The Top 4 Hiking Trails in Colorado

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

Chautauqua Park, BoulderBoulder 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

Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes ParkThere 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

Roxborough State Park, LittletonThe 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.

Why is Colorado an Awesome Place to Have a Vacation?

Whether you are planning a romantic get away, a family trip or even just an escape weekend with your friends, Colorado is the place to go. Colorado has a year long vacation experience designed to fit every single one of your desires.

Numerous outdoor experiences to choose from as well as many resorts promoting complete relaxation and extreme activities.

Colorado for VacationNot to mention that Colorado is one of the few States that recreational marijuana is permitted, which has led to making cannabis very easy, and legal, to get making it an innovative industry that offers many cannabis-friendly resorts and experiences.

Start your trip arriving at Denver or better known as the Mile High City (precisely because of its altitude compared to sea level), Colorado’s capital, which has the largest airport in the whole United States.

The capital itself has many things to do like the Denver Zoo, walks across the city park or the botanical garden, the 120 years old Denver Art Museum which is always promoting top notch fine arts exhibitions and educational tours. Denver even has an amusement park, the Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park.

Colorado water parkIf you’re getting out of Denver in spring or summer then you can enjoy a numerous list of things, just to name a few you can do; the canyons in Ouray, descending and climbing them back up all while enjoying the stunning views they offer.

Fly fishing in Minturn getting the chance to watch the aerial view of Vail Valley before descending to do some fishing. You can even go sailing at Lake Dillon or go mountain biking through the numerous mountains that Colorado offers. One of our favorites is enjoying the Aurora sunflower fields, a yellow paradise of flowers.

Also, attend to the Breckenridge Mountain Arts Festival that is held three times in summer where artist from all over the country gather to show off their skills in wood carvings and sculpturing.

The good thing about Colorado is that the fun does not end in summer, it continues in fall and winter where numerous resorts are available such as the famed Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Winter Park, amongst a lot other world class ski resorts.

Colorado Winter parkThe Rocky Mountains of Colorado in winter makes tourists from all over the world gather around and enjoy skiing or snowboarding. We recommend the St. Regis Aspen Resort or the Beaver Creek Resort where you’ll be able to enjoy hikes, great skiing mountains, and even have the little ones in the family learn how to ski in the ski school.

If getting out of Denver and going to one of the resorts above or amenities then be sure to drive by Empire Colorado, a stationary and very rich in history town that is famous for its beautiful accommodations and attractions such as the eternal Peck House, the original Hard Rock Cafe, Jenny’s Restaurant.

This town may also serve as a good bathroom stop having the cleanest restrooms of Colorado allegedly and being a great access door to buying some recreational marijuana on your way to enjoying one of the best vacations ever in Colorado.

A Brief History of Empire Colorado

When it comes to history in the United States, many places and events come to mind, but few have as much history as the town of Empire. A town that’s been part of the Colorado territory long before Colorado was even declared a state in 1876.

Heart of the Rocky MountainsLocated in the valley of Clear Creek County, right on U.S. Highway 40 ~ Park Ave. Named after the State of New York and the Empire State Building, as the name suggests, Empire was expected by many to be a massive empire with a great abundance of gold and silver.

Now nicknamed ‘Heart of the Rocky Mountains’ and considered a mountain country because the town is surrounded by vast mountains like the Douglas mountain, the Lincoln mountain, the Covode mountain and the Republican & Democrat mountain, as well as a group of summits.

Empire Colorado HistoryEmpire was founded in 1860, right when the gold was found on that territory with the beginning of the Colorado Silver and Gold boom in the late 19th century. As a result, around 36,500 different mining planes and over 4000 mining operations took place in Empire truly expanding the city’s development.

During that time Empire was filled with miners and mines owners which led to the creation of the original Hard Rock Cafe, which is still actually open, named literally because of the miners having to mine tough rocks to extract the precious metals. We say original because it was created in 1934 in Empire’s Town Hall, way before the huge recognized line of hotels and casinos began.

Another big business that became almost a brand of Empire was the Peck House Hotel & Restaurant, which is also Peck House Hotelcurrently open and one of the most famous places in the town.

