Explore the most popular walking 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.

This is a fantastic hike. Probably one of the most beautiful I’ve done in Rocky Mountain NP. Closer to 9.8 miles, but worth every step. Saw lots of elk along the trail and some brave marmots. Please DO NOT feed the wildlife! They are too comfortable around people, trying to steal food. The views at the top are incredible, but don’t get fooled and stop at the first lake. Sky pond is beyond that one. Bonus getting to see Alberta Falls on the way up, and the crowd thins once you pass this point. Took a nice dip in the lake on the way down. Cold, but worth it!

hiking
12 hours ago

Great hike! We were on the trailhead at 7:00. We saw a big bull elk and 1 deer. The hike had a lot of elevation change but was so worth it. The lake is beautiful, and filled with cutthroat trout. My husband and son spend several hours fly fishing. Amazing day and hike!

A great hike! 4 stars instead of 5 because the first ~2.8 miles of the route got a little boring with all the trees (which were pretty! Just the same view for a while), but the view at the top was gorgeous. If you’re comfortable with it, definitely climb up the rock peaks at the top to get an even better view.

It took us just under 2 hours to get to the top, and about 50 minutes to get back down. However, we normally walk fast, and passed many people both ways. There were some pretty steep parts, especially halfway through, but nothing too difficult or unsafe. If you’re regularly active and in good shape, you’ll find this trail to be moderate and not “hard.”

15 hours ago

Great first hike in estes. Amazing views at the top. Pretty easy to navigate the entire route. Saw a lot of dogs on the trail. Weird bugs at the top but none on the trail. Good spot if you want to get a quick hike in.

Never been hiking in my life.. decided to hit the hardest most beautiful trail right out of the gates. GREAT DECISION. One of the most gratifying afternoons of my life. We managed to snag a parking spot up at Bear Lake lot around 10:30am. Took the shuttle down to Glacier Gorge and were off. IMPORTANT: Take your time going up, don't be afraid to go off trail 50-100 yards.... because that is where the most stunning views are! The Loch will make you cry, and so will the satisfaction from making it all the way to Sky Pond. DO THIS HIKE! Took us about 3.5 hours up, 1.5 hours down with a few breaks here and there. Sights and feels that I won't soon forget!

Vraiment beau paysage !!

hiking
18 hours ago

Beautiful trail. Definitely arrive by 7:30 am to avoid heavy traffic. If you are not an early riser and always lucky, arrive around 10 am to take the early birds' spots.

hiking
19 hours ago

this was beautiful at the top but it's definitely HARD

22 hours ago

Fun hike with beautiful views all the way up. It’s not too strenuous if you can get an early start and take a lot of breaks. Once you get to flattop you might as well make it to Hallett, it looks a lot worse than it is, only took about 30 minutes to scramble up (and by scramble it was just hopping on large rocks, no need to use your hands)

Just hiked it yesterday. Given the crazy amounts of people on the trail, we somehow had the lake to ourselves for the whole time we stayed up there. Maybe it was due to the late hour of our hike (we got to the lake around 5 pm) or maybe because it’s an extra mile-long spur off from the main trail. The lake was pretty and peaceful, not too spectacular, but definitely worth checking out.

Beautiful scenery but there are better ones than this lake.

This ended up being one of my favorite hikes of the trip. It was definitely a challenge for me and my friend, two Midwesterners who have never climbed a mountain or generally even faced high altitudes before. The elevation gain and rocky terrain are brutal at times but definitely manageable, I think having hiking poles would definitely have made it easier. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the top, going at a reasonable pace and making frequent stops to let our lungs adjust to the altitude. The views at the top are astounding, especially if you scramble up to one of the peaks to get the full panoramic view, but the first 3 miles of the hike itself isn't terribly exciting. You are surrounded by beautiful huge trees for most of it though, so it was peaceful, and when we began our hike around 8:30 AM we saw several elk right off the trail. All an all I would definitely recommend this hike if you're looking to summit a mountain but are an inexperienced hiker.

on Ypsilon Lake Trail

hiking
1 day ago

Hiked Ypsilon today and my Fitbit said it was 10.03mi. Great Lake view, but make sure you don’t stop short at the little pond. I was quite shocked at the amount of people who were starting at 3pm in jeans with no water. Be smart, it’s not worth it.

Want to include some clarification...

- The picture listed for this trail is actually Glass Lake, not Sky Pond. Sky Pond is another 0.5 miles further in once you've made it up the scramble.
- This hike, all the way to Sky Pond, is about 4.9 miles from the Glacier Gorge trail head to the end.

