7 incredible summer road trips within 150 miles of Denver

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 02:03:18-04

DENVER –It’s summer in Colorado and gas is cheap – did somebody say road trip?

The state’s abundance of scenery won’t disappoint if you decide to hit the open road this summer. In fact, the state was recently ranked the 10th best state for doing just that.

So, pack the car and check out these seven incredible summer road trips within 150 miles of Denver.

Gilpin Lake

The Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce calls Gilpin Lake a "blue alpine lake of magnificent beauty." And we have to agree.

Your road trip:

Lost Man Lake

Independence Pass between Leadville and Aspen has lots of astonishing scenery and great hiking trails, but the the trail to Lost Man Lake and scenery in that basin is phenomenal. You'll find yourself turning in circles along the trail to take in the 360-degree views.

Your road trip:

Red Buffalo Pass

Did you know you can hike from Silverthorne to Vail? If you drive I-70, the drive is 25 miles, but if you hike via Red Buffalo Pass, it's 12-13 miles of incredible scenery that includes South Willow Falls, fields of wildflowers and awe-inspiring scenery.

Your road trip:

Lake Isabelle

The Indian Peaks Wilderness protects 76,000-acres of beautiful lakes, high alpine scenery, waterfalls and mountain peaks between Nederland and Grand Lake and one of the shortest hikes to incredible scenery is Lake Isabelle. Hike 2.2 miles to the shoreline ringed by high peaks that often hold some snow fields until late summer. Bring lunch and spend some time enjoying this incredible place.

Your road trip:

St Mary's Glacier

Ok, it's not an official glacier anymore, but lots of people still know it by that name. The trailhead for St. Mary's Lake is about 15 minutes from I-70 and Idaho Springs. There is a fee to park here now, so bring cash, but it's worth it.

Your road trip:

Dream Lake

This lake may be one of the most popular hiking destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it's worth dealing with the crowds to see this beautiful place.

Your road trip:

Hanging Lake 

You have to see this green-colored pond that hangs in a valley in Glenwood Canyon, near Glenwood Springs. The directions will tell you the hike is "only" one mile, but it's actually a half mile on a paved bike path, then a one mile, steep hike with a 1,000 feet of elevation gain. It's tough, but it's worth every step.

Your road trip: