Explore the most popular National Parks in Colorado with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We started at Nymph Lake, intending to go to Alberta Falls and beyond, but we’re clearly unprepared as the trails were so packed they were like ice. So we came to try Cub Lake trail’s lower elevation and were not disappointed! It’s fairly flat in the early going but before too long it climbs and affords some great scenery. The lake itself is gorgeous and we had it all to ourselves, probably due to some light snow/sleet but it was no problem. This is a great first-day hike for people looking to acclimate before taking one of the more challenging hikes at higher elevations.

This was my first hiking experience in Colorado and I’ll never forget it. There are several scenic places along the trail that would each be worthy destinations. The last of the lakes on the trail, Emerald Lake, is a generous reward for a moderate half-day hike.

Lovely!

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail with spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies! Worth every step!

What an amazing view at the top! This is a great hike to take visitors to. It's not too long, not too hard, and such an amazing payoff at the end!

As always, start early!

Only made it to Mills Lake, but it was beautiful. The weather can still be incredibly cold in the morning, but warms up significantly during the day. The trail conditions were a little sketchy at parts if you're not wearing crampons or snowshoes, but it's doable. Just prepare to sink into some soft spots. Especially once you get to the higher elevations.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy, but not just a walk. Great views of surrounding mountains, wildlife, and the falls. Saw elk, mule deer, and wild turkey. The cross trail from Black Canyon Trail to MacGregor Trail is NOT marked. I ended up going past a little, followed map back to spot... there is a signpost at the intersection shown on the map referencing the clearly visible turn to ‘Pear’ climbing area and also possible, very faint evidence of a social trail where the trail is supposed to be. I crossed there... it felt more like crossing a field, but it quickly connected to MacGregor Trail (starts out as dirt road which leads to additional trail to the falls).

Neato!!

Easy out and back trail. Not much along the trail itself. A little up and down but not much. The view is so-so if you've just seen Cliff Palace, which we did so these ruins were not as spectacular. Then, some views of the canyons.

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

An easy, pretty trail. I particularly enjoyed the wildflowers around the lake.

This trail starts out going downhill so it's harder to come back than to get to the falls. It can get really busy and the views of the falls aren't really great. You can't get far enough away to really see well. I think the hike is worth the effort but not something I'm dying to do again, like Mills Lake.

Extremely popular trail. We started at 6:30 in the morning and didn't have to share Emerald Lake with too many people, so going early will earn you a little more serenity. It's gorgeous all the way there.

Only went as far as Mills Lake, but we hope to go farther next time. This hike is amazing. We saw bighorn sheep on the mountaintops above us, so don't forget to look up while you're there.

RMNP is one of my favorite places. This hike was beautiful from beginning to end, I was unable to see the actual falls because of the packed snow. We hiked in a Blizzard the entire time and also lost the trail because it covered peoples footsteps. You can actually climb up to the falls because it is frozen and covered in snow. The sign for Alberta Falls is very small, so you can pass it if not attentive. Bathrooms on the trail head : )

Hiked this on a Monday, 4/16 ~0930. Only shared the trail with 1 other couple but the lot was filled by the time we left. Microspikes absolutely needed, gorgeous hike! Can be difficult to find the trail at first, just take a left at the huge boulder after Nymph

hiking
3 days ago

We hiked this with 4 kids aged 5 through 9. We made many stops along the way but was delightfully enjoyed by all. We were there in July, the trail was crowded but less so as we passed the first two lakes. We swam in the lake, it was wicked cold, and then basked in sun on the large rocks to dry off. Great times by all.

hiking
3 days ago

We hiked with our young kids. Very family friendly.

hiking
3 days ago

Kind of a crazy day today- winds reached up to 90 mph in the Denver area, and even in Estes the winds were blowing pretty bad (although not quite THAT bad). When we started off the hike, it was sunny and blue skies, with only a few clouds. By the time we got to the lake there were snow pellets slapping against our faces and we had to cover our faces as much as we could on the way down so we could see where we were going. We got pretty cold and wet, but the hike was worth it. Can’t wait to do this again in the summer!

Hiked this on a very icy December day... without micro spikes! Probably not the best idea haha. Very dreamy ! Continue to lake hayaiaya

hiking
4 days ago

Did this hike in mid-April when snow was starting to melt considerably. The path was not icy, but we did not get to the bottom!

Beautiful views at the start, and the pathways were largely snow free (although muddy). As you turn for the 'final' descent downwards it gets considerably trickier. As someone with eyes bigger than my stomach, I was up for it, my partner who isn't a fan of slope-scrambles didn't want to go any further.

This is a hike where you have to be confident about slip sliding down some pretty rocky path whilst knowing you're coming back up there a few hours later!

It is an amazing, easy to follow hike and the river (which we visited in another spot later) would be well worth the trip. But it is difficult, tiring, and the view as you descend further starts to disappear behind trees, so you have to be committed.

Saw some very large tracks - maybe elk. Also saw a very stupid wild turkey pottering about at the top.

As everyone else says, go to the visitor centre, get advice from a ranger and remember you cannot do this without a wilderness permit.

hiked this morning 4/16/18, some snow and ice accumulated on the upper half of the trail, microspikes would have been helpful but was doable without. beautiful as always!

This was a cool hike if you want to hike in Mesa Verde, but we were expecting the petroglyphs to take up much more space. The hike itself was nice though. It is a loop trail. The first half is pretty moderate, but the second half I would say is pretty easy. If we get the chance to go back to Mesa Verde, we probably would choose a different hike with different views.

This hike is pretty easy, and it took less than 30 minutes. It has a good lookout to some of the dwellings.

The tour costs $5, but it was by far our favorite part of the entire day spent at Mesa Verde. My husband and I both agreed that the tour brought everything together and was a vital part of our visit. Kim, our ranger, was extremely knowledgeable. The hike itself is not difficult- the worst part is climbing the ladder.

Perfect time to go before the parking lots fill and the crowds roll in. The falls are still partly frozen but it is even more beautiful.

walking
5 days ago

Beautiful place and very relax.

Did it yesterday, MicroSpikes are a must, however some people did it without them.

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