Explore the most popular river 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.

Fairly easy hike with a gradual incline on trail and very gradual incline if you are hiking the roads. Good views of 14ers and a beautiful dam can be found near the end. Overall pretty easy but can be adjusted for comfort level of the hiker. Fair amount of shade which is definitely a plus. Gets crowded later morning and parking can extend a decent bit from the trailhead.

Lots of runoff and patches of snow on the trail right now, but my dog and I easily made it up to Indian Peaks Wilderness. Past that, the snow gets pretty deep and too soft to tread. We'll be back this summer to finish, beautiful views!

hiking
5 hours ago

Did this hike May 25th to Cascade Falls and back. So much wildlife, and the falls are flowing stronger than I've ever seen before. Saw several moose, dozens of elk, some mulies, a coyote, and caught some brook trout. There's always so much wildlife on the west side. No snow whatsoever at this point.

hiking
7 hours ago

Beautiful trail, still some snow in small patches on the first half of the trail before Dream Lake. After Dream Lake there is lots of snow and made things a bit challenging for people in tennis shoes. About .5 before Emerald there is lots of slippery snow, enough that me and my party had to nearly bear crawl past the hill right before the lake. Worth every fall we took, spectacular views every step of the trail. Recommend hiking shoes and spikes if you plan to make it all the way to emerald around this time of year.

This was a great hike!

hiking
8 hours ago

Great hike up to Lawn Lake today! Last mile in soft and deep snow but totally doable. We completed in 6.5 hours incl breaks.

hiking
8 hours ago

A couple tough spots due to lingering snow. Amazing views and definitely an experience that’s not to be missed in RMNP.

Excellent trail with great views! 9.3 miles from Bear Lake TH to Sky Pond. Still a good amount of snow pack at higher elevations.

Awesome views, enjoyable hike from Bear Lake trailhead. Still a good bit of snow on the trail. Bit of scrambling—crampons would’ve been helpful.

hiking
12 hours ago

Hiked this Easy trail from bear lake trailhead 5/25. Only takes about 20 minutes to reach the falls and it’s all downhill. Bit tiring going back up, but if you go slow it’s not bad. Falls are pretty and for such a quick hike, why not do it? Can be done easily in regular shoes.

hiking
12 hours ago

This trail is very busy, we got there at 830am on 5/25 and it wasn’t too busy yet but by the time we finished at 11:30am it was packed. The trail is pretty easy for the first half, but at this time I would 100 percent recommend microspikes for the second half as there are a lot of slippery snowpack slopes and me and my girlfriend were able to cruise by everyone who was slipping and falling in tennis shoes. The microspikes probably cut our time in half. We just rented them from Estes park mountain shop and it was super easy. The views at the top are amazing, and the elevation gain was kind, without the snow I would rate this an easy hike.

Wow, amazing hike with views that are unparalleled. There were times we were happy, there were times we were sad, and the times we almost turned around and didn’t make it. But in the end we’re happy we pressed on and it was so worth it. Did the hike with good hiking boots, no crampons or stick and we were fine. The last 1.5 miles is snow covered, and very slippery... be extremely careful. We def slid down the steep snowy areas, which was fun if you don’t mind your butt getting wet. Also FYI took us 9.4 miles cause we like to take pics. One thing I can say for sure is this hike was RAMMING.

hiking
15 hours ago

We did this trail on 5/21/18 and it was beautiful!! a bit slippery from the snow. There were some very hungry marmots there who tried to snag some lunch but thats okay. We purchased microspikes after this trail. They definitely would have come in handy.

fishing
16 hours ago

I hiked up to the lake on 5/26. There's some snow right at the lake but it's clear the rest of the way up. The lake is completely ice free and the fishing was good. It's one of my favorite hikes in the park.

We hiked up to lawn lake yesterday. What a beautiful hike but still tons of snow the last two miles. Thankfully, poles were a necessity. Wait a few more weeks for it to melt if you don’t want to trek through a foot of snow.

We hiked this trail yesterday, heading out around 6:30am. The trail was pretty dry up until just before Loch Vale. At that point there was a decent amount of snow still on the trail. From Loch Vale to Sky Pond, there was again a pretty dry section of trail, but this also began to show decent amounts of snow as we go closer to the falls. The trail was packed enough to hike with regular shoes, but micro spikes definitely were helpful.

