Colorado is known for its mountains and the trails winding around them. While the views never get old, frequent hikers might find themselves itching for something more exciting than the average afternoon trip. For the experienced and daring trekkers, here are four of Colorado’s most difficult hikes.
If you want a fresh look at America’s Mountain, check out this route that spurs off Crags Trail in a nearly 3,000-foot climb to Devil’s Playground. Sitting along the Pikes Peak Highway, Devil’s Playground gets its name from the way lightning jumps between rock formations during a thunderstorm. It’s roughly nine miles there and back, and you can always add an extra challenge by continuing across the highway and up to Pikes Peak’s summit.
Lake of Glass and Sky Pond
Sky Pond provides a breathtaking nine-mile round trip that takes hikers past several beautiful falls and lakes. On this 1,600-foot climb, visitors will pass Alberta Falls, The Loch, and Timberline Falls throughout the first four miles. The real treat lies beyond that, though. Past a steep climb and up the side of the falls lies the Lake of Glass. It’s a great place to stop and take in the view, but make sure you don’t miss your final destination—Sky Pond is hidden by the elevation, and it’s another quarter mile before you reach it.
Hikers who want a little extra adventure can take on this four-mountain route. The trail is a complete loop that covers Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross. The trailhead starts at 12,000 feet, so don’t forget to layer up with your favorite Colorado sweatshirt or hoodie before you leave.
Easily the tallest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park—and credited across the board as one of Colorado’s most difficult hikes—Longs Peak is as popular as it is dangerous. Lightning storms on the summit, and winter conditions throughout most of the year, means people who want to make the trip should start early and proceed with extreme caution. With a boulder field to scramble over before you reach the narrow trail to the summit, it’s no wonder this 15-mile round trip provides an exciting adventure for dedicated hikers.