Tom and I recently traveled to Colorado for two art shows and with a few days in between, set out to find the most picturesque hiking trails. Below are our top three favorites that had breathtaking views all along the trail. I'm sure there are many more, but due to a late Spring, some trails were closed because of heavy snow.
Ten Mile Canyon National Recreation Trail:
This area has a short, easy hike to get your lungs acclimated to the higher altitudes. With 360 degree views, you stay motivated along the way.
Click here for directions
Lily Pad Lake:
Located just outside Silverthorne and Frisco, CO, this is a great trail to continue getting your lungs conditioned for longer, harder climbs. While the first bit starts out a little steep, once you get into it, the grade is more gentle and there are several places to rest and take in the stunning views. The photo below was taken at one of the first overlooks. Click here for more trail info.
One of Colorado's 14ers, Quandary Peak is the highest summit of the Tenmile Range and known to be one of the easier 14ers to summit. Even though we didn't have time to do the whole trail, we plan to go back and give it the time it deserves. We had conditioned our lungs so we didn't find the trail to be too hard, but it is on the more difficult scale, so don't try it until you're used to the altitude. It was by far the most breathtaking views we had in the Vail/Breckenridge area and can't wait to go back. The cover photo for this post is one of those views, along with the following photos.
Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat a snack to avoid altitude sickness, and if you're struggling, head to lower altitudes for a day or two.
Carry a comfortable backpack or fanny pack. Light enough to not be a burden, but spacious enough to carry water, snacks, and toilet paper.
Wear layers and bring a lightweight rain jacket. Mountain weather is unpredictable and can go from hot to cold to rain rather quickly.