My three day road trip with Ana and Jordan through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado left all of us in love with state and of course, hiking (and those views). Jordan breaks down some hiking tips to know, especially if you aren’t used to high altitude destinations, as well as on of our favorite Colorado hikes:
Want to test your fitness? Go on a hike in the high altitudes of Colorado! Our favorite part of the trip was definitely the hikes, but needless to say the altitude got to us a bit! When we say Colorado is breathtaking… we mean it quite literally!
- Our best tips would be to bring a water bottle and constantly fill it up!
It helps tremendously with the altitude and is also a necessity for a hike! We each brought our own bottles (I would bring one like a Swell or Yeti that stays cold) and purchased a gallon of water at the gas station and used that to fill up our bottles! We found it much easier than purchasing and carrying around multiple water bottles.
- Know your own abilities and fitness level and choose the right hike!
Even though we were all decently in shape, the high elevation of Colorado (8,000 feet where we were staying!) compared to living at sea level in Florida is a bit different. The thinner air can be hard to get used to so choose an appropriate hike with an altitude gain your comfortable with. We stayed around 500 to 1000 max alt. gain and easy to moderate trails. Alltrails.com has information on a lot of trails in Colorado and even reviews! You can filter by things like level, alt. gain, what the trail leads to, and so on when you search too!
Lesson is, just be smart and know what you can and can not do!
You obviously need to eat to fuel your body before a hike, but during is just as important. The longer and more strenuous it gets, the more food you should bring to snack on when you stop to have a water break!
- My favorite tip, be spontaneous!
Honestly, the itinerary we’ve compiled resulted from being spontaneous and asking locals etc. and it’s what made it so unique! Most of our favorite things happened when we saw a sign towards something and just pulled over. Like the Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir we found on our drive to Aspen, which we would have missed out if our lovely driver, Carley, didn’t want to turn off at every scenic outlook possible. Honestly, the scenic outlooks were where we got the best pictures and they break up the drive! So, BE SPONTANEOUS!
What to pack?
For a weekend trip you have to pack just the essentials! So, what do you need?
Firstly, multiple bottoms, you’re going to get dirty and sweaty. I recommend one pair a day whether that’s yoga pants or shorts (or whatever is weather appropriate)! Multiple tops (duh) and a jacket of some kind! Our best suggestion is a flannel, they’re easy to pack, keep you warm and can easily tie around your waist (and still look cute) while you hike! I also brought one waterproof jacket, which I didn’t end up using but it barely takes up space and it’s good to have just in case, because hiking soaking wet isn’t fun! Also, don’t forget a backpack, they’re the easiest thing to use while you hike!
Now onto one of my favorite Colorado hikes:
Lily Pad Lake
The first hike we did blew us away and if you stay in Silverthorne it’s just up the road. It’s just a short drive to the Meadow Creek Trailhead, which leads to Lily Pad Lake. It’s a little more than 3 miles with gorgeous mountain views that overlooks the Dillon Reservoir and leads you to waterfalls, cute bridges, and ends on the serene Lily Pad Lake.
So why is this really one of my favorite Colorado hikes? Every turn on this trail is uniquely gorgeous, whether it’s a hidden waterfall, or the beautiful changing colors of the leaves (especially the Aspens!), or scenic overlooks that gives you the perfect view of the reservoir. Seriously, it took us ages to do this hike because we couldn’t stop taking pictures (which is also a convenient time to take a break and catch your breath)!
We flew the drone to get some gorgeous panoramic views of the changing colors of the trees (see below!) against the gorgeous blue reservoir and those pictures pretty much sum up the beauty of this hike! Follow @thenomadicdreamers on instagram to see more drone pics!!
The other benefit of this hike is that it wasn’t crowded. We had a few people pass us (and everyone is always so friendly) but for the most part it was quiet and secluded, which we loved. ALSO, huge plus: there are a lot of dogs that do this hike, so you can soak up the view and some puppy love, what more could you want?
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This was the perfect hike to start us off and we highly recommend it for both its convenience to Silverthorne as well as its views and the overall experience it gives you! Let us know if you go on this hike and tell us what you thought!