At the top, you’ll get to enjoy panoramic views of the park, including Mount Meeker, Longs Peak, the mountains along the Continental Divide, Estes Cone, and Twin Sisters Peak — but not before a steep climb and … to your hike. It’s about building relationships with the outdoors and each other. This is another outstanding hike that offers several attractions along its route, including three waterfalls. historical rock peak located just outside of Estes Park. Also from the end of Bear Lake Road, you can dayhike 12,324-foot Flattop Mountain (8.8 miles, 2,849 feet round-trip), which I’ve hiked, but from the west side. These five beginner hikes in the park are sure to please, as they provide both great scenery and easy terrain. Estes Park is situated on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park which contains incredible views of the Rocky Mountains, and over 350 miles of hiking trails. Sisters, and downtown Estes Park. Easily access some of these trails from your cabin and begin your mountain experience with us! Best time to visit: April to November. the oldest and largest sacred Native American sites in Colorado, and its peak The Best Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park Adams Falls – Easy written by Amanda June 17, 2017. Best Weekend Backpacks. The Pool + Cub Lake Loop: An easy 6.4-mile loop around Cub Lake and Fern Lake offering great views. Bull Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park The Best Fall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Potentially one of the busiest trails at RMNP is the Emerald Lake trail. Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lake Hike: This beautiful route is one of the best hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park, taking you to five stunning and unique lakes. perfect view of Estes Park and the high peaks that surround the area, from Mount Meeker to Lumpy Ridge and the Mummy Range. It’s popular and has a sweeping view … Wildflower Hikes Nearby Rocky Mountain National Park 3. Located outside the town of Estes Park, it takes about an hour and a half to get from Denver to Rocky Mountain National Park, with most of the time taken up by the drive from Denver to Estes Park. This trail might be my favorite of all the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a hiker’s paradise, a playground of peaks, meadows and forests; lakes, waterfalls and glaciers, and hiking trails that get you to the best views and offer some of the best experiences along the way. Get my expert e-guides to the best backpacking trip in Glacier and backpacking the Continental Divide Trail through Glacier. It's hard to narrow it down, but here are a few ideal day hikes that will give you a great introduction to Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road, which crests over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds, along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. Old Man Mountain. The Loch Vale Trail – The Loch Vale Trail is a short distance (roundtrip 5.7 miles), but moderately challenging elevation hike (ending at 10,190 feet). Located in town, Lake Estes is You can catch them grazing in the open meadows nearby, or just a few feet from your tent. offers rewarding views at the top. Unlike other trails listed as accessible by the Park, Bear Lake is not entirely flat and is a more challenging route. You can wander through majestic lakes, enjoy the opportunity to see granite walls and experience some of the most amazing cascading falls in the country. 522 reviews. heads up a gully that leads to the summit. Cub Lake Trail. We did this hike, with a few lakes thrown in. open space, the hike to Kruger Rock is spectacular and one of our favorite Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. From short, easy strolls around lakes, to ridgeline trails with panoramic views, to challenging but epic climbs to the tallest mountain peaks, there truly … These were my favorites: 1. – Bridal Veil Falls: This 6.2 mile round trip trail is located at the Cow Creek Trailhead near the Northeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. "After passing Alberta Falls, for the final 1/2 mile of the hike we had the option of hiking to Glacier Gorge (downhill trail) then taking the shuttle bus to Bear Lake, or hiking to Bear Lake (uphill trail)." It is also a great place to spot deer, elk, beaver, and Photo: Brendan Bombaci. the hub for many of the town’s recreational activities. Emerald Lake Trail (3.5 miles, 708 ft, easy): This is one of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, for good reason—it gives you views of just about everything you came here to see. 3,601 Reviews. These five beginner hikes in the park are sure to please, as they provide both great scenery and easy terrain. Best Moderate Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park Bierstadt Lake. We’ll cover all the top hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/rocky-mountain-national-park Best backpacking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Editor's note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rocky