Stunning Glenwood Springs Hikes to Add to Your Bucket List

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by foxintheforest

Home to spectacular canyon scenery, stunning mountain destinations, and plenty of dreamy views, there are plenty of hikes in Glenwood Springs.

As a top travel destination in Colorado, you’ll find a wide variety of hikes near Glenwood Springs catering to all abilities.

If you’re looking for top-notch hiking recommendations in Glenwood Springs, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve called Colorado home for over 13 years.

And as an outdoor writer and local hiking pro, I want to empower you to explore the top Glenwood Springs hikes like a local, not a tourist.

About this Guide to Glenwood Springs Hikes

Inside this local guide to hikes near Glenwood Springs you’ll get expert advice about:

  • Where to find Glenwood Springs and when to visit
  • Up-to-date information on open hikes from the recovery efforts of the 2020 fires and 2021 landslides
  • The best hikes in Glenwood Springs, broken down by difficulty
  • Where to eat and where to stay
  • Nearby attractions to check out
  • Additional Colorado travel planning resources
glenwood springs hikes

Where is Glenwood Springs?

Glenwood Springs is conveniently located right along I-70 at the west end of Glenwood Canyon. It’s only about a 2-hour and 40-minute drive from the Mile High City making it an excellent weekend trip from Denver.

Alternatively, if you’re coming from the west, it’s an hour and 20 minutes from Grand Junction.

Local Tip: The easy highway access makes Glenwood Springs a must-see along any Colorado road trip itinerary.

Map showing distance from Glenwood Springs to Denver and Grand Junction.

Is Glenwood Canyon Open for Hiking?

Yes! Although the area was ravaged by wildfires in 2020 and subsequent landslides in 2021 there are still plenty of hiking trails in Glenwood Springs that are open for hiking in 2022.

Just keep in mind that many of the most popular trails (including the famous Hanging Lake) are temporarily closed. Be sure to look up current conditions before heading out in order to see if your chosen hike is open.

Note that some trails are partially open. I’ve done my best to keep this guide to Glenwood Springs hikes as up-to-date as possible. But always check local trail conditions before heading out.

The Best Time to Hike in Glenwood Springs

One of the best things to do in Glenwood Springs is to hit the trails! But when is the ideal time to take a hike?
Typically the Glenwood Canyon is free of snow by May, but the Flattops and surrounding mountains may hold snow until early to mid-June.

If you’re hiking in Glenwood Canyon, late spring and early fall are excellent times to hit the trails. It isn’t too hot and the crowds of summer aren’t around.

July is wildflower season in the high country and an ideal time to hike in the mountains. August and September are also beautiful months. Just be sure to check the weather throughout summer since dangerous afternoon thunderstorms can pose a threat from June through August.

Map of the Best Glenwood Springs Hikes

Get oriented with this map of amazing hiking trails near Glenwood Springs. As always, you can nab the interactive version too.

Map of the best Glenwood Springs Hikes.

The Best Easy Hikes in Glenwood Springs

If you’re just looking for a quick jaunt, here are a couple of easy Glenwood Springs hikes that should only take about an hour but still provide a good time.

1. Doc Holliday Trail

One of the most interesting hiking trails in Glenwood Springs is the trail to Doc Holliday’s grave. Doc Holliday was an Old West gunslinger who is buried in Linwood Cemetery.

A short hike of under a mile round trip takes you to visit the grave, and also offers grand views of Glenwood Springs.

Distance: 0.7 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 216 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Time: 30 min
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

2. Wulfsohn Trail

This is a nice little trail basically right in Glenwood Springs that makes for a great leg stretcher with some nice views.

It is pretty popular, so expect to share the trail with trail runners and mountain bikers, all enjoying this quick escape to nature so close to town.

Distance: 3.1 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 433 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Time: 1-1.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

The Best Moderate Hikes in Glenwood Springs

Some of the best Glenwood Springs hikes are the moderate trails, including a hike to a Colorado lake that is near the top of the list of best hikes in Colorado.

3. Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake is a truly amazing hike and might be the very best lake hike in Colorado.

One of the most scenic places in Colorado, Hanging Lake is absolutely breathtaking and worth the short but steep hike to get there. You can also check out Spouting Rock, where water flows out a hole in the rocky cliff – typically best in spring.

The beauty of Hanging Lake is not a secret, and the crazy popularity of Hanging Lake has led to permits being required to do this hike. Hanging Lake permits reservations can be made online and cost $12 per person.

Distance: 2.6 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Time: 2-3 hours
Dog Friendly: No

 Local Tip: Hanging Lake has been experiencing temporary closures due to trail maintenance from the 2021 landslides (yup, even in 2024). Always check on the permit website for the most accurate and up-to-date info!

How Difficult is the Hanging Lake Trail?

Overall, the Hanging Lake Trail is considered an easy Colorado hike. If you’re not used to hiking up steeper sections of hills at a higher altitude, you may find this trail to be moderately difficult.

Is Hanging Lake Open Right Now?

Not yet! The Hanging Lake Trail is currently closed due to massive landslide damage in the summer of 2021. A primitive trail is currently being constructed. The Hanging Lake Hike is set to re-open on June 25, 2022.

hikes near glenwood springs

4. Red Mountain (Jeanne Golay Trail)

Get great views and a great workout on the Red Mountain Trail. This is basically a dirt road up the mountain, and it is very popular with hikers and bikers (including the namesake of the trail, Jeanne Golay, a local biker who won several national championships).

From the summit, you’ll be able to see the Roaring Fork River, the Colorado River, Mt. Sopris, and the Elk Range.

