Welcome to the Town of Empire, Colorado. 41 state parks, 12 national parks, 13 national forests and 58 14ers; all sum up to of miles of hiking trails in Colorado that you are going to explore. By the way, 14ers are the peaks that are more than 14,000 feet above sea level.
Colorado is made for hiking and we provide you with the best hiking boot women and men should use. Contact our front-desk for more information. You can go on casual strolls or do hard-core hiking. There are views here which you won’t find anywhere else.
These are the 4 best hiking trails which are around an hour drive from Empire:
i) Chautauqua Park, Boulder
Boulder is one hour drive from Empire, and the three peaks over the iconic Flatirons make for an excellent hike of a moderate difficulty. At the base, the park and scenic area have something for everyone. Families can set up their picnic camp, and the rock climbers can take up the Gregory Canyon Trailhead towards the 8,150 feet peak. This is the most popular one. Next, the Green Bear Trail takes you to the 8,460 feet peak which provides the best 360-degree view. Last in the line is the 8,549 feet peak, decorated with boulders. The big meadow that surrounds the trails only have swaying grasses, but you may find flowers too. You can end your hike through the South Misa Trailhead.
ii) Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
There are quite some hiking trails in this park. Serious hikers can complete the climb to the Longs Peak, the tallest peak in the park. This 14.5-mile round trip is challenging, but the reward is breathtaking. For the strollers, the Bear Lake area is best. You can see some spectacular reflections of the Longs Peak in the water. If you are a little more energetic, take the one-way hike to the Fern Lake Trailhead. Along the way, there are magnificent lakes and a 60-foot waterfall as well as some wildlife. Take the shuttle on the way back. Then there are the pools known as the Lion Lakes. Most of this 12-mile trail is smooth. It takes almost two hours though, to reach Estes Park.
iii) Roxborough State Park, Littleton
The Fountain Valley Loop Trail is less than an hour drive from Empire. Birds in the blue sky, red rocks and grassy fields are the familiar sights. You can see deer grazing around hiking through this 2.3 miles long one-way trail. The rest of the group can take the park’s own shuttle bus to see the beauty around.
iv) Mount Elbert Peak, Leadville
Driving for an hour will take you to Leadville. And here you can start for the highest peak (14,433 feet) in Colorado. It is a friendly hike via the 9-mile Mount Elbert Trail and anyone with an excellent physical condition can reach the peak. It’s quite a feeling of being on the top. Beware of false summits, views are impressive though.
The trail to the second highest peak, 14,420 feet Mount Massive, is also near the Mount Elbert Trailhead; just across the street.