hiking

views

no dogs

wildlife

forest

walking

nature trips

wild flowers

birding

lake

river

waterfall

horseback riding

snowshoeing

trail running

kid friendly

camping

fishing

backpacking

dogs on leash

cross country skiing

rock climbing

skiing

wheelchair friendly

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in north-central Colorado contains some of the most popular hiking trails in North America. Situated between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, the park hosts 76 mountains over 10 thousand feet high within its 412 square miles. The national park service runs five visitor centers with the headquarters at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center— just off highway 36 in Estes Park. In addition to amazing hikes, the park has some great scenic drives, including Trail Ridge Road, which takes visitors along the continental divide on the highest paved road in the country, and Old Fall River Road, a challenging dirt road that takes you to the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass - the highest national park visitor center in the United States at almost 11,800 ft. The park has four distinct ecosystems: montane, subalpine, alpine tundra, and riparian where lucky visitors can see wildlife such as mule deer, bighorn sheep and cougars. The high country of the park features many crystal clear alpine lakes, fantastic summits, and stunning views. The Estes Park Shuttle provides service from Denver International Airport to downtown Estes Park, and many shuttles run between the various trailheads, the Moraine Park Visitor Center and even the Glacier Basin Campgrounds. Many visitors use Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge as their starting point into the park.

hiking
19 hours ago

Fun moderate hike, with a good amount of shade along the trail and a beautiful payoff at the end. My wife and I did this with our 1 1/2 year old in a backpack carrier. There is something interesting to look at for most of the hike...nice views of the lower valley, the creek running along the whole trail, and peeks of the snow capped mountains up ahead. Crowds thin out fast after you pass the waterfall. Once you reach loch lake head for the center island area for the best vantage point.
This is a Rocky mtn must do!!

Easy trails. Great for first-timers!

hiking
23 hours ago

We enjoyed this trail, and were particularly pleased that it's the perfect option for rainy, dreary weather, as it's all below tree line, and the main attractions are the immediate views of the falls and lake, rather than vast overlooks. For the most part, the ascent is very gradual. 1.8 miles from the lake (at the last turnoff), there's a steep section, but it doesn't last too long. I was surprised to see a privy halfway up the trail - good to know! Stop at Copeland Falls on the way down; it parallels the main trail and doesn't add any extra distance - well worth it! The Ouzel Lake trail is also nice because you get to see the Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls as well.

hiking
1 day ago

Gorgeous hike. Hint: get to the Bear Lake parking early to get a parking space. The wind comes in strong in afternoon so if you’re intending to Plein air paint. Get there early! It took much longer getting to Emerald Lake than I thought - easy return. Take more water than you think you need!

hiking
1 day ago

Started this hike around noon yesterday and made it to Chasm Lake in 2.5 hours! Would recommend starting earlier due to weather but we got lucky! Pretty rigorous hike, but soooo worth it! The wildflowers, waterfalls, and alpine terrain are too beautiful for words! Lots of curious marmots on trail. Be careful crossing snowy areas this week as one of my steps broke through surface revealing open space and a decent fall beneath the snow! Be careful! Overall, one of my favorite hikes! Have fun!

This trail is a hidden gem! We stumbled across it because the park and ride bus heading for Emerald Lake was very crowded. This trail ended up being great and we were so happy to end up there! Basically had the trail to ourselves. Amazing views on the climb, caught some shade in the trees at the top, and the views of the lake with the mountains behind it were gorgeous. We couldn’t be happier with this hike!!

Mid 30s, mostly fit, carrying a toddler, took less than 2 hours. We went at 6:30pm (two hours before sunset) and had the trail totally to ourselves. Wish we had brought bug spray, the mosquitos around the lake were horrendous.

hiking
1 day ago

Did this today, and the conditions were fantastic! There is a tiny patch of snow right where the trail forks off from Dream, but this is all that was left. The trail had been rained on all night, but it was just fine with hiking boots. The streams are beautiful, they are at a nice running level right now. The trail was fairly busy, but nothing like that of the trail coming up to Dream from Bear Lake.

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked in July and didn't think we wanted to get to the summit. Were so close decided to push to the top and got stuck near the top during a thunderstorm. Listen to the rangers and get below tree line by 1pm. Scary time running down the trail in rain and hail with lightning striking in the nearby mountains. Great views from the top, despite not staying too long to appreciate them!

6/18/18 - lovely hike filled with wild flowers at this time. Hike starts with nice wide open mountain views. Trek through the forest seeing beautiful wild flowers along the way. Cub lake is uniquely filled with lily pads with yellow flowers. Past the lake you will see rock formations and the flowers continue while hiking downward to the Pool. As you walk to the Fern Lake TH you will hear and see beautiful water streams throughout the remaining hike. Love this nice,easy stroll through the RMNP.

Happy we added this walk before getting back on the shuttle. Really beautiful views!

One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced! Spectacular!

on Flattop Mountain Trail

2 days ago

Overall great views along the entire hike! Little snow but very manageable.

