The mountainous terrain of Colorado makes the state a mecca for all types of adventurous activities from hiking to mountaineering, hot air ballooning, and whitewater rafting. Hiking, in particular, is one of the most exciting things one can do in Colorado and while many hikes cater to the needs of all levels of adventurers, these are best left for the experienced adventurers with a lot of stamina.

10 Mount Elbert

Hiking the highest mountain in Colorado might not pose many hazards but that does not mean it does not come with its challenges. The steep trail is nine miles long and it features a total elevation gain of 4,700 feet from the start of the trail to the 14,440 feet peak of the mountain. Sudden weather changes and thunder strikes are some challenges hikers will face on this trail. Despite all that challenge, Mount Elbert is still considered one of the easiest hikes in Colorado, and the views of the mountain ranges from the peak are amazing.

9 North Maroon Peak

North Maroon Peak is a long and steep hike that takes up to nine hours to complete. While hiking the trail to the 14,014 feet peak, hikers will be exposed to potential rockfalls and weather changes. Careful route planning and a lot of time are required to hike this trail.

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8 Little Bear Peak

This hike is one of the most technical hikes in Colorado as it takes hikers to the 14,037 feet peak of the mountain. The hike is more than 14 miles long and is one of the most difficult in the state. At any time on the hike, there’s a high possibility of rockfalls. With such a long length, it will take more than 10 hours to complete this hike hence the need for hikers to begin as early as possible. The mountain is sometimes filled with snow which makes summer the best time to hike the trail after the snow must have melted.

7 Longs Peak

Longs Peak is best left for the truly adventurous. It is the only 14er in the Rocky Mountain National Park and is one of the must-do activities for those visiting the park. The mountain rises to an elevation of 14,255 feet and the trail leads right to this point but many hikers do not make it this far. The steep trail is more than 15 miles long and hikers will experience dehydration, unpredictable weather, and altitude sickness. It takes up to 15 hours to overcome this trail and hikers must be physically fit and also experienced in mountaineering. While getting to the peak of the mountain is extremely difficult, it is not the end of the adventure. In fact, the way down is the most difficult part of the hike at Longs Peak.

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6 Pyramid Peak

At 8 miles long, Pyramid Peak is shorter than many other hikes in the Rocky Mountains. The trail leads to the 14,018 feet summit of the mountain, taking hikers through more than nine hours of difficult terrain and rockfalls. The rockfall is the most challenging part of the hike and the mountain goats in the area make hikers even more vulnerable to this. A helmet is necessary to stay safe at Pyramid Peak.

5 Sunlight Peak

A jagged route and a blinding exposure to sunlight are some challenges hikers will be faced with at sunlight peak. Sunlight peak is 17 miles long and most hikers generally complete it in approximately 11 hours. Scrambling is necessary to get to the 14,059 feet summit of the mountain. During the hike, one will be presented with views of scenic streams and forested areas as well as elevated views of the entire landscape at the peak.

4 Hanging Lake Trail

Hanging Lake is one of the unique hikes one can take in Colorado. Unlike other difficult hiking trails in Colorado, this trail begins at the foot of Glenwood Canyon and leads to the unique Hanging Lake. Hanging Lake Trail is only 1.2 miles long but it is extremely difficult. Hikers on this trail will be faced with a steep and rocky trail with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. While it is difficult, the views of the waterfall and the lake at the end of the hike are amazing.

3 Wilson Peak

Wilson Peak is one of Colorado’s most difficult 14ers. Located in the San Juan Mountains, Wilson Peak rises to an elevation of 14,017 feet, and hikers who seek to reach that elevation must be ready to scramble past a steep trail while getting completely exposed to the bright sun. Many trails lead to this peak and Rock of Ages - the most popular is 9 miles long and takes approximately 10 hours to complete.

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2 Handies Peak

Handies Peak is an exciting 5-mile hike to the 14,048 feet summit of Handies Peak. From the summit, the views of the San Juan Mountains will be beautifully laid out but this reward is only for those who can overcome the steep trail and handle the elevation gain. Some parts of the trail can get dangerously wet due to snowfall. Despite those little challenges, Handles Peak is a 14er that can be considered easy for hikers in Colorado, to begin with.

1 Capitol Peak

Like many challenging hikes in Colorado, Capitol peak is a combination of hiking and mountaineering as it is one of Colorado’s 14ers. As one of the most difficult hikes in Colorado, this 17-mile hike is characterized by scrambling and it takes up to nine hours to complete the hike. Those with the guts to take on the challenge should ensure they begin the hike as early as possible as the sunlight can cause a lot of inconveniences. Hikers will experience rock falls, high exposure, and some serious elevation gain but the scenery at the end of the hike is worth all that difficulty.