Explore Estes 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Estes 2017 Map
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hiking
13 days ago

In this side of the park, Alberta Falls is the entrance location to most trails. It’s very pretty, but there’s definitely a lot of foot traffic.

Whenever I go hiking, I zoom right by because there’s always so many people. The further back you get into the mountains, there’s (obviously) less and less people.

It’s pretty, but if you’re not into touristy, I’d stray.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful short hike when you're tired from longer or higher hikes.

hiking
22 days ago

Nice and easy hike around the lake with beautiful views. We did ours on 12/27 while it was -12C around 10:30 am. It was super cold and windy. We saw people skating and walking on the lake, which was frozen. Good option for kids.

25 days ago

Beautiful!

I walked this trail 12/17/18 and it’s a beautiful trail. The trail was snow packed with patches of ice but easily trekked.

Super easy and super beautiful.

Nice pit stop on the way to black lake

walking
2 months ago

Great view, really easy loop.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Great beginning trail for snowshoeing! We went from the Bear Lake trailhead to make the trip a little longer, and it was beautiful and peaceful!

hiking
2 months ago

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Well kept easy trail to hike or snowshoe

Really pleasant lake. Only thing is you can park right next to hit so there's no hiking needed to arrive at the destinations. None the less, super beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Waterfall is currently iced up and slow flowing. Not one of the most exciting destinations to visit amongst the Rocky Mountain trails. Would recommend traversing past and head over to Mills Lake.

Beautiful even in snow-packed conditions. The falls are mostly frozen over right now, but there’s lots of easy trails in the area. Good grips on shoes (or traction clamps for shoes) would have made it easier, but still fun! And dress warm!!!

hiking
2 months ago

3 couples hiked it together in November 1st , there were several inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing the most big lovely flakes . The sun was peaking through and shinning off the water . How could I not give it a 5 star review ? Easy access , nice beautiful easy hike . We loved it !

10/28/18

maybe horses hadn't been on the trail in a while and we got lucky, but horse poop was not a problem, lol. we took a 4 year old to complete his rocky mountain junior ranger badge on this and it was perfect. it was a beautiful hike through meadows and woods, and with beautiful views. I highly recommend this hike for small children.

Beautiful roundtrip of Bear Lake. It was a snowy day so not many people on the trail, but it looks like it could be very crowded.

Very slippery in winter, wear good shoes with grip. Husband slipped three times. Beautiful falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty easy loop around a beautiful lake. We found parking pretty easily. Part of the trail was packed snow/ice and very slippery. Enjoyed this loop on a beautiful day.

Easy trail around a beautiful lake. Steep in some sections but only for short distances. In late October the trail on the north side of the lake was clear to wet. The trail on the south side (no sun) was snow packed and icy. Slippery. Even in late October the parking lot was half full.

hiking
2 months ago

great little hike. the snow was so packed it was pretty treacherous! I slid down the ice more than a few times. still completely worth it! too bad there's no fishing in the lake :P. the trail was pretty packed with other hikers but that made it easier to take our time.

hiking
3 months ago

A great path walk/hike for families or people coming from a low altitude. We easily took our BOB double stroller because the path is paved and wide enough not to bother people with it. We had a great time watching baby beavers in the lake and throwing snowballs while walking. A great warm up to the bigger hikes in RMNP. Lots of parking and not too busy.

hiking
3 months ago

Arrived at 8am to a mostly empty parking lot on a chilly morning. Started the traverse around the lake with a very close encounter with a pair of moose! My 4 year old really enjoyed the lily ridge trail with endless climbing opportunities right off the main path....we spent almost 2 hours going off trail and had a blast. Enjoyed Lily Lake more than Bear Lake or Sprague Lake because of the variety offered by the lily ridge trail. Highly recommended if you have young kids.

Nice short stroll worth doing after you wear yourself out on the more challenging hikes in the area. Beautiful lake. The kids enjoyed running from marker to marker along the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Not really a hike, but still worth the short walk around the lake for the amazing views. We got some great photos of three moose taking a stroll through the lake during our walk on June 27, 2018.

Great introductory trail to RMNP. Easy for all ages and abilities.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice warmup for the other trails at this trailhead. Easy walk around the lake, quite busy.

Simple, Easy, trail for anyone to do!
Peaceful views on the lake.

Loved the winter wonderland walk today, everything was snow covered. I'd recommend Microspikes for the boots, but you can easily do it without.

[See my photos marked "October 12, 2018"]
Idled on road for 20 minutes waiting to get into parking lot. VERY crowded today. Five stars is for restroom facilities, trailhead area, and railing on trail. Unfortunately the trail itself was so slick with ice that we didn't make it to the lake. One member of our party slipped and fell almost immediately on the trail, so we turned around and went back to our car. Trekking poles and/or Yaktrax (microspikes, not chain) would help immeasurably on this trail under the current conditions. It might not be so bad at noontime when the top layer is softened up a bit. Our attempt was at 5 p.m. and the trail was iced over.

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