Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

good hike maybe 12 parking spots, so get there early. The hike is mostly meadow until last 3/4 mile were you enter the woods the last 1000 feet is a scrambling between rocks. to get to the top, there is a small trail to the left. going up not bad coming down a little is little bit scary but worth it.

on Emerald Lake Trail

1 day ago

Gorgeous trail! The leaves are changing! Beautiful views along the way, it was very peaceful. Went today with my husband. I think it helped (as far as foot traffic) to be here on a weekday and also that we started a little after 5 pm—we only saw a handful of people. It was an awesome early evening hike for our first day here at RNMP!

This was an awesome trail, especially with the leaves starting to change. We headed up to Mills Lake and decided to keep going to Black Lake. While Mills Lake is clearly the more spectacular lake, the hike up to Black Lake was really beautiful. The path gets a little rocky at times (coming from a Midwesterner), but we made it round trip in about 4.5 hours with stops at both lakes.

Lovely and manageable hike.

Gorgeous trail! I’m not the worlds most avid hiker and would still only rate the trail as moderate. The scramble wasn’t nearly as difficult or treacherous as I was expecting. I have a mild fear of heights and it didn’t phase me honestly. Definitely slightly overcrowded despite starting at 6:30am and finishing at 3pm (lots of stopping for views and extra walking around the lakes), although my boyfriend found a little lake to the side of Loch and proposed!!! Beautiful hike overall.

Make sure to keep going once you’re above the waterfall scramble to get to Sky Pond! We almost didn’t realize that Glass Lake wasn’t the end of the trail. Incredible hike - long, but not too strenuous.

(Be careful of aggressive elk!)

Great walk out here today. lovely views all the way up passing falls and loch on route. few people on the go but more than enough room to pass on the trail.small scramble before you reach the level of sky pond but ok for most levels of ability with care. would recommend

We had a great time on this relatively easy trek. Trail mix fell into the Lake but we were able to retrieve it, and stayed dry in the smoothie container. But soooo many people in rmnp we will look for other places or maybe go once the weather detours most

came on a Tuesday...trail was empty . amazing 360 views at the top. moderate hike...pretty aspens here and there. clear signage and lots of parking. I recommend this hike for a short one

great hike, a little challenging for a novice hiker. the views cant be beat. im put of shape, and i got up to the peak in about 2 hours.

Great trail. Would recommend for anyone

hiking
1 day ago

It's a great place for Astro Photography....when it's clear. I got up there around 4:30AM on sunday and had plenty of time to get some shots before the sunrise. Then I had the park to myself for a couple of hours to get photographs without people. There were Elk and Beavers about.

hiking
1 day ago

This trail has a beautiful payoff in the lake, as well as some stunning mountain views along the way. The entire way up is straight uphill, and our group definitely had to take a few breaks, but the way down is easy. If you’re not used to the elevation, I would recommend a less strenuous hike, but if you can handle the 4.5 miles uphill it’s worth it.

hiking
2 days ago

Nice little hike but very little as far as views go. The lake as the destination really makes it worthwhile and I will definitely be going back to overnight and explore. The majority of the trail is straight uphill but the hike back is quick due to being downhill.

Good hike and the views at top are well worth the effort. our first in RMNP and looking forward already to a few more this week.

Probably the most rewarding easy hike suitable for the entire family in the park. My 3 year old daughter was able to do the majority of the hike on her own short of a few steep stretches towards the end. With about 0.9 miles between each of the three lakes on the trail, it makes for regular breaks and helps keep everyone motivated for the next stop. Each lake offers something a bit different with all having a slightly different appeal. Great hike to share with new visitors of all abilities and a perfect entry level hike to RMNP.

Beautiful day, Makes a great couples hike.

We loved this trail! Although the bottom sections are pretty easy, the views are good, and just get better as you rise. It has a nice variety along the trail, and the top is just breathtaking.

Amazing trail hiked on 9/14/18. Arrive before 7 if you want to park at Glacier Gorge trailhead. Hike took us 6 hrs round trip but we took our time at the Loch, Timberline Falls, Lake of Glass, Sky Pond, and also detoured to Mills Lake on the return trip. Trail was long but otherwise not too difficult for a couple of moderately in shape amateur hikers. The waterfall scramble took all of a few minutes and so long as you watch your footing carefully on the wet rocks isn’t bad. Amazing scenery at every stop....tough to say which stop is the best which made for an extremely rewarding hike. Highly recommended.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trails and views on the way to Dream Lake and then Emerald Lake... get there early as I had to use the park and ride at 7:00 am but it was very quick and free.

Great day hike. Worth going up the small falls to eventually get to sky pond. Round trip somewhere between 4:30 to 5hrs.

backpacking
2 days ago

Saw a bull moose on this trail and wonderful views go in the fall !

A bit crowded on a September weekend, but most trails in the park are at this time. We had to do about .8 miles of road-walking from the shuttle stop, where we were lucky to get a parking space (there were tons of people circling the lots and walking the road). Much of the trail goes through the burn area, which detracts from the scenery, and it's also the most horse-poop-covered trail I've seen in the park. Gross. The lake is lovely and we saw a couple of moose (and the crowds thin after each viewpoint - the pond and the falls - so there weren't tons of people who made it all the way to the lake. We didn't have time to do Odessa, which is reportedly great, but just Fern Lake as a destination was only so-so compared to other hikes in RMNP.

Beautiful trail, well maintained and gorgeous views throughout the whole hike. I would say it is more of an easy hike than a moderate, although the altitude coupled with a lot of stair climbing towards the end did take my breath away a few times (as someone who is used to 800ft above sea level, this is a big change for me).

We arrived to the trail head around 7:30am on a Friday morning and the parking lot was only about 25% full. The hike up was not crowded at all but it was getting significantly busier on the way down. I would suggest starting at 7.

hiking
2 days ago

very unique trail after you get about halfway up! would definitely go on this trail again

Scenic hike with a lot of fall colors. We did see a Moose on the trail (that startled us). We kept our distance and warned hikers after we were able to continue.

Beautiful views and on the way to Sky Pond. A lesiurly hike with some elevation.

Moderate hike with a little bouldering. We took our time and wrapped up the hike, plus Mirror lake and Mills lake in 5 hours. I'm a novice hiker and really enjoyed this hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Short hike with great views. I’ve done it a few times and it’s never crowded.

I really loved this hike until the waterfall scramble. I really had no idea what it would be like, and I'm afraid of heights, but more so coming down. I think it helped me that the trail was busy and I could watch some other hikers come down - otherwise I was ready to turn around! I'm glad that I went on - Lake of Glass and Sky Pond were beautiful (hold on to your hats, though, it was very windy!) Also, there was a marmot that was overly tame at Lake of Glass - when we were there he ran off with a plastic water bottle (not ours). Don't feed the wildlife!

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