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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.

Another MUST HIKE in RMNP! Its is a MODERATE hike for families and an EASY hike for experienced hikers. Less crowded than Emerald Lake, but still busy mid-day. There is some sun exposure mid-hike so plan for sunscreen. Bugs were not really an issue for us. The mileage is a little off... more along the 7 mile round trip for us according to the app, but we tend to explore a little. Parking is rare after 7am in the summer. Enjoy!

hiking
8 hours ago

One of the MUST HIKES in the park in my opinion. Short, relatively easy hike that rewards you with breathtaking views. I rate it as EASY for experienced hikers and MODERATE for families. Do not stop at Dream Lake... go to the top, it is worth the extra 20 minutes or so. I recommend a sunrise hike to avoid crowds. Parking becomes rare after 7am in the summer so be prepared to take the shuttle if you sleep in. Mosquitos are a problem at the lakes in the morning, so plan accordingly to enjoy your time there. I suggest this as a first hike of the day, then go elsewhere when the buses begin to run. Enjoy!

Arrived to the trailhead around quarter of 2, but parked at about 2 because of how busy the Glacier Gorge trailhead lot gets. Made it up to Sky Pond around 3:30, motivated by the threat of lightning, but the thunder that had developed by this point cleared up about ten minutes in, and the sun came out, making this one of the most gorgeous hikes I've done. Each hanging lake is worth a hike if its own! The trail is very nicely carved nearly the entire way up except for a small waterfall scramble, which makes it great for trail running down. After spending about an hour at the pond I jogged back down to the parking lot for quarter of 6. Will easily be coming back to show friends this one!

Started at 4:15 this morning to be in place for first light and sunrise over the lake. We had the whole lake to ourselves. Our timing was good, but we went left (west) around the lake, and could only find a lake entrance on the east end in the dark. If you go right (east), there is a short trail just down the hill to the lake with a good view of the colors in the sky. Overall though, there are better spots for a sunrise, so only 3oo5 stars.

11 hours ago

this was a very enjoyable trail. we saw a moose, deer, and other wildlife. it was a little long for some in our party, but those that made it to the falls said it was worth it.

Spent the evening on the trail and I had a wonderful time, made it in time to see the sunset and turn right back around. Lots of wildlife - kind of intimidating walking by fauna that stand taller than you do, so remember to carry a headlamp if you intend on adventuring past dusk. Pretty moderate overall, couldn’t recommend it more, just keep an eye on the weather!

hiking
20 hours ago

Hiked this trail on Saturday 7/14 after doing the 3 lake trail to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald. So much prettier at Haiyaha and the trail had more breathtaking views on the way up. Honestly I was slightly disappointed at Emerald after reading all of its reviews, but the extra detour I took to Haiyaha made it worth it. Climbing the giant boulders right before reaching the lake made the hike a bit more challenging, which was what I was looking for. Also don’t miss a beautiful unnamed lake full of boulders to the right of the trail just before reaching Haiyaha.

We did this fabulous trail today. We had to use Bear Lake car park as Glacier Gorge was full at 6:40 am. The walk is excellent and was a great experience. It was more crowded than expected but was interesting in every section. As late 50s Aussies we found it okay in terms of difficulty. The only harder sections were the steps leading up to the final waterfall - and the climb back down the waterfall. The views and vistas were well worth the effort. Start early, take your time, use bug spray and enjoy the beautiful hanging lakes!

Beautiful.

Fun hike great falls at the end

This trail is awesome because it gives people who can't hike to some of the other mountain lakes a chance to see one almost just as good. This trail is wheelchair accessible. The lake is beautiful and it is a great place to hike. The trail also connects to a large loop that connects several mountain lakes. You don't want to miss this one.

