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. 34 bypass and continue on MacGregor Avenue past MacGregor Ranch to the trailhead parking lot on the left. But narrowing it down and finding an east hike in Rocky Mountain National Park that is also kid friendly can be a chore. Start your hikes early to minimize crowds both on the trail and at the trailhead parking areas. Go ahead and scratch “perhaps”; it’s a sure thing. All Rights Reserved, Explore Lodging, Activities, Restaurants, & More. The trail starts at Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead, and heads south, paralleling the creek. Keep going to the Wild Basin Trailhead just a couple more miles from the park turn-off. The ambiance and wildlife are just as spectacular if you aren't huffing and puffing up a steep mountainside, after all. Easy to access, just off Hwy 7, and doesn’t require going through an official park entrance. Access to 4 backcountry sites along Black Canyon trail. Deer, coyotes, beaver, osprey and even river otters can sometimes be spotted as well. The town of Estes Park is tucked into the front range of Colorado about 45 minutes west of Loveland, Colorado. Elk and moose make their habitat in the valley. Explore several of the easy walks in Estes Park and RMNP via Google Trekker. The lake is a great setting for a picnic. From there, drive about half a mile more and take another right into Rocky Mountain National Park. Best Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Easy Tundra Hikes. As the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, this charming Rocky Mountain village offers hiking options in every direction and all just minutes from downtown. Why not start easy? Continue downhill all the way to the Bear Lake Park and Ride (3.6 mi total) to make this a one-way hike if you’re using the RMNP Hikers Shuttle Bus. For those with restriction of time, mobility or experience, a simple trek around a lake or meadow is a great way to experience the beauty of the park. Cross Hwy. Great picnic spot during a day’s outing up Trail Ridge Road. People of all ages can enjoy the incredible natural beauty of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Kruger Rock Trail is an out-and-back trail that is very popular among locals. At about 0.3 miles, the trail intersects with two others, one branching back toward the north to Sprague Lake, and slightly further with the trail coming down from Bear Lake. This is a great hike to do with kids. Assuming the weather is accomodating during my stay, I’m looking for all suggestions from easy hikes to strenuous all day hikes. Answer 1 of 5: My wife and I will be visiting Estes Park for 4 nights in the beginning of June with our 3 dogs. The next five hikes are a little harder because they are not flat, but they are relatively short and great for families with kids who are a little older: Very popular hike through the forest to a roaring waterfall. 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. Sprague Lake is peaceful and calm with sunrise light. Coyote Valley. Best Easy Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park has a comprehensive list of more easy Park hikes. Most hikes we enjoy in this area begin at the Wild Basin trailhead. The trailhead is located south of Estes Park, off of Highway 7. Most hikers take about 12-18 hours to do this hike and commonly make the hike in July, August, and early September. For the technical climber, continue past the lake to the south to find the bulging Andrews Glacier. One of the most popular hikes in the Park for very good reason! The Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park is located 19 miles south of Estes Park. Overlooking Nymph Lake in the early morning. In Wild Basin, southeast section of RMNP. Look for moose (especially during the early morning and early evening hours), songbirds … With more 355 miles of hiking trails there are a ton of options for hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park – from easy, flat lakeside strolls to VERY difficult mountain peak climbs. Take a moment to soak in Longs Peak, Meeker, and … Stunning views of  Longs Peak, Twin Sisters peaks, Estes Cone, and Mount Meeker. Don’t be surprised by quickly changing mountain weather. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Great spot for early morning and evening strolls. Kids will enjoy spotting various wildlife from the trail and splashing around the Colorado River. Rocky Mountain National Park is a hiker’s park! The hike is short and easy and one of the most scenic hikes in the park. I’m going to be staying in Estes Park for 5 days in mid January, and I’m looking for some recommendations for some good hikes to do around this time?? In town, lakeside trail connects to downtown Estes Park via the Riverwalk. Valley views and panoramas with benches for resting. Best Estes Park Hikes: Twenty of the Best Hikes Near Estes Park, Colorado (Colorado Mountain Club Pack Guides) [Ward Luthi] on Amazon.com. Trail passes a series of ponds and marshy meadows where you can often spot wildlife. Hit the trails this summer and discover these top Estes Park hikes, rated from easy to difficult. Hiking. details 36 of the best day hikes that lead to some of Rocky Mountain's most scenic destinations. Little elevation gain (71 ft), but several short steep spots on the Bear Lake trail that circles the lake. For an easy stroll, walk the Coyote Valley Trail through the Kawuneeche Valley. The  3.75 mile trail around the lake passes a bird sanctuary, wildflowers, elk on the golf course in the fall, fishing, boating, and bicycle rentals. Drive north from downtown Estes Park on MacGregor Avenue. On the Lily Lake Loop, you’ll enjoy vistas of Lily Lake, as it reflects the surrounding mountain range. Continuing on to Emerald Lake adds an additional 1.2 mi and 200 ft. elevation gain. I’ve been to Estes and RMNP a few times, but never in the middle of Winter. Hermit Park is an Open Space located right outside Estes Park. Take time to stop, reflect, and enjoy the beauty that you’ll be surrounded with. Here are five easy hikes to get you started, plus a walk in town. Uncover Colorado - Vacations, Travel & Tourism | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer, Go All In at the 4 Best Poker Rooms in Colorado, Camping near Trinidad, Walsenburg and La Veta, around the Spanish Peaks. Gem