11 BEAUTIFUL WINTER HIKES
There's a chance that you are from a sunny state where a low of 65 degrees is freezing, or maybe maneuvering front wheel drive around on black icy roads of death freaks you out a little.
Winter is and while you love bundling up in a snuggly hat and mittens, sipping cocoa and watching the flakes fall through your foggy breath like a Michael Bublé song, your uber fit friends are not going to convince you to hike a fourteener anytime soon.
Let it snow because you can take a hike this winter with a trail that won't have you heavily gasping for breath or remembering Discovery Channel facts about frostbite warning signs in subzero temperatures.
11. Lily Lake
10. Kenosha Pass
Where: Pike National Forest. Exit off Highway 285 at Kenosha Pass Campground.
Length: 29.3 miles (this is for the whole loop, but you can opt to take a shorter route)
Highlights: Everyone can’t stop talking about Kenosha Pass in the fall, but those aspens are just as gorgeous in the winter. With a slow, easy climb from the campground, hiking a section of Kenosha boasts snowy aspen tunnels, rolling hills and amazing views of the flat plains and the Rockies.
9. Lair O’ the Bear
Where: Lair O’ the Bear Park near Idledale. Exit off Highway 74.
Length: 14.5 miles
Highlights: Hiking a stretch of the Lair O’ the Bear Trail through this popular park is definitely year-round fun for the whole family. You’ll see lots of attractions along the way: a beautiful creek, a flowing river with scenic bridges, mountain views and a real-life castle hidden in the woods. Lair O’ the Bear never gets boring.
8. Sallie Barber Mine
7. Lake Isabelle
6. Willow Creek
Where: Roxborough State Park near Littleton.
Length: 1.5 mile loop trail
Highlights: If you don’t want to drive all the way to Garden of the Gods and want a hike that’s not Red Rocks, but want to see some colorful rock formations all covered in snow, Roxborough State Park has got you covered. Relatively short and easy, the Willow Creek hike features protruding red rock formations along this little loop trail that’s so easy babies could do it.
5. Alberta Falls
4. Alderfer Three Sisters
Where: Alderfer/Three Sisters Park near Evergreen.
Length: 6.9 mile loop trail
Highlights: If you love walking through the woods, the Alderfer Three Sisters Trail features gorgeous Ponderosa pines blanketed in snow. As one of the less commonly used trails on our list, Alderfer Three Sisters is a great hike for clearing your head and enjoying some peace and quiet in the winterized wilderness.
3. Waterton Canyon
Where: Chatfield State Park near Littleton.
Length: 12.4 miles
Highlights: If you don’t want to travel far from Denver or exert yourself physically, hiking a section of the Waterton Canyon Trail offers the perfect winter stroll. Frequent bikers and joggers use Waterton Canyon due to its flat path surrounded by beautiful rock formations and the flowing South Platte River. In the winter, you’ll see the massive canyon all frosted over and even catch a glimpse of wildlife such as bighorn sheep, mule deer and even wild turkeys in their natural rocky habitat.