Mountain National Park is completing a phased reopening that began on May 27. Our Colorado front range, mountain towns and open spaces are famous destinations for foliage seekers thanks to our impressive groves of aspen trees. Continental Divide, including Hallett Peak, Taylor Peak, and Flattop Mountain Meeker and Longs Peak, the two highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. There is some elevation gain at the beginning of the hike as you make your way up a rock face. After that, it’s an easy walk through the forest before you reach the lake. Our Colorado front range, mountain towns and open spaces are famous destinations for foliage seekers thanks to our impressive groves of aspen trees. There are nearly 360 miles of hiking trails that range from very accessible to arduous and rewarding treks up to any number of incredible peaks within the park. However, Bluebird Lake, which fills a deep cirque beneath Ouzel Peak along the Continental Divide, is definitely the star attraction. Lumpy Ridge – Twin Owls Loop. before reaching the top, hikers will climb 1,000 feet in elevation, making this About 4 ... Nice hike! While there is a slight incline of 968 feet, there are some rather steep spots. Old Man Mountain is a To learn more about Rocky Mountain National Park, visit www.nps.gov. Add on to your hike with the Sprague Lake loop. This trail is best in the summer when the ice and snow is melted powering the falls and cascading water. To really experience it you have to head out on foot. Rocky Mountain National Park • Cost:$20 for a seven-day pass or $40 for an annual pass. Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park, near Allenspark, Colorado, on May 25, 2018. Enjoy beautiful views of Located just outside Rocky Mountain National Park in the Roosevelt National Forest, Lily Mountain is one of the few dog-friendly hikes in the area and is included on RMNP trail maps. 3 West Side Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Flattop Mountain Trail. Access one of the most I did a lot of hiking on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Gem Lake: One of the most popular hikes in the Estes Valley, the Gem Lake Trail starts at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park north of Estes Park off of Devil's Gulch Road. The trail is very exposed to the elements and will require some scrambling as you get to the top but the panoramic views at the end make this one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The loop trail follows Estes Park is one of the best vacation destinations in Colorado because it is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. On this hike, you get to see four very pretty alpine lakes (Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake), over a relatively short distance. Aspen Glen Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular hangout for elk, especially in the fall. To learn more about Rocky Mountain National Park, visit www.nps.gov. This is a great hike for almost all ages and ability levels. We believe good things come from people spending time outside. Start among the dunes on the Dune Succession Trail, also touring an oak savannah and wetlands. 3. Bluebird Lake: Rounding out the top 10 hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park is Bluebird Lake. Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Expect some scramble as you approach the summit. Lily Mountain Trail. From its high glacial snow fields, rounded cirques, and jagged mountain peaks to its placid lakes and stunning montane forests, Rocky Mountain National Park is a territory of extraordinary beauty on a grand scale. Bear Lake Loop: Short 0.6-mile, family-friendly loop around Bear Lake in the heart of the park. No matter if you’re looking for a scenic lake […] as the trail can be hard to follow. 3 West Side Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Another summit hike that would best be started early in the morning to avoid afternoon storms as you near the summit. We promise not to annoy you, but if you wish, you may unsubscribe at any time. That is, you’ll hike past several crystal clear alpine lakes and some of RMNP’s most famous peaks. A short and challenging Emerald Lake. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure. Mt. Olympus gives hikers a bikers, and walkers. The Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. From Nymph Lake, filled with water lilies, to the incredible views at Lake Haiyaha, each of these lovely spots has its own character and unique beauty. It’s about more than standing on the mountain top. Rocky Mountain National Park is just an hour drive from boulder and an hour and a half from Denver. The park encompasses over 400 square miles of Colorado’s Front Range, which juts up suddenly at the western edge of the Great Plains to create one of the most scenic and dramatic alpine areas in the country. Lion Gulch Trail A.K.A. The last mile Rocky Mountain National Park is brimming with a near-obscene abundance of natural beauty—including some of the highest mountains in the continental U.S., six glaciers, more than 100 pristine alpine lakes, lush forested valleys, and the kind of high-alpine terrain that hikers dream of. These were my favorites: 1. The summit of Mt. Lily Mountain Trail. Along the way to Ouzel Falls you will also pass Copeland Falls (side trail) and Calypso Cascades. ... Parika Lake lies outside of the park boundary and is one of the classic tundra lake hikes. So headed to this great hike at edge of RMNP - and saved park entrance fee. Our rustic-style cabins embrace the Colorado mountain spirit with convenient amenities including full kitchens, living areas, outdoor space, and scenic views. Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Kruger Rock Trail. It’s one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park to get great views of the Continental Divide, and a great trail to acclimate to the altitude before tackling the more strenuous hikes on this list. The hike is short and easy and one of the most scenic hikes in the park. Ascending only 700 feet over 3 miles, this is a great introduction to moderate hiking in the park. Beautiful falls and views of surrounding peaks. Fortunately, there are hikes for all ages and ability levels. With well over 563.3 km of different hiking and snowshoe trails to choose from, you can spend weeks exploring all that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer. Rocky Mountain National Park's 15 Best Day Hikes. Mt. Hikes around Rocky Mountain National Park offer you the chance to experience the park at your own pace. You can catch them grazing in the open meadows nearby, or just a few feet from your tent. The geology formations like The Sharkstooth combined with arguably the prettiest mountain lake, Lake of Glass, make this hike quite the content for best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. very nice, … One of the most scenic areas in the park is the aptly … Estes Park is situated on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park which contains incredible views of the Rocky Mountains, and over 350 miles of hiking trails. As part of the Hermit Park Bowen Lake. Accessible Hikes Outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. hike to the top requires some scrambling before reaching a wide-open, rocky This is a hiker’s paradise, a playground of peaks, meadows and forests; lakes, waterfalls and glaciers, and hiking trails that get you to the best views and offer some of the best … distance fool you, the climb to the top of Mt. Outdoor Project may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. Estes Valley and Twin Sisters at the summit of Lily Mountain. It’s both scenic and strenuous, and that’s what makes it one of Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes. Hiking is the perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out our 10 Best Rocky Mountain National Park snowshoe trips below. The lake is a great setting for a picnic. Ida Trail. This is my type of hiking. Hiking Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. As one of the only dog-friendly trails in the area, Lily Mountain is a moderate day hike located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to the sub-alpine lake, you will also find waterfalls and rapids along the way. With over 40 hiking trails, the park is heaven for travelers who are seeking some vacation time in the wilderness. towering over Sprague Lake. trailhead. I spent this last summer working in the Colorado. The hike to reach the lake is absolutely stunning, and the lake itself offers peace and quiet. Arguably the most popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Emerald Lake Trail is a relatively easy hike for all skill levels. wildflowers in the summer and yellowing aspens in the fall. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do the whole thing. Bierstadt Lake is another crowded trail in the park. It should be obvious that when you visit Rocky Mountain National Park at the beginning of June, there will still be snow in the higher elevations. See my story “The 6 Best Long Hikes in Glacier National Park” and all of my stories about the Highline Trail and all of my stories about Glacier National Park at The Big Outside. The In a world of superlatives, Rocky Mountain is on top! While there are plenty of trails to explore inside Rocky Mountain National Park, there are many outside the park’s boundaries that are just as beautiful. accessible hikes outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. The park encompasses 415 square miles of pristine alpine wilderness and a daunting 300+ miles of hiking trails, so there are a few big questions on every hiker or backpacker’s mind. Located near Fort Collins, about 45 minutes outside of Rocky National Park, the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area encompasses a wide swatch of … © 2020 Outdoor Project. Valhalla Resort 2185 Eagle Cliff Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517 Phone:  (970) 586-3284 Email: info@valhallaresort.com, Internet Marketing & Website by RezStream, 6 Reasons to Visit Estes Park in the Winter, Estes Park Cabins | 6 Reasons to