Explore the most popular horseback riding 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
7 hours ago

This hike is the reason I moved to Colorado five years ago. I’ve summited in March, Summer and October. Hike it for views or for time. Just do it.

Beautiful from start to finish. A taste of everything. Waterfall, wildflowers, Mountain View’s, and rushing water along the way!

11 hours ago

Beautiful and easy hike. Left trailhead at 09:30. Plenty of people out there today. Saw both male and female moose just on the other side of the river.

11 hours ago

Great trail. We did the Alberta Fall Trail and cut over to Bear Lake. Our 3 and 5 years old loved it.

13 hours ago

Not a hike for Mountain View’s, glacier work, or geological interest. Kind of boring for me. BUT, lots of flora and fauna. Very tough, long ascent for an older person.

hiking
15 hours ago

Hiked this on Monday. Incredible hike with a tremendous payoff. There was a small bank of snow to climb through before reaching the top of Flattop, but otherwise pretty much snow-free. The elevation gain was consistent through most of the hike. Absolutely stunning views throughout the whole hike, seeing several different lakes and mountains during the ascent. At the top, there were some overly-friendly pikas. I could not recommend this hike more! Get an early start to avoid the afternoon heat.

My favorite trail in the area. Make it one way from Bear lake to fern lake. Lovely. Moose swimming!

hiking
1 day 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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

a great hike via "the pool".

Great family trail! Parking is limited so consider parking at the park and ride and grabbing the shuttle. Trail can be busy so remember your hiking manners!

Less trafficked gem. Hopped on this trail from Bear Lake. It was about 2 miles from Bear Lake to Bierstadt Lake and then we hiked down to our car which was another 1.7 miles or so. It was a good way to do it and after Emerald Lake Trail it was much quieter in this area. Although the lake wasn’t as breathtaking as Emerald, the 180° views on the switchbacks along with the wildflowers and trees were amazing! I would recommend this trail if you’re looking for some extra trails in that area.

An awesome hike. A great mix of settings- meadows, a mountain side climb, a wooded walk through woods...we saw 2 baby moose! The most waterfalls I've ever seen on a hike. It is on the harder side of moderate in my opinion, as the way up to the lake is quite the elevation gain, but the way down is an enjoyable walk downhill.

Nice hike. Easy with a great payoff. The falls were really flowing yesterday and it wasn't super crowded. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy hike or with are with a flatlander.

hiking
4 days ago

This is an absolutely beautiful hike! All the snow is pretty much melted outside about a 20 yard section that you have to cross right before getting to the lake. I would say this hike is in my top most scenic hikes!

Just summit today. Camped at Boulderfield and went up to summit in the morning. Great day.

Easy, pretty hike! We started at 0730 and had to park at bear lake trailhead as glacier gorge was full, but from there the trail joins up. Not too many people on the trail with us after Alberta falls but of course seemed much busier at noon. Would definitely recommend pushing on to sky pond.

Hiked 6/16/18. Agree—summer conditions base to summit. Minimal snow patches that are easily avoided. No crampons or ice ax necessary. Started at 3:00 AM, got back to the base ranger station at 12:00 noon. Parking lot wasn’t full, but I did see a number of other cars when I arrived. First 5 miles are a stroll with a gentle incline, last 2 (boulder field and beyond) are no joke.

Arrive early to avoid parking in the shuttle lot and waiting in line. We got there around 6am and had a quiet short hike to the falls.

I agree with Nazanin Kalani, clear to the top. recommend a good set of lungs.

June 15
Unlike the trail shown above which starts at the Bear Lake trailhead, if you start at the Fern Lake trailhead it is a magnificent trip. It can be divided into three sections. The first section goes from the trailhead to deep pool (Big Thompson River) intersection. That runs for 1.7 miles and is relatively flat and easy with riverside plants along the path. The second section is 2.1 mi up to Fern Lake, which is a steady climb through a forested area. The third section continues up to Odessa Lake which has a steeper incline but only 0.7 miles. There are magnificent views of the snow covered mountains reflected in the lakes. We saw the greatest variety and most abundant wildflowers along this trail of all the six days that we have been hiking in RMNP. Since we tend to start late, we were the only people at Odessa lake at 3 p.m. and at Fern lake at 3:30. I would strongly suggest this hike for anyone interested in wildflowers at this time of the year.

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