Explore the most popular birding trails near Estes 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
5 hours ago

Extremely slick. You NEED snowshoes or spikes. Easy trail otherwise. Lake is still frozen and honestly not worth the hike at this point.

Extremely slick. You NEED snowshoes or spikes. Easy trail otherwise. Lake is still frozen and honestly not worth the hike at this point.

hiking
6 hours ago

Great hike! First time in the Rocky’s and at this high elevation so was perfect first hike to get use to the climate and elevation. Great views, and not too busy which was a shock.

hiking
7 hours ago

Fun hike! Definitely start before 8am to get to the top before noon as you’ll notice the weather starts to change quickly most days. I lost the trail a fair amount of times thanks to the snow and other peoples foot prints, but the map and some common sense helped to fix that! Don’t give up when you get to the top of Flattop Mtn, go the extra distance to Hallett, it’s definitely worth the extra push though it looks daunting in the moment! Lastly, still 3-4 feet of snow below tree line- I brought micro spikes but barely used them. Snow shoes might’ve helped, but it’s more that slushy annoying snow that you’ll be dealing with. Definitely wish I had brought my gaiters though! Happy hiking!

Great hike

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.

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked/climbed Longs Peak back in 2013 and it was by far the best 14’er accomplishment for me so far. It’s a long day hike of some 15 miles RT and we started at 2:30 a.m. to get up and back down before the afternoon storms hit. I’m planning to do this again soon. An epic hike for sure.

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.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful trail.

Love this hike for the 360 degree view at the top. We did it Day 1 after coming from little altitude. It was tough - would’ve like to acclimate more beforehand. Definitely worth it 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.

Fun hike with a rewarding view at the top

Absolutely LOVED this trail. It’ll get your heart rate up for sure, but the views are definitely worth the huffing and puffing.

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.

Loved this. Saw 3 moose, and watched 1 walk all the way across the lake

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.

hiking
2 days ago

We hiked today 5/23/18- the trail was fully covered in snow past Nymph lake. Not too difficult coming up, but really hard coming back. I was wearing tennis shoes and had no grip at all, others had hiking shoes and did okay. Good shoes and spikes would have really helped. Took us 3 hours up with lots of stops, and 1 hour back down with almost no breaks. A little bit crowded but still enjoyable. The lakes were absolutely gorgeous.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

It's still snowy, icy in certain areas. The snow looks to be really deep where people are walking, especially one spot on the trail. I'm sure the rangers are taking caution due to the melting and how it can cause postholing or falling from breaking snow, slick snow. I had Yaktrax and my poles, but I still slid a little, but I did okay. I saw quite a few people wearing flat bottom Keds/Vans and even flip flops type of shoes. Please be prepared! The trail does get lost, and it was muddy in some spots. So be careful you don't go too far off of the trail. I decided not to go up to Emerald lake because I was by myself and if I fell, I'd be in trouble. So, please wear adequate shoes! Yaktrax are $20 and very valuable, or more for microspikes. It makes the trip enjoyable. I saw one lady in near tears trying to get around a snowpacked curve in her slick shoes.
With that said, this is a beautiful hike! I'm glad I went. It was cool to see how much snow was still up there. The lakes were peaceful and beautiful. It did cloud up and started storming quickly, rain and hail. Hikers need to be aware of that this time of year. I'm sure there were a lot of soaked folks.
The snow will melt, it will be slick for a while. Be careful and be prepared and you'll enjoy this hike! Its worth it! Just keep going and take your time and watch the skies!

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.

hiking
2 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!

5/22. From Nymph to Dream the snow amount increased but still easy enough to get through. Beautiful views on the way to Dream. I loved this lake. It was partially ice covered. Walked on to Emerald. Snow increased and hiking became harder. But worth it.

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.

5-22-18. Snow covered, very slick as we got near Emerald Lake. Our first hike in RMNP. Breathtaking views. We started at 8am. Parking was full by the time we got back around noon.

hiking
3 days ago

5/21/18 Well marked trail. Nice views off and on, spring wild flowers, and nice rock formations. Last 1/10 of a mile you will rock scramble up to the top. Amazing 360 views. Lots to see given a short 2 mile hike up.

Beautiful. Fairly gentle incline, not too difficult.

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

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