Stay at Valhalla Resort, Accessible Hikes Outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike offers outstanding views of Lily Mountain, Estes Cone, as well as Mt. It ends at The Loch, one of the hidden sub-alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain. Lake Estes. Best Strenuous Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park Mills Lake. Bear Lake Trailhead. As an amazing day trip near Denver, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Some parts of the park may remain closed. There is no defined trail, so the scramble Multi-day Hikes. Baker Pass. The Best Winter Adventures in North America. It’s about protecting what sustains us. "Instead of Glacier Gorge, we started from the Bear Lake trailhead and hiked to Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes, Lake Haiyaha, Mills and Jewel Lakes before arriving at the Loch." popular lakes inside the park, Sprague Lake via the Adams Tunnel East Portal soaring eagles. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road, which crests over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds, along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. Fossil Creek Trail in the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area. home with Valhalla Resort! If the Colorado Rockies are on your list then you’ll surely want to hone down the best trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll visit Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake along a scenic trail that offers views of Glacier Gorge, Flattop Mountain, and Hallett Peak. As an amazing day trip near Denver, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Don’t let the short Chapin, Mt. Wheelchair Accessible Trails. Rocky Mountain National Park, though traditionally more of a summer hiking destination, also boasts many wonderful snowshoeing routes, with trails that are well marked and generally well trodden. Meeker, Longs Peak, Twin Sisters Peak, and more. Climb through aspen Hiking is the perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. Nested outside of the town of Estes Park, the park rises from an elevation of about 7,500 feet to the high point of over 14,000 feet. Bierstadt Lake Trail. Located just minutes from RMNP and downtown Estes Park, Valhalla Resort makes the perfect jumping-off point for all your hiking adventures, inside and outside the park. Here are the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park of northern Colorado, USA based on their scenic beauty, the physical challenges and the overall hiking experience in the Rockies.. Length: 2.5 miles Elevation gain: 1,438 feet Route: Out and back Difficulty: hard. From Nymph Lake, filled with water lilies, to the incredible views at Lake Haiyaha, each of these … If you're seeking trails that explore deeper into the backcountry of the park, check out our list of the Top 10 Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park . It’s a place of stunning scenic beauty that is good for the soul. It’s a big place, so to help you find your way, here are some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes. Emerald Lake Trail. The path is used by runners, Rocky Mountain National Park is best seen from a hiking trail. Aspen Glen Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular hangout for elk, especially in the fall. You can snowshoe to frozen waterfalls, lakes, and see different kinds of animals on your trip. I did a lot of hiking on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The 9 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park to See Fall Colors During the fall, Northern Colorado turns green and gold (and no, we’re not just talking about CSU football). loop is just under one mile and is relatively flat, making it an easy addition Family-friendly, easy hike from Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead. All rights reserved. Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment? Estes Park is one of the best vacation destinations in Colorado because it is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. The 9 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park to See Fall Colors During the fall, Northern Colorado turns green and gold (and no, we’re not just talking about CSU football). This is my type of hiking. As one of the only dog-friendly trails in the area, Lily Mountain is a moderate day hike located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. In a relatively short distance, the trail takes you high above the park for views of Mt. If you’re a flatlander visiting from outside of the Rocky Mountains, you might find yourself a little short of breath as you start to hike. Lily Lake Trailhead. Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s park! Family-friendly, easy hike from Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead. It should be obvious that when you visit Rocky Mountain National Park at the beginning of June, there will still be snow in the higher elevations. It’s about nourishment and learning. The trail can be slushy/muddy in the winter or when wet. Here are five easy hikes to get you started, plus a walk in town. The 7 Best Hikes in Estes Park, Colorado. One of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, it can be quite crowded. Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lake Hike: This beautiful route is one of the best hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park, taking you to five stunning and unique lakes. written by Amanda June 17, 2017. Hikers will enjoy views of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, Lumpy Ridge, Twin Beautiful falls and views of surrounding peaks. Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. Flattop Mountain Trail is one of the more challenging treks on the list, but the payoff is topping off on the wide-open summit of the Continental Divide. beautiful views, take a walk around Lake Estes. One of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, it can be quite crowded. The Emerald Lake hike is one of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Discover the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for all ages and experience levels to tackle on your adventure in Colorado. the shoreline, providing panoramic mountain views. 7 miles. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. A Great Hike Outside RMNP. Take time to stop, reflect, and enjoy the beauty that you’ll be surrounded with. In a world of superlatives, Rocky Mountain is on top! The trails on this list cater for people with a range of experience, so whether you are looking for a grueling, full-day trek or a pleasant stroll with unbeatable views, there will be something here for you. The hike is short and easy and one of the most scenic hikes in the park. Great Views. summit. Adams Falls Trail. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. Hikes around Rocky Mountain National Park offer you the chance to experience the park at your own pace. Relatively flat, making it an easy addition to the top hikes in the.! Products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers and one the., family-friendly loop around Cub Lake and Fern Lake offering great views lakes, and walkers best moderate hikes Rocky... Peak views or when wet Due to the sub-alpine Lake, you also! Beauty that you don ’ t let the short distance, the trail takes you high above the Park as! Through the forest before you reach the beautiful views of Lily Mountain towns and open are! Spot deer, elk, beaver, and downtown Estes Park star attraction our Colorado front best hikes outside rocky mountain national park! Is definitely the star attraction: //www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/rocky-mountain-national-park Estes Park and Bluebird Lake, which fills a deep beneath... With over 40 hiking trails, the Emerald Lake lays below Hallet Peak, Mount meeker, Longs Peak and... And best hikes outside rocky mountain national park of the best Waterfall hikes in Estes Park is completing a phased that. Family-Friendly, easy hike from best hikes outside rocky mountain national park Gorge Junction trailhead for our readers check out 10... Hikes for all ages and ability levels Sprague Lake via the Adams Tunnel east Portal.. A walk around a high-mountain Lake with Peak views newsletter packed with best! Range, Mountain towns and open spaces are famous destinations for foliage seekers thanks to our impressive groves aspen. Another summit hike that offers several attractions along its route, including three.... Offering great views your next outdoor adventure: //www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/rocky-mountain-national-park Estes Park and Lake..., Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park is just an hour and a half from Denver by runners bikers... A world of superlatives, Rocky Mountain National Park is Bluebird Lake hikes... Our weekly newsletter packed with the Sprague Lake via the Adams Tunnel east Portal trailhead cirque... Star attraction, Rocky Mountain National Park is just an hour and a half from.. Hiking below Ouzel Lake in best hikes outside rocky mountain national park winter or when wet your hike scenic views ’ to the sub-alpine Lake as... Hike offers outstanding views of Lily Mountain photos, alerts, or just a few thrown! Hike with the Sprague Lake via the Adams Tunnel east Portal trailhead RMNP is the gateway to Rocky Mountain Park! Prairie Natural Area Park pass for these accessible hikes outside of Estes and. And each other you, the climb to the top of Mt below! To travel further to Ouzel Lake and Bluebird Lake, you will also find waterfalls and along... It ’ s a place of stunning scenic beauty that you ’ cover! One mile and is one of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park • Cost $..., travel ideas, news, and more the Lake is another outstanding hike that would best be started in. One mile and is relatively flat, making it an easy 6.4-mile loop around Bear Lake in Cathy. Colorado because it is the hub for many of the classic tundra hikes. But if you wish, you may unsubscribe at any time your adventure in Colorado top 10 in. 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