Joe and Frede's Top 10 On-Trail Hikes - All Top 10 Hikes Lists - Colorado
These are our personal 10 favorite hikes totally on trail. A few of the slide shows also include destinations that are a little off trail, but the ranking is solely for the on-trail portion of the hike.
1 Odessa Gorge Hike This hike takes you along the upper stretches of the Big Thompson River, by Fern Falls and to 3 of the named lakes of Rocky Mountain National Park: The Pool, Fern Lake and Odessa Lake. The last two lakes allow wonderful views of the surrounding mountains that tower above you.
2 Mirror Lake Hike This hike takes you along and across 3 different streams, up along beautiful Hague Creek Park, and finishes at Mirror Lake that lies at the bottom of a long, deep cirque.
3 Emmaline Lake Trail This trail takes you through prime moose habitat on the way to Cirque and Emmaline Lakes, sitting at timberline at the base of a deep alpine cirque. But you can just do half of the hike and still enjoy wonderful views from Cirque Meadow.
4 Trap Park Trail This hike leads up into the prime moose habitat of Trap Park. Mountains surround the 2-mile long park on three sides, but you needn't hike off trail to the peaks to make this a great hike.
5 American Lakes Trail This hike takes you along a stream and then up to the American Lakes, resting just above timberline. If you're willing to hike off trail towards Snow Lake, you get a great view down on the lakes, that loosely resemble how the Americas look on a globe.
6 Browns Lake Trail This trail ascends above timberline and then travels up and down on gently-rolling alpine terrain, before descending down to Browns and Timberline Lakes, nestled at the bottom of a cirque. The trail continues to descend until it reaches Beaver Creek.
7 Glacier Gorge Hike This hike takes you past a couple of waterfalls and three alpine lakes within beautiful and profound Glacier Gorge. If you want to head off trail, even better views will await you, as there are 6 more lakes within this gorge. But even without these other lakes, this on-trail hike still makes our top 10 list.
8 Crosier Mountain Trail - Garden Gate TH This is the best of the four Crosier Mountain Trails. It passes through forests and meadows, beneath rocky outcrops, and even past an old mine. The small rock outcrop at the summit provides great views of numerous other peaks to the south and west.
9 Wild Basin Hike This hike heads into the heart of Wild Basin on the Thunder Lake Trail. If you hike far enough on the myriad of forking trails, you can ultimately reach eight different alpine lakes. But you needn't hike that far, as there are three beautiful waterfalls along the early and middle sections of the trail.
10 Lion Gulch Trail to Homestead Meadows This hike follows the Lion Gulch Trail up to Homestead Meadows, a series of meadows holding the remains of 9 pioneer cabins and other old artifacts, some of which are still in decent shape. This area can also be reached via the Homestead Meadows Trail from the north, and the Pierson Park Trail from the southwest. You can also climb off-trail to two nearby peaks, but that only makes this top 10 hike even better.

Honorable Mentions
Flowers Trail
Lake Agnes Trail
Greyrock Trail
Chasm Lake Hike