11 of the Best Dayhikes for Mountain Views of Colorado

Torreys Peak en route to Grays Peak, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado

Torreys Peak en route to Grays Peak

There is something about the mountains of Colorado that stimulates my imagination.  It takes my breath away, makes me look twice, or even three times, and sends me back again after I’ve been away for a while.  I just can’t tire of those views!

 


 

Views from the Toll Memorial (Tundra Communities) Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Views from the Toll Memorial (Tundra Communities) Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park

So I’ve compiled some of the best mountain view hikes I’ve done in Colorado, in no particular order.  Enjoy!

Long's Peak from Lily Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Long’s Peak from Lily Mountain

Lily Mountain.  This peak is just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, but it offers spectacular views to many of the park’s most scenic peaks, including Long’s Peak and the Mummy Range. 4 miles RT.

Part of the view from UN12812 above Independence Pass, White River National Forest & San Isabel National Forest, Colorado

Part of the view from UN12812

UN12812.  Lying just above the famed Independence Pass near Aspen, this unnamed peak offers a spectacular range of sight across dozens of mountains, not to mention a few scenic valleys.  4.1 miles RT.

Views from Grays Peak, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado

Views from Grays Peak

Grays Peak.  14ers tend to have a good view of other mountains, and Grays Peak is no exception.  The highest point on the North American Continental Divide, the top of the trail offers simply spectacular views across the Front Range.  7.5 miles RT.

 

Hiking up Mt. Chiquita Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Hiking up Mt. Chiquita in Rocky Mountain

Chapin-Chiquita-Ypsilon Loop.  Located in the Mummy Range of Rocky Mountain National Park, this epic hike consists of a ridgewalk across one 12k peak and two 13ers.  Views of the Trail Ridge and other Rocky Mountain peaks make the difficulty worth the trek.  8.0 miles RT.

Views toward Maroon Bells from Electric Pass, White River National Forest, Colorado

Views toward Maroon Bells from Electric Pass

Electric Pass.  You’re sure you want an epic hike?  Try the trek to Colorado’s highest named pass.  Views extend in all directions to multiple 14ers and the famed Maroon Bells.  Stunning!  10.8 miles RT.

Mountains, cliffs, lakes, and valleys from the Causeway Trail in Flat Tops Wilderness, Colorado

Mountains, cliffs, lakes, and valleys from the Causeway Trail

The Causeway.  Well, this one isn’t so big on the mountain views – at least not epic Colorado mountain views.  But the flat-topped mountains and rolling grasslands (not to mention a lake or two) make this hike a must on the list.  9.5 miles RT.  (Wait – did I mention there’s also a 3-foot-wide, 500ft. sheer-drop-on-either-side section to hiking this trail?)

Pike's Peak with fresh snow as seen from Raspberry Mountain, Pike National Forest, Colorado

Pike’s Peak with fresh snow as seen from Raspberry Mountain

Raspberry Mountain.  If the snow is on Pike’s Peak, this is one amazing hike.  Lying just below the 14er, views of Pike’s Peak dominate the view, but vistas across the high plateau to other mountains in the Front Range and San Juans are also epic.  Go during the aspen colors for an even more spectacular hike.  5.75 miles RT.

A few of the peaks that can be seen from the summit of Mt. Elbert - the highest point in the Rocky Mountains! San Isabel National Forest, Colorado

A few of the peaks that can be seen from the summit of Mt. Elbert – the highest point in the Rocky Mountains!

Mt. Elbert.  As Rocky Mountain’s highest peak (and the second highest point in the continental US), Mt. Elbert does offer a pretty outstanding view of multiple peaks in the Sawatch Range, from the Maroon Bells to nearby Mt. Massive and far beyond.  9.3 miles RT.

Sawatch Range, ridges, and lakes from near Fitzpatrick Peak, San Isabel National Forest, Colorado

Sawatch Range, ridges, and lakes from near Fitzpatrick Peak

Fitzpatrick Peak.  The road to Tincup Pass (no so very) near Buena Vista is epic in itself – you’ll need high clearance and maybe even 4×4 to reach the pass proper – but the views from the mountains surrounding the pass are incredible across vast sections of the Sawatch Range.  And the best part?  There isn’t a paved road in sight!  About 3 miles RT

The back side of some of the Maroon Bells from Buckskin Pass, Colorado

The back side of some of the Maroon Bells from Buckskin Pass

Buckskin Pass.  The Maroon Bells are awesome, but how about hiking around to see their back side?  Just as epic as the front (well, maybe not quite, but still awe-inducing), it’s worth the hike up to Buckskin Pass for this as well as the jaw-dropping views of 14er Snowmass Mountain.  9.6 miles RT.

Views from Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Views from Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park

Flattop Mountain / Hallett Peak.  Really, if you only have time for one hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, this is probably the one to take.  The views from Hallett Peak are far-reaching across the park (not to mention Long’s Peak), and in the spring / early summer when snow still blankets the peaks, it’s nothing short of a dream come true… or something like that.  10.3 miles RT.

 

Do you have a favorite mountain view on a dayhike through Colorado?

 

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