Explore the most popular camping trails in Rocky Mountain National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
4 hours ago

Beautiful hike in the trees with nice vistas to the south and south east early in the hike and north to Longs Peak at the end. Made it to the parking lot about 6:15 am and didn’t see anyone on the trail until I was heading back from the lake. Looong line to get into Wild Basin by the time I got back about 10:45. Last tenth of a mile to the lake is still 2+ feet of snow, and it’s starting to soften.

backpacking
1 day ago

Lawn Lake is an outstanding hike. The views are incredible including the Alluvial Fan and high mountain lakes including Lawn. We backpacked and set up camp at the top and had a great time. The stars seen at night are incredible. I’ll be doing this one again soon. Hiked in July 2017...

A bit exhausting, but worth it. Say hi to the frogs!

Moderate intensity hike with great payoff at the top. The last half mile is a real butt burner but worth it for the view. Tip: don’t stop at the lake but go around and scramble up the boulders. The climbing is easy on those rocks and the view is even better.

hiking
3 days ago

Went yesterday. Fitbit said it was 5 miles to get there. No snow until the last 3/4 miles. Not much of it and snow is not a factor for the hike, you can just walk along the side of the snow. Lake is mostly all thawed out and only a couple snow spots on the "beach" Amazing hike. Amazing lake. One of the best mountain lakes.

Had a great day hike. Very easy trail with little elevation changes and a spectacular waterfall at the end.

Steep but only 3 miles round trip. Great hike, beautiful view at the top.

Attempted this loop 5/19. Saw 7 moose and signs of bears. Went counterclockwise with the intent of camping near Bowen lake. Made it to Bowen lake trail junction and decided not to continue due to waist deep snow. Will be back later in the summer.

hiking
8 days ago

Just got back from this hike. It was fairly busy but gorgeous! Steep steps that were kind of hard on my short legs but it wasn’t too bad. Beautiful little lake at the top! And chipmunks everywhere!

hiking
8 days ago

I loved this trail! So clean and the views are amazing! We went in the morning around 8:30 and there was barely anyone on the trail the whole way up, but on the way down we ran into a lot more hikers. The lake is so peaceful and there are lots of places to explore at the top. Even though it is considered in Rocky Mountain National Park, you don’t need a pass. Large parking lot and bathroom at the base, as well as a toilet towards the top of the hike which I thought was a little strange, but maybe convenient for some.

Cliff the chipmunk is awesome

Gorgeous hike. Amazing views all over. Gem Lake was a little smaller than I expected, but beautiful and very friendly chipmunks (DO NOT FEED THEM)! Last bit was steep, but doable!

hiking
18 days ago

Wow. We did this trail on a rainy day, the rain turned into snow as we hiked and it was the most beautiful hike imaginable. Very clear path, and a couple detours you can take with stunning views. Goes higher than we were expecting - the last 15/20 minutes are just straight up but as others have said definitely worth it. The lake was stunning, very few people - likely because of the weather.

No $10 parking fee that we could find on May 2nd, took us about two and a half hours including stopping for photos. Truly a magical hike.

hiking
19 days ago

This was the 3rd time I've done the Lawn Lake hike, with the most recent time being close to 20 years ago. What an adventure it was! We started up the trail at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday morning (5/6/18). The trail was mostly dry until around the 3 mile mark. At that point we stopped and put on our Yak Tracks because we kept sliding sideways down the slope of the mountain. Deep snow for the rest of the way with lots of post holing up to waist deep in spots. In the morning the snow was still mostly frozen so we were able to walk in other tracks without sinking much. The tracks started getting fewer and fewer about 4 miles in. At the beginning of the last set of switch backs the tracks that we were following went off trail and just bee lined upwards next to the river. We followed those tracks for another half mile or so before they disappeared and made our own tracks the rest of the way. This was by far the most difficult part of the trail. Using the AllTrails app w/gps we were able to stay relatively close to the trail, but there are spots where it just wasn't possible to stay on it. We encountered 5-6 foot drifts that we had to find our way around. The last 2-2.5 miles to the lake took us over 2 hours, but we made it (got there around 11 a.m.). We went about 1/4 mile beyond the ranger cabin and just skirted the bottom of the treeline next to what would be the lake shore if it wasn't snowed/frozen over. We found a big rock sticking out of the snow, ate lunch, drained the water from our boots, took in the amazing view and started the wet sloppy trek back down 45 minutes later. It looked like we were the first ones that had made it up that far in a while, as there were no other tracks anywhere that we saw. Snow shoes for the last 1.5 miles would have been ideal, but we still made it work. Made it from the lake back to the trail head in about 3.5 hours. Once you get below where the snow covers the trail it is pretty wet and sloppy. Bring an extra pair of socks/shoes to change into once you get back to the bottom. We'll be back again this summer once the snow melts so that we can go to the top of Mount Fairchild.

