Explore Rocky Mtn National Park - 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
17 hours ago

Short and easy around a nice lake with view on the mountains.

I've done this trial two years in a row now, and I legit think I’m doing it next year too. It’s such a peaceful and refreshing view, and it’s a moderate hike that is worth it. Through, in parts this year the trail was hard to follow/find, but still ridiculously fun.

Amazing trail with plenty of water view and river trail!

Did this hike with my wife in a sleet storm. Fairly easy hike for most of the way until you turn up Mount Chiquita. Cold and exposed! Beautiful though........

mills lake was awesome...hike is fairly crowded, but a lot better once you get past Alberta falls...the lake and landscape is a must see!

So beautiful

on Lily Lake

hiking
5 days ago

The location is nice since it is right off the road on the way into Estes. View are pretty. Parking can be a bit tough. Crowded. Folks need to remember that dogs are NOT allowed in RMNP.

As others have said, very tough parking depending on that day you attempt your hike. Also, you are very exposed so don't get stuck too far out if any storms are in the area. At 2 miles out, it gets pretty steep and really rocky. That might be the point to stop with kids. Stunning views.

Finally found parking at Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Hiked out to Alberta Falls and then headed back to the trail junction and headed to Bear Lake. Walked the .5 mile loop around Bear Lake. Took the shuttle back to Glacier Gorge. Absolutely beautiful hike. Took a lot of pictures. Not a pro hiker. Uphill stretches are tiring but well worth it.

I don’t know why the app says this trail is easy. It’s moderate-hard and the end is very steep. A beginner can do it, but still.
Great views though. I would do it again.

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.

on Estes Cone Trail

9 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.

Very easy beginner trail but so beautiful everyone will want to go. I walked Bear lake trail first then took Alberta Falls Route. A lot of people on weekends.

Right off road to alpine visitor center, parking can be tough.

Saw elk across the way at the start. Saw numerous marmots.

Views were great from the get-go. Just different being in the tundra. If you go to RMNP then do one tundra hike, this may be true easiest trail option. . Don't even have to do the whole trail, as the views might be the best in the beginning.

hiking
11 days ago

I combined this trail and the Emerald lake trail, for totally about 4 hours. The scenes along the trail are very good. Maybe because the elevation here is too large (~3000m), I was very tired although the trail is not hard.

hiking
11 days ago

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

Great trail. I would emphasize that if you find yourself on a single track footpath, you’re off the trail, not that I know anything about that. Would be wonderful if the horse people would take a little responsibility for the poop all over the trail.

Nice views overlooking Estes Park and the Rockies. Could have been nicer but unfortunately was a hazy day.

Hike to Alberta Falls was easy and nicely groomed but heavy foot traffic. Attempted trail to Mills Lake but ran out of time. that trail was equally nice. On way back hiked to Bear Lake (all up hill) but very nice.

This hike was lovely - truly the stereotypical mountain lake ideal view. It's as gorgeous as you'd imagine. :) Yes, if you hike it in the summer, it'll be well populated, but that's the case for most trails at any national park.
As I approached Mills Lake, I watched the water that would become Alberta Falls rush by, flowing heavily from MIlls Lake. After that, I crested a hill with large boulders around, that opened up to the spans of Mills Lake, flanked by idyllic rocky mountains.
As an Arizona hiker who visited in August, I layered my clothing: yoga tank under a long sleeved t, under a sweatshirt, under a waterproof windbreaker. I'm SOOOO glad I took all layers (I almost left the sweatshirt in the car), because in the 30ish minutes I sat by the lake, the weather went from full sun, dy, then thunder, rain and hail...and then sun again. ....and then rain. Mother Nature was verrry moody the day I hiked this trail, and judging from what the Park Rangers, guides and locals told me, this is common. So, be sure you're prepared!
This trail felt like a true hike, whereas Bear Lake was not at all. The hike to Mills Lake is rated moderate, but I believe it's somewhere between Easy and Moderate.
There aren't any steep grades, despite you ascending almost all the way. The grade is subtle.
Because you are walking on a trail with loose rock and stepping around larger rocks, I also recommend you wear grippy shoes/boots.
You'll love it.

