As the Colorado backcountry starts to thaw out, it’s time to look ahead and start planning your next backpacking adventure. StorQuest Self Storage is here to help you fill out the ultimate list of trails to explore this season. Here are five of our favorites near Denver.
Before hitting the trail and venturing into the backcountry, be sure to do your research, gather all the appropriate gear, acquire any necessary permits, and take all the proper precautions.
Devils Thumb & King Lake Loop
Explore the Indian Peak Wilderness with this 17-mile loop hike. Trek through stunning high-alpine landscape that includes seven 13,000-foot peaks, several alpine lakes, incredible forest vistas, and remnants of Colorado’s storied mining history. Begin your journey at the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland, just over an hour north of Denver. This punishing hike climbs more than 3,500 feet. Devils Thumb Lake is a great place to set up camp for the night, as it puts much of the route’s steepest climbing in the rearview.
Lost Creek Wilderness Loop
This roughly 30-mile trip into the rugged wilderness outside of Fairplay offers up epic views of dense forests, towering granite formations, and countless Rocky Mountain peaks. Prime camping spots are easy to come by along the way. Begin your adventure at the Lost Creek Trailhead, which takes about an hour to reach from Denver. Be sure to do your research before setting out. You’ll definitely want to reserve at least a couple of days for this amazing hike.
A crystal-clear high alpine lake flanked by towering 14ers? Yes, please. That’s precisely the payoff you’ll get when you make the trek to Abyss Lake, which sits between 14,265-foot Mount Evans and 14,060-foot Mount Bierstadt. With more than 3,000 feet of elevation gain and tops out at more than 12,000 feet, this 17ish-mile out-and-back hike isn’t for the faint of heart. But the killer views can’t be beat. You’ll find the Abyss Trailhead about 20 miles south of Georgetown on Guanella Pass Road, just over an hour west of Denver. Plan to tackle this epic hike in two or three days. There are ample spots to camp along the way. Do a little research and stake out the best spots. Then hit the trail!
At 10 miles, you could do this one in a day, but think of all the awesome camping you’d miss out on. This venture into the Mount Evans Wilderness begins at Echo Lake Trailhead just outside Idaho Springs. That’s about an hour west of Denver on I-70. You’ll travel past crystal-clear alpine lakes, get an up-close look at three 13,000-foot peaks (Mount Evans, Mount Spaulding, and Mount Warren), and maybe spot elk or even a mountain goat. There are plenty of fantastic spots to camp along the way. It’s definitely worth a summer weekend.
Conundrum Creek Trailhead
We’re stretching the definition of near Denver for this one, but we just can’t leave it out. Not with such an awesome payoff at the end – a refreshing soak in a hot springs pool. That’s right. This 18ish-mile hike, which starts near Aspen and is best navigated as a two-day adventure. We promise you: It’s worth the four-hour drive to Aspen. Not only will you be rewarded with a dip in the warm Conundrum Hot Springs waters, but you’ll be treated to some awesome views as you trek through the Maroon Bells Wilderness. Be prepared to work for it, though, as the trail climbs more than 2,700 feet along the way. Oh, and make sure to clear room for a beverage or two in the backpack. By the time you’re soaking in the hot springs, you’ll have earned it!
Create the Ultimate Adventure Locker
Need a home for all that backpacking gear between backcountry adventures? Turn to StorQuest Denver’s 60th Street location. We have self storage units in all shapes and sizes, including climate-controlled spaces, to help keep your stuff in mint condition.