Our Favorite Colorado Backpacking Adventures

Colorado is legendary for it’s backpacking trails, magnificent campsites, and vast wildernesses, from Rocky Mountain National Park to the Indian, James, and Flattop Wildernesses. Miles of trails weave between unforgettable mountain scenery, sparkling alpine lakes, and bustling wildlife. In the miles of wilderness across Colorado, trails take backpackers meandering through some of America’s most iconic landscapes, from prairies, to mountains, lakes, and canyons. Our guides have led trips across some of Colorado’s most spectacular terrain, and they’ve shared some of our favorite Colorado backpacking adventures.


Rocky Mountain National Park


One of the gems of America’s National Parks is Rocky Mountain National Park, with it’s towering peaks, emerald alpine lakes, multitude of wildlife, and trails that weave into every corner of this magnificent wilderness. Rocky Mountain National Park has trails for every ability level, from lakeside campgrounds amongst rolling hills and sprawling plains, to deep secluded camps among the mountains. Backpacking through Rocky Mountain National Park either from the East or West sides have each their own merits, with a variety of wildlife and iconic peaks and landmarks across either way. The West end from Grand Lake, cuts across East Inlet with such peaks as Green Mountain, Lost Lake, the Never Summer Wilderness, and Mount Ida. The East trailhead features the Continental Divide including Hallett Peak and Fern Lake. Rocky Mountain is abounding with activities including fly-fishing in the legendary streams and lakes, exploring the peaks, and hiking nearby trails. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado and America’s premier backpacking destinations.


Flattop Wilderness


One of Colorado’s most one of a kind Wildernesses, the Flattop Wilderness, set west of Denver, is a unique set of soaring mesas over wooded forests and spectacular trails. The Flattop Wilderness and its famous Devil’s Causeway trail takes hikers across spectacular scenery including lakes, waterfalls, and craggy mountains. There are a number of trails ranging from mild lake hikes, with fantastic fly-fishing opportunities, to burly steep trails that rise high above this unique landscape. The Flattop Wilderness features travelling herds of moose, deer, and elk, and breathtaking fall color. The Flattop Wilderness is a backpacking experience not to be missed for any season.


Indian Peaks Wilderness

Set just an hour west of Boulder and Denver, the Indian Peaks Wilderness is a wonderland of mountains, lakes, open basins, and wildlife, with a ‘locals only’ feel. The Indian Peaks are overshadowed by their more famous cousins in Rocky Mountain National Park and may only see a fraction of the visitors that the park does. Still the Indian Peaks have their own surprises, with waterfalls, streams, lakes, breathtaking alpine scenery, and opportunities rife for climbing, hiking, and fly-fishing. The Indian Peaks are full of gorgeous wildlife such as black bear, moose, and deer, with opportunities to see animals all year round. The Indian Peaks offer a number of exciting Colorado backpacking trails from scenic lake hikes to exploring the deep backcountry, peak ascents, and traversing the Continental Divide. For those who are looking for a Colorado mountain backpacking experience with a fraction of the crowds the Indian Peaks are a Colorado must-see.


James Peak Wilderness


The sister to the Indian Peaks Wilderness, the James Peak Wilderness has it’s own set of mountains, lakes, rushing waters, and spectacular scenery. The James Peak Wilderness, overshadowed by its titular mountain, has breathtaking icons such as the Forest Lakes, Rogers Pass, and the iconic James Peak Trail. The wilderness is home to moose, deer, and bears among many others and has excellent opportunities for some of the best fly-fishing in the state. The James Peak Wilderness is a type a continuation of the Indian Peaks with it’s own flavor and character. For those who are looking for a unique Colorado backpacking experience, there is very little like the James Peak Wilderness.


Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides, a concessionaire for Rocky Mountain National Park is proud to lead backpacking trips year round across our beloved parks and wildernesses. Join us in 2018 for an unforgettable backpacking experience with our awesome guides. Check out more information here! Colorado Backpacking with CWRAG