hiking
13 days ago

I hiked this both from Bear Lake trailhead and Glacier Gorge trailhead. I preferred entering via Glacier Gorge trail because it was a little more scenic. The difference - hiking from Bear Lake trailhead, you'll descend for quite a while until you begin ascending toward the falls. If you start from Glacier Gorge trailhead, you'll be ascending. This starting point will offer you more cardio.
The walk to the falls is lovely and offers you views that span for miles. Gorgeous. ...but even more gorgeous if you pass the falls and hike to either MIlls Lake or Loch Lake. Trust me, it's worth it. :)
The reason why I'm giving it only 3 stars is for a couple reasons - it's populated with tourists who aren't equipped to hike to the falls. Point being, they're a hazard, so watch out. Secondly, although I thought the falls were lovely and the sound soothing, I thought they'd be grander. If you hike on towards one of the lakes further up the trail, you'll continue to parallel the falls, which is nice because that sound of rushing water accompanies you.

Beautiful hike to Mills Lake. It was challenging but well worth the effort. Only drawback was too many people on the trail.

Lovely, easy trail. The falls are just beautiful. Can get busy, but there's plenty of room for everyone to move around and enjoy. Keep going up to Loch Lake Trail, it's more challenging and worth the hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Incredibly easy, almost completely flat loop around Lily Lake. We saw lots of ducks and a few muskrats on the afternoon of August 1. The parking lot is small and fills quickly, but there's additional parking across the street for the Twin Sisters Peak Trail. If interested in a slightly harder (though still not hard for most people) hike with better views of the lake, check out the Lily Ridge Trail, which also starts at Lily Lake.

hiking
17 days ago

Moderately difficult trail with rewarding views at the summit. Saw a rabbit and lots of chipmunks but no other wildlife to note. Watch out for those chipmunks, they'll try to get into your bag of you set it down. Wish there was a sign at the top.

walking
17 days ago

8/4/18
great for an afternoon stroll. we saw lots of wildlife including a moose.

Hiked up to Black Lake a week ago. Quite a few folks between Alberta Falls and Mills. But beyond Mills we found only the committed. We had Black Lake all to ourselves until the weather chased us down. Hike from Mills to Black is beautiful and serene. Loved the waterfall below Black. Take the time to relax at Black. It is worth the time and effort.

We were coming from Grand Lakes, so we decided to park at the Alpine visitor center and walked down along Old Fall River Rd to the Chapin Creek trail head (2.1 miles away). This was only 40 min drive to Alpine center instead of 2 hr drive to trail head via Old Fall River Road. This trail head would be easier to get to from Estes park.
The trail was beautiful. Got above tree line quickly. Then narrow rocky path along slope of mountain. We missed the trail junction turn up to Mt Chapin (turns out there is a small cairn but no trail sign) and we ended straight up Mt Chiquita which was a very difficult 1000 ft climb in the last mile requiring multiple stops. It got very windy and exposed too. The summit is very rocky (RMNP) but easily traversed. Took us 3 hrs to get up there. Coming down was easier but we got caught in light rain initially, which then turned into heavy hail storm in the last 1/2 mile as we were walking back up to the Alpine center. Should have hitched hike then.

We completed this trail today. The views are gorgeous most of the way. Loved it. You must go up the one-way Old Falls River Rd to get to the trailhead, part of which is beside a steep dropoff with no protection. Parking is limited on the road which is already narrow. You miss a parking spot, it isn't like you can turn around! My GPS registered a ways farther than 5 miles round trip, but maybe I was taking smaller steps...? It got a little strenuous on the last stretch with the incline. Many places you must be able to navigate over various-sized rocks, some of which aren't fixed into place. Bring plenty of water and extra layers as the wind was strong and chilly nearing the top. We noted elk, marmot, and pikas on this trail. There was a marmot at the top who obviously has been fed by people. Don't do it. I saw too many folks starting out too late and/or with little or no visible water. You don't want to be on this hike when bad weather moves in - lots of exposure. Start early and be done by 1pm.

hiking
17 days ago

I absolutely loved this trail. I got to the trailhead about 9:30 am and there was only a handful of cars so I got a pretty good parking spot. The first mile or so is pretty flat but it definitely gets harder as you keep going. Totally worth the hike because the views you see on the way up are fantastic. Once you get to the top, you have more than enough room to sit down, enjoy the view, and eat some lunch (I got there about 11:15). I came down and was back to my car about 12:45 (lots more people were on the trail at this point so I suggest going early.) Overall a great hike and highly recommend.

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