Explore the most popular forest 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.

This trail is GORGEOUS!!! Nice, leisurely stroll through the trees past beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
11 hours ago

I can absolutely see why this is one of the most popular trails. We started out this morning with heavy cloud coverage. On the way to dream lake it started to sprinkle which turned into a full on hail storm. The trees provided great shelter and we made it to emerald lake. it was still fairly cloudy and rainy, be sure to bring a rain jacket as the weather changes quickly. It finally cleared up on our way down making for some great photos. An easy hike as long as you can manage steps. Take your time and enjoy the trail.

This was the 3rd time I've done this hike and every time I just admire this hike even more. You can start at the glacier gorge trail head or bear lake trail head. I would recommend starting early since the lots get filled up very quickly! Starting at bear lake made the hike to sky pond 10 miles. It's a really pretty hike, you pass waterfalls, rivers, and lakes along the way. Honestly it is a 3 in 1 hike. I don't think the hike itself is hard but it is long. There is a section where you have to hike against water, definitely take your time and watch your step. You will love it!!!

p.s. I have notice how busy these trails have gotten it would be great to stay on trail and take any trash you brought in with you. These are amazing places so lets keep it that way and respect nature.

Amazing hike with amazing views. Go early as it’s purely peaceful when there aren’t a lot of others on the trail. Good amount of shade and it’s a steady incline the entire route in.
We saw deer first thing.
Dream Lake was a true blessing but continue on for even more surreal views once you reach Emerald Lake. You won’t be disappointed.
I made a comment that it felt like I was watching virtual reality of somewhere out of this world.

Best hike in RMN in my opinion and I agree with Brittany below that Lake of Glass is more impressive, much better view down the gorge from there. But Sky Pond is beautiful as well. We logged 8.4 miles on our gps from Glacier Gorge Trailhead so I’m not sure where someone is getting 10.1 miles from unless they started from Bear Mountain Lake or somewhere near there. More than worth it to pack some lunch/drinks and spend time resting by the lakes for a couple of hours if you leave early enough from the trailhead. Have to be capable of some light bouldering to reach Lake of Glass. Bring your fly rod if you fish, plenty of chances to hook a few. Enjoy!

16 hours ago

Favorite trail in RMSP thus far. We got hailed on, which made it even more exciting. You have to climb over big rocks to get to lake Haiyaha but it’s worth it! I thought we hit a dead end with no lake but keep going.

Lots of wildlife. Worth going a bit farther to Lulu City

hiking
19 hours ago

Nice hike with a moderate climb up to Fern Falls. The last mile to Fern Lake is the most strenuous but not bad. Wear sunscreen and bug spray. The views from Fern Lake are gorgeous.

Hiked on 6/2. Didn’t do this hike specifically (did the Bear Lake to Fern Lake TH, with detour to Spruce), but I can say it’s a pretty consistent climb up to Fern Lake. Passing Fern Falls is a highlight; very cool. Fern Lake is incredibly beautiful. I would also highly recommend continuing to Odessa a lake if you have the time and energy. No snow the whole way on 6/2 (just a bit along the creek if you go to Odessa). In terms of Spruce Lake, the hike up isn’t too long, but it’s unmaintained and slightly difficult to navigate in some spots. I briefly lost the trail a couple times and had to backtrack. Look for the cairns when crossing the rocky sections. Spruce Lake itself is gorgeous - seems to be very underrated and under-visited. There was a little bit of snow near the lake, but otherwise it was dry. I had the trail all to myself and just saw two people fishing on the other side of the lake. If you want some solitude and great scenery that’s off the beaten path, this is a great hike.

