Location: Loveland Pass, CO
Distance from Denver: 60mi (~1hr) ♡ ♡ ♡
Hike: ~3mi RT ♡ ♡ ♡
Difficulty: Moderate (due to altitude) ♡ ♡
Parking Situation: Side of road / limited parking, but a lot of people are visitors so some spots turn-around quickly ♡ ♡
Parking Fee: N/A
Happy Tuesday, friends! How was your weekend? We thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous weather we had the best way we know how - to go on a hike! This is a great full day idea (read all the way to the end!) that takes you up to Loveland Pass, Colorado. You've probably seen it either on your way to the A-Basin ski resort, or even while driving up I-70. It's hard to miss the grandeur of the peaks surrounding this area!
THIS. This is the view that you work for during this trail, and you guys it is absolutely worth it! As we mentioned before, you start at Loveland Pass. Pull off to the right side of the road, take a picture of the Loveland Pass sign, and follow the trail that wraps around the side of the mountain to get started.
The first half a mile or so of the trail is definitely heart-pounding both because of the incline + elevation (you start at ~12,000 feet!) Take it slow and you will be fine! The first mile or so you are with a lot of the tourists, so it can get crowded at times. Luckily, most people stop at the first "false peak" - which in and of itself offers stunning views into the valley below! If you look closely, you can even see the ski slopes! Talk about ~VIEWS~ ♡ It is definitely very windy and chilly up here so be sure to wear long pants, a windbreaker, and if you're like me a pair of earmuffs to keep your ears warm!
This is where most of the tourists stop. YAY! But really, go farther if you are up here. It is only another mile along the ridge - on the picture below, we hiked all the way to the end - and quite frankly, it doesn't get much harder!
The trail after this point, we thought, was fairly easy. There are a few more inclines but these are much more gradual than the first part of the hike that you don't even realize you are climbing! Plus have we mentioned how empty the trail gets?? If you want solitude, be sure to hike all the way to the end.
What we thought was a little challenging is the final ascent to the top. The path (pictured above) quickly turns into a rock field, and there were points where we had to use our hands to help stabilize as we climbed up. Luckily, the super tricky part is only like 10-20 steps so it is over pretty quickly. I've included a better picture below ... isn't it a little gnarly!?
Just take your time and you will be fine! Because the views at the top are so worth it! It feels so secluded and you can literally see for miles in all directions!
If you hike all the way to the end, you can sit in these makeshift benches that someone has built! It is great because it provides a solid barrier from the wind, which honestly at times was pretty heavy!
We sat up here for a good hour, that is until we saw a storm forming in the distance. Because of how high / exposed we were, we didn't want to be stuck above tree-line. It was so hard to leave though! We loved having the mountain to ourselves and the feeling of being so far away from everything.
Apres hike, make sure that you drive the 10min from Loveland Pass to A Basin! On Saturdays, they have a concert series (1-4p) in their plaza area and a lot of fun games (such as hula-hoops, giant Jenga, and cornhole) set up. You can also get food/drinks from the restaurant upstairs or bring your own food to enjoy at the picnic tables that are set up.
What a great Saturday! ♡
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