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

rocky mountain recommends Map
23 hours ago

Fun hike great falls at the end

Beautiful scenery! This water fall is amazing. The trail is also very well kept up.

Lovely hike with many beautiful lakes along the way. We started at Bear Lake and hiked thru to the Fern Lake trailhead which clocked in at 11.4 miles on my Fitbit. From Fern Lake it is another .7 miles to the RMNP shuttle. It took us about 5 hours, with stops, to complete. The first 3-4 miles of the hike is a steady ascent and the rest is all downhill. We ran into one snow patch along the way that was easily traversed (early July). Stop at every lake along the way- they are spectacular. Keep an eye out for an unmarked trail on your left that leads to Lake Helene. It's about half a mile past the Sourdough Backcountry Campsite and is a great stop for views and lunch. Lake Odessa is about 4.5 miles in and you need to hike down to get to it. Incredible views. We also passed Spruce Lake, Fern Lake, and Fern Falls. We didn't see many people along the way and the views descending into Odessa Gorge are spectacular. Horses are allowed on the trail, and the droppings get pretty bad the last 3 miles near Fern Lake. Overall, this is a beautiful, long hike that offers gorgeous views of RMNP.

2 days ago

Fantastic hike! Leave early to avoid heat and crowds. We camped at Longs Peak Campground and the next morning walked to the Chasm/Longs Peak Trailhead. Started at 7:30am and meandered the way up. Traffic was OK. Many of the Longs Peak hikers had begun a few hours earlier than us. Had fun scrambling at the end just before the lake. We stayed at the lake watching climbers, eating lunch, and relaxing then began the trek down around 1pm and it was really, really crowded. Cool weather at the lake. Hot on the way down above the tree line, cooler once in the trees. Beautiful views all along the trail! We stopped so many times to take in the scenery. Really great enjoyable hike! July 2018.

Very good hike! Views at the top are absolutely gorgeous.

Considering no one seems to go here or even know about it, it is worth the 2 minutes off the main road and 3 min walk. Impressive story. Bring swim trucks and shoes and get in or hike to the top and get a cool view

Very steady incline, beautiful vistas, not too busy

4 days ago

Loved this trail. Switchbacks through the woods and then nice clearing with beautiful views on the way up. Near the lake, there is a bit of a scramble but it was such fun. Go early to avoid heat and the crowds!

Highly trafficked but the waterfall is awesome. We hiked to Emerald lake first. Since the trailheads are basically the same, we kept going to see the waterfall. You can pick a nice rock for a nap once you get there. Great scenery, but if I came back to this park I’d pick a less trafficked trail. It was suitable for my brother, who was dying because he never hikes.

Wonderful hike, amazing scenery! Was really shocked by the damage of the 2013 flood, amazing to see up close and personal. As for the overall hike seemed to be rated properly. Had a few steeper spots, but for the most part it was relatively easy. Views everywhere on this hike are amazing!

My Husband & I hiked Alberta Falls on 4th of July & it was Beautiful! Sat on a rock & dipped my feet into the cold water stream... Over all it was a pretty easy hike. Worth it! Kid friendly. Parking lots get filled quickly & you have to use the park and ride after 7:30ish. So my advise is to go as early as you can. $25 fee for the national park also.

6 days ago

easy hike to do as soon as you get there, takes like five minutes and extremely worth it

Great trail for all the family.

8 days ago

This is a gorgeous hike. The final 2 mile push to Chasm lake is the most rewarding, as you pass several streams and waterfalls.

We left from Denver at 2am to catch the sunrise over the lake (5:40am). Even at 3:40am the parking lot was full, and we had to park further down the road. This wasn't a bother, but I imagine that coming later, would make this much, much harder. I would highly recommend opting for the sunrise to beat crowds!

9 days ago

Great trail. Great views. Very crowded.

