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

estes park Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
1 day 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.

It was only 46° but the majority of the hike is in direct sunlight. For me it’s not a summer hike. Great views of the peaks. Definitely worth your while.

Nice quick hike! Great in winter....

One of my faves!

hiking
2 days 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.

great hike. had a little waterfall 2 lakes and pretty easy. I will be doing it again.

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike with several places with amazing views before getting to the summit. Last .2 miles can be a little tough if you have breathing problems at altitude, like me, but going slow is just fine since there is enough room to move out of the way for faster people.

You do need some sort of traction as you get deeper into the shady areas since there was a fair amount of snow.

Definitely would do this hike again since the views are incredible.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes reccomended. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoeing out to black lake. The views from the frozen lakes are astounding. Mild crowding on the way out to mills, very few after that. I would highly reccomend this trail, be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiked early morning 12/9. The hike to mills lake is a nice boot pack, crampons or microspikes. After mills lake, the trail mostly vanishes and its time to pull out the snowshoes. Great snowshoing out to black lake, deffinitelty exhausting. the views from the frozen lakes is amazing. I would reccomend this trail, just be ready for some pretty exhaustive snowshoeing the second half.

hiking
8 days ago

First time hiking to Black Lake in winter. Trail from Bear Lake to Mills Lake was perfectly packed down, microspikes made it easy. The lake was frozen solid and it was so cool to walk straight across! Softer snow between Jewel Lake and Black -- changed to snowshoes about 20-30 min before reaching Black Lake after post-holing a few times. Luckily there were clear ski/snowshoe tracks to follow all the way. The distance between Jewel Lake and Black Lake always feels farther than it actually is. We walked around the shore of Black Lake to continue snowshoeing up to Blue Lake (used a GPS watch because we didn't see signs of a trail). SO worth it! The views from above the lake were stunning. Even better, Blue Lake was sheltered from wind making it a perfect spot for a snack break. Will definitely come back in the summer to find Green/Frozen and climb the Spearhead.
12.5 miles in 6.5 hours roundtrip

Perfect winter hike. Lots of cross country skiers and snow shoes. We hiked in our hiking boots, well packed snow. Wear lots of layers.

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked this with my sister back on October 6th. Wasn’t our planned hike. Decided to do it and Hallet since we couldn’t get to Mount Ida. Trail Ridge was already closed and under snow. We were only in the park for two days so lots of huffing and puffing but we made it. Started off around 7am in the fog and climbed above the clouds into the snow! One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Super cold and windy at the top but amazing views. Soaked socks, shoes, and legs. Didn’t plan for the snow but it was awesome. Can’t wait to do it again next summer along with Mount Ida.

Love this hike! Took off 12/9 at about 930a. I had spikes with me in case but never took them out of my pack. Wind was down and sun out so a thermal undershirt and fleece jacket was enough to keep the cold off. I had gloves and ski cap and took both off at points during hike as well. Few icy patches but lots of exposed ground in the non shady spots. Always see wildlife around the big open field before heading into trees. Some good inclines but the switchbacks keep the elevation manageable. Great views of the Fall River side of park.

this was a fun and challenging hike for a flat lander. the snow added an extrsma challenge. I took off at about 10 AM so it was still cold. I didnt have much of a problem with footing. I only had hiking boots on, no spikes. it was ok going up, but on the way down, about 1 PM it there were some slick spots which just meant I had to slow down. the views at the summit were worth the hike. there is a great view of longs peak, the only 14er in RMNP.

Fabulous! Parking spaces open when we arrived at 9 am. Spikes until the last mile and then it got deep and tricky. Super windy at the lake but lovely. Snow shoes necessary to get to the lake. Took us 3.5 hours to finish! Awesome day!

Beautiful winter trail! Did this trail today and the snow was perfect. Snowshoes were definitely helpful, but can easily be done using only spikes. This took us around 4 hours round trip with plenty of photo stops and a little break up top. A good moderate hike

hiking
11 days ago

Completed this hike (+ a little extra) with my girlfriend in late summer. We did not set out with a definitive plan...got a late start, around 10am. We attempted to reach Green Lake after Black Lake, but turned around halfway (around 11,150ft) due to approaching storm clouds, and wanting to be back before dark.

Hard is an accurate rating, especially the last half-mile to Black Lake, and the extra mile we did after. I'm in moderate shape, and my girlfriend was visiting from sea level (her first hike above 10,000 ft!). We took a fair number of breaks for snacks and pictures...our Fitbits said 12 miles, 36,000 steps, in ~9 hours. The hike itself was not daunting, but we were exhausted by the end, and sore for a few days after.

Top pros were that the views were spectacular, and that the trail was mostly well marked. The exceptions are that we never saw the turn to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. We also completely lost the trail in the bolderfield between Black Lake and Green Lake, which contributed to our decision to turn-around.

The biggest con, and reason for not giving it a 5th star, was the heavy traffic up to Mills Lake. We even got stuck behind a lady talking on her cellphone for awhile. We chose to skip a number of attractions (i.e. Alberta Falls) to avoid, and try and surpass, the crowds. Fortunately, most people stopped at, or before, Mills Lake. We saw less than two dozen people between Mills Lake and our turnaround.

Overall an excellent hike that we hope to do again, next time with an earlier start, a better plan, and hopefully in a little better shape!

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked 12/3. The hike from bear lake to dream lake is our favorite in the park, regardless of the season. Today was no exception. We took snowshoes with and used them the whole time. The hike from the parking lot to dream lake could be easily done with micro spikes. From there to lake Haiyaha will require snowshoes in its current state. Less traffic on this trail and recent snow makes it loose, narrow and uneven in a lot of places. You’ll have to stay tight and inside in a lot of places to keep from sinking a falling down the ridge.

With caution, it’s very doable. We are not super experienced in snowy mountains and managed just fine. It’s worth the trip.

Did this hike yesterday with my friends. It was a little windy and there was a little ice near the falls but overall it was beautiful and an amazing hike.

Completed Black Lake 11/28. Traction was nice to Mills, not necessary. Flotation was necessary after Mills. Trail was not difficult to follow despite being faint from wind. Last .7m added a few tricky spots weaving through the creek. Not enough snow pack in some spots to keep from post holing, avoidable with attention. Skis would have been great.

Great hike summer or winter will need spikes for sure

Great views easy addition to flattop
Worth the extra effort

Amazing trail. Amazing!!!

hiking
24 days ago

Challenging climb, but you’re rewarded with a stunning lake at the end. Listen for the hikers cheering while conquering Longs Peak above. Enjoy!

Hiked in the snow. The views while limited on a cloudy day also was beautiful.

hiking
25 days ago

Gorgeous hike. I hiked this in August. The raspberries lining the switchbacks right above treeline were a welcome surprise

hiking
26 days ago

Nice moderate hike. The snow on the trail is well packed, microspikes were nice but not needed. Any travel off of the main trail (even by 1 foot) will need snowshoes.

Beautiful hike. On Thanksgiving Day the trail to Mills Lake was well traveled, and because the snow was well packed I only wore microspikes and gaiters until about a mile before Black Lake at which point I put on the snowshoes to avoid postholing the rest of the way. I found the trail to be easy to follow past Mills Lake, but the ascent to Black Lake, while readily visible was not well broken, and felt like an awful lot of work for the distance covered. I did not continue on to Frozen Lake. While I found Mills Lake to be stunning, seeing the Black Lake cirque made me audibly gasp because of the immensity of it's beauty.

Particularly good on a post snow winters day. The view is worth it

Load More