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

hiking
1 day ago

GORGEOUS! One of our top 10 favorite hikes that we've ever done! Amazingly beautiful trail and offers a little bit of everything: cascades, waterfalls, wildflowers, neat dead trees, views, wildlife, and lake! We hiked this trail on Saturday, July 14. We made it to the parking lot by 6:15am and it was full by about 7:30am that day although that didn't keep the crowds away. Many folks parked down the road and added a few miles to their hike. This hike is actually a total of 12.8 miles according to the national park sign. The trail starts as an easy one. There are neat rapids and waterfalls towards the beginning. You will encounter LOTS of people up to Ouzel Falls but after that, you won't see as many. There is a rustic "privy" pit toilet just beyond Calypso Cascades a few miles up. The privy has no door but some slatted wood panels on 3 sides. Above Ouzel Falls, there is more of an incline, then a more open area (from the 1978 fire) with lots of new growth trees and neat lightning struck trees. Then you'll go through an established forest and back into a more open area from the fire. You'll encounter this type of topography a few times before reaching a steeper section. After the split-off to Ouzel Lake, there are a variety of wildflowers and lots of raspberry bushes. There are more and more flowers the farther you go. The last half mile to the lake is the steepest and includes a steep, short rock section and large snowfield on an incline; both are definitely doable as you take your time. After some rain the day before, the mosquitoes were especially bad and relentless beginning around the split-off to Ouzel Lake to Bluebird Lake and definitely the worst at Bluebird Lake where there were the most mosquitoes we've encountered in Colorado. We had lots of chipmunk and marmot sightings and only saw a half dozen people at Bluebird Lake, definitely a much different wilderness experience than at the beginning of the trail. Solitude and amazing scenery at the lake.

We did this hike this past weekend, on a Saturday. We got to the trailhead around 9:15am and there were lots of cars already parked all along the road. Luckily, there is plenty of space to park nearby, with lots of pull off areas near the trailhead. The hike is a bit steep in spots but is doable. The last .2 miles or so to the summit is pretty steep. The view from the top are great. It was a pretty heavily trafficked trail, but not too annoying. There was a lot of horse poop to dodge.

1 day ago

Amazing alpine hike with spectacular mountain views. Ended up seeing multiple elk along the trail and big horns near the summit! First time seeing big horn in the park. Do start early to avoid the crowds and the afternoon showers. Also you’re exposed for the majority of the trek so bring appropriate gear/sunscreen. Definitely would do again!

hiking
1 day ago

Listed well as a moderate hike. The views were breathtaking, and there are plenty of areas to stop and rest, if needed. As already mentioned, arrive very early (around 7AM) or later in the afternoon (after 5) to avoid the crowd and find parking. Definitely a hiking must for anyone visiting or in the area!

It was amazing! Very well marked trail. The lakes are evenly spaced out so you hike a little, then see a beautiful lake, hike a little more, see another one, and then hike a little further and you’re lead to the grand finally. Definitely recommend! Very rewarding!

Beautiful trail with picturesque settings. One of my favorite hikes.

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.

hiking
1 day ago

As a first timer to the Rockies this was a nice easy introduction to the park, but start early to avoid high traffic. Arrived at trailhead around 6:30 on Saturday 7/14 and lot was half full. If you want more challenge and a more beautiful scenic lake, take the trail to Lake Haiyaha where the trail splits at Dream Lake, either after Dream or coming back from Emerald. The views going up are more breathtaking and more iconic than what you would see going to Emerald.

Uphill is only 650 gain over 0.7 miles. and back down and then yes up and down again to get back. Wasn't bad at all and well worth the effort. Parking is VERY limited so get there early.

Hard work! Sore feet to be expected

Gorgeous views. Easy half mile hike. Perfect for kids.

Fun hike, first time seeing a bear while hiking! Small amount of water but great views.

Absolutely beautiful! Got there at 6:30 and had to park at Bear Lake. There is a friendly marmot at the Lake of Glass and on the way back down a herd of Elk with their babies were crossing the Loch. Truly a remarkable trail. Be prepared for elevation gains and pack bug spray!!

Such a beautiful hike- easily one of my favorites!

hiking
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.

Steep ascent. Brilliant sunrise over Dream Lake.

Short hike up stone steps. Amazing views. We finished just before a storm rolled in

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike for views over Estes. The lake was a little disappointing. Definitely start early to avoid the crowds.

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