I’ve gone on many hikes during my time in Seattle, but Colchuck Lake is by far my favorite one. This hike is on the longer and more strenuous side, but the views are absolutely worth every ounce of effort. The lake is hidden deep in the Enchantments surrounded by rocky mountains all around, and the water is a bright turquoise blue from the glacier water. The views are so beautiful and it’s just so surreal to see Colchuck Lake in person.
When my friend first suggested visiting the Paint Mines in Colorado, I was skeptical and questioned if it was worth the detour. We went anyway and it turned out to be neat place with colorful clay and sandstones. The landscape and rock formations made it feel like a whole different planet despite being just a few minutes from the parking lot. It also made for great photos especially since it was very empty when we visited.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is such an odd and intriguing place where sand covers some 30 square miles in the middle of southern Colorado. I visited the park about two months ago to check it out and attempted to sandboard, and it felt like I was on a different planet. The wind creates such perfectly crisp ridge lines that extend endless up towards the sand dunes, eventually merging with the sky and the snowcapped mountains in the background.
Of all the hikes I’ve done in Colorado, Chief Mountain is my favorite. This 3-mile, snowy hike in Colorado’s Front Range stretches above the tree line to 11,709 ft and offers a truly 360-degree panoramic view of the nearby mountains. The hillsides are covered with dense alpine forests and gradually becomes covered in thick layers of snow near the peak. It’s incredible to be surrounded by mountains and seeing the Colorado Rockies from such a high vantage point.
St Mary’s Glacier is a beautiful hike in Idaho Springs, Colorado that’s only one hour away from Denver and offers incredible views of the Colorado Rockies. It is a short but strenuous hike that takes you to over 11,000 ft, but you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the glacier lake below and the mountains in the distance. I’ve hiked St Mary’s Glacier the first time in 2017 and again last month and I would definitely recommend it.
Never before have I crossed a frozen lake in 60-degree weather… until I hiked in the Rockies. The hike to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is an exciting hike, with micro spikes and frozen lake crossings, that takes you deep into the Rockies and passes by two other lakes on the way. The alpine lake is hidden deep within the mountains and tucked between snow-capped peaks, and the hike there offers rewarding views of Hallett Peak and the expansive Rocky Mountains range.
Boulder seems like the place to be for hiking. Not far from my previous hike to the flatirons is another popular hike up Mt. Sanitas with phenomenal views of the Rocky Mountains throughout. The 3.1-mile trail climbs up the ridge of the mountain until you reach the summit at over 6800 ft in elevation, where you can see Boulder stretch into the Plains.
Over 7000 ft above sea level with amazing views of the Continental Divide, the hike to the First and Second Flatirons is one of the better hikes I’ve done in Colorado since I arrived in Denver three weeks ago. The 2.6-mile roundtrip hike climbs up the mountains behind Boulder, wraps around the second flatiron, and takes you right up to the base of the first flatiron. From the top, you could see the endless layers of the Rocky Mountains, the distinct features of the other flatirons, and Boulder down below. It is also a fun trail to hike through different terrains and viewpoints.
The Utah mountains on one side and an endless stretch of salt flats on the other. Imagine this view at the Bonneville Salt Flats but magnify it by tenfold and add a pink sunset that dips behind the mountains. It was such an incredible sunset, especially because we were able to walk to the middle of the salt flats with nothing around us.
Tucked high up in the Cascades, Lake Serene offers beautiful views of the snow-covered lake against the 3000-ft vertical cliffs right behind it. The hike takes you through the forest in the lower section, past Bridal Veil Falls, and quickly ascends into snowy terrain before opening up to the lake. I hiked this last month and found it to be a moderate to challenging hike, mainly because of the snow. But with the right preparations it’s a manageable hike with rewarding views and even avalanche sightings!