Did this hike back on 6/2. Quickly became a favorite. There was still quite a bit of snow to cross for a decent stretch heading up to Lake Helene (and up around that area). But it was packed down and not too much trouble, even without poles or taking out my spikes. Above Lake Helene, be sure to make your way up the rocks for an outstanding panoramic view of Lake Helene, Two Rivers Lake, Joe Mills Mountain, and Odessa Lake down in the gorge. So stunning. Shortly after starting the descent into the gorge, there was a small, somewhat sketchy snow traverse with a bit of a drop off on one side. It was probably only 20 feet and the snow was very packed and manageable, but some folks might be uneasy crossing. I’m guessing it’s melted by now (late June), but the snow probably lingers a while since it’s in a shaded bend. From there, there was intermittent snow down to Odessa Lake, but mostly dry. When I came to the point where you turn back toward Odessa Lake, there was snow all along the creek. But the path was dry at Lake Odessa itself. Odessa is the highlight of the hike for me - maybe my favorite lake in the park. Absolutely gorgeous surroundings with crystal clear water. From there, it’s a great, dry downhill hike to Fern Lake (also gorgeous). I made a short detour out to Spruce Lake, which I very much recommend (but note that the trail is unmaintained and somewhat tougher to navigate - I had to backtrack a few times). Returning to the main trail, it’s all downhill to the mesmerizing Fern Falls the The Pool area. Highly recommend this hike - just be mindful of the snow coming down the gorge to Odessa Lake. In the future, I’ll probably wait until July to avoid the snow.

hiking
21 hours ago

Hiked on Saturday 6/23. Didn’t get to Longs Peak Road until 8:20 - had to park a ways down the road. The trail is amazing, especially onward from the point with a sign notifying you that you’re entering the alpine tundra area (stay on the trail!). You’ll soon be climbing through gorgeous green tundra with wildflowers starting to pop up and the diamond of Longs Peak in the distance. This stretch becomes a somewhat challenging climb. Once at the top, it largely levels off for a while as you pass Peacock Pool and Columbine falls (one of the most beautiful views in the park, in my opinion). Near the falls, there was still a small snow traverse. Very manageable, but might be unnerving for some. Once past the falls, there’s a bit of scrambling to the lake. Again, very manageable. The lake is amazing with Longs Peak towering above you. Lots of marmots running about. Round trip, the hike took just under 4 hours (and that includes plenty of time at the lake).

hiking
22 hours ago

Hiked 6/22. Beautiful trail. Follows the rushing creek for the first couple of miles. Very lush and green. You’ll see Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades (the latter was especially amazing - pictures don’t do it justice). Continues on to Ouzel Falls - be sure to take the side trail and get right up next to the falls. The water is absolutely gushing right now. Trail later opens up to great mountain views and is lined with wildflowers. You’ll come to a stretch that’s almost like a foresty meadow with lots of downed trees (maybe from a microburst?). This area is so green and beautiful. Lots of wildflowers Saw some deer and marmots here. Trail then climbs into some woods, crosses streams, etc. You’ll come out of the woods and have the last uphill push to the lake. There was still a small uphill snowfield to cross, but I had no trouble without poles or traction. The lake itself was stunning - again, pictures don’t do it justice. In all, the hike took around 5.5 hours. One of the prettiest hikes I’ve done in the park.

22 hours ago

This lake was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. If you do all the lakes, Haiyaha, Dream, nymph, and emerald like we did it’s like 6 miles. Fairly moderate minus some inclined along the way up to Haiyaha but totally worth it. The scenery is absolutely stunning the entire way up. There’s waterfalls and creeks and walkways over the water. The view of the valley and the mountains across the way just keep getting better and better the closer you get. I wish I would have gotten a camping permit so I could stay here for longer. By far the most beautiful lake I have seen thus far. I’m a beginner, this is only my 3rd hike and I took some breaks but made it just fine. The only caution I would give is the area surrounding the lake is filled with giant boulders so there is quite a bit of rock climbing to get to the actual lake. I’m a beginner at that so that was difficult for me personally but completely worth it. Just take your time on the rocks so you can keep your balance. And no it isn’t photoshop. The water really is that blue! Completely floored by the beauty of this place.

hiking
23 hours ago

Nice hike with beautiful views and a great finale

hiking
1 day ago

We wanted to go all the way to Emerald, but became super lazy and stopped at Dream. We played on the rocks and at the use of a little water fall. The boys had fun trying t catch the fish 9with their bare hands, lol). Beautiful hike.

