Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

Lovely hike with many beautiful lakes along the way. We started at Bear Lake and hiked thru to the Fern Lake trailhead which clocked in at 11.4 miles on my Fitbit. From Fern Lake it is another .7 miles to the RMNP shuttle. It took us about 5 hours, with stops, to complete. The first 3-4 miles of the hike is a steady ascent and the rest is all downhill. We ran into one snow patch along the way that was easily traversed (early July). Stop at every lake along the way- they are spectacular. Keep an eye out for an unmarked trail on your left that leads to Lake Helene. It's about half a mile past the Sourdough Backcountry Campsite and is a great stop for views and lunch. Lake Odessa is about 4.5 miles in and you need to hike down to get to it. Incredible views. We also passed Spruce Lake, Fern Lake, and Fern Falls. We didn't see many people along the way and the views descending into Odessa Gorge are spectacular. Horses are allowed on the trail, and the droppings get pretty bad the last 3 miles near Fern Lake. Overall, this is a beautiful, long hike that offers gorgeous views of RMNP.

hiking
20 hours ago

As a first timer to the Rockies this was a nice easy introduction to the park, but start early to avoid high traffic. Arrived at trailhead around 6:30 on Saturday 7/14 and lot was half full. If you want more challenge and a more beautiful scenic lake, take the trail to Lake Haiyaha where the trail splits at Dream Lake, either after Dream or coming back from Emerald. The views going up are more breathtaking and more iconic than what you would see going to Emerald.

Uphill is only 650 gain over 0.7 miles. and back down and then yes up and down again to get back. Wasn't bad at all and well worth the effort. Parking is VERY limited so get there early.

Hard work! Sore feet to be expected

Absolutely beautiful! Got there at 6:30 and had to park at Bear Lake. There is a friendly marmot at the Lake of Glass and on the way back down a herd of Elk with their babies were crossing the Loch. Truly a remarkable trail. Be prepared for elevation gains and pack bug spray!!

Such a beautiful hike- easily one of my favorites!

hiking
1 day ago

Fantastic hike! Leave early to avoid heat and crowds. We camped at Longs Peak Campground and the next morning walked to the Chasm/Longs Peak Trailhead. Started at 7:30am and meandered the way up. Traffic was OK. Many of the Longs Peak hikers had begun a few hours earlier than us. Had fun scrambling at the end just before the lake. We stayed at the lake watching climbers, eating lunch, and relaxing then began the trek down around 1pm and it was really, really crowded. Cool weather at the lake. Hot on the way down above the tree line, cooler once in the trees. Beautiful views all along the trail! We stopped so many times to take in the scenery. Really great enjoyable hike! July 2018.

Steep ascent. Brilliant sunrise over Dream Lake.

High traffic beautiful scenery but if you want solitude and a challenge for a 20-25 year old it is not what you are looking for.

Awesome hike. Climbing the waterfall was probably my favorite part. I felt like we were discovering a new land as silly as that sounds. My brother and I loved it. Great hike.

Great hike toward the late afternoon it wasn’t as crowded as it could have been

This was a nice unplanned hike after we couldn’t park at Bearlake trailhead. Even on a Saturday during July not that busy. The treat was a pristine lake with a beautiful view of the mountains in the background.

Very good hike! Views at the top are absolutely gorgeous.

One of the best moderate hikes in RMNP, I really love this one. Make sure you bring plenty of water and a camera as this trail offers great views, wildlife, and a relaxing journey. Get there early in the summer as the trail gets quite full the closer to noon you get.

Allow for at least 3 hours, maybe closer to 4 depending on how much time you take to rest. Also plan on it being close to 7 miles total if you park at one entrance or another as they are a mile apart from each other.

If you can, go in the fall, as the fall leaves are truly mesmerizing.

