Explore Hiking in colorado! - 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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hiking
26 minutes ago

My wife and I arrived about 2:20 pm and found parking that Sunday at the trail head (9/16/18). It was a little packed on the trail, but as the hike continued the crowds thinned out. I think dream lake would be a better place to sit and have lunch rather than at nymph lake or emerald lake. Nymph lake had a lot of people while emerald lake didn’t have much room. This is a great fast hike with a very well built trail.

Gorgeous trail once you get past Nymph Lake.

awesome trail. along ariver for most of it. great in winter too!

een prachtige wandeling. geweldige vergezichten. wel veel klimmen maar het is het zeker waard.

short hike great place to spend the day

One of my favorite hikes in RMNP! This review is from July 2016.

The trail will be very easy and quite packed until Alberta Falls. During the early to mid summer the falls will be flowing strong. Less intense in the fall. The hike will become less packed as you head up to the Loch. We hiked it with our kids (18 and 12) and both loved this hike! The views at the Loch are gorgeous. Such an amazing place to have lunch and relax among the glorious views.

If you plan on hiking to the Loch I recommend wearing trail shoes or hiking boots and bringing ~2L of water per person!

hiking
1 day ago

Although this is definitely a crowded hike, the magnificent views around every turn made it worth it! All three lakes were beautiful. We made it to the Park & Ride area (on a Tuesday) about 10am and luckily found one of the last parking spots.

I do see everyone saying this is an easy hike. It is easy in that it has a well maintained path and is easy to follow. However, it is mostly stairs and uphill! So if you have bad knees or are out of shape, keep that in mind. This is not a “stroll along a path” type of easy. If you are a flat lander or from sea level, be mindful that stairs plus elevation will tire you out quickly. We saw all ages and shapes and sizes of people taking this hike and a lot were struggling. Take rests on the way up - no harm in resting and taking in the views! I recommend plenty of water and hiking shoes. Leave the flips flops at home and be prepared for high winds at Emerald Lake.

This was the first hike I’ve done in Colorado. Wanted to do something easier as I am trying to get used to the elevation. I personally loved the trail. Very shady, several places to stop and climb some rocks for some great views. We took it counterclockwise and went downhill most of the time which was nice. Well maintained and easy to find trail. The bottom is awesome as the trail goes right next to a little creek in which you can see some fish. Took us about 3 hours due to several stops and lunch. Traffic on the trail was not too bad. I’d recommend this trail.

on Emerald Lake Trail

1 day ago

Gorgeous trail! The leaves are changing! Beautiful views along the way, it was very peaceful. Went today with my husband. I think it helped (as far as foot traffic) to be here on a weekday and also that we started a little after 5 pm—we only saw a handful of people. It was an awesome early evening hike for our first day here at RNMP!

We had a great time on this relatively easy trek. Trail mix fell into the Lake but we were able to retrieve it, and stayed dry in the smoothie container. But soooo many people in rmnp we will look for other places or maybe go once the weather detours most

This trail does get packed later into the day and holidays, so the earlier you go the better and there are two parking lots (north and south of the trail) that cost $5.00 cash to access. The trail head is in between the two lots. While I was there, there weren't many people on the trail and it was very peaceful. If you take the trail to access the lake just follow the main trail, don't veer right until you start to see the lake through the trees on your right hand side, then you can climb down to it using the paths.

The drive up to the trail head is beautiful in the fall, aspens cascade down both sides of the road (which has been newly paved at the time of writing this). The trail starts off wide with some loose rocks, but it is not difficult to hike and it's a short hike if you're just trying to make it to the lake itself. The main trail is nice with lots of foliage and boulders to rest on if you need to catch your breath due to altitude. Once you get to the lake the landscape becomes absolutely breath taking! While my husband I were there the water was unbelievably cold and it's colors were beautiful! Shallow parts of the lake were tan, but then others had a beautiful blue hue and it was completely clear!

If you want the hike to be a little more challenging (and a bit longer) hang a right and walk around the bank of the lake and go up towards the glacier. There is a trail to follow that goes up to the glacier and then up to the very top of the mountain itself. There is a warning sign saying it's not an official part of the trail, so take caution. There is wet ground and slippery rocks around due to the glacier and you may lose footing if you aren't careful or wearing proper shoes. My husband and I climbed up to the glacier bit and looking out over the lake and physically feeling the glacier was a wonderful experience. Pictures will be posted on here soon! Over all, this trail is easy, but you can make it more challenging and looking out over the scenery next to a glacier is not a bad way to spend your morning!

Not sure where the main trail head is, we walked 20 minutes over all rock. Tried to hike up next to a waterfall like stream and had to turn around. Terrain and climb was moderate to difficult with little or no payoff. Many people around us were really confused too-very disappointing.

This is a great hike if you are looking for a short and moderate to rigorous workout with great views. Ascending Mount Sanitas took me about 1 hour with several short water breaks. It is moderately steep and rocky. There is no shade 85% of the way up. Pretty views en route and at the summit. Descending through East Ridge was rough. I may have taken a wrong turn and ended up off the actual trail because it was loose rock almost the entire way down, pretty dangerous, and I ended up entering the valley trail further down.

Probably the most rewarding easy hike suitable for the entire family in the park. My 3 year old daughter was able to do the majority of the hike on her own short of a few steep stretches towards the end. With about 0.9 miles between each of the three lakes on the trail, it makes for regular breaks and helps keep everyone motivated for the next stop. Each lake offers something a bit different with all having a slightly different appeal. Great hike to share with new visitors of all abilities and a perfect entry level hike to RMNP.