One of the best Trailheads in the RMNP

Beautiful trail, not too strenuous. If your looking for less people, probably not your trail. But knowing how busy this area is, I was not surprised and really loved all the lakes along the trail.

Fantastic hike. Definitely closer to 10 miles than 8. Beautiful views throughout and the scramble up the waterfall to Lake of Glass and the subsequent Sky Pond was thrilling. The wife and I were worried it would be too much for our 7-and -12-year-old, but they climbed up with little issue.

Clear trails all the way through. Rocky and rough in spots but overall a very enjoyable and beautiful hike.

This is definitely more than 8.1 miles roundtrip. I believe RMNP now has it listed just shy of 10 miles. It gains in elevation relatively consistently until you hit Timberline Falls. Some of my fellow hikers stuck waiting to complete the scramble said that while the water was certainly running strong today, it's been known to be worse. My (potentially unpopular) opinion is that Lake of Glass is better than Sky Pond, but I think that's more a result of you hitting Lake of Glass first. Sky Pond on its own is beautiful, especially with the better view of the Sharkstooth, but I enjoyed Lake of Glass more. There's also a little stopping point along the side of Loch Vale that is gorgeous as well (and a little removed from the crowds right when you first hit the loch). Overall, it's as fantastic as everyone says. Bring some waterproof hiking shoes and a windbreaker, and you'll be in for a great hike.

Beautiful moderate hike. Certainly a long one. Bring lots of water and snacks. Traverse through marshy meadows, forest, by rivers, past pristine lakes. Absolutely lovely!!

Very easy and beautiful hike. You could see lots of crowd in the trail.

Black lake is one of the gorgeous hike I have done in Colorado. We started early in the morning even we got parking only in park and ride area. We have done alberta, mills lake and black lake together. Again extremely good views at the top.

This is a classic RMNP hike and it shows with the hordes of hikers on the trail. Pretty easy hike till the rock stairs right before Timberland Falls. The rock scramble up to the top of the falls is only difficult by the numerous people trying come down and climb up, but once up the views are well worth it. If you don’t like a crowd, I’d recommend a very early weekday morning trip.

Amazing hike. It can’t be said enough to be prepared though. Only a few spots today where the trail was slushy and or still had snow on it. Wildlife abounds. Took our time and really enjoyed it. Started at 05:20 with a mostly empty parking lot. Finished and it was crazy busy. Clear skies and beat the crowds.

Doesn’t get much better! Wildflowers are out in full force, the water is rushing through the waterfalls and creek. Parking lot at glacier gorge trailhead was full by 6am, couple snow fields easily avoidable. Love this hike!!

Fun hike. Feels a little longer than 4.4. A bit of a smaller lake, if you’re bold enough to climb up the rock formation surrounding it you will be rewarded with a fantastic view.

Hiked it yesterday to black lake, unreal. Family of elk (I counted 9) at the base of the waterfall by black lake. They were friendly to me but others got charged. They are bedding about 20’ from the trail so be mindful. Only a couple patches of snow but mostly just waterfalls everywhere. It’s 11-12 Miles in and out depending on where u start but is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in the state. I’ve also done this hike in early spring and used snow shows to get past mills lake, snow was still 4’+. It’s a magical hike any season and worth doing.

Wonderful little hike for people new to Colorado and/or new to hiking! I took some friends here on several occasions for their first visits to Rocky Mountain National Park and they loved it. Amazing views of Glacier Gorge, Hallett Peak, and Flattop Mountain. Highly recommend!

hiking
2 days ago

This hike offers incredible views. Go slow, take breaks, drink water, you should be fine!

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