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Suggestions for a first hike in CO without steep ledges (or suggestions for getting over the fear)?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to Colorado and hiking in general. I'm a bigger guy but can easily hike 3 or 4 miles, however I tend to freak out on trails that have steep edges on the sides so I've been unable to finish many that I've tried. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get over this fear or a place that doesn't have these sheer ledges? 

12 Replies

I agree with you!  I was getting ready to post about Mt. Falcon and Waterton Canyon when yours came in.  Evergreen Mountain and Bergen Peak would also be good choices, I believe.  I really like Lost Creek Wilderness, too.  Cherry Creek Reservoir, Aurora Reservoir, and Chatfield Reservoir are all good.  Paved trails in all three, but opportunities to explore, too.  And the fishing is a bonus!😁

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Hey @Jpacillo!  Welcome to CO.  I’m 17 years in now, but I remember when I first arrived in Boulder- there were/are a dizzying number of trail selections.  It would help to know what part of CO you are in or where you are seeking to hike.  One suggestion is Guanella Pass- especially beautiful this time of year.  The Mt. Bierstadt trail is easy and you can go out as far as you like- it does start at high elevation, but not a huge amount of gain unless you want to tackle the summit (it’s one of the easiest 14ers with only ~2800 ft in elevation gain. As someone else suggested, the Red Rocks loop is easy, with the distance you mentioned.  NCAR in Boulder has a number of great trail options right off the parking lot.  Chautauqua also has some good trails in the 3-4 mile range.  I can’t speak for other areas of CO, but in Boulder there is a New in Town hiking Meet Up group, so that might be a good option.  Happy trails!


A method I've heard of for getting over fear, and which sounds reasonable to me, is to slowly approach the fearful item. Don't let your fear level get too high, when it gets uncomfortable don't go closer. Get a bit closer each day so your subconscious learns that it is safe. You must do this yourself, if someone is forcing or pressuring you, it will only make the phobia worse.

And of course, make certain that it really is safe. You don't want to be getting closer and closer to a cornice that is likely to break under your weight, nor to any other dangerous edge.