Explore the most popular cross country skiing 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
3 days ago

You will need snowshoes for the last 2 or 3 miles after the Sunday storm. Close to lion lake, snow was at least 3 feet deep. We had to break the trail after junction between Lion and Thunder lakes.

Did this hike in July on a clear day. Left at 0200, reaches the summit at 0830 and returned to the car by 1430. Views are awesome. The views before the keyhole were cool and once you cross to the other side the views change and get even better. Some slippery areas, but very doable.

Awesome hike. The rock after the keyhole is pretty darn worn from all the hikers. It was super slick even in completely dry conditions - wouldn’t recommend if any ice.

BEST HIKE EVER! Be prepared for a long and strenuous hike that takes you through a variety of terrains and believe it or not, you are going to wind up on the back side of LONGS Peak. That was the best part of the hike. We hiked to Mills Lake, then to Black Lake and then to Frozen. The problem is that we didn't actually get to Frozen Lake. Read the other reviews. There is not a well-marked trail to Frozen Lake. It was nearly 2:30 in the afternoon and we were frustrated. I would say me and my hiking buddy actually argued and it put a damper on the hike down because we could not find the trail to Frozen Lake. There are bits of cairns here and there but nothing that clearly delineates the trail. However, I now know exactly where the trail is. Once you get to the last field that's tundra-like and you're in treeline ... if you look to the right you'll see this massive pointed glacier-like-rock and you literally just start scrambling up that side of it and you will make it to Frozen Lake. In fact, the word is that there is another smaller lake next to Frozen Lake. In fact, the huge (dry) glacier I mention is what you'll be looking at for most of this hike. You will up at the base of that massive rock and Frozen Lake lies up above it. I will tackle this mountain again!!!

9/25 Extremely challenging with poor weather. Temps were well below freezing and winds strong from Chasm split through Boulder field. Sustained winds 35+ @ Granite Pass. Absolutely miserable. Took 5 hours to 6.5 mile Keyhole. 9 of 12 people turned around @ Keyhole. Not sure if any made it. Ice and strong winds stopped me there. Plus I blew my time window taking so long to Keyhole. Had a little AMS. I live at 800 ft ASL and had 2 days to acclimate. I’m an avid runner and in shape, but winds and cold kicked my butt. Still worth it; enjoyed the views. I will be back but in summer with lower winds. A guide said he was 2 for 5 on the year. Ranger said only 35% make their 1st attempt. I used all 4L of water and sandwich, cliff bars and Gu. Dressed same as snow skiing. Leave before 2am to arrive Keyhole by sunrise and snack/recharge. 13.2 miles to Keyhole and back. Good luck and watch the weather.

Great hike started at 315 stopped at the key hole very windy the morning I was there some were continuing on to the summit awesome views at sunrise at the boulder field go back next summer to try again

Did park and ride which took any stress out of that situation. The aspens decided to turn early and made the beginning of the trail even more gorgeous. The hike to Mills Lake was well travelled and pretty easy (and very pretty). Had a good rest and a snack before pushing on to Black Lake. Wow, that trail was almost empty and much harder. Significant elevation change and lots of rocks/stairs meant oxygen breaks for me, but my daughter was completely fine. But the difficult waterfall climb right below Black Lake was amazing. The views were stunning. Took us 5 hours to do both with decent breaks at both lakes.

I did this hike on Friday. Getting to Mills lake was relatively easy, and totally worth it It's a heavily trafficked trail. After Mills the hike to Black Lake is more challenging, but even more worth it. Up to this point, the trail is well marked. My intention was to go all the way to Frozen Lake. After Black Lake, the trail winds up some boulders and a waterfall. It's really pretty, and worth it to go up for a better view of Black Lake. After that, it becomes incredibly frustrating. I was told to 'follow the cairns.' They are few and far between. There is no well worn trail, and there are no signs. After finding some cairns and following them a bit of a distance, I ended up at Green Lake instead. I'm all for "keeping it wild," but I guess I'm just not sure why there can be signs for some of the trails and not others.

Great challenge. Pack layers. Views spectacular

Tried to go to Dream lake but the parking lot was already full at 730am on a Saturday. Went down to a lot that had some spots and we are glad we did. This trail was long but had amazing views along the way. Trail is mostly sand/dirt, rock steps, and rocks.

We summited Long’s Peak yesterday 9/18/18. We started on the trailhead at 2:45am and made it back to the car at 5:15pm. This is an intimidating, grueling hike. My body hurts all over. My wife is 53 years old, I’m 54. We trained for this hike. We hiked Half Dome on Yosemite in June and wanted another challenge. This hike is much more challenging due to the altitude, exposure and weather. People were turning around at the keyhole saying it was too dangerous with the windy conditions. We almost turned around also. We decided to go a little distance on the ledges and the wind was less there, so, we continued on. The trough is very tough. It seemed to take forever. The narrows was frightening. Homestretch scary too. But, we made it. Incredible views on top! Worth it all! We didn’t see anyone our age on the hike. We were the old people. Best advice I can give you is take your time, every place you put step, make sure you are on solid rock, and hug the walls on the ledges and narrows, keep your balance and you will make it. One small mistake could very well be your last.

