From the snowy peaks of the Rockies to Colorado's four beautiful national parks, beautiful vistas are something we're known for. While you're here, why not spend some time on the hiking trail? With over 5,683 trails spanning more than 17,000 miles across the state, there's certainly something for everyone.
If you're visiting Colorado this November 17th, consider celebrating National Hiking Day. The awareness day encourages us to appreciate, preserve, and protect our trails by hiking safely and responsibly. It also celebrates the ways hiking can benefit people of all ages, including physical fitness, a boost to psychological well being, and even improvements to cognition.
Hiking is an ideal vacation activity for families, especially in the face of COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Colorado has trails for everyone from the youngest beginner to the most experienced novice, so it's not hard to find something that's appropriate for your family's needs. Kids in particular reap some unique advantages from their time spent hiking, including improved focus1, better judgement2, more refined social skills3, and a boost to executive function4.
Hiking Safety Tips
If you and your family are hitting the trails, it's important to follow the safety guidelines found here. A basic summary:
Choose a trail that's appropriate for your family's experience and fitness levels
Always bring an appropriate amount of supplies, including food, water, safety gear, dry clothes, and a means of communication
Have a contact off the trail who knows where you should be and will anticipate your safe return
Prepare for weather changes you may be unaccustomed to; in fall and winter months, anticipate low light impacting visibility and plan your hiking time accordingly
If you're hiking in a higher altitude than you're used to, allow your body to acclimate, and don't strain yourself; higher altitudes can make breathing more difficult, and can be risky for those with asthma or other breathing difficulties
Looking for the perfect hiking trail for your family? Take a look at our curated list.