hiking

views

no dogs

wildlife

wild flowers

walking

forest

nature trips

birding

lake

river

horseback riding

waterfall

kid friendly

trail running

snowshoeing

camping

fishing

backpacking

dogs on leash

cross country skiing

rock climbing

wheelchair friendly

skiing

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in north-central Colorado contains some of the most popular hiking trails in North America. Situated between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake, the park hosts 76 mountains over 10 thousand feet high within its 412 square miles. The national park service runs five visitor centers with the headquarters at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center— just off highway 36 in Estes Park. In addition to amazing hikes, the park has some great scenic drives, including Trail Ridge Road, which takes visitors along the continental divide on the highest paved road in the country, and Old Fall River Road, a challenging dirt road that takes you to the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass - the highest national park visitor center in the United States at almost 11,800 ft. The park has four distinct ecosystems: montane, subalpine, alpine tundra, and riparian where lucky visitors can see wildlife such as mule deer, bighorn sheep and cougars. The high country of the park features many crystal clear alpine lakes, fantastic summits, and stunning views. The Estes Park Shuttle provides service from Denver International Airport to downtown Estes Park, and many shuttles run between the various trailheads, the Moraine Park Visitor Center and even the Glacier Basin Campgrounds. Many visitors use Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge as their starting point into the park.

hiking
14 hours ago

Started at 7:00 AM with one other car in the parking lot. About 1" of fresh snow on the ground. Need to walk up the closed road about 1/2 mile to get to trailhead. The trail was easy to follow and packed. Had 1-2" of fresh snow for the most part with hardpack and ice below. As you got close to the scree field near the summit, larger snow drifts. No snow shoes required, spikes highly recommended due. Trail easy to follow up the scree to the radio tower. Gorgeous 360 degree view on top as well as into RMNP, Meeker and Longs Peak. Headed down around 11:00 and met fairly heavy traffic going up.

hiking
15 hours ago

We had a friend in town from Sweden and after coming in Moab for a weekend- we hit the mountains for a quick hike. This was well trafficked for a mid week early June visit.

Not the prettiest hike in RMNP but easy to get to an manage if you have a short amount of time. It is a great drive up, take a hike, and drive out destination.

The Waterfall is very pretty.

4/21/18 Drop dead gorgeous views at every step! It has moderate steepness but the rewarding views are worth it! Definitely need microspikes! Some spots were a bit slippery/on edge!

17 hours ago

Simple circle around the lake. Is a bit icy/muddy but not too bad. Has a few picnic tables around for use.

backpacking
20 hours ago

A few friends and I hiked this trail about 2 weeks ago right after it snowed about 3 feet. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking hike I’ve ever done.

Nice hike! We went a week ago and the trail was still snowy. Deep snow if you leave the trail but if you stay on it’s packed down enough to walk. None of us wore spikes (very slippery, especially coming down) but we learned our lesson and will def rent or buy some for next time! It was a beautiful hike with views at the top.

Attempted this hike 2 times before in January and February but failed due to not having snowshoes and hiking through extremely dangerous winds, but finally finished the entire hike to Sky Pond on 4/15 with the proper equipment. The trail from Glacier Gorge should be 9.8 miles RT (rather than 8.1 miles according to this site) since it’s 2.2 miles to the split point between Loch Vale and Mills Lake, and then another 2.7 miles to Sky Pond from the split point.

By far my favorite hike I’ve done so far! Views throughout the entire hike were very scenic, rather than just one nice view at the end of the trail. The canyon and basin views were amazing throughout the hike and the frozen lakes (Loch Vale, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond) were all extremely breathtaking. The first 2.2 miles of the trail were moderate with some slippery snow so I used my yaktrax. Once you pass Loch Vale you will definitely need snowshoes as the snow can get knee deep. The hike up to Lake of Glass from the basin area above the tree line was extremely steep and slippery, definitely the most difficult part of the trail, so take your time with this part (snowshoes not recommended for this part.) It took me 6.25 hours to finish the trip because of the snow and ice, it probably would have only taken me about 4 hours to complete if the trail was clear. Will definitely come back in the summer to hike it!

Hiking in the snow! Great scenery along the way! Many folks had skis or snow shoes, but I was just fine with crampons and poles. I had a really hard time with the lungs of flatlander, but you feel awesome when you come off that last ridge.