Hiked this on 7/3. Since it is off the Bear Lake trail, don't get to the parking lot after 6:30 on busy days if you want a spot and a less crowded hike. We started early and had a relatively quiet and less populated trail. It is quite steep, there is rarely flat or downhill parts, so rest when you need to. We aren't anywhere near as athletic as most on the harder trails, so the steep hike was quite rewarding with the views over Dream and Emerald Lakes. We only went close to 3 miles and turned around instead of all the way to the top because we took our time and spent a lot at the overlooks, so it was very sunny when we got above tree line. This was the plan because we just wanted to get the views of the lakes and get above tree line for practice for Chasm Lake. Next time we will go to the top! It's a very rewarding hike and each section along the way is beautiful.

9 days ago

Most rewarding hike I've ever done! Start before 5:30a if you want to park in the lot or along the road near the trailhead and not a mile away. Trail will be fairly populated but much busier on the way down than going up. This also gives you enough time to enjoy the hike before it gets too warm/sunny or afternoon storms above tree line. Bring lots of water and protein and good hiking boots/shoes with ankle stability. We were done by noon after spending around 30 minutes at the lake, stops for pictures, and small breaks every half mile or so.

This was our first hike along the Longs Peak trail and the entire route looks like a fairytale! First half is incline through the forest with views of small creeks/waterfalls and wild flowers. After tree line you can see everything and you are quite exposed, but it's gorgeous tundra and alpine ecosystems. Lots of critters and birds, and we saw a small herd of elk resting in the distance near the Boulder field. Once you're above tree line and hike up the steep incline there for about a mile, you'll get to your first reward of Peacock Pool. Keep going and you'll see Columbine Falls and eventually hike over it. Absolutely gorgeous. Finally, the last quarter mile you're climbing and scrambling up to get into the little bowl Chasm Lake is in. Be careful and follow the cairns for the best rocks and boulders to climb on because the trail is not clear. After that you get the beautiful and rugged alpine lake! So clear you can't quite tell how deep it is.

Very rewarding at 11760 ft! Just remember you have to climb all the way down and it's pretty unforgiving. By the end you're pretty much ready to never use your ankles or knees again. I would say this hike is moderate until the scrambling which would make the hike a bit more difficult and strenuous depending on fitness and ability. We are not athletic but hiked over 25 miles last week with a new steep or alpine trail everyday with a rest day to prepare for this one. Enjoy!

Beautiful hike. Loved all the wildflowers and the beautiful columbine fields. The waterfalls from Chasm lake falling into Peacock lake were stunning.

A bit crowded when we were there on a Saturday but a great hike for kids or older folks. We passed these falls on the trail to Loch Lake.

Gorgeous hike

Long trail. But definitely worth it

easy hike and nice and simple

10 days ago

limited parking at 0450. hardly any hikers tho. recommend going early to beat the heat and the hikers.

I'd personally rate this trail easy, with the last tid bit as difficult. before you actually get to chasm lake, you'll have to boulder/climb your way up.

you'll see a little lake off to the left when you are getting close. that's not chasm, keep going.


My GPS clocked this trail at 4.4 miles one way. so the site is slightly off.

we were done with the trail under 6 hours. but we also journey off the trail some and hung out at the lake for about an hour.

Great hike, especially for beginners. The falls are also very beautiful.

10 days ago

Wow!!! What a beautiful hike filled with waterfalls, wildflowers, and nice folks along the way.

Long trail, and tough at the end. I’m a pretty fit 27 year old and the altitude combined with the rock climbing at the end up by the sky pond had me exhausted! The views are incredible and well worth it though, I’d definitely recommend this trail for anyone looking for a long day hike in the mountains. We arrived to the park at noon, parked fairly close to the entrance and caught two buses up to bear lake, the first to the park and ride, and the second up to bear lake as there was no parking up top. The buses were frequent so no complaints there!. It was crowded by Alberta falls and bear lake but around the rest of the trail there were only a few people. Loved it!

Unbelievable views not just from the top but all the way through. Definitely doing it again

Great climb with big payoff on views from the top. Not heavily trafficked. Distinct trail all the way. Doesn't feel like a 2,500 ft gain.

Beautiful hike. Lake at the top worth the climb.

11 days ago

This trail is easy and is in the thick of the forest so the scenery is wonderful. We came from alluvial fan so this waterfall was not as exciting but still awesome! Great quick hike for families: there are portions that are uphill and downhill so it evens out.

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