Top 6 Winter Hiking Trails in Colorado

November 19, 2021by Mike Mayleben

Who says winter means staying indoors and losing your shape? If you live anywhere near Colorado, you know there are plenty of good views once the snow falls! Check out our personal top 6 winter hiking trails in Colorado next time you are heading out.

These trails are accessible during cold weather and safe to explore. Most of them take no more than 3 hours to finish. Also, don't forget to check out these cold-weather camping tips!

lily lake hike
Image Credit AllTrails

Lily Lake

Lily Lake is one of our favorites to explore during winter times. For one, it is only 0.8 miles long. Two, it’s a loop trail. Three, it’s heavily trafficked with plenty of other fun things around, given the fact it’s located inside Rocky Mountain National Park.

The clear blue sky and frozen lake during winter seasons is a must-see. You’ll be surprised how quiet and peaceful this area gets even with how popular the trail itself is.




winter hiking trails stmary
Image Credit AllTrails

Saint Mary's Glacier

7599 Fall River Rd., Idaho Springs, CO 80452

Located within Aldaho National Forest, St. Mary’s Glacier is one of the most beautiful winter hiking trails in Colorado. This out-and-back trail is 2.4 miles long with over 1,000 ft of elevation gain.

The trail takes you along the lake and continues to the glacier, where you’ll need to find your own way as the obvious route disappears. If you want, you can extend your hike all the way into James Peak.




fountain valley trail colorado
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Fountain Valley Loop Trail

4751 North Roxborough Dr., Littleton, CO 80125

Located inside Roxborough State Park, Fountain Valley Loop Trail is 2.3 miles long and heavily trafficked. The trail winds through the Fountain and Lyons rock formations, magnificent when covered in snow.

This trail is an easy hike with minimal elevation. It is perfect for those who are only looking for a casual stroll, but still want to enjoy the feeling of getting lost in the mountains.




best winter hikes in colorado spruce open
Image Credit AllTrails

Spruce Mountain Hikes

13415 S Spruce Mountain Rd, Larkspur, CO 80118

This open space trail is definitely more challenging than the rest of this list. Therefore, we only recommend it experienced hikers. However, this is one of the most breathtaking winter hiking trails in Colorado.

This 5.5 mile trail is heavily trafficked and will take you up to Windy Point, giving you a stunning bird’s eye view of the valley 200ft below. Meanwhile, you can also look out to the south and find the brilliance of Pike’s Peak awaits.




kholer mesa sunset
Image Credit AllTrails

Kholer Mesa Trail

Kohler Mesa Trail, Boulder, CO 80305

This moderate 4-mile loop trail is our serene getaway. Snow or not, Kholer Mesa Trail will transport you into an otherworldly haven where nothing could disturb you. 

Our favorite thing to do is go on a crispy winter day with a clear sky, and wait for the sunset. As you watch the clouds change color and dye the sky, it’s like all your stress and concerns in real-life just melt away.




winter hiking trail emerald lake
Image Credit AllTrails

Emerald Lake Trail

The fact somewhere so beautiful exists in this world is a blessing. Emerald Lake is always a delight to explore, but the frozen lakes and snow-covered tree caps have a unique charm that’s unlike any other season’s.

The lake trail is a 3.2-mile out-and-back trail near Estes Park with a 698 ft gain in elevation. This hike takes you through the Tyndall Gorge to Emerald Lake.

Featured Image Credit: Connor Scalbom




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