Explore denver - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
16 hours ago

Lot was full by 10am but we squeezed on the road. We read there wasn’t many backpacking spots - and I found maybe 3, but were too close to water or the trail. We found if you go past (between) the final lakes and keep going (careful, the trails spur and we got turned around), you follow a stream on your right after 1/2 mi to approx 3 sites spread by a few hundred feet. It was a good first backpacking trip for my 7yo. There was plenty of water, moderate temps, and while we saw a bunch of bugs, only really got one or two bites. We encountered a cow moose about 30 feet off the trail about half way up!

I think technically this is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and you need a permit in summer, but, sorry, it is ridiculous to print a form and mail a $5 check or to go to the office. Let me do it online. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recarea/?recid=80803

This is a fantastic hike. Probably one of the most beautiful I’ve done in Rocky Mountain NP. Closer to 9.8 miles, but worth every step. Saw lots of elk along the trail and some brave marmots. Please DO NOT feed the wildlife! They are too comfortable around people, trying to steal food. The views at the top are incredible, but don’t get fooled and stop at the first lake. Sky pond is beyond that one. Bonus getting to see Alberta Falls on the way up, and the crowd thins once you pass this point. Took a nice dip in the lake on the way down. Cold, but worth it!

hiking
18 hours ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

hiking
18 hours ago

Overall it's not a trail I'd be super excited to get back to or take anyone to, but it was a nice short hike with shade most of the way. The final lakes/ponds are pretty with some views of the surrounding ridges. The lakes are small with quite a few people crowded around fishing or lounging. The first lake you pass is mosquito heaven and pretty yucky.

hiking
20 hours ago

My family did this hike we had someone from sea level and they were able to do it I would recommend this hike for younger kids and a first hike. At some parts were not well marked over all we thought it was pretty good

A great hike! 4 stars instead of 5 because the first ~2.8 miles of the route got a little boring with all the trees (which were pretty! Just the same view for a while), but the view at the top was gorgeous. If you’re comfortable with it, definitely climb up the rock peaks at the top to get an even better view.

It took us just under 2 hours to get to the top, and about 50 minutes to get back down. However, we normally walk fast, and passed many people both ways. There were some pretty steep parts, especially halfway through, but nothing too difficult or unsafe. If you’re regularly active and in good shape, you’ll find this trail to be moderate and not “hard.”

22 hours ago

Great first hike in estes. Amazing views at the top. Pretty easy to navigate the entire route. Saw a lot of dogs on the trail. Weird bugs at the top but none on the trail. Good spot if you want to get a quick hike in.

Never been hiking in my life.. decided to hit the hardest most beautiful trail right out of the gates. GREAT DECISION. One of the most gratifying afternoons of my life. We managed to snag a parking spot up at Bear Lake lot around 10:30am. Took the shuttle down to Glacier Gorge and were off. IMPORTANT: Take your time going up, don't be afraid to go off trail 50-100 yards.... because that is where the most stunning views are! The Loch will make you cry, and so will the satisfaction from making it all the way to Sky Pond. DO THIS HIKE! Took us about 3.5 hours up, 1.5 hours down with a few breaks here and there. Sights and feels that I won't soon forget!

hiking
1 day ago

this was beautiful at the top but it's definitely HARD

Walk the path by the river, it’s beautiful and is not nearly as rocky. We walked the river path up and it was gorgeous!! It brings you out at a nice place to lay out in the rocks and then you continue on to the main tail to the lake.

1 day ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

This ended up being one of my favorite hikes of the trip. It was definitely a challenge for me and my friend, two Midwesterners who have never climbed a mountain or generally even faced high altitudes before. The elevation gain and rocky terrain are brutal at times but definitely manageable, I think having hiking poles would definitely have made it easier. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the top, going at a reasonable pace and making frequent stops to let our lungs adjust to the altitude. The views at the top are astounding, especially if you scramble up to one of the peaks to get the full panoramic view, but the first 3 miles of the hike itself isn't terribly exciting. You are surrounded by beautiful huge trees for most of it though, so it was peaceful, and when we began our hike around 8:30 AM we saw several elk right off the trail. All an all I would definitely recommend this hike if you're looking to summit a mountain but are an inexperienced hiker.

Want to include some clarification...

- The picture listed for this trail is actually Glass Lake, not Sky Pond. Sky Pond is another 0.5 miles further in once you've made it up the scramble.
- This hike, all the way to Sky Pond, is about 4.9 miles from the Glacier Gorge trail head to the end.

Overall, an absolutely beautiful hike and not too strenuous. I would rate this a more moderate / hard hike. My friend and I stayed at the Glacier Basin campsite and drove across the street to the shuttle stop and took the shuttle up. They run about every 5-10 minutes. Parking will be full if you get to the trailhead after 6:30am.

The waterfall scramble at the end of the hike is the most challenging part, and there are a fair amount of steps to get to that point (for those who may struggle with steps). There's a decent amount of shade but you will want to go as early as you can to avoid most of the sun. Make sure to bring a lot of water as well!