Unbelievably amazing hike! Steady inclines at times but overall a pretty doable trail by anyone.
I arrived at 6:30pm on a Saturday and the parking had empty spots. Saw a ton of people at the beginning of the trail but the further you go the less people you’ll see.
A lot of bugs when you hike at a later time so bring some bug spray with you! Also, bring a flashlight just in case you need it!

Honestly one of the best hikes I have ever been on. The elevation takes some getting used to if your like me (from North Carolina) so be sure to take some extra water with you. Went late afternoon, got on the trail around 3:15 because the parking lot was full. Got to sky pond around 6:00 without making any stops.
Trail is pretty rugged toward the end, but if you enjoy climbing, it shouldn’t be an issue for you. Be sure to bring bug spray because they will GET YOU!!! Also a change of shoes/socks (or water shoes if you want to swap). My feet got soaked climbing up the waterfall getting to the end of the trail and soggy feet can be a bit annoying after awhile.
All and all, probably one of the best hikes I have ever been on! Highly recommend!

Great hike! Beautiful meadows, wildlife, and the falls at the end are worth it.

love this hike! My first hike rated hard! It was challenging, but we did it! Beautiful! So many waterfalls, wildflowers, and 3 lakes! This hike won my heart!

hiking
2 days ago

I am a 54 year old novice hiker. My son and I hiked this trail the first week in September 2017. The round trip took a solid 10 hours, but we stopped regularly and enjoyed the views. Unfortunately there was heavy haze due to wild fires in Wyoming. But it was an adventure that we thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward to hiking again on a clear day. There were ample Pika, Marmots and a few Ptarmigans. Overall it’s a great hike, even for a beginner.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! Flowers still out in full force. I recommend getting there early because parking is tight later in the day. I got there by 8am and saw few people until 10am. I saw an elk and mule deer. The stream is beautiful. I was wearing a full pack for the first time and it was a great trail for that.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
2 days ago

great hike, with views iconic to colorado - when you see colorado in a photo album, this trail contains views that showcases this.

Amazing.

Crowded as hell so many rude people, couldn’t go more than 15 seconds without seeing someone else

hiking
2 days ago

Gorgeous views from a reasonably short trail. Lots of wildlife along the way!

hiking
3 days ago

I did the emerald Lake route . I’m not sure why they called it moderate? It’s a nice 45 min stroll to the lake on a amazingly maintained trail, even paved at the beginning. It’s a great trail for families and young ones . If you want more of a challenge hike around the right side of emerald Lake. It is what I would call a very stable rock scramble and doable by older kids with good shoes( some traction on Btm). Then hike up to the falls which are really pretty . That extension makes the hike moderate and is well worth it plus it’s gets you away from the masses . If you are really an extremist then try hiking up the valley to the right of the river and falls. It is an advanced hike and gets to class 3-4 with 80% grade. Tougher going up but you need poles coming down or you take some falls . Do not hike in single file here as you will trigger rock slides due to grade. Also it is what I’d call a loose rock scramble!! Views are insane from up there but be careful as footing is tricky and it requires some rock climbing .

We loved this hike! Perfect hike for a day. On a Friday there were others out there but not a ton. Go to the end. Emerald Lake is worth it!

Such an amazing hike! I made the trek out to RMNP on a Tuesday morning, though made the mistake of getting there at 10am. Took a bit of time to find parking since everything was full (get there early!!!) but eventually parked and hit the trailhead at 10:30am. It took me 2 hours to get to lake of glass and then another .5 mile to get to sky pond. Beautiful views, definitely worth the longer hike! I went via bear lake trail so it ended up being a 10 mile hike total. Took me 5 hours total with stops and breaks for lunch. Trails weren’t super packed Tuesday morning but the parking lots definitely were, so just beware if you think you’ll luck out with a weekday hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Easy, busy, but beautiful for sure

hiking
3 days ago

One of my favorite 14ers to date. Summited July 1st on a blue sky day. Healthy winds brought down the temperature for the start of July, but no a cloud in sight. Trail was dry all the way up.

Very steady incline, beautiful vistas, not too busy

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