4/20/18 Steeper than I expected. There’s a period of elevation in the beginning where I got worn out, then it evens out for a bit and you get excited/ relieved and the last portion steepens with large rocks.
There is a restroom about 2/3 of the way up.
There wasn’t a parking fee when I went.
The lake wasn’t frozen. This trail would be better during summer when the trees come back to life!

We started at Nymph Lake, intending to go to Alberta Falls and beyond, but we’re clearly unprepared as the trails were so packed they were like ice. So we came to try Cub Lake trail’s lower elevation and were not disappointed! It’s fairly flat in the early going but before too long it climbs and affords some great scenery. The lake itself is gorgeous and we had it all to ourselves, probably due to some light snow/sleet but it was no problem. This is a great first-day hike for people looking to acclimate before taking one of the more challenging hikes at higher elevations.

This was my first hiking experience in Colorado and I’ll never forget it. There are several scenic places along the trail that would each be worthy destinations. The last of the lakes on the trail, Emerald Lake, is a generous reward for a moderate half-day hike.

Lovely!

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail with spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies! Worth every step!

hiking
3 days ago

What an amazing view at the top! This is a great hike to take visitors to. It's not too long, not too hard, and such an amazing payoff at the end!

As always, start early!

Only made it to Mills Lake, but it was beautiful. The weather can still be incredibly cold in the morning, but warms up significantly during the day. The trail conditions were a little sketchy at parts if you're not wearing crampons or snowshoes, but it's doable. Just prepare to sink into some soft spots. Especially once you get to the higher elevations.

hiking
3 days ago

Easy, but not just a walk. Great views of surrounding mountains, wildlife, and the falls. Saw elk, mule deer, and wild turkey. The cross trail from Black Canyon Trail to MacGregor Trail is NOT marked. I ended up going past a little, followed map back to spot... there is a signpost at the intersection shown on the map referencing the clearly visible turn to ‘Pear’ climbing area and also possible, very faint evidence of a social trail where the trail is supposed to be. I crossed there... it felt more like crossing a field, but it quickly connected to MacGregor Trail (starts out as dirt road which leads to additional trail to the falls).

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

An easy, pretty trail. I particularly enjoyed the wildflowers around the lake.

This trail starts out going downhill so it's harder to come back than to get to the falls. It can get really busy and the views of the falls aren't really great. You can't get far enough away to really see well. I think the hike is worth the effort but not something I'm dying to do again, like Mills Lake.

Extremely popular trail. We started at 6:30 in the morning and didn't have to share Emerald Lake with too many people, so going early will earn you a little more serenity. It's gorgeous all the way there.

Only went as far as Mills Lake, but we hope to go farther next time. This hike is amazing. We saw bighorn sheep on the mountaintops above us, so don't forget to look up while you're there.

RMNP is one of my favorite places. This hike was beautiful from beginning to end, I was unable to see the actual falls because of the packed snow. We hiked in a Blizzard the entire time and also lost the trail because it covered peoples footsteps. You can actually climb up to the falls because it is frozen and covered in snow. The sign for Alberta Falls is very small, so you can pass it if not attentive. Bathrooms on the trail head : )

Hiked this on a Monday, 4/16 ~0930. Only shared the trail with 1 other couple but the lot was filled by the time we left. Microspikes absolutely needed, gorgeous hike! Can be difficult to find the trail at first, just take a left at the huge boulder after Nymph

hiking
4 days ago

We hiked this with 4 kids aged 5 through 9. We made many stops along the way but was delightfully enjoyed by all. We were there in July, the trail was crowded but less so as we passed the first two lakes. We swam in the lake, it was wicked cold, and then basked in sun on the large rocks to dry off. Great times by all.

hiking
5 days ago

We hiked with our young kids. Very family friendly.

hiking
5 days ago

Kind of a crazy day today- winds reached up to 90 mph in the Denver area, and even in Estes the winds were blowing pretty bad (although not quite THAT bad). When we started off the hike, it was sunny and blue skies, with only a few clouds. By the time we got to the lake there were snow pellets slapping against our faces and we had to cover our faces as much as we could on the way down so we could see where we were going. We got pretty cold and wet, but the hike was worth it. Can’t wait to do this again in the summer!

Hiked this on a very icy December day... without micro spikes! Probably not the best idea haha. Very dreamy ! Continue to lake hayaiaya

hiked this morning 4/16/18, some snow and ice accumulated on the upper half of the trail, microspikes would have been helpful but was doable without. beautiful as always!

Perfect time to go before the parking lots fill and the crowds roll in. The falls are still partly frozen but it is even more beautiful.

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