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

Estes Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
1 day ago

Great hike but the winds were almost insurmountable. 50-60 mph gusts with biting wind and blowing snow. Not for the faint of heart. Got within visual distance of chasm lake but couldn't proceed without ice picks/axes. No trail, blown over and potentially very treacherous. Be careful!

4 stars but only because we couldn’t make it to the top. About 1.7 miles up during the switchbacks the snow is very deep. The tracks of people who had come before us stopped, and we tried to keep going but would have needed snowshoes. Either way - gorgeous views and manageable elevation. Very windy but beautiful sunny day!

hiking
4 days ago

Great weather yesterday at Chasm Lake! micro spikes from trailhead to lake and I was glad to have my ice axe for the last half mile. Be careful and enjoy!

hiking
7 days ago

Broke a new trail past the ridge to the lake after the most recent snow. Definitely slick and exposed, but manageable with microspikes. Beautiful winter hike!

Hiked Sunday January 13th

Trail is packed snow. We wore microspikes as did most others we saw. The last half mile is a little less packed but not worth bringing snowshoes for. The parking lot was nearly empty around 9 AM but completely full upon our return in early afternoon.

Hiked/trail ran this 1/10/19. Snow is mostly packed so microspikes recommended, although I think more snow is changing that today. You’re in the trees with occasional peeks of Longs etc and more at the path were the flood came through. It’s fairly steady steepness in the switchback until the last mile before the saddle & then it has a few more fluctuation in flat/steep sections near the tree line & scrambles at the top. From the parking lot, it was about 3.5ish miles to the saddle between the twin sisters. I went to the West most sister first since it’s not much scrambling to get up there. Just rock scrambled up the other side. The tops are somewhat jagged/uneven & narrow so go cautiously, especially in windy conditions. Beautiful views though! I stopped to take a lot of photos but I left my car about 11:35 and got back at 3:58 (after running sections on the way down).

10 days ago

A must do

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike a couple days ago due to RMNP being closed. Not nearly enough snow for snowshoes but the trail was packed snow and ice pretty much the whole way so microspikes are highly recommended. Consistently steep pretty much the whole way. The last mile or so is completely exposed so be sure to pack some layers as the weather at the top can be drastically different than the bottom. Views from the top make the effort worth it!

Hiked this trail in mid-September. Probably my most favorite trail ever. Well worth the scramble up the waterfall. Spectacular lakes set in a backdrop of towering mountains. And the colors were amazing. Definitely worth the effort to get there. Make sure to take the time to stop and enjoy the many views.

hiking
19 days ago

Classic hike. GREAT views towards the top - bit of a grind on the way. Bit of scrambling to get to the lake shore.

hiking
21 days ago

Fun hike with good elevation and happy to have Yaktrax given snow pack and patches of ice as you approach the summit. Others looked to be struggling as we were descending. Parking was available when we arrived at 9 but looked packed when leaving 1ish.

Hiked 12/22/18--the day of the shutdown. The Loch Lake Trail was absolutely stunning. I arrived super early the morning that Rocky shut down, unaware of the government shutdown, so, fortunately, I was able to drive directly to the trailhead. I love snowshoeing and it was a gorgeous powder day and I got to break trail first, solo. It was cold, one of the coldest hikes I've done yet but I was fully geared up. Though I was first on the trail I could tell where the trail was as it wove around trees. About a mile and a half into the hike, two men passed me who were going ice climbing around Mills Lake. They were in hiking boots only. If you don't have snowshoes, you can't possibly walk in this deep snow. Be prepared. Have shoes, poles AND spikes. When I finally got to the lake, I literally ran the last 100 steps, I was so thrilled that I had made it, solo, and other than those two men, no one had passed me. It was very, very cold and windy at the lake. The lake appeared 100% frozen but given that I was solo, I was not going to walk on it. It was too cold to eat so I headed back down and tucked into the trees and ate very quickly and then started heading back down. I kept my snowshoes on, although usually I would have switched into spikes. I passed two other couples coming up the trail and then a few others and that was it. So, the trail wasn't packed down enough to wear spikes and the shoes worked great. It was about a 6.5-mile hike and I headed out of Rocky at 12:30pm and that's when I saw the rangers turning everyone away. I'm thrilled I was able to make this hike; the waterfalls and running water were absolutely gorgeous.

We did this 12/30, starting at around 9:30 with plenty of parking, although it was pretty packed when we left at 1:00. Moderate is accurate, there's some tougher switchbacks but overall not terrible. Yaktrax weren't necessary but I was absolutely glad I had them.

23 days ago

One of my favorites. Go in late Spring to see Columbine Falls at its finest.

One of the best in the park.

