Summer in Colorado seems great and even you can create beautiful memory in your lifetime by spending your time for backpacking. It is a must to backpack in the mountains of Colorado. This activity is worth to try that the places you should not miss for its beauty. Even if you need to carry extra weight, setting up a camp, watching the stars, and waking up with the beautiful sunrise are the awards afterward. At first, the activity can be intimidating. But, we hope that you know these places are great for new hikers. Here are the 3 easy destinations all hikers must visit!
1. Sandbeach Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park)
The destination is the popular hiking and backpacking option in the park. You can reach the lake after hiking for about 4.4 miles. To do this activity, the starting point will be from the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead, located in the Wild Basin section of the park. The Wild Basin is not as crowd as other places in the destinations, but the length of the hikes and the beauty in front of you are waiting for your coming. You will see the grandest scenery such as the ancient bristlecone pines at the shore, the native greenback cutthroat trout, and others.
In addition, the Sandbeach Lake provides backcountry campsites. Nevertheless, you have to get a permit by purchasing it at the backcountry office, exactly next to the Rocky Mountain National Park’s visitor center. Talking about the trail, it offers moderate trail with clear marks that you can even easily navigate the destinations. The hike to the lake is dominated by uphill. After hiking at 1.4 miles, you can reach the Meeker Park Trail and then follow the sign so you can reach Sandbeach Lake. During hiking, it is good to keep your eyes for turkey, ptarmigan, deer, moose, and pine squirrels.
Hiking boots, water, lunch, jacket, camera, tripod, backpack, flyrod, and barbless flies
The features of the lake are:
Easy parking, family friendly, scenic lake and forest with the addition of wildlife
The out-and-back trail type with 9 miles of distance and 2000 feet of elevation gain makes the trail is perfect for a beginner. You can visit the area in any season to do some great things like fishing, camping, snowshoeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking.
2. Rogers Peak and Heart Lakes (The James Peak Wilderness)
Rogers and Heart Lake, both lakes offer breathtaking views located in the James Peak Wilderness. You can even reach the lakes after hiking a 4-mile trail. The starting point of your hike is from the East Portal Trailhead. The lakes are at the treeline with various opportunities to build your tent. For the peaks, they surround the lakes to create an amazing backdrop. For this reason, the place is a great destination to relax. Eventually, you can do more adventurous things such as reaching several summits of the mountains around the area. Nevertheless, doing this also means you have to deal with the short and steep trail to climb.
If you want to start camping in this area, you will be happy because you don’t even need to deal with the permits. Unfortunately, there are some restrictions to follow. For example, you should only use gas stoves and there should be no campfires. Other than that, you should build your campsite 100 feet away from the water sources.
If you want to camp, here is the standard camping gear:
Tent, stove, sleeping bag, and lights
Here is the pack list:
Daypack, extra layers, hiking boots, water, snacks, first aid kit, and snowshoes for winter and spring trip
With out-and-back trail type, we think it is best to go the destination in summer and autumn. It requires an intermediate skill level to hike with 8.75 miles to reach and 2200 feet of elevation gain to deal with. You can do some activities such as fishing, camping, backpacking, hiking, and photography.
Here are the features of the lakes:
Dog-friendly, lake, river, forest, waterfall, wildflowers, wildlife, and parking area
3. Crystal Lakes (Close To Breckenridge)
Breckenridge offers popular and beautiful views, especially for backpackers and campers. Therefore, it is one of the highlights in this trail. Even if you can go to the lower lake with your car, we recommend you to walk for 2.5 miles right from the Spruce Creek Trailhead. To do your camping, mostly campers do it at the lower like. It does not a matter if you want to camp at the upper lake but it takes 1.9 miles more. If you head to this area during weekends, the place will be so busy. But, if you go there during the week, you can find the ample camping spots, especially around the lake.
When you head up to the Lower Crystal Lake, you should keep an eye out for elk and moose. Eventually, you can find other animals such as marmot, pica, porcupine, ptarmigan, bighorn sheep and also mountain goat.
We recommend this hiking option if you want to enjoy the lake view campsites with your partners. Besides, it is the best place for fishing and enjoying the wildlife. With 3 miles of hike or drive to camp, this place is great for an overnight backpacking trip.
Here is the pack list:
Tent, camping essentials, high clearance car, fishing gear, hiking gear
The area features some great things such as the lake, the wildlife, and the wildflowers. It is okay to bring your dogs here and it is a great place to hike with your family. The place is great for intermediate hikers. If you want to enjoy the best views, we recommend you to come in spring, summer, or autumn. What things to do here? Well, there are quite many such as photography, fishing, camping, hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing.
Those are all the popular options when you want to backpack in Colorado’s Front Range. We promise that the breathtaking views will make you love to stay more here. Come on, it is the time to forget all your busy days. Leave your workspace and take some days to relax. Enjoy!