Explore Estes Park Trails - 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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absolutely amazing hike! the trail is pretty packed for maybe a mile or two but thins out. the trail for the most part is pretty moderate untill the last mile and a half. I will say if you are not comfortable with a scramble or not wearing proper boots don't finish the hike. I saw three people almost slip and fall down the waterfall and personally had to catch someone who was wearing Nike running shoes.

Great for families. Did it with an age range from 5-60. Just bring lots of water. It does get a little long so we stopped a few times.

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

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
2 days 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!

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!

Vraiment beau paysage !!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail. Definitely arrive by 7:30 am to avoid heavy traffic. If you are not an early riser and always lucky, arrive around 10 am to take the early birds' spots.

A tough climb but so worth it! The air towards the top is pretty thin if you're sensitive to that. There's a bit of a scramble across rocks before you reach the saddle. If you want to avoid that, you can take the low road which branches to the left at the sign that says "all peaks this way (to the right)". That trail steepens drastically at the end though before rejoining the main trail. The climb up Chiquita is no joke! It's something like a 45% grade the whole way from the saddle but worth it. Would do again and budget more time (and food) for all three peaks. Saw huge herd of elk, several deer, and tons of pika and marmots.

3 days 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.

Beautiful scenery but there are better ones than this lake.

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

3 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.

hiking
3 days ago

8/11/18 - Hiked this amazing trail. My Inreach Exploer tracked 14.0 miles. The trail is well marked until the last .25 miles or so. The last .25-ish mile is traversing up rocks. Very step is well worth it. Love it - lots to see along the way. Beautiful wild flowers, water falls and more. The lake is stunning. I will do this hike again for sure.

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!

hiking
4 days ago

It's worth the uphill grade to see Emerald Lake. Very pretty and attainable.

hiking
4 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!

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.

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.

This hike without other factors should be a 5. Three great hikes in a short hike. But the amount of people on this trail just ruins it. Started at 830 and already way too late.

Once you get the lakes don't find a place to sit down immediately as other do. Explore around the lake to find some solitude.

Really want to do this hike again but starting at 530 am.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). Had hiking carrier for them but they also took turns hiking.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful hike despite all the people.

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

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hiking but not for the faint of heart. Be well acclimated before heading out on this beautiful hike.

Pretty darn good hike. We parked at fern lake trailhead and hiked to the bear lake trailhead and took the shuttle back. Note that the shuttle does not go all the way back to the fern lake trailhead. You will still have 0.7 miles to get to the actual trailhead. Overall it’s almost 10 miles and about 2700 ft gain in elevation. It would be a lot easier to go bear lake to fern lake. Bear lake is higher so the climb is much less daunting. Parking is more difficult at bear lake. Either way the scenery is gorgeous and the streams and lakes are beautiful as is fern falls.

According to the trail maps on sight, it is close to 10 miles to Sky Pond if you start at Bear Lake.

hiking
5 days ago

Great trail if you love water! The stream and various falls are all along the trail up to Ouzel Falls. At Ouzel, venture to the left to get up close to the falls ... find a good rock and enjoy the beauty. Instead of doing this as an out and back, we continued on past the falls, picked up the Wild Basin Trail and then at the Thunder Lake Trail junction turned right. This will take you past several campsites and connect back into the main trail. We really enjoyed this added section. (made the total distance a little over 6 miles) We arrived at 7:45 am and there were still 10+ parking spots left. Recommend getting there early to get ahead of the crowds.

hiking
5 days ago

Four lakes along the trail. There are all beautiful. My favorite is the dream lake. I went there in summer and it's so cool. Imagine How I was happy as I went there from south Arizona!

hiking
5 days ago

Secluded and peaceful. Great views of rockies on the way.

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