Summertime Hiking and Camping in Colorado

KATIE PICKRELL

With summer only weeks away, many of us are wondering what the best way to get all that we can from our time off of school is. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places to livOh Be Joyful, Crested Buttee in the summertime, so the answer is fairly easy. Once the snow melts and the weather warms up, the mountains are a beautiful place for hiking and camping.

Sangre De Cristo is about a four hour drive outside of Denver. The drive may be long and hiking up there definitely isn’t easy, but the beautiful scenery proves that the all day hike is definitely worth it. This may not be the best idea for a day trip, but it’s a great way to spend a weekend. The mountain range is located right next to the Sand Dunes as well. For more information on hikes or lodging in the area, click here; or, if you’re interested in camping out, click here.

Also about four hours outside of Denver is Crested Butte. Crested Butte contains some of the most beautiful campsites in Colorado. The Oh Be Joyful campsite sits (right) in the forest next to a lost dirt road. The site is right next to water for fishing along the river, swimming if it’s warm enough or even kayaking if the water’s high enough. To discover more about the area, click here.

One of the most beautiful hikes a little less than three hours away from Denver is Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs. The hike is about two miles round trip and is relatively easy to make it through. At the end of the trail, you’re greeted by a waterfall and an opaque blue-green lake. You can walk up a bit further and see other falls as well, although none compare to the beauty of the main attraction. If you’re interested in other activities around Glenwood, click here.

If you’re looking for something much closer, and even a bit easier, look no further than Castlewood Canyon. This hike takes less than an hour to get to and can take any where from 20 minutes to a few hours to complete. From the parking lot, the waterfall takes only ten minutes to get to; to add some time to your hike, find the Creek Bottom Trail (also known as Homestead Trailhead). This addition will add close to an extra mile to your hike. Then, if you wish to further,  you can loop back around via the Cherry Creek Trail. To find out more and view directions, click here.

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