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Relapse Prevention Plan: Fall Hikes in Colorado

A man hikes into the bright rays of the sun, surrounded by the beauty of fall foliage.
There are natural highs in life—and hiking surrounded by the glory of fall foliage is one of them.


The crunch of leaves underfoot. Sunshine. The aspens in all their golden glory.

This is, without a doubt, the best time to get out there and take in some of the hundreds of hiking trails Colorado has to offer. Here are a few of our favorites.

Devil’s Head Lookout Trail

This 2.8-mile round-trip trail is located about an hour from Denver. With an elevation gain of 940 feet, the trail takes about 2 hours to hike.

You’ll begin in a glade of aspens, then make your way to a high meadow where you’ll see the 143 red steps leading to the Devil’s Head fire lookout (the only operational such lookout in Colorado).

From there, you’ll have an amazing view of the surrounding mountains, including Pikes Peak to the south and Longs Peak to the north.

Rocky Mountain National Park

There are more than 50 hikes, ranging from just .3 miles to 10miles at this national park located about two hours west of Denver. The trails lead to lakes, waterfalls and up summits and may afford you glimpses of elk, moose and bighorn sheep.

Stroll around Bear Lake (a quick half mile jaunt) before heading up the 1.8-mile trail to Emerald Lake where the jewel hue of the water won’t disappoint and you’ll have a front-row seat to the majestic Tyndall Glacier.

The Maroon Bells

Located in Aspen (about three and half hours from Denver), the Maroon Bells
are said to be the most photographed place in Colorado.

True to its name, the Maroon Creek Trail (3.5 miles one way) follows the Maroon Creek through aspen and pine forests and open meadows. Along the way, pause to take in the steep pink-tinted slopes of the mountains that surround you.

Golden Gate Canyon

This state park is only about a half hour from Denver, but it offers uncrowded trails and 12,000 acres of dense forest that come alive with color this time of year.

Black Bear Trail is a 3.4 mile (one way) difficult hike that includes some bouldering before reaching the summit. You’ll get a great workout (endorphins!) while also enjoying the beauty of the surrounding views.

Relapse Prevention Activities at The Raleigh House

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