Scenic hike with a lot of fall colors. We did see a Moose on the trail (that startled us). We kept our distance and warned hikers after we were able to continue.

Beautiful trail, would recommend in the spring. After Mills lake the trail to Black Lake can be a little challenging with some steep areas. But totally worth it. The waterfall right before Black lake is beautiful.

Beyond gorgeous ! Worth the extra distance to the last lake !!:)

I was just going to Black Lake and saw the trail heading higher so I went up to explore Frozen Lake. It was a hard up hill and no well mark trail but not to hard to find, but I wouldn’t follow my tracks lol..,

Great hike loved the last stretch, only took about 50 breaks, the last half mile haha, awesome experience. Can’t wait to go again

This was our favorite hike (so far) in RMNP. We only went as far as Mills Lake, but it was breathtaking. We fished there, too. It’s one of the only lakes where you can fish in the National Park and between my husband and I we caught more than 40 trout (catch and release). We used a spinning rod with a fly. The traditional fly fishermen didn’t have as much luck, so keep that in mind.
Even if you don’t fish, it’s an excellent spot for a picnic!

I moved to Estes about a week before attempting longs peak and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart! (My first 14er OOPS!) I hiked Estes Cone, Flattop, and Hallets to prepare for Longs. My friend and I started at 2 am and reached the summit by 9:30, we finished the hike at 5. I’d advise taking extreme caution on the way down and listen to your body! Take lots of breaks and don’t be afraid to turn around!

Awesome hike had to turn around at noon because of weather so made it to the top of the mountain but not to Hylett Peak. Glacier was awesome to see and you can't beat the views

Took a 10yo and two 7yo kids. It was a stretch for them but there enough gold coins along the way for them to explore and stay interested. And the payoff at the end is awesome.

hiking
1 month ago

Epic hike and probably most difficult trail from Bear Lake. Leave early and bring plenty of water. Amazed me to see number of folks with limited hydration! Elevation gain is no joke so bring your A game. Views are worth every step!

Finally made to peak on second attempt. one of the hardest one especially route after key hole was real mountain climbing for me. started at 2 am and still crowded. very refreshing once reached the peak.

Could only make it to Keyhole and due to weather couldn't continue. Long and hard hike but worth a try.

Excellent hike. Excellent views. No problem parking, but we arrived just after 6 AM.

What a great trek! Got to the parking lot around 6:15am with about four spots left. The hike up to Mills Lake is a pretty easy hike. Between Mills lake and Black lake the path turns a bit more uneven with more steps and roots. Beyond Black lake is a decent amount of scrambling. We lost the path several times trying to find Frozen Lake but were able to find it by opening the All Trails app and looking at our current location on the map. Highly suggest having that handy as even some of the rock piles were misleading on direction. We got back to the parking lot around 3pm; a pretty leisurely pace on the way up and a faster pace on the way back. Overall great hike!

Wow, did the altitude hit us, huffing and puffing like oldies... but a great hike. We actually thought we would to get to Hallet Peak then Otis Peak, but settled for cresting Flat Top. Saw Elk, Marmot, Pika and several birds. Gradients are hard, we just needed many stops to regain our breathe. This was our first hike at higher elevations. Highly recommend.

I did this yesterday for the 2nd consecutive year. This year was much harder because there was a continuous HARD wind throughout the climb. The wind gusts were about 80 miles per hour at the top of The Trough and at The Narrows. This is a serious mountain under any conditions but yesterday's wind was severe. A 23 year old woman fell at The Ledges and suffered what appeared to be a serious head injury. Hikers had to carry her to The Boulder Field and she was Life Flighted to a hospital. A search party was also looking for a climber missing since Tuesday. I don't recommend this to be anyone's first 14er. Make sure you have the experience and skill to enjoy the beautiful views!

This is a great hike. I would recommend getting a few 14ers or more challenging hikes under the belt first. The NPS doesn't actually rate the route as a hike, but a technical climb. Pretty standard hike up to the keyhole. After the keyhole there is plenty of scrambling and technical hiking/climbing with a descent amount of exposure. I will definitely bring a helmet for the trough next time as well.

Attempted last Wednesday (8/22). Started at 6:15, plenty of parking at Bear Lake. Endless views of the trees are a little daunting in the beginning, a few good lookouts on the way up, one of dream lake. Once getting near tree-line, views are phenomenal the rest of the way. We stopped about .4 mi from the top, really struggling with the altitude, coming from the midwest and only having been in RMNP for less than 48 hours. Pretty hazy from the smoke that day as well so we were satisfied with the views from where we stopped.

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