Joe and Frede's Top 10 Off-Trail Hikes - All Top 10 Hikes Lists - Colorado
These are our personal 10 favorite off-trail hikes to peaks. In order to qualify as "off-trail", at least 50% of the time spent on the hike must be off trail or on faint unofficial trails.
1 The Needles and Lumpy Ridge Traverse Lumpy Ridge is known as a world-class climbing area, and The Needles are the highest point on Lumpy Ridge. This hike takes you along the base of Lumpy Ridge and then up a long, narrow and steep gully to the summit block. The summit provides wonderful birds eye views of Estes Park and surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park. The "traverse" section of the hike takes you along the rocky backbone of Lumpy Ridge past numerous other interesting rock features, before descending back down onto the trail.
2 Hike to the Hidden Lakes in the Northwest Corner of the Comanche Peak Wilderness This hike takes you to several seldom-visited and unnamed lakes in the Comanche Peak Wilderness. The tranquil solitude you get to enjoy in this beautiful area is well worth the effort to get here.
3 Gorge Lakes and Peaks Backpacking Trip This hike takes you into the very rugged, remote and spectacular Gorge Lakes area of Rocky Mountain National Park.
4 Palisade Mountain This hike takes you atop one the most striking lower foothills peaks in north-central Colorado. This is another peak with fun route finding. After climbing this peak 3 times, we have found a winding route from the west that avoids any scrambling until ascending the summit block. The views from the summit are amazing, and the nearly shear south face of the mountain allows impressive views down into the Big Thompson Canyon below. UPDATE: Now so many people have done this hike, that a trail can be followed almost the whole way to the summit.
5 Table Iron, Iron Mountain and Flat Top Mountain Hike via Trap Park This hike takes you through prime moose habitat in Trap Park, and then up three of the best Neota Flattops peaks. The steep sides and relatively flat tops to these mountains make them unique, and the views from their summits are great.
6 Sleeping Elephant Mountain This hike is completely off any formal trail, requires wading a river, and ascends steeply to a rocky summit that provides wide open views up and down the Poudre Canyon.
7 South Sheep Mountain & Saint Vrain Falls Hike This hike leads to a rugged peak overlooking the North Saint Vrain Canyon; along the way you can visits cascades and a hidden waterfall.
8 The Camel Hike The Camel is an informally-named summit on the south side of Crosier Mountain. This hike is off trail for its entire length, although it's not too difficult to find your way to the uniquely-shaped peak.
9 Grouse Hollow Hike This hike requires working your way around private property and then on a faint social trail up Grouse Hollow to a little-known 100-foot-tall series of falls.
10 East Chalk Bluffs Hike This hike is along a sharp escarpment on the Pawnee National Grassland, with a mix of cliffs and arroyos. This hike is particularly great in the spring when the prairie wildflowers are in bloom.

Honorable Mentions
Wintersteen Trail
North Sheep Mountain Hike
Mount Olympus Hike
Bald Mountain Hike