It was SO beautiful! Every time you stopped to take a little break, the view took your breath away!

hiking
19 days ago

It was nice views all the way up. No snow to walk thru. It was pretty steep going up like a lot of stairs. But again the nice views kept you going. The lake is really special and nice up top. If you like climbing you HAVE TO climb up the rocks on the backside!!! That was the highlight for us. Going down the trail was a breeze and took only about 30-40 minutes.

Very well maintained trail with a beautiful pond at the top with spectacular views, especially if you scramble to the top of the rock once you get to the pond. Great views of the Rockies along the way up, too. At only 3 miles this is the perfect trail if you only have a few hours but want great payoff views.

hiking
20 days ago

Definitely a tough hike right now!! About two miles from the trailhead everything turns into an icy slush. I used spikes but it was still very difficult to keep traction. I made it about a 1 mile away from the lake and the trail disappears. There were about 3 foot snow drifts up there, even with snow shoes it would be difficult. I still got to see some amazing views and will be back once the snow clears out.

hiking
20 days ago

Being from out of town we tried to hike Bridal Falls. Couldn’t find a parking spot for our truck so we did this hike and wasn’t disappointed. No snow and the weather was perfect!

hiking
21 days ago

My husband and I completed this trail in about 2 to 2.5 hours. The views are astounding! it does get steep and Rocky the closer you get to the Lake. I would suggest good hiking boots and trekking poles if you've got them. Also, know that no dogs are allowed. An excellent way to see Estes Park and the Rockies :)

Beautiful hike. Took about 3 hrs to complete. There was still quite a bit of snow on the trail, but we managed since the trail was pretty worn by the time we got there.

I did this hike with a larger group of five people ... it was an awesome experience. Completed over two days, we began at Bear Lake and camped one night at Andrew's Creek. As with the Odessa Lake Via Fern Lake Trail the mosquitos were a big issue, be prepared for them if you're there during spawning season, they're hungry. Despite the rangers blasé attitude that they wouldn't be an issue, they were; a mosquito net and bug spray are light and easy to carry, just do it whether you think you'll need them or not..

Starting very early the next morning we ascended Andrew's Glacier to summit Mount Otis. Be sure to have micro-spikes and an ice axe, honestly crampons would be ideal as this is a steep hill to climb, very challenging. At one point I was having to stop often to catch my breath. The slide down is a lot of fun though.

From Andrew's Creek to Mount Otis is about 2K in elevation gain, after completing Andrew's Glacier you'll need to do some bouldering to summit. This isn't a cake walk so come prepared!

Completed this section a while back on a three night backpacking trip through RMNP with some friends. We had mule deer walk a mere two dozen feet or so around our campsite, up close and personal. Certain times of year you'll need to be ready for the mosquitos, as they're a never ending nuisance, they did eventually force us all in to our respective tents just to get some relief, as we didn't really have any bug repellent with us at the time. Mosquito nets would have been an excellent addition as well.

hiking
26 days ago

I found this on geocaching.com about the geology of the area as I was pondering the formations.

"Gem Lake is an example of a pothole pond, a pond residing in the depression formed by the weathering of the underlying bedrock into a shallow bowl shape. The bedrock is granite of the Longs Peak-St. Vrain Batholith, and is on the order of 1.4 billion years old. The weathering of this granite through exfoliation is responsible for the many domes in the Lumpy Ridge area.

Gem Lake is exceptional for its size. Most potholes in the area are much smaller, with some being just a few feet across. Precipitation enters the pond through rain, snow, and direct runoff. There is no inlet or outlet stream."

hiking
26 days ago

DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THIS TRAIL AT ALL. PERIOD.

Great hike on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It took 3 hours and I rested at the lake for at least a half an hour. The last 15-20 minutes of the hike is wicked. Straight up but don't give up! It is worth it.

The parking lot limits the amount of hikers so the trail wasn't too packed and I did have moments of quietude and awesome views.

I'll do this one again.

We did the first 1.5-2 miles from Bear Lake, but made it to 10k elevation before turning back. Snow was still 2-3 feet deep at points, but packed down well enough to walk on without sinking in. The only trouble is that it’s icy at points, especially late in the day, so be sure to have a good walking stick and decent trail shoes if not cleats. So beautiful and breathtaking. You won’t be sorry.

hiking
1 month ago

It was beautiful!!! Amazing views, it was steep and snowing when we went, but the view at the end was worth it. Can’t wait to do it again during the summer

4/20/18 Steeper than I expected. There’s a period of elevation in the beginning where I got worn out, then it evens out for a bit and you get excited/ relieved and the last portion steepens with large rocks.
There is a restroom about 2/3 of the way up.
There wasn’t a parking fee when I went.
The lake wasn’t frozen. This trail would be better during summer when the trees come back to life!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies! Worth every step!

hiking
1 month ago

Kind of a crazy day today- winds reached up to 90 mph in the Denver area, and even in Estes the winds were blowing pretty bad (although not quite THAT bad). When we started off the hike, it was sunny and blue skies, with only a few clouds. By the time we got to the lake there were snow pellets slapping against our faces and we had to cover our faces as much as we could on the way down so we could see where we were going. We got pretty cold and wet, but the hike was worth it. Can’t wait to do this again in the summer!

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