2. The Four Pass Loop
Total Hiking Distance: 26.6 miles
Driving Distance to Trailhead: Near Aspen | 261 miles | 4 hours and 35 minutes
The Four Pass Loop is one of the most iconic hiking destinations in Colorado, and for a good reason. The trail circles the spectacular Maroon Bells, climbing four 12,000-foot passes. Prepare yourself for spectacular scenery, including wildflowers, rugged peaks, expansive meadows, scenic forests and alpine lakes. It should take three to four days to complete the loop, which is considered challenging even for those in good shape. When backpacking, try to complete the loop clockwise for an easier journey (the path is slightly less steep), and make sure to bring a bear-proof container for your provisions — they are now required in the area.