Distance: 6.6 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 1,547 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Time: 3 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

5. Jess Weaver Trail (No Name Trail)

If you want some seclusion, this trail tends to be less crowded than some of the other popular Glenwood Springs hikes.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not an awesome hike! Also known as No Name Trail, this hike winds along No Name Creek past several waterfalls and granite canyon cliff faces, which are popular trad climbing areas.

Local tip: The Jess Weaver Trail is temporarily closed due to wildfire damage. It is unclear when it will reopen, but updates can be found on the White River National Forest site.

Distance: 7.9 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 2,549 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Time: 4-5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

6. Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path

This path runs the entire length of Glenwood Canyon, but you can choose your own adventure and turn around whenever you feel like it if you don’t want to go the whole way.

This hike is a good way to see the Colorado River and canyon walls up close. It’s also very popular with bikers.

Local tip: The Recreation Path is currently open from Glenwood Canyon to No Name, but the rest of the path is indefinitely closed until further notice due to damage.

Distance: 16.3 miles one way
Elevation Gain: 1,591 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Time: 5-6 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

glenwood springs hiking trails

The Best Challenging Hikes in Glenwood Springs

Most of the strenuous Glenwood Springs hikes are fairly short but also quite steep. The elevation gain gives you the rewards of great views though!

7. Boy Scout Trail

You can conveniently access the Boy Scout Trail from the edge of downtown Glenwood Springs on the east end of 8th Street.

From there, you’ll head steeply uphill and have to navigate some scree before you reach the summit plateau and are rewarded with fantastic views of Glenwood Canyon.

You can also extend this trail into a loop of about 6.5 miles by connecting along Palmer Avenue for a short section.

Distance: 4.8 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 1,449 feet
Difficulty: Strenuous
Estimated Time: 2-2.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes

8. Storm King Mountain Trail

The Storm King Mountain Trail was created as a memorial to 14 wildland firefighters who were tragically killed while fighting the South Canyon Fire in 1994.

The steep and exposed trail shows clearly the challenges the firefighters faced in that terrain. There are two memorial sites marking where the firefighters lost their lives.

Distance: 3.6-mile lollipop loop
Elevation Gain: 1,486 feet
Difficulty: Strenuous
Estimated Time: 2-2.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes, on-leash

9. Grizzly Creek Trail

One of the more popular hikes near Glenwood Springs, the Grizzly Creek Trail is an excellent half-day adventure. The whole trail is lovely, and you’ll encounter several beautiful viewpoints as well as waterfalls along the way.

It also eases you into the elevation gain, starting off flat and getting progressively steeper.

Local tip: Currently, only the first 2 miles of the Grizzly Creek Trail is open. The rest of the trail is closed due to storm damage. Updates on the trail status can be found on the White River National Forest site.

Distance: 4.8 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 1,449 feet
Difficulty: Strenuous
Estimated Time: 2-2.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes

10. Mitchell Creek Trail

If you’re looking for a serious leg & lung-burning workout on the hiking trails in Glenwood Springs, Mitchell Creek Trail is the one you want.

You’ll get just over 3,000 feet of elevation gain in just over 3 miles uphill before you hit the turnaround point and mercifully head back downhill to the trailhead.

Distance: 6.6 miles out & back
Elevation Gain: 3,139 feet
Difficulty: Strenuous
Estimated Time: 4-4.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes

Where to Eat After Hiking in Glenwood Springs

If you’re starving after your hitting the trail on these Glenwood Springs hikes, here are some awesome spots to satisfy your hunger:

  • Slope & Hatch: Tacos $$
  • The Daily Bread: Breakfast and brunch $$
  • Sweet Coloradough: Coffee, donuts, deli $
  • Rocky Mountain Pizza $$
glenwood springs hikes

The complete mountain packing list

Here’s a look at what you need to bring, including a few pieces of must-have gear for your next big Colorado hiking adventure.

What to wear:

  • Sunshirt
  • Noncotton socks
  • Hiking footwear with good traction that you are comfortable wearing all day. 
  • Non-cotton shorts for hiking
  • Or non-cotton, pants for hiking. Convertible pants are great too!
  • Non-cotton shirt for hiking

What to pack:

Where to Stay in Glenwood Springs

You’ll find plenty of hotels in a variety of price ranges in Glenwood Springs. La Quinta Inn is a great budget-friendly choice, or you can splurge with a stay at the Hotel Glenwood Springs or the Hot Springs Lodge.

You can also opt for one of the many cool Airbnb options in this Colorado mountain town.

You can also choose to camp, but you’ll have to go a little farther out of Glenwood Springs to find sites. A couple of good nearby campgrounds are Elk Creek and Lakeview.

Nearby Attractions

Looking for some activities after your hike? As one of the top spots for a Colorado weekend getaway, there are a lot of fun things to check out in Glenwood Springs. A few favorites include:

  • Relaxing at Iron Mountain, one of the best hot springs in Colorado
  • Go white water rafting along the Colorado River
  • Check out some of the amazing Grand Junction hikes
  • Spend the day at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
  • Relax at the vapor caves

Additional Colorado Travel Resources

Looking for even more local tips, check out these handy resources.

Picture of Meg Atteberry
Meg Atteberry

Meg is a long-time Colorado local and outdoor industry professional. She's spent the last 15 years hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and canyoneering all over Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada in search of the best views. She's written for Outside Magazine, REI, Backpacker Magazine, and appeared on the Weather Channel.

Hi There!

Meg Atteberry standing on a mountain sticking her tongue out

Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Toddler mom, queer, and neuro-spicy her favorite things to do are climb in the alpine and camp in the desert. Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure.