It’s the middle of winter and though snow isn’t entirely covering the hiking trails along the Continental Divide, soon enough we won’t be able to trek around up here without powder up to our knees. Head east toward the foothills to hike these trails that stay generally clear year round.
Alderfer and Three Sisters Park | Evergreen, Colorado
The Alderfer and Three Sisters Park in Evergreen, Colorado is open for all the seasons and has 18 trails starting at 2 miles for the shortest all the way up to 10+ miles long. The park is on over 1,100 acres of land, so acquiring a map prior to exploring is definitely recommended. This is a perfect spot for family picnics, climbing, and mountain biking as well. For hiking at Alderfer and Three Sisters, the Wild Iris Loop is a shorter, family friendly trek. If you wanted to dive into something a bit more challenging, try out the Evergreen Trail to the Summit Trail that rewards you with a great scenic view at the end.
St. Mary’s Glacier | Idaho Springs, Colorado
Just thirty minutes west of the front range is St. Mary’s Glacier near Idaho Springs, CO. This hike is a bit steep, but is only 1.5 miles long and takes you to a breathtaking glacier set up in the mountains. During the summer, plenty of mountain biking go on in the area. But St. Mary’s is known for spots of snow nearly year round, and you’ll see a surplus of skiers and snowboarders earning their turns. You may want to consider renting snowshoes due to the steepness of the trail, and luckily there are plenty of rental shops right in Idaho Springs that you can stop by on your way.
Daniel’s Park | Sedalia, Colorado
Looking for somewhere to catch a great sunset? Daniels Park is just west of i25 and Castle Pines, between Denver and Castle Rock. The views of Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans and Longs Peak are spectacular and with hikes ranging from 0.2 miles to over 5 miles, there’s plenty of options for you. Rock formations and bison are frequent sights at Daniel’s Park, and this is the perfect spot in Douglas County and the front range for a picnic, frisbee game with your dog, or walk outside. All trails start from the Shelter House and though the Shelter House is handicap accessible, the paths are not.
Castlewood Canyon State Park | Franktown, Colorado
East of Castle Rock and i25 is Castlewood Canyon State Park. You’ll feel like you’re driving in the middle of nowhere on Highway 83, but you’ll stumble across this hidden gem and be happy you did. You’ll have to pay to get in since it’s a state park, but take our word that it is well worth it. The canyon carves into the ground with Cherry Creek running through it and historic Castlewood Canyon Dam ruins just around the corner.
Don’t let the winter hinder you from getting out on your own two feet and exploring! Head lower in elevation this winter and get your hike on.