Summer has officially started, and with it comes the season of hiking
The days feel like they can last forever, but of course that’s not true. There are only so many weekends in the season (14, officially), and there are countless thousands of miles to explore.
In the hopes of narrowing down 32 hiking trails down to the #1 in Colorado, Hike to End Hunger and The Denverite launched the Mile High Hiking Quest, a March Madness-style bracket where you can vote on your favorite hikes (or not vote for them to keep them for yourself)
Here are some of the featured hikes:
Distance from Denver: 2 hours; 82 miles
Locale: Rocky Mountain National Park
Type: Strenuous uphill
Objectives: The name says it all: An ascent to a crown of the national park. See two waterfalls and the beautifully named Lake of Glass on your way up to Sky Pond. It’s a busy trailhead, so get there early.
Length: 9+ miles roundtrip, 1650 feet vertical
Trailhead address: Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park
James Peak via St. Mary’s Glacier
Distance from Denver: 1 hour; 43 miles
Locale: I-70 mountain corridor
Objectives: Hike alongside St. Mary’s Glacier before taking a somewhat tricky trail to one of the summits above. Don’t get lost!
Length: 8.3 miles out-and-back, 2,900 feet of vertical gain
Trailhead address: Parking is $5, cash. St. Mary’s Glacier Trailhead, Fall River Road, Idaho Springs, CO
Distance from Denver: 45 minutes, 42 miles
Locale: Southern metro
Type: Variable-length hikes with little elevation gain
Objectives: Combine different trails into a winding walk through the unusual geology of Castlewood Canyon State Park. The fall colors are spectacular.
Length: Up to 6 miles and 1,100 feet of vertical, but you can choose different trail combinations.
Trailhead address: Castlewood Canyon State Park, 2989 S. State Hwy 83, Franktown, CO
For access to the brackets and information on the remaining 29 hikes, visit The Denverite