On our way out, we had the trails almost completely to ourselves. Balanced Rock was worth seeing, but definitely an uphill climb back to Gem Lake. And, once we made it back to Gem Lake, it was later in the day and more crowded. Overall, it was a beautiful hike that I'd definitely recommend.

hiking
2 days ago

I did this hike 6/18 and started around 7 a.m. The trail wasn't crowded at all at that time. The lake was beautiful. We extended our hike to Balanced Rock. When we came back, there were tons of people on the Gem Lake Trail. We took the longer way back via Twin Owls. That was a really cool route with much different views. Overall, all of these trails were very good.

Great hike great views and very good fishing for cutthroat at tail waters of Dream Lake and the inlet.

hiking
2 days ago

Hands down the most beautiful trail I've ever seen. Mid 30, mostly fit, carrying a toddler, took about an hour to get to the top. We went at 630pm, two hours before sunset, parked in the front row and had the trail to ourselves.

backpacking
2 days ago

Great day hike and an even better over night backpacking trip. We stayed at the golden banner campsite which was secluded and still very well maintained. We even had a massive moose come visit us. Overall I recommend.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike. Stunning views throughout the whole trail. Not overly difficult, great for showing people the beauty of Colorado.

This has to be my new favorite hike in the park. I did this hike on Saturday 6/16 and hiked as far as black lake. I got to the park at 6:30 and the Glacier Gorge lot was already full so I had to park at the bear lake TH. It barely added any distance. The trail was completely snow free until about the last mile before Black lake and even then it was only covered in a few spots and was easy without spikes or trecking poles. Scenery the whole way up was great with lots of waterfalls. I passed by Mills lake but that would be a worthwhile trip on it's own.

The fishing at Black Lake was excellent. Lots of mayflies hatching and the brook trout were hitting on nearly every cast. I will definitely be hiking back to this lake.

Trip dates:: 6/15-17. You want to enjoy lakes in close proximity to each other? Do this hike. We enjoyed a two night three days backpacking trip here. Stayed at the Solitaire campground. From here all the lakes from Verna lake n on is accessible all the way to Fifth Lake which is the very last lake on the map. Its marshy and about a foot deep in but if u don’t mInd then by all means head up towards the Fifth Lake- it’s gorgeous!! Lots of downed trees and the trail is not maintained after Verna Lake and you will see a sign that will indicate that. Lots of water and gushing falls. Bonus: a few actual man made steps makes the uphill hike a beautiful photo op. Lots of vista points as well. Very busy trail head but thins out and it’s just you and the wild as you go higher. A bear crossed our path on the way out. Never happened to us in our 12+ years of backpacking. Reminder that this is CO and is there’s very much “wild” left in the wilderness.

Really laid back hike with beautiful views the entire way. Heavy traffic to the falls, but if you keep heading to the lake, the number of people decreases a lot.

hiking
2 days ago

I try to visit RMNP every time I'm in Denver and was looking for a dry trail since I didn't pack my waterproof boots this time. As a flatlander, I was worried I wouldn't fare very well, but most of the grade is gentle and there are plenty of places to rest. Start as early as possible because the trail gets hot and exposed to direct sun. Early to mid-June seems to be the perfect time to hit this trail if only for the wildflowers. Didn't see any wildlife of note, but greatly enjoyed the scenery. This trail was less traversed compared to St. Vrain, but there was a pretty steady trickle of hikers stopping at the lake after 11 a.m. on a Friday. Also, parking was filling up by 7:15 a.m. One hiking group recommended making the extra trip to Bluebird Lake, but my hiking companion wasn't enthused about tacking on the extra 2 miles, so maybe next time. Common sense prevails - make sure you have more than enough water, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. This is a rocky trail and I highly recommend footwear with extra protection on the toes and thick soles to protect from stone bruising. Rating 4/5 because other trails in RMNP are a bit more stunning and offer easier photo opportunities of mountains at the final destination.

The lake was beautiful and worth taking the shuttle from the Park and Ride. However, it was very, very crowded.

The Cub Lake Trail Loop was a nice, easy hike. Cub Lake was very beautiful, and the bridge at the Pool over the river was also very scenic.

My first hike to that altitude and it did not disappoint. We hiked up from the west side of the park. There was quite a bit of snow around some of the switchbacks but nothing unmanageable. The views along the way were absolutely amazing. The top was a little barren but still a great view and we had a little lunch before hiking back down. It was astonishingly warm at the top. We hiked up rather late in the afternoon, probably not the smartest idea but we got to see the sunset at the top of the mountain and that was incredible. We made it down before it got dark, but I still wouldn't recommend unless you have headlamps and extra water! I recommend the trail overall, especially hiking up from the west.

a great hike via "the pool".

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike. The lake is gorgeous

hiking
3 days ago

This was such a beautiful trail. We went yesterday 6/16 and had a great time. I do have to say almost 9 miles is difficult especially if you are just getting into it. It is a lot longer and more difficult than I expected it to be. The last stretch of incline before the lake can be brutal. But the view was sooooo worth it. I would absolutely recommend this just make sure you take your time and be careful on the slippery rocks if it rains like it did with us. I would ease on the side of caution if you aren’t experienced . This was only the second trail I have done since trying to get into hiking this summer and I could hardly walk last night. But I did it! It is possible and the view is totally worth it.

A nice stroll and beautiful scene, but it was very busy.

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