After making to the falls, there is a moderate scramble up the rocks to get to the first lake. There was a decent amount of traffic at that time. The hike from the first lake at the top of the falls, over to Sky Pond was a little more complicated as there was no clearly marked trail. There was again a decent amount of snow and some occasional post-holing. The scenery is definitely with it. The day was hot, so sunscreen was a must. This also made for a much wetter hike back to Bear Lake. Gaiters were very useful at that time. We took it slow, so the hike was overall about 9 hours. I’m sure it can be completed much faster, but I would definitely plan on a full day.

This trail did not disappoint. If you love hiking....just GO!

I thought this was one of the prettiest hikes we have done to date outside of Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole Grand Tetons. Beautiful vista , snow capped mountains. Pretty water and wildflowers. You come into a meadow and I felt like singing the Hills are Alive from the Sound of Music. Parking is ample and we passed 2 bathrooms on it. All good. The parking lot was full at 10:30 but it was also a sat morning and Memorial Day weekend. We made do on the side of the road. We started at 10:30 and got down around 1:30 or 2.

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked this today, 5/27/18. Great hike. Intermittent packed snow above Nymph, getting more frequent as you approach Emerald. The last .5 or so is all on packed snow. We slid around quite a bit in trail runners and hiking sticks and wouldn’t recommend going without sticks at a minimum. Saw a lot of people in running shoes buttsliding. Emerald Lake is still mostly frozen with some open water at the trail end. The views were amazing and worth the scramble.

The hike to the first lake is really pretty easy. The hike to second lake had some tricky spots that were slick. The hike to third lake has enough challenges with the snow/ice covered path to add enough challenge to make this hike a BLAST! Loved it. All the lakes are gorgeous but emerald lake (with some ice covering and the snow-covered peaks directly behind it is awesome! Definitely worth the effort!

5/22 Nice little hike. Reservoir is very pretty, spring flowers, water fall and greenery. Super easy - good hike to acclimate to altitude. Only gave it a two due to some of the hike is really a dirt road. I will do this hike again with peeps from TX.

Smelled like spring! There are definitely a couple steep spots but there's plenty of easy to make up for the challenge too. We really enjoyed this trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing views. We hiked the whole trail on 5/25/18. Pretty easy hike up to Dream Lake. Between Dream Lake and Emerald Lake it was pretty much all snow/ice. Well packed in most places but a couple of sketchy areas. Overall still a wonderful hike when you're hiking in snow with shorts on.

Tried to get to Bluebird Lake yesterday (5/25) but about one mile past turnoff from Ouzel Lake, trail was completely snow covered in the pine forest. Difficult to follow the trail, even with footprints, and frequently sunk in to my hips. Turned back when completely lost the trail and snow was very deep. However, hike was still amazing and gorgeous with blue skies and views almost the whole way. Would highly recommend and will return in a few months to get all the way to the lake!

hiking
1 day ago

Very stunning lake, absolutely recommend this hike, snow is only at the actual lake, and pretty much completely avoidable, friend and I did this is trail runners and had dry feet throughout.

We took fern lake trail on the way out and cub lake on the way back, it was an excellent way to keep it fresh so it wouldent be a simple out and back. Doing it that way turned it to be around 11 miles round trip.

Best place ive ever eaten a lunch, would absolutely do this again.

Snow started just before the Loch and was present the entire way after and to Sky Pond. Lot of places to fall through the snow, was slick and slower going but definitely doable. Did this with another friend and we both just wore boots, no spikes or pole and did it just fine.

Very pretty, albeit windy, on both Mirror and Sky pond, worth the effort for sure.

5/25. Nice flat walk. The scenery was beautiful. Just a nice relaxing walk. Picnic tables at the beginning of the trail, which would have been nice if we were ready to have lunch.

Great hike

backpacking
3 days 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...

Excellent trail! Be wary of arriving any later than 6:30AM on the weekend - parking lot was full just shy of 7:00AM and the trail was packed on the way down due to all the tours.

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