The United States of America has many faces. From great plains of the Midwest to the picturesque slopes of the Appalachian Mountains in the east, there is an eclectic mixture of locales and topography for you to savor, as long as you know what you want. Still, you could say that, of all US states, Colorado offers a particularly interesting mixture of geographic elements. It is a captivating patch of Americana to hike through, so if you are an avid backpacker, here is some basic info on the most interesting tracks, safety, and gear.
Hiking through spectacular landscapes is an immensely rewarding experience. It can be a peaceful adventure, something akin to a pilgrimage and an introspective journey. However, if you want to treat yourself with the best possible experience such as that, you have to make an extra effort during preparation.
If you don’t know what to pack for a backpacking trip without dragging half of your household along, just start with the basics and take it from there. At least an extra hiking outfit, as an appropriate change of clothes, should count into your luggage – and this includes a comfortable shirt and shorts, hiking shoes, several pairs of athletic socks and underpants.
Sunglasses and hats come in particularly handy and don’t forget to pack a sunscreen lotion for the journey. It should be a part of your first aid kit which also includes pain-killers, antihistamines, mosquito spray, disinfectants, bandages, gauze and sterile dressing pads. These are only the basics, of course.
The first aid kit is only one aspect of your ‘safety net’ that should be prioritized over needless clothing and accessories for the hiking trip. A working compass, reliable lighter, knife, at least two light sources, the map of Colorado (or a specific Colorado national park you are visiting) along with extra food and water – these are other crucial aspects of that safety net.
Apart from a backpacking tent with a comfy sleeping bag, your gear assembly should include a portable stove and at least some basic utensils. For example, a spork can go a long way, even though it is a type of item that is often ridiculed in pop-culture. For any and all additional information you can check out GearWeAre.com
Tracks to take
Fountain Valley Trail
Boxborough State Park is located around 45 minutes from Denver by car, and its topography is truly a sight to behold. The Fountain Valley Trail that cuts through the park is not particularly long, but it is well worth the trip. Due to its short length, it can be an opportune experience for families with children. Gigantic slabs of orange rock protrude out of the slopes like the scales on the back of some chthonic dragon. The way they contrast with eucalyptian blue haze of the skies and distant ranges is truly a breathtaking natural composition. It will make you feel as if you are transported to an enchanted realm akin to the one from the Middle Earth films.
Length: 2,3 miles.
Four Lakes and Waterfall Loop Hike
The Rocky Mountain National park boasts numerous picturesque trails, so if you’d be forced to pick one out of the bunch, you should embark on Four Lakes and Waterfall loop hike. It is not a challenging trail by any stretch of the imagination, but be prepared for a quality leg exercise as you gawk at the titular four lakes and their diverse appearance. Waterfalls, set against fir trees and rugged rocky peaks that cut across the sky are the name of the game here. You’ll finally get a chance to witness why Alberta Falls are so widely lauded by the people that visited the park before.
Length: 6,4 miles.
Maroon Bells Hikes
While the above-mentioned trails can be considered somewhat close to Denver, you’ll have to delve deeper into the Colorado hinterland to reach Maroon Bells Hikes. Located in a reasonable vicinity to Aspen, Maroon Bells Hikes is an easygoing hiking experience that you should take up simply due to the iconic beauty of the surrounding nature. Truly, the landscapes beneath the Maroon Bells peaks are just as beautiful as the stories make it up to be, if not more. You can expect cascades, aspens, and lakes on the assembly of trails which vary in length depending on your preferences.
Length: 1 mile to 13 miles.
If you can afford a guide for your Colorado hiking adventure, it would be prudent to have someone along for the trip. Even if you are a solo traveler, you can seek out a professional guide with a lot of experience under their belt in the Colorado wilderness – and they will know not to impose, only lending a helping hand when it’s needed.
Plus, due to their knowledge of the terrain, you can savor more out of the surrounding landscape. They will add a factor of security and safety to the entire experience, and they will have that extra piece of gear if your equipment assembly ends up lacking.
If you’ve got your eyes set on Colorado as the ultimate American adventure state, there is hardly a better way to explore its rugged landscapes than through guided hiking expeditions. The backcountry is positively brimming with diverse topographical features and legendary sites that are as renowned around the world as they are in the US. As long as you (and your group) are well-prepared, this should be one of the most enjoyable escapades of your lifetime. The articles such as this should be a thorough jumping-off point for further research, though if you are a newcomer to Colorado, hardly any track will disappoint you.