We had a beautiful winter day. Bring the spikes and consider 1 mile in plus for the total lenght, from the parking lot to where the trail begins and ends . On the top was windy and on descent it start snowing. Some says they feel as being moderate, but fitnesses level is different from person to person, consider the elevation gain the most important aspect in choosing this hike. If you feel you are confident and fit, then its for you. So, happy hiking!

snowshoeing
25 days ago

Fun hike but parking is terrible. Just pull off the road if there’s a spot. Get there early!

Beautiful midway point to stop and snack on your way to sky pond. Hiked on an early October day and the weather was perfect. Very serene and peaceful lake with amazing views and refreshing breeze. But keep going on past Loch...as the true treasure is Sky Pond and the waterfall before lake of glass. An amazing and rewarding day in RMNP

Hiked this two days ago on a whim and we loved it. We wore microspikes for both ascent and descent as the snow was packed and there were some icy sections. The views from the top were stunning and the final ascent in the rock field was fun. Challenging heading up with ~2,400 ft gain in 3 miles, but very easy descent.

Hiked Twin Sisters Peaks Trail on Christmas Day 2018. Great day... great weather. Trail was hard packed pretty much the entire way. A few spots of exposed trail...a few icy sections. Excellent views at the peaks. Really enjoyed this hike. Very reasonable. Not technical. Wore micro spikes on the descent which made quite a difference since a few areas are a bit steep with some ice.

Undeniably one of my favorites in Rocky Mountain. Typically pretty busy trail during the summer, and almost always a line around the waterfall climb, but doesn’t distract from the beauty at the top. One of the most fun hikes for the varying terrain and views.

Hiked in April while there was still a decent amount of snow/ice. Hiking poles were definitely helpful, microspikes or yak tracks probably would’ve been helpful. Nice hike with incredible panoramic views at the top and nice lookouts on the way up as well.

hiking
29 days ago

One of my favorites in Rocky Mountain. Be prepared for any kind of weather any time of year, and be aware of avalanche risk on the last 1/2 mile where you have to traverse an ice field during the winter. Above tree line for a long time, so almost guaranteed to run into heavy winds and turn around to tree line if weather looks threatening. enjoy it!

hiking
29 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike. Has incredible views of most of Estes and RMNP, as well as unique areal views of nymph and dream lakes. The hike alongside flattop takes a while, but highly recommend continuing to Hallett peak. There are nice rock walls built up on the peak to help shield from the wind coming from the west side of the divide. Make sure that you have good weather and summit earlier in the day as the majority of the hike is above tree line. Also cool because it’s one of the only marked hikes in the park that you can get onto a glacier - just be careful as it’s steep!

Hiked 12/15/18

Beautiful morning in Rocky. Trails well-packed, microspikes completely sufficient and snowshoes not at all necessary; however I know that the mountains received a storm yesterday so unsure if these conditions are still the same. There was plenty of parking at the Bear Lake trailhead at 10 AM on that Saturday.

1 month ago

Loved this hike, did it last weekend with a friend. Pretty challenging, some good elevation right off the bat and then some heavy winds up above the tree line. We did about 9’5 miles even though it’s only supposed to be 8. If you are going in the winter be wary of the final .5 mile of the path, it’s pretty icy and it’s right on the edge of a cliff. We had to to turn around because of the Ice so I’d recommend spikes / poles. If there is snow it’s easy to lose the path at the top so keep that in mind when you are hiking!
Get out there and do it!

Hiked this trail only wearing my micro spikes. Great hike!!! The waterfall wasn't that bad. Windy in some spots but I did most of the hike wearing a long sleeve T shirt. Got on the trail at 10 and the lot was full so we had to drop some of are party and hitch a ride... Took about 8 seconds to get a lift. Great day.

hiking
1 month ago

Great weather today. Hard-packed trail all the way to Chasm Lake - no need for snowshoes (or even gaiters, although they are a nice-to-have). Used microspikes and trekking poles for the snowfield. Definitely need some sort of traction because there aren't steps kicked all the way across.

hiking
1 month ago

We completed this hike 12/15. We started at 9:30am and there was plenty of parking at the TH. First one third of the hike is mostly clear of snow. We used microspikes the remainder, although they were not necessary. The trail has a good number of switchbacks and breaks up the elevation. We took 1.5 hours to summit— my recording had the summit at 3.0 miles, my total recording was 5.9 miles. Trail is well marked and well trafficked.

hiking
1 month ago

When the higher powers give you 50 degree days with little wind in December, you take advantage of it. Repeat hike on 12/14 up Deer mtn. Left around 2:45 which was later than planned so the last 1/2 mile to car was pretty dark. Wore thermal and fleece which was unzipped most of the way. Put on gloves and ski cap for route back. Going up I had only my trail shoes and was fine. But the snow has melted and the water has turned to ice. Definitely needed spikes for most of route down which I had in my pack. Wish I had more time at the top.

Load More