Whether you are looking to take a leisurely walk along a secluded trail, hike to the top of a Fourteener or Thirteener, or backpack into a wilderness on a 25-mile loop, one of the 17 national forests and seven national grasslands within the Rocky Mountain Region will have a hiking experience that is just right for you.
Follow these general guidelines to help ensure that you have an enjoyable and safe hiking experience in your national forest or grassland:
Make a realistic plan and stick to it. Always tell someone of your recreation plans.
Carry a compass or a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and know how to use it.
In some backcountry and designated Wilderness areas, permits are sometimes required.
Obtain a map of the area you will be hiking in and, if possible, obtain a trail sheet from the local Ranger District [PDF file 120KB] office to help with land navigation.
Please respect private landowners and don't trespass on private property.
Travel responsibly on land by staying on designated trails or areas.
Check the weather forecast for your destination. Plan clothing, equipment and supplies accordingly.
When hiking, it’s quite possible you may encounter trail riders along with pack stock. Since stock is easily spooked from unseen sources, it is best to make your presence known. When horses or pack stock approach, step off on the lower side of the trail while the animal passes. Be courteous in sharing the trail with others.
Pets: Regulations differ on taking pets into the backcountry, so check with the local Ranger District [PDF file 120KB] office regarding restrictions before you go.
For a comprehensive collection of Backcountry "Do's & Don'ts," you should download the "Backpacking is Freedom" handout [PDF file 834KB] before heading into the backcountry.
All hikers should follow the ideals of Leave No Trace and practice the concept of Pack It In - Pack It Out.
For more detailed guidelines regarding responsible hiking on US Forest Service lands, please check out the Tread Lightly! information below:
Tread Lightly!'s Tips for Responsible Hiking brochure
The Rocky Mountain Region map below can be used as the starting place to find information regarding hiking opportunities on US Forest Service lands located throughout our five-state region. When the cursor is moved over a state on the map, a filled-in map outline and tool tip will appear (the map outlines may be slow to load, please be patient). Once you are on top of the state you want to hike in, click the cursor on the green map outline and a link will open to that state's Hiking Information Web page. Once you are redirected to the state's Web page, repeat the same process with the state map as with this map. You will then be able to select the individual national forest or grassland that you would like hiking information about.
Map Outlines May Be Slow to Load, Please Be Patient