Hit the Trail: Places to Start Hiking in Colorado

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Greg James

The Horsetooth Rock Trail Oct. 16. The trail serves as a popular hike for Fort Collins reisdents and tourists alike. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

Greg James, Contributor

It’s no secret that Colorado is known for its abundance of opportunities to partake in high-risk adventures. Whether you’re white water rafting down some of the state’s roaring rapids, climbing some of its mountains, or skiing on some of its wicked slopes, the opportunities are endless for the avid adrenaline junkie. But there also exists a different side of Colorado outdoor adventure. For those wanting a more laid back experience that still allows one to get out and exercise, hitting the hiking trail can check all of the boxes.

 

Trails near Fort Collins like Horsetooth Rock or Horsetooth Falls are relatively easy hikes for those new to hiking. Additionally, places like Gateway Natural Area provide scenic views of the Poudre Canyon on their many trails. For those ready to tackle their first fourteener, Mount Bierstadt off of I-70 is a good hike to start with but should be attempted after some practice with smaller hikes. 

 

These are just a few of the natural areas available to explore in Colorado to get you started on the path to lacing up your hiking boots and hitting the trail in colorful Colorado!

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  • A Mountain Goat grazes on grass on the side of Mount Bierstadt July 9 (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A marmot scampers up a rock on top of Mount Bierstadt July 9. Marmots prefer the high elevation and grasses that alpine environments provide. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A Mountain Goat grazes on grass on the side of Mount Bierstadt July 9 (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • Two does graze on brush just off the Horsetooth Falls Trail Oct. 16. Hiking to Horsetooth one is likely to see lots of Colorado’s diverse array of wildlife. (Greg James | College Avenue Falls)

  • The Horsetooth Falls Trail Oct 16. The Horsetooth open space was founded on land purchased by the city from the Soderberg and Culver families. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • The Horsetooth Falls Trail Oct 16. Prior to being a protected natural area, the Horsetooth valley was utilized by mining, logging, and quarrying operations. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A Fort Collins couple hike Horsetooth Falls Trail Oct 16. The Hike is a popular scenic clmb through the foothills. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A bridge crossing over the Horsetooth Falls Oct 16. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • The summit of Horsetooth Rock Oct 16. The Peak is a popular hike in the Fort Collins area. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A Fort Collins resident rides the trails near Horsetooth Rock Oct. 16. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • The overlook trail in Gateway Natural Area Oct 20. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • Two hikers descend Horsetooth Rock Trail as the sunsets Oct. 16. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • The Horsetooth Falls trail Oct 16. The trail is one of two main way to ascend to the peak of Horsetooth. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A mountain Goat grazes on grass on the side of Mount Bierstadt July 9. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

  • A mountain goat walks on a ridge along the hike to the peak of Mount Bierstadt July 9. Mount Bierstadt is one of Colorado’s shortest 14er mountains at 14,065 feet. (Greg James | College Avenue Magazine)

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