Our regional favorites that are perfect for the novice hiker
Fay Canyon’s calling card—an arch—is surprisingly easy to miss. The arch is by no means small, but it looks so much like an ordinary rock overhang that if you don’t know where to look, you might walk right past it. If you keep an eye on the rock wall to the north side of the trail, though, you’ll spot it sooner or later.
Length: 1.1 miles each way
Time: 1 hour round-trip
Location: 2.5 miles west of Sedona
With its lush greenery and flowing creeks, this alpine loop will have you wondering whether you’re still in New Mexico’s high desert. It’s also one of the easiest summits we’ve ever conquered, as it takes you to the top of Lobo Peak.
Length: 4.2 miles each way
Time: 4 hours round-trip
Location: About 15 miles northeast of Taos
In its entirety, the Colorado trail runs from Denver to Durango—about 500 miles. For a doable day hike, aim for about 3 to 5 of those 500. Beginning just outside of Durango, you’ll meander through dense forest, next to a stream. The bridge is a good place to turn around, but if you’re feeling more ambitious, continue on (and up) to the overlook, where you’ll be rewarded with a nice bench and even better views.
Length: 3 miles or 5 miles each way
Time: 2 to 4 hours round-trip
Location: Junction Creek trailhead, about 3 miles west of town
A true canyon hike, no rock-climbing required. Just south of the Colorado River, Hunters Canyon features a stream in the spring and summer months (and after rainstorms). The bottom of the canyon is full of lush greenery, and several panels of rock art—including the famous birthing scene petroglyph—can be found along the Kane Creek Road leading up to the trailhead.
Length: 2 miles each way
Time: 2 hours
Location: Along Kane Creek Road, about 7.5 miles west of the junction with U.S. Highway 191