We’re well into Spring and that means weekends are quickly filling up with hikes and time spent outdoors. We love when the weather warms up and people start popping up outside more and more. Physical activity is a crucial part of our health and fitness, especially when it comes to your cardiac fitness. With so many amazing places to hike and explore nature all the while increasing your cardiac health, springtime in Colorado is truly one of the best times of the year. Not sure where to start your 2018 hiking adventures as the snow starts to melt and the trails dry out, practically begging you to get out there? Here are some solid options in the foothills and within an hour of Denver to kickstart your list.
The Broadmoor Seven Falls
In Colorado Springs, just an hour outside of Denver, this particular trail is a must-see, though we’d recommend bringing a jacket this time of year. You know how it goes – when you’re around bodies of water the temperature tends to drop. Since this trail features seven cascading waterfalls, you’ll definitely be around water as you take in the gorgeous sights of seven whole waterfalls (what? that’s a lot of waterfalls!) while hiking at reasonable altitudes.
Alderfer Three Sisters Trail
A little closer to home, the Alderfer Three Sisters Trail features stunning rock formations and the ability to try your hand at some rock climbing and scrambling along with your hiking. There are plenty of opportunities on the trail to get the higher ground and look out over the majestic Rockies to really soak it all in. Located near Evergreen, this trail is a full 6.7 miles if you do the whole loop, but there are plenty of shorter options if you’re working your way up to longer distances and aren’t quite there yet.
Depending on the time of day, you very may well get the chance to see a herd of the trail’s namesake in the meadow at this wide open hiking spot. With hours worth of trails ready to be tackled, this is the perfect place less than an hour outside of Denver to spend an afternoon discovering hidden nooks, crossing unexpected bridges, and getting just the right amount of lost in the towering trees alongside the trail once you’re out of the meadow and in the thick of it.
If you’ve been living in Colorado long at all, you’ve heard the words Pike National Forest. If you’re looking for a sunnier hiking spot where you’re guaranteed to get your heart rate up as well as your core body temp, this is the one for you. Because some of the trails are still recovering from wildfire damage, there is less shade provided by trees, making it a warmer choice for those spring days where a chill is definitely still in the air. After all, if you’ve lived in Colorado long, you’ll also know the difference sun can make in how warm or cool it is out there. On the Chair Rocks trail in the National Forest, you’ll find some crazy cool rock formations that you won’t see anywhere else.
If you’re feeling the urge to say extra close to home, our friends to the northwest in Boulder have the beautiful Chataqua Park and the infamous Royal Arch to keep your eyes, lungs, and heart occupied for hours. Be advised, getting to the arch itself is no easy feat, but if you can make the 3.4 mile, strenuous loop, it’s worth it for the photo ops and the exercise.
There are a million more trails we could list, but then we wouldn’t be able to bring you more suggestions later this summer. Use these as a launching point and make some new friends on the trails – they might just have some hidden gems for you check out that you would never have discovered otherwise. Enjoy the weather, soak up the fresh air, and do something good for your heart this spring!