Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

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.

6 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.

off road driving
7 hours ago

Went to take the trail and it was still closed. Sad because I was really looking forward to this trail. Guess it’s only open from July to September.

7 hours ago

Absolutely stunning hike. It's not an easy hike, but it's also not a super difficult hike (like if you wanted to summit Long's Peak). Don't forget sunscreen everywhere as it's easy to get burned up there if they sun is out. There was a good section right before the last stretch where we had to traverse across a somewhat steep snow field. While it was a little nerve racking, it wasn't hard at all. I am sure this will be gone by June. Made the hike kinda fun actually. Bring plenty of bars/water of course as it's nearly 8 miles round trip. What I love about this hike over some other hikes you can do in RMNP is the beauty and majestic views are really drawn out for along section of the hike. The last quarter - third of the hike is going down along a valley towards the lake where you have a constant view of the wall of rock leading up to Long's Peak. Definitely a win if you want to enjoy Long's Peak without having to scale the summit.

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.

The trail is not shaded well enough. Definitely not a good hike for sunny and hot days. The views close to Gem lake were great. My GPS shows 13 miles and 2740 ft elevation gain. I did the loop clockwise.

Easy hike up to the Loch. Snow starts heavy just before the loch so im sure this could be easily done in trail runners.

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.

The falls aren’t that impressive, cool but not jaw dropping. The incline is steady the whole way there. Park in the picnic area and head up the road, great to do when old falls road isn’t open to car traffic.

2 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.

Still remains my favorite hike in Estes! Get all sorts of scenery from streams, waterfalls, cliff views, ponds, and usually always some snow (except around late July).
Did the hike today, took us a little longer due to the amount of snow from loch up to sky pond, but it’s definitely do able. But I HIGHLY recommend having a ski pole/walking stick for support in the snow. We had regular Nike sneakers on and managed just fine, but wouldn’t have without the ski stick.
Would absolutely recommend some hiking boots and/or snow latch on spikes. Loved doing the hike with all the snow though.

5/24. Loved this area. Not really a hike but a fun spot to stop and climb rocks! The falls were beautiful! We did walk both sides of the falls. You can really see the full debris field from around Many Curves. Beautiful from a distance too.

Hiked Mills 5/23 around 2pm, and it had light traffic and quite a bit of packed snow. It was easily manageable in our hiking boots, just be careful of a few slippery places. The lake was beautiful and had a few people fishing and sunbathing. We wanted to go further up to Black and Frozen Lakes but we would have needed spikes or poles for those.

Hiked this 5/23, and the snow was packed a little ways into the trail. It’s manageable with hiking boots, just follow the foot trails in the snow so you know where to step. We made it up fairly quick. We considered trying Sky Pond but the only people heading that way had spikes and snowshoes so we decided against it. Also, at the top of Lake Loch the snow was already packed high so we figured it would only get worse from there.

Hiked this today, 5/23, and there was only a tiny bit of snow. Easily accessible with regular shoes even though we wore proper hiking boots. Beautiful and easy hike. The beginning is super easy since it’s all downhill (which means your homestretch will be a little difficult). I recommend going further past the falls and venturing to Loch Lake or even further if you can. The way to Loch Lake was covered with a bit of snow, so definitely bring hiking boots for that, or even spikes if you don’t want to have to slip every now and then.

We hiked this from Bear Lake. The trail from Bear Lake to the junction with Glacier Point was nothing special. All downhill which made coming back all uphill. I think this added to the difficulty of the hike. (I’m a beginner). The hike from the junction to Albert Falls was nice. The falls were nice. Several places for pictures. The perfect picture spot at the top of the falls was spoiled by someone sitting, reading a book right in the middle of it all. Still glad we walked on up to the top.

5/23. Great easy hike around the lake. Beautiful reflection pictures of the mountains in the lake. Parts were still snow covered.

A nice and varied excursion.

Get an early start—preferably pre-dawn—-for three reasons: 1) Very limited parking so get there early to get a place; 2) Avoid the short-hikers going to Alberta Falls; 3) Dawn over Mills’ Lake is serene.

Lunch under the shade of the trees of Black Lake—it is deep, deep…that’s why it’s black in color from any distance.

Easy hike overall.

If you start early, be mentally prepared for the mobs at Mills’ Lake and even more so at Alberta Falls as you return to your great parking spot.

A nice and varied excursion.

Get an early start—preferably pre-dawn—-for three reasons: 1) Very limited parking so get there early to get a place; 2) Avoid the short-hikers going to Alberta Falls; 3) Dawn over Mills’ Lake is serene.

Lunch under the shade of the trees of Black Lake—it is deep, deep…that’s why it’s black in color from any distance.

Easy hike overall.

If you start early, be mentally prepared for the mobs at Mills’ Lake and even more so at Alberta Falls as you return to your great parking spot.

4 days ago

We were in Estes Park in mid-June and wanted an upclose of Long’s Peak. But without crampons and ice picks nor previous experience atop Long’s, we opted not to die but to do Chasm Lake instead. It was a decent step down hike.

A “moderate” difficulty ranking is appropriate. Nothing technical. It won’t leave you beat up.

As usual, very windy and gusty coming off the diamond of Long’s face.

Columbine Falls and Peacock Pool were beatiful and the pool appropriately named.

Dress in layers and get there early since it’s the same parking lot as Long’s!

05/20--Snowpack starting around 1.8miles and is prevalent off and on up to 2.5miles in. Then pack turned to drifts. Managed fine in hiking boots though. Wanted to go to Sky Pond but the trip was cut short due to a thunderstorm. I did not feel shorted whatsoever though, the Loch is awesome!

Wanted to make a loop by Lake Haiyaha but after talking to the Park Ranger I decided against it. She stated the junction isn't maintained by the park during winter season and strongly discouraged the use without proper gear.

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

Made it up to sky pond in just hiking boots but very dodgy, still a lot of snow on the trail. Would definitely recommend trackers and poles. Tough climb but the views are worth it

Good quality hiking boots and ice spikes would make this hike a lot easier to tackle. Many areas of the trail are covered in snow and ice.

Hiked this with my 10 year old daughter. We thought it was easy. Minimal snow on the trail with our regular hiking boots it was no problem. Nice scenery even on a dreary day.

Did this hike today and it was spectacular. Had spikes and poles from about half way around the Loch and up to Sky. Beautiful day on a beautiful trail. Snow melt is in full force.

It was difficult to find the trail with all the snow and not much traffic but once I found it it was well worth it. I did it in just hiking boots without spikes and was fine and saw a girl with tennis shoes do it without any issues. I would definitely recommend this trail.

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