Great trail with many great views of cascading waterfalls down a small mountain stream with a spectacular finish at Ouzell Falls. Copeland Falls was also better than expected. Ouzel Falls offers as good of a view as there is in RMNP in my opinion. We took the extra time to hike to the top of Ouzel Falls and it was well worth it. Great views of the aspens changing colors and sounds of running water as the trail follows a mountain stream throughout the hike. Also came across a full grown moose on the return trek. The trail took us just under 3 hrs including a 30+ minute detour to the top of Ouzel Falls. Highly recommended and easy enough for the entire family to enjoy.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trails and views on the way to Dream Lake and then Emerald Lake... get there early as I had to use the park and ride at 7:00 am but it was very quick and free.

We entered from CR 125 and 123–the latter a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks as we neared the trailhead sign. Be advised that there are at least two different access points and that one may be easier than the other. The trail descended steeply over rocky scree before reaching the creek which it followed through a mountain meadow. The ascent from the meadow to the lake was fairly steep. Although the signage listed the distance to the lake as 1.2 miles,it seemed longer to us.

The lake itself is lovely and remote. We discovered a party of campers who had pitched tents and brought in a kayak. Yes, some of them were swimming!

High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly suggested for accessing trailhead.

beautiful hike. once your at the bottom it's nice and cool following the stream for a while.. I would rate as hard, but able to do it with my baby in my pack. glad we took the advice of others and did clockwise, down the brook trail and up Chavez.. nice challenging hike

Beautiful hike. Limited parking, we arrived at approx 10am and were lucky to find a spot, I recommend going early. Lots of loose rock for nearly the entire trail. Great views, short and sweet.

Beautiful trail, well maintained and gorgeous views throughout the whole hike. I would say it is more of an easy hike than a moderate, although the altitude coupled with a lot of stair climbing towards the end did take my breath away a few times (as someone who is used to 800ft above sea level, this is a big change for me).

We arrived to the trail head around 7:30am on a Friday morning and the parking lot was only about 25% full. The hike up was not crowded at all but it was getting significantly busier on the way down. I would suggest starting at 7.

hiking
3 days ago

Great easy, short hike for out of towners with a high reward. Extremely crowded which is to be expected for such an easy hike. I highly recommend continuing up to the glacier for a bit more of a challenge plus some great views.

Beautiful views and on the way to Sky Pond. A lesiurly hike with some elevation.

this is a incredibly steep incline if you go via the mount sanitas trail route and not the valley. the valley offers no shade. the trail is steep and very rocky with a heck of a lot of stairs. there is no flat on this trail it is all up. parts of the trail were rock scrambling. dogs are welcome on leash and it's supposed to be a green tag trail. however every dog except mine were off leash and not all of them were voice recall trained. when I called out to people that my dog was not nice several had to run to grab their dogs. If you have a dog who has some leash aggression issues I would not take on this trail. many other trails in area with less dogs. this one has a lot and it was a Friday morning at 10 when we started!

great views at the top and was a great workout but I was in the mood for a moderate trail. I would have called this one difficult and I would have probably enjoyed it more had I been in the mood for a difficult trail that day

there is some shade offered the way of the mount sanitas trail and some nice stopping points to take pictures or chill.

Easy and short hike. A lot of people in the trail, but the trail is large enough to make your way in front of others. Nice lakes.

Hiked this today on a beautiful cloud free, warm fall day. We didn't get to hike around the lake but we went to it to take a peek. We had to make it back in time for the final shuttle of the day!

Pros:
1. The trail is shaded for much of the hike which is nice on warm sunny days.
2. Didn't see any rattlesnakes (my biggest fear since moving to CO) only one smaller snake that slithered away from the trail
3. Moderately challenging steepness (for most people - im not in CO hiking shape yet!) so this was a good middle level challenging hike for me that was a good mileage.
4. A few small waterfalls (unless we missed bigger ones) which were pretty. We werent able to stop and enjoy them too long because we had limited time but they were nice. you pass a handful of creeks on this trail.
5. Busy trail - i prefer this because the more people the less snakes (i assume haha) but i like that people are hiking the trail so you know if anything happens or you get hurt someone will cross your path at some point.
6. We saw a moose!! It was on the ride back to the parking area but still, super cool that there is some good wildlife in the area.

Cons:
1. Parking! Which many people expressed. We went today on a Saturday afternoon, and we drove around for a while and wasted a lotttt of time, before deciding to take the shuttle which is about 15 min from the trailhead so we wasted an hour trying to figure out where to park and what to do with that.
2. Only two major scenic areas, from a view perspective, one open area that has a view of some mountains and a sky resort towards the middle of the hike, and the lost lake, otherwise its mostly a wooded rocky trail with not much scenic views. Still pretty, dont get me wrong, but i like mountains, and lots of em!
3. Some rock was really lose - it was tough on the way down for me so wear hiking boots (I fell going down and hit my knee because of the loose rock - and i was even wearing good hiking boots).

we hiked this trail with our 3 and 5 year olds and it was great! easy enough for them to do without complaining. it took us about 25 minutes to get from the trailhead to the lake. the views from the top were beautiful! the actual hike is fine but not particularly scenic and quite a few people which is to be expected for a beautiful Saturday. we will definitely do this hike again!

Was a fun hike with a beautiful lake! At the time I went the water was cold but clear!

on Blue Lakes Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Pika everywhere! Watch your footing if you decide to take a shortcut up the hill side to the dam from the upper parking lot. Lots of loose rocks. Even in good hiking boots, I was still sliding. The view from the dam is amazing! Please give the Mountain Goats their room. There were a few eople infringing on their space, chasing them. Not cool!

A great hike just a drive out of the city and the trail is defiantly moderate or more. There are rocky terrain along the Chavez trail and so I appreciated someone’s tip about taking the trail up rather than down the sliding rock terrains. Thank you and hopefully others will do so too. Enjoy!

Beautiful and easy hike. Amazing in the fall.

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