The first 5 are in RMNP
1. Nymph, Dream and Emerald
2. Black Lake
3. West Creek Falls
4. Glass to Sky Pond
5. Lawn Lake
6. Lake Dorothy
7. Lake Isabelle
8. Jame's Peak
9. Heart Lake
10. Mount Flora (tied with Butler Gulch)
And too far for a day hike but worth the trip- Blue Lake near Ouray
A few questions about what kind of hike you want...
Lake or Summit?
Sunrise or Sunset or something in between?
Escape or workout? This is where my husband and I need to compromise. My number one goal is escape. I want to get away from people and bikes. He wants to burn calories. So some days are workouts and some days are all about the Zen.
Most important tips:
1. Go early- you beat the CROWDS and the CLOUDS. Especially in the summer the weather pattern often starts with a blue sky and the clouds build in the early afternoon. For hikes above tree line you don't want to be hiking when the lightening rolls in. Leaving early increases the odds of great weather while also having more of the trail to yourself.
2. Pack your ten essentials
3. Layers- there is a quote in Colorado...."If you don't like the weather wait 15 minutes". This is even more true while hiking. On some hikes I start with hat and gloves, put on a raincoat and finish with shorts. At a minimum. Always have my pack-able down along with hat, gloves and raincoat in my pack.
4. Elevation matters- notice the start and end elevation. If it is more than 2000 feet it will be a workout no matter how short or long it is. If the destination is over 10,000 feet the air will be thin.
What's up next?
Island Lake and Ice Lakes near Silverton
Mount Chiquita and Ypsion
Mirror Lake (Backpacking)
My favorite resource (although it is a bit dated) is Protrails. I also like to read trail reports the week before I do a hike because often I will be aware of something that might need my attention.