The mostly scaled gold and silver mining stopped around the beginning of World War II, and that has forced Empire to sustain off tourists, people that pass by to get to the bigger cities or resorts and, curiously enough, living off the new legal marijuana industry.

As of 2014, Empire’s size remains 0.2 square miles, and the population is 283, although it has never been a big populated town. Empire has always been a small town high on ambition.

Today, approximately five to six thousand (5000-6000) cars pass directly through Empire on U.S. 40 making it a quite active town trying to accommodate people to make a stop and get to know the place to get the sales tax flowing.

Surprisingly, as aforementioned, the legal marijuana industry has become some life savior for Empire since the marijuana laws were promulgated.

Only two legal marijuana dispensaries generate around one hundred thousand (100,000) dollars in sales tax. This is because most of the tourist when passing through the town, do not only make a stop to go to the bathroom or grab something to eat, they make a stop to buy the allowable amount permitted in Colorado and then continue their way to the nearby resort. Keep in mind though that only recreational marijuana is available in the town of Empire.

Tourist Guide – 4 Great Things to do in Empire Colorado

Since I’ve been a traveling enthusiast for many years, it happened on more than one occasion that my traveling was not going like it was planned. I’ve learned in those situations to relax and just go with the flow.

There are always bumps on the road, but with the right attitude, some unexpected situation might be the best thing that happened to you on your vacation. One time I got lost in Colorado, and somehow I ran into a beautiful place called Empire.

Great Things to do in Empire ColoradoAt first, I thought that I was in the middle of nowhere. I started to worry, but after some time I decided just to relax and to learn more about this part of the country.

Delicious food everywhere

At first, I was confused and happy to see Hard rock café which is the original hard rock café from 1934. Even though there is no connection with a famous chain of restaurants, the food was fantastic. I ate one of the best burgers I have ever tried, and people there were charming.

In every restaurant I’ve visited, I have felt this family atmosphere. Food is served with love, and it was like the secret spice of grandma’s cooking! Whether you try hot dogs, burgers or more traditional meals, you will enjoy in every single bite. Remember to save some spare room for one of the many dairy desserts that Colorado people are crazy for.

Hiking through incredible landscapes

Colorado HikingColorado is a country of many natural beauties. Not talking about #nofilter girls, but about those view breath takers. I have enjoyed walking all my life, so this part of a visit was the most special one for me.

Beautiful pine trees combined with mountain view made me feel like I would never want to leave this magnificent nature. I decided to hike through the wilderness but if you are visiting you should try mountain bike. It will rush your adrenaline, and you will still be able to enjoy sightseeing.

Camping in beautiful log houses

I am one of those people who is considering accommodation to be very important while traveling. There are many Colorado Camping in log housesexcellent accommodations here which will make your stay relaxing and comfortable.

I would suggest spending nights in an amazing log house. Imagine a beautiful winter evening, and you are cozy, warm, drinking a nice glass of wine in front of the fireplace. I haven’t slept that good in a while! The accommodation was very comfortable and good that I didn’t want to leave the bed, but the smell of a beautiful breakfast woke me up in a second.

Relaxing in a golf course

Personally, I have never been a fan of golf, but hitting few balls in nature with friends can be very relaxing and joyful.

Colorado golf courseExcellent and very famous golf courses are known not just among people from Colorado, but also many tourists come here just to play golf. Challengingly rocky terrain and amazing view while playing on them is one of the main reasons why professional golfers are visiting this beautiful court.

I have enjoyed my time here, and I will visit again during my road trips, simply because this place has everything that you need for relaxing vacation.



Located high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the small country town of Empire, The Peck House is the oldest hotel extant in the state. Many of the antiques used throughout the hotel came by oxcart with the Peck family in 1862. We’re located close to most major ski areas, Denver, Central City-Black Hawk casinos, Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic District and narrow gauge railroad, and on the road to Rocky mtn. National Park.

PO Box 428 Empire, CO. 303-569-9870 2 miles off I 70 in Empire Historic Hotels of the Rockies