White River National Forest is the most visited national forest in the country. This spectacular area encompasses over 2.3 million acres and boasts 11 world-class ski resorts. Inside the forest, you can explore more than 2,500 miles of pristine hiking trails that take you to the bases of some of the most formidable peaks in Colorado and fishing in some of the best lakes in the region. Nearby attractions at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the John Denver Sanctuary invite you to experience the history of the resilient mountain flora and the relaxed vibe of the high-altitude culture as you enjoy your time in this majestic area.
North Ten Mile Trail is an easy to moderate hike that features several small waterfalls and a meandering stream along the first part of the trek. Further down the path, you'll find a number of scenic areas where you can catch your breath on rock beds that line the sides of the serene river. Be prepared to see moose and elk on the path along with plenty of other hikers.
Length: 7.3 miles
Intensity: Easy to Moderate
Sallie Barber Mine Trail is a popular trek for hikers who simply want to enjoy the beauty of their mountainous surroundings and a leisurely walk. The out and back trail is open year-round but is best used from the early spring to mid-fall months. Expect to see colorful wildflowers and small wildlife along the way. This trail is also dog- and horse-friendly.
Length: 2.8 miles
Indiana Gulch Trail is a simple and beautiful trail that takes you through the woods and by small wildflower meadows. Shifts in elevation are minimal, and the flora is dense and breathtaking. The trek is out and back and sees high traffic during peak months. Indiana Gulch extends along private property, so make sure not to stray from the trail. This is also a prime trail for viewing the color-changing aspens in the fall.
Length: 2.8 miles
Black Powder Pass Summit is a less-trafficked trail that's subject to seasonal road closures, so check availability before heading to this location. On the hike, expect a well-marked, easy-to-navigate trail that features moderately challenging climbs in a few rocky areas and excellent, panoramic views once you reach the top.
Length: 3.4 miles
Thomas Lakes Trail is a heavily trafficked hike that features picturesque lake views along a heavily wooded path. The trail is great for mountain biking and horseback riding and allows leashed dogs. Visit this trail from June to October to avoid seasonal road closures to the trailhead.
Length: 7.8 miles
The Quandary Peak Trail's name says it all as this difficult hike leads you on an out and back excursion through challenging rocky switchbacks and some steep inclines. This premier 14er trek features fantastic views of the mountains near Breckenridge and loads of opportunities to stop and smell the wildflowers.
Length: 6.6 miles
The Marble and Redstone Areas and along Brown's Loop in the Vail-Eagle area are great places to keep an eye out for the park's inhabitants, including elk, deer, mountain goats, and more. Hike some of the forest's 2,500 miles worth of trails and you'll be sure to see something new. Bird watchers will enjoy Spruce Creek Trail to the Mohawk Trail, the Vail Pass Loop, and Bowman's Shortcut, which offer the opportunity to see rare cranes and hawks.
The area is home to 12 different ski areas, which makes it one of the most popular destination forests in the US. Test your skills on the slopes with visitors from around the world.
There are several areas in White River National Forest that are perfect for fishing, including Trapper's Lake, North Fork, and South Fork River. If you're looking for quieter, smaller spots, try Bailey Lake and Peltier Lake.
Light pollution is minimal and the vistas are stunning. Enjoy particularly beautiful views at night in Rifle Gap and on the Rio Grande Trail.
Address: 900 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601
Fee: Entry fee (per person, per day) $10 Children 15 and under receive free admission.
White River National Forest allows you to take your time as you explore the rugged terrain and magnificent landscapes of one of Colorado's most popular hiking and skiing areas. Within the park, you can experience a number of exciting activities while having nearby access to the world-famous mountain towns of Aspen and Vail, along with Glenwood Springs, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge. No matter what season you choose to visit, an RV is a fantastic way to make everlasting memories and enjoy the immensity and beauty of the White River.