Explore the most popular forest 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
22 hours 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!

breathtaking view!

trail running
1 day ago

We start this loop at Bierstadt. It is one of my all time favorite loops. You get everything, lakes, beautiful views, waterfalls, and if you go early in the season great wildflowers. Short grind up from Bierstadt TH, nice run across over to Mill Creek in the trees. Real rocky section down around cub lake (burn area). Once you hit the river, you get a nice grind (rocky) up to Fern Lake. Then on to Odessa (worth the slight detour - don’t skip). Then a rocky climb up to Helene with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. From there great fast downhill back to either Bear Lake or Bierstadt. You can add additional miles by adding Flattop to the loop as an out-and-back.

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

Beautiful. Good choice for new hikers. My teens enjoyed it. Saw elk. Lots of families with young children going at a slower pace. Went early to beat rush. Able to park in lot at 8:30 am. Not for quiet, peaceful retreat experience of nature. But a gorgeous and fun few hours in the mountains!

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.

Very slick slush/snow bank just before a scramble up timberline falls, would recommend shoes with some good grip, slid down the snow on my butt on my way back down with just my regular hiking boots! The scrambling was definitely the highlight of the hike for me and the challenge made the view at the end so much more rewarding! Climbing the falls was not as bad as it looked!

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.

This was a quiet hike compared to some in the park. We started the hike around 10 with very few people on the path. As the morning went on the traffic increased. This is on my list to hike again.

We tried to go here on our first day in the park. We left Estes Park at 8:30, but the shuttle parking lot was already full. We returned the next morning at 6am and had a quiet peaceful walk around the lake.

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

Nice, relatively flat, shaded trail along the Big Thompson. Great rock formations.

Great trail, but not "nature". Hundreds of people everywhere, many with ear buds in place, smoking, and checking their Facebook accounts. On the plus side, lots of families with young kids.

Like every other review, I got the last parking spot at 8am. The hike to the Loch is easy/moderate with views here and there. The Loch itself is beautiful and a lot less windy than further up the trail. Things escalate quickly after the Loch, though - literally and figuratively. You emerge from the trees and scramble up an active waterfall to see a pristine mountain pond in a gorgeous setting. Definitely one of the best hikes in RMNP but because of the snowpack/waterfall, the short trail between the Loch and Sky Pond is more on the 'difficult' side. Round trip in 4 hours, not counting an hour long break gazing around Sky Pond with a huge dumb smile on my face. Do it!

Usually hike this trail in off peak (late spring or fall) this being my first visit in the busier summer season. Of course I'm used to a more peaceful version of the trail as the crows and inexperienced folks ran amuck! Still one of the true gems of RMNP and glad it is available to all to see!!

hiking
2 days ago

It is hard to believe that for as many times as I have hiked RMNP I never did this trail. What a travesty as this is truly an awesome trail with much to offer! Bring a lunch and take it all in!! Just what out for the wild life as they know there is food to be found from hikers.

great trail. would reccomend on the way back to go towards the glaciar gorge trail head (there os a shuttle there) for different scenery. this trail had alot of people. did see an elk sleeping on the trail but people remember these are wild animals and this is their home.

I covered this hike as part of the Cub Lake loop trail. The trail is heavily traveled by horses and it is very soft/sandy. Not a bad hike, though. It wasn't crowded at all. I saw a herd of elk, too!

I did this loop trail clockwise to get the hard and steep climb up, over, and then back down the ridge to get to the lake done in the first part of the morning. There was no one around; I didn't see another person until I got to the lake. Coming down the ridge to the lake is definitely for the surefooted! Finishing the loop back down from Cub Lake was a much less steep grade. I missed the turn-off at first to complete the loop: when the main trail starts to turn north, don't do it. There is an unmarked trail that takes off to the south that you want to follow. If you go North and you are wanting to finish the loop, you've gone the wrong way! The last bit to get back to the trail head is a long slog on the trail along Bear Lake Road, then you actually go past the car park and loop back around to it. It was a long hike, and very warm for the last bit, but it was a good one!

Beautiful hike to a gorgeous part of RMNP. Can get crowded so start early.

We got married at Sky Pond at a sunrise hike. It was absolutely glorious. Challenging, but rewarding. Our photographer recommended this spot and we are adventure seekers, so we knew that our RMNP would not disappoint. The lake was perfect. Columbines were everywhere. We arrived at sunrise and changed into our wedding attire. It was perfect in every way. We've heard that the park is only allowing wedding permits for certain spots, so we believe we are one of the only couples to say their vows at Sky Pond, but we would love to know if anyone else has shared this ceremony - it's a beautiful experience, especially at sunrise. Arrive early, because the park gets super busy in the summer months.

Hiked this morning for the first time. It def is moderate as you gain elevation steadily and it is higher elevation the the front range. Views from the top are epic. High wind gusts today. Had the top to ourselves for 15 min before next crowd arrived. Based on their reviews of it being well populated we felt lucky to have no humans around. On way out spotted deer. Trailhead starts at 8780 elevation and highest point is 9786’

hiking
3 days ago

Summer conditions - minimal snow that can be avoided easily all the way to the summit. Anything past the Keyhole is pretty technical and should only be attempted by experienced hikers!

Views along the way were awesome, but the top was not that exciting. It is flat, hence the name flattop, so you do not get the sense of accomplishment of a peak on a summit hike. It was too windy to cross over to Hallett, which may have delivered that awesome feeling you get when you get to the very top of a mountain. Still recommend the hike though.

This was one of the most beautiful hikes ever. Definitely start at cub lake trail head. The climb up is easy and you get to start in the valley. We had to wait in the valley for a massive herd of Elk to move off the trail. Cub lake is gorgeous and a great place for lunch. The halo affect of the water lilies is amazing. Finally the hike down to the pool was all down hill and easy. It’s sends you meandering through burned out lodge pole pines and when we did the hike the wildflowers were out of this world.

hiking
3 days ago

This was the end of the Lake Haiyaha loop for me. It was very well maintained and as it was nearing mid-day, it was pretty crowded. Still a pretty sight and a good trail.

hiking
4 days ago

Really crowded. Surprised at the number of people messing with the elk. Views at Emerald Lake are nice.

Got last parking spot in the lot at 8am. Fair amount of hikers on the way up. Much more crowded on the way down. Hike from Loch to Sky is great. Views from Glass make the hike worth it. Round trip in 4:15.

Hiked this 6/12/18 and this was my first big hike, it was amazing! Experienced some snow once we passed the dream lake overlook and more snow about 300 yards from the summit. I was wearing tennis shoes and the snow was manageable. It was very windy once we got out of the tree line. We experienced a 30 degree temperature change, dress in layers! There’s a fire in SW Colorado that made the view from the summit a little foggy. Overall this is a great hike with beautiful views of Longs Peak, Estes Park and the surrounding areas. Would highly recommend!

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