Looking for a weekend getaway in Colorado?
Here are some places you might want to explore
1. Deadman Lookout
For a weekend getaway in Colorado, if you’re looking to go somewhere with hiking, kayaking, biking, and sightseeing, plan a weekend getaway in Colorado to Red Feather Lakes in Northern Colorado. One recommended sight in the area is the Deadman Lookout. After 13 miles of driving on a dirt road, you end up in a parking lot. Climb roughly 6 flights of stairs and you’ll be greeted by a volunteer who watches over the fire tower. The knowledgable volunteer there will be sure to point out all the mountain ranges that you can see; from Rocky Mountain National Park to the Snowy Mountain Range. If you’re lucky, you will be able to see moose in the valley below. It truly is a special experience, and I highly recommend it, as a weekend getaway in Colorado, to anyone who enjoys breathtaking views. The volunteers who keep places like this Historic Fire Tower accessible are amazing. Be sure to thank them.
2. Maroon Bells
If you are looking to explore in the greater Aspen area during your weekend getaway in Colorado, Maroon Bells is the poster child for must-see landscapes. While often quite busy, it is still worth going and taking in the serenity of the mountains. Maroon Bells are touted as the most photographed place in Colorado, and you’ll quickly see why. To help reduce the crowds and increase the views, I would highly recommend going at sunrise. Only then does the light paint the surfaces of the mountain peaks an array of oranges, reds, and purples. Located just 10 miles west of Aspen or 16 from Snowmass, the 14,000-foot peaks truly epitomize the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. This might be the perfect weekend getaway in Colorado. Hiking trails provide access to plenty of photo-worthy scenes in the White River National Forest.
3. Emerald Lake
If you need an easier option for your weekend getaway in Colorado, consider shorter hikes and see more of them. For a relatively short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park with four different lakes, start at the Bear Lake Trailhead. To begin, you have the option to walk the loop around the entire lake for an easy, accessible, and short walk, totalling about 0.8 miles round-trip. However, to get the full experience, I suggest you continue on to Nymph Lake. The trailhead at Bear Lake splits off to the right and is about a 0.5-mile walk. From there, you can continue for another 0.6 miles to get to Dream Lake. And finally you’ll send at Emerald Lake, which is just another 0.6 miles further. I recommend making this a sunrise hike, as there is lower traffic and sunrise at Emerald is beautiful. The trip adds up to a 3.5 mile hike, round-trip, and provides numerous scenic views along the way. A perfect option if you are looking for a one day weekend getaway in Colorado.
4. Chinns Lake
Chinns Lake Trail is a 2.7 mile out and back near Idaho Springs, CO. The trail may be used for hiking, biking, and if you have 4×4, you can drive to it. Having the proper vehicle, with a high clearance, is key as the road is quite technical. It is a wonderful place to camp, hang out, fish, and bring your doggies. There are even trails for mountain biking. Traffic on this hike is moderate from June until September. Great for taking a week day off and having the place to yourself. Elevation climb is only 728ft so an easy hike for any skill level. And if you’re lucky, again, you might even catch sight of a moose, but keep your distance. Safety First!
5. Snowy Mountain Range
Last but not least, the Snowy Mountain Range. Alright, I know this isn’t in Colorado, but it is a relatively easy drive depending on where you’re coming from. While a part of me didn’t want to include this location, as many people in Colorado tend to head south for epic mountain scenery, the Snowy Mountain Range is breathtaking and significantly less busy than just about anywhere in Colorado. There is hiking for all skill-levels, biking, and scenic driving. The trail that we chose to ride bikes on, Gap Lake Trail, was particularly amazing, however, I strongly suggest just hiking it.
As conditions to any of these locations may be subject to change, and are highly weather dependent, be sure to check the accessibility through the Forest Service website. And as always, remember if you pack it in, pack it out. Let’s take care of our beloved outdoor spaces.
Get out and enjoy these Colorado weekend getaway locations!