Overall, an absolutely beautiful hike and not too strenuous. I would rate this a more moderate / hard hike. My friend and I stayed at the Glacier Basin campsite and drove across the street to the shuttle stop and took the shuttle up. They run about every 5-10 minutes. Parking will be full if you get to the trailhead after 6:30am.

The waterfall scramble at the end of the hike is the most challenging part, and there are a fair amount of steps to get to that point (for those who may struggle with steps). There's a decent amount of shade but you will want to go as early as you can to avoid most of the sun. Make sure to bring a lot of water as well!

My friend and I took our time and stopped at a lot of the viewpoints and we finished the hike in 6.5 hours (in and out). One of my favorite hikes I've done - make sure to add this one to your trip if you're heading to Rocky Mountain National Park!

I made it halfway up Timberline Falls, but after seeing 2 gals above me slip and get hurt climbing the wet boulders I decided to stop and enjoy hiking another day. Kudos to those brave climbers. Still a great challenging hike with amazing views! I will enjoy the photos of those that made it to Sky Pond

Perfect hike, perfect day!

Overall, a great hike. Scaling the waterfall, while not too physically demanding, can prove treacherous if you have big feet and/or aren’t adept at climbing. Worth the trip to the top though!

Made this trip on 7/27 as the way down from Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Was hard to pick a line to glissade down so spent the trip down the glacier slipping and sliding on foot and on my rear end. Took me about 7 hours round trip. Great trip but route down from the tarn was more rock climbing (descending) than hiking. Add this to your list and do it.

Very easy beginner trail but so beautiful everyone will want to go. I walked Bear lake trail first then took Alberta Falls Route. A lot of people on weekends.

We used this as our exfil after traversing from Hallett Peak and glissading down Andrews Glacier. Makes about a 12 mile loop and it was amazing. Andrews Tarn is like an infinity pool.

hiking
2 days ago

It's worth the uphill grade to see Emerald Lake. Very pretty and attainable.

off road driving
2 days ago

I did it with stock new Silverado. it was brutal for this kind of car, though it has 4x4 low and all that crap, this trail is not for stock SUV like KIA sportage or so, because it is really rocky and you dont enjoy the drive.
I would recommend a jeep or something like Expedition for this.

other than that, lake is nice and all, but not breathtaking.

Drove 2 hours, got to the park entrance, paid $25 for day pass, drove a mile to the lake and was greeted with 'The lake is full, you'll have to turn around and go somewhere else' by a park ranger on the side of the road....no further explanation, just gestured to turn around.
The great outdoors is full - go somewhere else. So I did.

hiking
2 days ago

This was my first hike at RMNP, and it didn’t disappoint! My husband and I started at the bear lake trailhead, took a portion of the flattop mtn trail then when flattop mtn trail branched off to the left, we continued straight on the fern lake trail. We took the trail for a few miles and turned around right before two rivers lake. The incline was a good, challenging pace, not scrambling but not flat. We are beginner to intermediate hikers so this was perfect for us. The higher you get the rockier it gets on the trail. Some nice streams along the way and while it started off sunny and warm, it cooled at bit on the way up while in the pine forest. There was a portion of the trail that is next to a mountain that is nothing but rocks, so we slowed down a bit on this. This portion was also very sunny, but did not last long. Did not see any wildlife. I would do this again and next time probably go farther! Beautiful views along the way and not too crowded. I noticed the farther we went on the trail, the less foot traffic we came across. We arrived at the trailhead around 8:20am and it was full. Was able to snag a spot though. Might consider arriving a little earlier next time. First time at RMNP and I’m hooked. I never want to leave!

The hike up isn’t the most interesting, but the view at the top is definitely one of the best in the park. The trail gets pretty steep at a bunch of points, and the altitude can really get you if you are not used to it, but if you can, hike Twin Sisters.

Beautiful views the entire way. Definitely go to glass lake, too. I thought the trail was moderate. The waterfall scramble was interesting but not too difficult.

on Big Meadows Trail

2 days ago

Beautiful hike. Trail well maintained and easy to follow.

Right off road to alpine visitor center, parking can be tough.

Saw elk across the way at the start. Saw numerous marmots.

Views were great from the get-go. Just different being in the tundra. If you go to RMNP then do one tundra hike, this may be true easiest trail option. . Don't even have to do the whole trail, as the views might be the best in the beginning.

Not easy for worth it.

Alberta falls to start, cool but keep moving to further away from people.

Lock is pretty, easily find a good spot for a meal. Then you get to walk along the lake for awhile.

Made it the scramble, waterfall while my wife and I carried our 2 and 5 yr old. But not able to get them up the climb. So we took turns going up solo to glass lake, gave the kids a chance to play in the water at the bottom of the fall.

Missed out on sky, bummer. My 5 yr old hiked around 6 miles, which was a huge help.

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