Safe Hiking in Colorado

Safe Hiking in Colorado

First of all, you should know that in this endeavor, safety is in your own hands. There are plenty of situations, circumstances, even weather conditions that are not up to you. Because of that, you should be well prepared and organized.

Physical fitness, suitable equipment, minding the surroundings, and making sound judgments are of utmost importance for you to stay safe.

Tips for Safe Hiking

Although none can give you the complete list of tips, there are some things that everyone should follow:

  • Just before venturing on your little adventure, check with a local park or forest ranger if there are any changes in the conditions of paths that you are going to use. Inform yourself about a recent bear or other predator activity.
  • Check the weather prognosis ahead of your hike. Remember that at higher places, temperatures tend to drop down and expect it to be windier there.
  • It is absolutely necessary to hand over the plan of your hike and estimated time of return to a close person, whether it is a family member of a friend. Do not forget to contact this person when you return. And if you do not come back at the expected time, give them the number of emergency dispatch for the area.
  • Always keep the trail map and travel guide close to you.
  • Do not hike alone. Better join an organized group led by a ranger or find a partner.
  • The walking speed should be customized to the slowest member in the group. If you’re with children, keep an eye on them at all times. Also, estimate your energy level and do not exceed your limits.
  • Do not depart from your preplanned path.
  • To finish your hike well before nightfall, you should start early. That will provide you with enough time and light to have a pleasurable day.
  • Train yourself in first aid and carry a first-aid kit with you. Also, find out where you can get medical care. You can even ask a ranger.
  • Be sure that you have plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Do not drink soda or alcohol. It’s important to drink enough in order to keep yourself safe from heat exhaustion.
  • The best snacks for the trail are the ones that will provide you with a lot of energy, such as fruit, granola, peanut butter, bagels, power bars, fruit bars, beef jerky, or even candy.
  • Be extremely cautious around snowfields and exceptionally high water or water covered with glaciers. Keep yourself dry to avoid hypothermia.
  • Light packing is important. But do not forget sunglasses in any season; you also need boots, even boots with crampons during colder months, a flashlight or headlamp, and waterproof matches or some kind of firestarter. Trekking poles can be beneficial too.

Wild Animals

However cute they might appear do not approach wild animals.

If you encounter a bear or a  mountain lion, for example, stay calm and do not run. Back away slowly but steadily. Talk loud to make animals aware of your presence.

Extra caution is needed if you are face-to-face with a mama bear and her cubs. If attacked, fight back, throw rocks.

To avoid encounters with predators, do not throw food and do not litter. There are also special bear-proof trash cans.

List of Top Paths

Name Location Difficulty
Emerald Lake Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Moderate
Royal Arch Trail Boulder Open Space Hard
HangingLake Trail White River National Forest Moderate
Beaver Brook and Chavez Trail Loop Genesee Park Moderate
Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Hard
Maxwell Falls Lower Trail Arapaho National Forest Moderate
Gem Lake Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Moderate
Saint Mary’s Glacier Arapaho National Forest Moderate
Mount Sanitas Trail & Sanitas Valley Trail Boulder Open Space Hard
The Incline Trail Hurricane Canyon Natural Area Hard
Lost Lake via Hessie Trail Indian Peaks Wilderness Moderate
Spruce Lake Trail to Mohawk Lakes Trail Arapaho National Forest Hard
The Loch Lake Trail via Glacier Gorge Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Moderate
Seven Bridges Trail North Cheyenne Canyon Park Moderate
Devil’s Head Lookout Trail to Fire Tower Pike National Forest Moderate
Mount Galbraith Loop via Cedar Gulch Trail Mount Galbraith Park Moderate
Lake Isabelle Trail (Summer) Indian Peaks Wilderness Easy
Quandary Peak Trail White River National Forest Hard
Grays and Torreys Peak Arapaho National Forest Hard
Dream Lake Trail Rocky Mountain National Park Easy

This list is just a segment of 3,572 beautiful tracks for hiking and mountain biking in Colorado. They all have high marks and recommendations. So take care of yourself and explore the majestic wilderness of Colorado.