We love Colorado! With summer just around the corner, now is the time to start planning ways to enjoy the sun while staying cool — riverside hikes will treat your family to iconic Colorado views and help you beat the summer heat. Did you know that many popular trailheads are close enough to your Shea community to allow for easy day trips spent soaking up all the great outdoors has to offer? Read on for three Colorado river hikes to try:
Located just outside Estes Park, this popular route takes you through about nine miles of mountain terrain. Part of Rocky Mountain National Park, Sky Pond starts at an elevation just over 9,000 feet, yet the path itself is rated for moderate hikers. On this scenic out-and-back trail, you’ll enjoy views of Glacier Gorge as well as the impressive 30-foot waterfall of Alberta Falls. Only a two-hour trip from the Denver area, you and your family will have plenty of time to get out in nature before returning to the comfort of home.
Diamond Lake Trail
This route in the heart of the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Nederland can be accessed from the Fourth of July trailhead. As this is a highly-trafficked area, you’ll want to prepare for limited parking and try to arrive earlier in the day. We always think snacking is a vital part of any hike, and your family will have plenty of time to pack up a delicious summery picnic in your home kitchen before making the easy one-hour drive. On the lookout for striking sights? The trail to Diamond Lake takes you past the North Fork of Middle Boulder Creek and features picturesque waterfalls and serene river crossings.
Waterton Canyon Trail
If you want something a little closer to your home community, the Waterton Canyon Trail winds through humbling canyons near Chatfield State Park. With only a slight incline throughout, this hike is suitable for all experience levels — take your kids on the weekend for a chance to burn off their extra energy and get some sunshine. Keep your head on a swivel: The area is chock-full of wildlife you can observe while enjoying your hike or bike ride.
Before embarking on any hike, check in with authorities to make sure it’s open and accepting visitors without a reservation. And of course, pack water and dress in layers, because we all know how quickly the weather can change on a long summer trek.
Access to stunning local hiking trails makes life in your Shea community so much more enjoyable. What’s your favorite nearby spot to get out into nature?