Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Trail: This trail system offers something for everyone. With over 105 miles of trails, backpackers of all skill levels looking for treks that are from easy to strenuous will find a great backpacking opportunity to see some of the greatest scenery along the Sawatch Range. The Continental Divide runs along 40 miles of the peaks of this mountain range. There are eight peaks along these trails that are over 14,000 feet. There are small day hikes available, but for those looking for a weekend backpacking adventure, these trails offer plenty of overnight camping opportunities with views that simply cannot be beat. While permits are not required, visitors are encouraged to register at trail heads.
Red Rock Canyon Trails: Visit some lands that have been in use for at least 9,000 years. This location attracted early settlers in Colorado. The area near Fountain Creek made a perfect landing place for early settlers. This is a family-friendly trek that can be completed in as little as half a day. Bring yourself back in time and take a look at this great land as the settlers saw it on the Red Rock Canyon Trails. This is an easy backpacking adventure to start with. Some trails can easily be done in half a day. Maps are available from the store at the visitors' center. This day hike is a great adventure, but hikers are asked to stay on the ground. While there are many rocks to scale, they should be attempted by only seasoned rock climbers. Check local regulations in Colorado Springs before you attempt to rock climb as certain areas and heights are subject to steep fines if climbers are found there.
Rocky Mountain National Park: This park is for more experienced backpackers and those used to higher elevations. It does, however, provide some amazing scenery and great camping opportunities. A backcountry/wilderness permit is needed to camp overnight and can be picked up at the Beaver Meadows visitors' Center Backcountry Office or at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Keep in mind the physical condition of the person with the least backpacking experience in your group when looking at the topo maps to decide your routes. Also keep in mind that higher elevations such as those found here can take days for some to become accustomed to. It is recommended that you spend at least one night at the lowest levels of the park (about 7,000) feet before climbing higher to avoid any high altitude sickness.
Needle Mountains Loop: This backpacking adventure is difficult, and for more experienced backpackers, but it is worth working up to. Eldorado Lake is a great place to make camp. It will take some doing, but you will be amazed by the scenery as well as the wildlife that is common on this trail system. Be sure that you are prepared to tackle this loop, however. It is not for the casual half-day traveler. Some suggest allowing a full week to complete this loop. This loop can be accessed twenty miles out of Durango, Colorado.
Glacier Gorge: You will marvel at the power of glaciers and the amazing landscape they leave behind on this moderate to difficult backpacking adventure. Glacier Gorge is located inside the Rocky Mountains National Park and is frequented by hundreds of hikers and backpackers every month that the weather allows. Plan your adventure carefully and you will come home with memories that are amazing beyond your dreams. There is one camp site available, so it is recommended to book a campsite early to ensure availability. There are also great opportunities to do some fishing while you're on your backpacking adventure in Glacier Gorge.
There are hundreds of miles of backpacking and hiking trails in Colorado. With mountains and streams and amazing rock formations, you are sure not to be disappointed with any adventure you take in the untamed outdoors of Colorado. In general, this state truly does have some of the most incredibly scenery as well as great backpacking opportunities for packers of all skill levels.