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.

21 hours ago

Fun moderate hike, with a good amount of shade along the trail and a beautiful payoff at the end. My wife and I did this with our 1 1/2 year old in a backpack carrier. There is something interesting to look at for most of the hike...nice views of the lower valley, the creek running along the whole trail, and peeks of the snow capped mountains up ahead. Crowds thin out fast after you pass the waterfall. Once you reach loch lake head for the center island area for the best vantage point.
This is a Rocky mtn must do!!

1 day ago

Gorgeous hike. Hint: get to the Bear Lake parking early to get a parking space. The wind comes in strong in afternoon so if you’re intending to Plein air paint. Get there early! It took much longer getting to Emerald Lake than I thought - easy return. Take more water than you think you need!

1 day ago

Did this today, and the conditions were fantastic! There is a tiny patch of snow right where the trail forks off from Dream, but this is all that was left. The trail had been rained on all night, but it was just fine with hiking boots. The streams are beautiful, they are at a nice running level right now. The trail was fairly busy, but nothing like that of the trail coming up to Dream from Bear Lake.

6/18/18 - lovely hike filled with wild flowers at this time. Hike starts with nice wide open mountain views. Trek through the forest seeing beautiful wild flowers along the way. Cub lake is uniquely filled with lily pads with yellow flowers. Past the lake you will see rock formations and the flowers continue while hiking downward to the Pool. As you walk to the Fern Lake TH you will hear and see beautiful water streams throughout the remaining hike. Love this nice,easy stroll through the RMNP.

Happy we added this walk before getting back on the shuttle. Really beautiful views!

One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced! Spectacular!

on Flattop Mountain Trail

2 days ago

Overall great views along the entire hike! Little snow but very manageable.

On our way out, we had the trails almost completely to ourselves. Balanced Rock was worth seeing, but definitely an uphill climb back to Gem Lake. And, once we made it back to Gem Lake, it was later in the day and more crowded. Overall, it was a beautiful hike that I'd definitely recommend.

Great hike great views and very good fishing for cutthroat at tail waters of Dream Lake and the inlet.

2 days ago

Hands down the most beautiful trail I've ever seen. Mid 30, mostly fit, carrying a toddler, took about an hour to get to the top. We went at 630pm, two hours before sunset, parked in the front row and had the trail to ourselves.

2 days ago

Great day hike and an even better over night backpacking trip. We stayed at the golden banner campsite which was secluded and still very well maintained. We even had a massive moose come visit us. Overall I recommend.

2 days ago

Great hike. Stunning views throughout the whole trail. Not overly difficult, great for showing people the beauty of Colorado.

This has to be my new favorite hike in the park. I did this hike on Saturday 6/16 and hiked as far as black lake. I got to the park at 6:30 and the Glacier Gorge lot was already full so I had to park at the bear lake TH. It barely added any distance. The trail was completely snow free until about the last mile before Black lake and even then it was only covered in a few spots and was easy without spikes or trecking poles. Scenery the whole way up was great with lots of waterfalls. I passed by Mills lake but that would be a worthwhile trip on it's own.

The fishing at Black Lake was excellent. Lots of mayflies hatching and the brook trout were hitting on nearly every cast. I will definitely be hiking back to this lake.

Really laid back hike with beautiful views the entire way. Heavy traffic to the falls, but if you keep heading to the lake, the number of people decreases a lot.

The lake was beautiful and worth taking the shuttle from the Park and Ride. However, it was very, very crowded.

The Cub Lake Trail Loop was a nice, easy hike. Cub Lake was very beautiful, and the bridge at the Pool over the river was also very scenic.

My first hike to that altitude and it did not disappoint. We hiked up from the west side of the park. There was quite a bit of snow around some of the switchbacks but nothing unmanageable. The views along the way were absolutely amazing. The top was a little barren but still a great view and we had a little lunch before hiking back down. It was astonishingly warm at the top. We hiked up rather late in the afternoon, probably not the smartest idea but we got to see the sunset at the top of the mountain and that was incredible. We made it down before it got dark, but I still wouldn't recommend unless you have headlamps and extra water! I recommend the trail overall, especially hiking up from the west.

a great hike via "the pool".

3 days ago

Beautiful hike. The lake is gorgeous

A nice stroll and beautiful scene, but it was very busy.

Great family trail! Parking is limited so consider parking at the park and ride and grabbing the shuttle. Trail can be busy so remember your hiking manners!

3 days ago

Lake is really pretty. Nice short hike. Parts through forest are beautiful. Switchbacks through elevation are exposed-thankfully we had a cloudy day. Views are great from the top. I wouldn't rate this moderate-its easy- even the beginning switchbacks aren't that hard. I did it in Chaco flip flops. Not crowded which was wonderful. It could qualify for 5 stars but it's not as sublime as other hikes in RMNP.

Crowded trail, but beautiful views! All three lakes that you hit on this trail are different in their own ways and stunning. GET THERE EARLY. Very busy! Luckily RMNP offers a free shuttle service if you have trouble finding parking. Many families hiking this trail especially with small children, everyone was extremely polite and aware! We spotted an elk, birds, and chipmunks along the trail.

Warning this hike is very crowded. Lots of kids and no hikers. This hike is basically a nature walk, so very nice views, but if you want something more substantial go up. Also if you plan on going to Alberta falls go here first and head down to the falls. Up is a pain with little payoff.

Nice hike. Easy with a great payoff. The falls were really flowing yesterday and it wasn't super crowded. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy hike or with are with a flatlander.

breathtaking view!

Easy trail with excellent views and lots of animals!

4 days ago

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!

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