My friend and I took our time and stopped at a lot of the viewpoints and we finished the hike in 6.5 hours (in and out). One of my favorite hikes I've done - make sure to add this one to your trip if you're heading to Rocky Mountain National Park!

Perfect hike, perfect day!

Family of 4 with an 11 and 13 year old. One of the best hikes we have ever done. Got there around 8 and got the last marking spot; so arrive early. Gorgeous trail with a gentle grade. Agree with others who recommend going up the left side of the falls. We tried to extend to Ouzel Lake, but the trail was hot and steep. Just too much.

on Estes Cone Trail

2 days ago

If you’re not parked in the parking lot (which fills up really early), be VERY careful where you park as they tow cars parked on the side of the road on the side of the yellow curvy road sign that is closer to the trail. As per an officer, you’re ok if you’re not parked after that sign (on the way up), not in front of a no parking sign, and have both wheels completely off the road, i.e. to the side of the white line.

Overall, a great hike. Scaling the waterfall, while not too physically demanding, can prove treacherous if you have big feet and/or aren’t adept at climbing. Worth the trip to the top though!

Very easy beginner trail but so beautiful everyone will want to go. I walked Bear lake trail first then took Alberta Falls Route. A lot of people on weekends.

Great hike. Decently steep towards the top before the lake but gem lake is beautiful. Went further to balanced rock which was an 8 mile round trip and had some good views along the way. Would hike again!!

off road driving
2 days ago

I did it with stock new Silverado. it was brutal for this kind of car, though it has 4x4 low and all that crap, this trail is not for stock SUV like KIA sportage or so, because it is really rocky and you dont enjoy the drive.
I would recommend a jeep or something like Expedition for this.

other than that, lake is nice and all, but not breathtaking.

The trail is beautiful and not too difficult. But I have to agree with other commenters that it’s very busy on weekends and the amount of loose rock is tricky. I still recommend it though because the lake and the waterfalls are relaxing. Also, parking at the Nederland park n ride and getting the shuttle is the way to go; it’s there every 15 minutes on the weekends and you don’t have to deal with the scarce parking at the trail head.

hiking
2 days ago

This was my first hike at RMNP, and it didn’t disappoint! My husband and I started at the bear lake trailhead, took a portion of the flattop mtn trail then when flattop mtn trail branched off to the left, we continued straight on the fern lake trail. We took the trail for a few miles and turned around right before two rivers lake. The incline was a good, challenging pace, not scrambling but not flat. We are beginner to intermediate hikers so this was perfect for us. The higher you get the rockier it gets on the trail. Some nice streams along the way and while it started off sunny and warm, it cooled at bit on the way up while in the pine forest. There was a portion of the trail that is next to a mountain that is nothing but rocks, so we slowed down a bit on this. This portion was also very sunny, but did not last long. Did not see any wildlife. I would do this again and next time probably go farther! Beautiful views along the way and not too crowded. I noticed the farther we went on the trail, the less foot traffic we came across. We arrived at the trailhead around 8:20am and it was full. Was able to snag a spot though. Might consider arriving a little earlier next time. First time at RMNP and I’m hooked. I never want to leave!

The hike up isn’t the most interesting, but the view at the top is definitely one of the best in the park. The trail gets pretty steep at a bunch of points, and the altitude can really get you if you are not used to it, but if you can, hike Twin Sisters.

Beautiful views the entire way. Definitely go to glass lake, too. I thought the trail was moderate. The waterfall scramble was interesting but not too difficult.

The falls are amazing, heed all advice regarding footwear.
The road up is 3 miles of extremely rough terrain.
I saw all sorts of cars, slow going.

Not easy for worth it.

Alberta falls to start, cool but keep moving to further away from people.

Lock is pretty, easily find a good spot for a meal. Then you get to walk along the lake for awhile.

Made it the scramble, waterfall while my wife and I carried our 2 and 5 yr old. But not able to get them up the climb. So we took turns going up solo to glass lake, gave the kids a chance to play in the water at the bottom of the fall.

Missed out on sky, bummer. My 5 yr old hiked around 6 miles, which was a huge help.

Fun hike and cool spot to look out and see everything! We took this hike when we didn’t want a long day and combined it with a visit to Squaw Mountain

Part of the RMNP but start outside of park. Started at donut shop on the way to trail. Great donuts but made hiking a little tougher.

This hike is different than being in the RMNP, the rocks-boulder different shapes and sizes. Made for numerous little caves, which the 2 and 5 year old loved.

On the way up, get some good views of Estes park.

There is a actual toilet near the top. My 5 yr old loved this!!

Lake is very ok. Also leaches in the lake, so don't get all the way in. But plenty of exploring and climbing near the lake for the kids.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). 5 yr old hiked off and on.

The hike was really nice. The waterfall was okay though.

Wow! A little rough up going in for a beginner like me. But, it is all worth it what a view at the top! Can’t wait to bring my family here!

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