain Canyon. If that isn’t enough, just look down to the Green River a whopping 2,500 feet below.
Spring Hiking in Southern Colorado
Southern Colorado has it’s own unique variety of rugged (and breathtaking) charm. Out here the mountains shoot straight into the sky and the views around every bend will have you planning return trips again and again.
Hogsback is Durango’s version of the Manitou Incline, and it’s one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. At three miles, this hike is short and steep — so bring plenty of water and lots of motivation.
From the top you’ll see the scenic Animas Valley, Perin’s Peak and the La Platas. When you’re back in town, don’t forget to look up at Hogsback to truly appreciate the hike you just completed.