Thursday, December 8, 2016

5 Great Day Hiking Trails in Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Chapin Creek Trail
Rocky Mountain National Park
All too often, national park visitors find themselves limited to the popular sites without easy access to the wild interior. The Old Fall River Road solves that problem for Rocky Mountain National Park visitors. A great hike to take from the road is the Chapin Creek Trail, which offers opportunities to see moose and elk on a primitive path. It can be hiked about 1.6-miles round trip to the creek crossing or 6.6-miles round trip on a mostly backcountry route to the Poudre Trail.

Badger House Community Trail
Mesa Verde National Park
Families can learn how a forest recovers from fire and then explore six centuries of Anasazi village ruins, including a great kiva and a mysterious tunnel, on the Badger House Community Trail at Mesa Verde National Park. The 2.5-mile trail sits atop the Weterhill Mesa in the Colorado park, which represents the United States’ largest archaeological preserve. More than 600 ruins can be found across 81.4 square miles.

Best Trails at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Among the best ways to see Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park’s major sights is via a day hike. Just three short trails will allow you to enjoy each of the park’s highlights – the steep river canyon, the world’s fastest bird, and rare mountain wildlife.

BONUS: Avoid losing your breath at high altitudes
When hiking at high altitudes – usually above 5,000 feet – losing your breath is easy, especially when exerting yourself with a child carrier or pack on your back. But you can keep from losing your breath in the thin air by using the simple technique of pressure breathing.

Learn more about national park day hiking trails in my Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks series.