Colorado's Hiking Haven: Summer Resorts for Scenic Adventure

Find the ideal hiking vacation in Colorado with these resorts conveniently located near scenic summer hiking trails.

Family Enjoying Time Together During Summer Hike at Beaver Creek

Summertime in the mountains means getting out among the wildflowers and enjoying breathtaking views on scenic hikes. These are some of the best destinations and trails for a variety of abilities for summer hiking trips in Colorado.

Colorado's Summer Ski Resorts for Hiking Adventures


  • Trollstigen (a.k.a. Isak the Troll) – Illinois Gulch/South Illinois Creek 

Distance: 0.25 miles to Troll; 0.5 miles roundtrip 

Difficulty: Easy 

Details: One of the most popular, and very family-friendly, Breckenridge hikes is Trollstigen featuring the famous Breck Troll, a 15-foot-tall wooden troll sculpture created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo in 2018, and is located at the end of the trail.  

  • Sawmill Reservoir 

Distance: 1.5 miles 

Difficulty: Easy  

Details: The Sawmill Reservoir loop is one of Breck’s most popular hikes for a reason. It’s an easily accessible, approachable family hike and fun as can be. You’ll follow a running creek to the spectacular 10-acre lake sitting comfortably at nearly 10,000 feet of elevation. 

  • Horseshoe Bowl Loop 

Distance: 1 mile loop 

Difficulty: Easy-ish 

Details: Hop on the Colorado SuperChair (free with your 2024/25 Epic Pass) up to the resort’s Alpine Camp and follow the trail signs to the beginning of the loop. At more than 11,000 feet above-sea-level, you’ll be on top of the world while you take in the views of the town and surrounding mountains. 

  • Peak 10 

Distance: 7 miles 

Difficulty: Hard 

Details: Peak 10 is a classic 13er and not for the faint-of-heart! The southern-most peak of the Tenmile Range, the steep ascent will put your quads to work and reward you with views of the Mosquito Range, the Gore Range and the Front Range. 

  • Bald Mountain (a.k.a. Baldy) 

Distance: 10.5 miles 

Difficulty: Hardest 

Details: Another 13er to put your legs to the test and favorite of locals in summer and winter, this popular and perfect half-day hike (depending on how far you drive up the mountain) will provide you with an unbeatable view of Mt. Guyot and the surrounding peaks. 


  • Upper Piney River Falls Trail 

Distance: 5.9 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Details: Walk through scenic meadows and forests to reach the cascading Piney River Falls. If you’d like your pet to accompany you on the hike, the Upper Piney River Falls Trail is perfect. Dogs are welcome as long as they stay on a leash. 

  • Vail Nature Center/Betty Ford Alpine Gardens 

Distance: .5 miles 

Difficulty: Easy  

Details: When it comes to easy hikes near Vail that your kids will love, try Betty Ford Alpine Gardens at the Vail Nature Centre. To make things interesting, pick up a kid's treasure hunt map upon arrival to give the young ones a sense of adventure.   

  • Gore Creek Path 

Distance: 1.8 miles  

Difficulty: Easy  

Details: This beginner-friendly trail suits people of all ages and skill levels, and you can expect to spend around 40 minutes hiking. You can easily get to Gore Creek Path via driving, walking, or cycling, as it’s less than half a mile away from the resort. 

  • Shrine Ridge Trail 

Distance: 4.3 miles  

Difficulty: Moderate 

Details: While plenty of trails offer scenic views, the Shrine Ridge Trail stands out. Along this route, you'll get a perfect view of Colorado's wildflowers against the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains.   

  • Bowman’s Shortcut Trail 

Distance: 5.5 miles  

Difficulty: Hard 

Details: Beyond the adventure, this route is also rich in history, as you'll be walking the path early settlers carved through the mountains. With the area’s lush forests and meadows, you'll also enjoy stunning views. 

Crested Butte 

  • Lower Loop Trail 

Distance: 6.4 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Details: During Crested Butte wildflower season, blooming lupine, aspen sunflowers, columbine, and Indian paintbrush add vibrant color splashes across the meadows. The path follows the gentle flow of the Slate River and meanders through colorful meadows, aspen groves, and dense forests.  The beginning of this trail is also ADA accessible, making it a great choice for a shorter out and back to the river.

  • Lupine Trail  

Distance: 7 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Details: The trailhead near Nicholson Lake grants quick access to the moderate trail. The trail starts with a few switchbacks to ease the ascent that takes you through towering aspen groves. It winds through dense forests that give way to colorful meadows. Vibrant purple, pink and blue blooms carpet the meadows along the trail, creating a fragrant display of color.  

  • Rustler Gulch Trail 

Distance: 7 miles  

Difficulty: Moderate 

Details: Rustler Gulch offers a challenging but rewarding hike that takes you through picturesque alpine meadows, past cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking mountain vistas.   

  • Snodgrass Trail 

Distance: 3.6 miles 

Difficulty: Easyish 

Details: The hike up the Snodgrass Trail begins with a mellow ascent through open meadows and thick aspen forests that showcase their vibrant colors during autumn. Colorful wildflowers bloom in the meadows between the aspen groves during summer.   

  • Gothic Mountain   

Distance: 3.8 or 7.5 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard 

Details: With its rugged beauty and panoramic view, Gothic Mountain is perfect for the seasoned hiker craving a challenging alpine adventure. You can settle for the moderate 3.85-mile hike to 403 Viewpoint or test your mettle on the strenuous 7.5-mile hike to the Gothic Summit.  

Beaver Creek 

  • Royal Elk Trail 

Distance: 1.9 miles 

Difficulty: Easy  

Details: From the Beaver Lake Trail, about 1/3 of a mile below the lake itself, you'll find the well-marked sign for the Royal Elk Trail. The trail immediately starts traversing the Royal Elk ski run. You'll emerge onto a few of the Grouse Mountain and Birds of Prey runs and get amazing views down the valley. 

  • Beaver Creek Village Lunch Loop 

Distance: 3.1 miles  

Difficulty: Easy 

Details: This is a favorite loop from the village for a lunchtime hike, early morning training hike or a leisurely jog with the family that combines a handful of trails. 

  • Beaver Lake Out and Back 

Distance: 4.9 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate  

Details: One of the more popular day hikes in the area, this out and back makes for a great afternoon for the entire family. 

  • Lower Arrowhead Loop 

Distance: 4.7 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate 

Details: Short on time or energy? This packs in a nice climb, good views, and some nice aspen forest in just a few miles. 

  • Overlook Trail 

Distance: 3.2 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate 

Details: You'll spend much of this run in beautiful aspen groves with occasional breaks when you cross ski runs. There's a beautiful overlook (hence the name) near the top. Take the gondola down (when it's open). 

Trail Etiquette Essentials: Tips For Your Hiking Adventure

Remember, when setting off on a hike always adhere to trail etiquette:

  1. Leave no trace: Take only photos and leave only footprints. Pack out your trash and don’t pick wildflowers or take flora or fauna with you.
  2. Stay on the trail: Make sure to stay on the path and avoid taking short cuts to ensure little disturbance to our beautiful woods.
  3. Do not disturb: Wildlife may appear cute, but make sure to give them plenty of space. You’re in their territory, so please be respectful and kind. Do not feed wildlife as it could be dangerous for both you and the animals.

Be Prepared:

Do your homework: Are dogs allowed on trails? Do they need to be leashed? Are bikes allowed? What’s the weather like and how should I dress? How long is the trail and how much water do I need to bring? Is parking available at the trailhead? Ask yourself these important questions and more to be ready to make the most out of your adventure. Use websites like and to know before you go. And don't forget to have a blast!