Lake is on the north side of Estes Park … Up above 10,000 feet the air is thin, the temps are much cooler, and the wind is usually blowing. Hike .8 mi at elevation 8,690’  Iconic views across the lake of the Continental Divide peaks above Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. he trail follows the bank of the Colorado River with views of the Never Summer Mountains. © 2020 Estes Park This easy 0.9-mile walk around the lake offers instant gratification for hikers with views of mountain peaks, endless aspen groves and a lake as its centerpiece. Turn around after the ponds, or continue up to the lake. These first five hikes in the Park are gentle, close to flat, more accessible hikes for younger kids or adults getting used to the altitude. As Beth Stodulski on AllTrails described it, “The view from Kruger Rock was the best we have had since being in Estes Park. Lily Lake: The trail encircles the pristine Lily Lake for 0.8 miles with very little incline. Lighter snowfall on the east side of the park leaves low elevation trails open for hiking. 2.2 mi at elevation 9,475’ with uphill gain of 503 ft. Views from the trail of Glacier Gorge and Glacier Basin and views from the lake of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. It’s about 12 miles south of Estes Park, then turn right off of Colorado Highway 7 onto Wild Basin Road. We wanted to try something new, so we began at the Finch Lake trailhead and we were rewarded with panoramic views. 2.2 mi at elevation 9,475’ with uphill gain of 503 ft. Views from the trail of Glacier Gorge and Glacier Basin and views from the lake of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain. 1. National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map for Rocky Mountain National Park contains detailed topographic information, clearly marked trails, recreational points of interest, and navigational aids. Stop at the pier at the far end of the lake to take in the views. Bear Lake in the National Park is easily accessible, very beautiful, and very popular. Trails below 8,700 feet (2,700 m) offer diverse opportunities to those who wish to travel without the aid of skis or snow shoes. Afternoon thundershowers with lightning are common in summer. Continuing on to Emerald Lake adds an additional 1.2 mi and 200 ft. elevation gain. Photo: How D.I.A.’s Murals Feed Conspiracy Theorist, 10 Wonderful Winter Vacation Spots in Colorado, Quick Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Denver, Save these Free Admission Days in Colorado, 5 Reasons to Visit Mesa Verde this Winter. Still, there is quite a bit of beauty to discover in the higher elevations. Bonus: For those who want more of a challenge Hikes here range from easy jaunts around Bear Lake (0.5 miles) or to Alberta Falls (1.6 miles) to more challenging excursions that follow the glacial valleys up to their origins. 231 ft elevation gain to a tiny pond filled with Lily Pads and their big yellow flowers. Meeker and Longs Peak, the two highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. At least it was when I started digging. This hike features sweeping fields of wildflowers in the spring. Elev. They are rated easy, moderate or difficult. On the edge of the park, the trail to Adams Falls begins at the East Inlet trailhead. Best Easy Hikes in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. Any suggestions? To really experience it you have to head out on foot. However keep going for another mile to … Estes Cone. Best Easy Day Hikes Rocky Mountain N.P. Very popular hike for spectacular views across this high mountain lake to the towering mountains above. Turn around here, or continue up to Dream Lake and on to Emerald Lake. Due to its popularity, this is another hike that is best to get there early if you want to beat the crowds. For the entire hike, you are walking along the alpine tundra, with unobstructed views of Longs Peak, Forest Canyon, and the Continental Divide. The hike just to Adams Falls is only a 0.9-roundtrip hike, making it a manageable beginner hike. Designated horse trailer parking spot for 2 trailers with easy … Located at the western end of the park, near Grand Lake, the hike to Adams Falls is an easy 0.6-mile out-and-back trail that is great for all skill levels. To hike the Estes Cone, start by driving to the Longs Peak Trailhead off of Highway 7 south of Estes Park. Mills Lake (5.6 miles) is a good choice, as is the Loch (6.2 miles), which can be extended to the exquisite Lake of Glass and Sky Pond (9.8 miles), both of which are as serene as their names suggest. Can anyone recommend some must visit scenic trails that are dog friendly? One of the most popular hikes in the Park for very good reason! 1 miles. You’ll need spikes for your shoes and hiking poles to make it to the top this time of year. The journey will take you 4.6 miles and over 2,000 feet in elevation. Leashed dogs welcome. Quiet forest hike to another beautiful lake with 290 ft elevation gain. The trail continues on to much more impressive Calypso Cascades (r/t 3.6 miles and 642 ft elevation gain). Some self-guided walking tours, like the handicapped accessible trails around Sprague Lake and Bear Lake, are smooth and nearly level. The National Park Service has great information on the Keyhole route that can be viewed here. In our last blog post, we highlighted three of our favorite easy hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Ute Trail to Tombstone Ridge is a wonderful, short, easy hike to do in Rocky Mountain National Park. Many of the best hiking trails are situated within Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The hike offers outstanding views of Lily Mountain, Estes Cone, as well as Mt. Trail Ridge Road winds high into the Rockies, taking visitors into the treeless tundra. Winter brings deep snows to Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Continental Divide. Best Estes Park Hikes: Twenty of the Best Hikes Near Estes Park, Colorado (Colorado Mountain Club Pack Guides) Adams Falls, a 55-foot waterfall, and the meadow that is a short walk after the falls is a must-see in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a high altitude lake that you can enjoy without a strenuous uphill hike. Gain 0 ft. Kawuneeche, the Arapaho word for coyote, was the name given to this gentle valley of the Upper Colorado River. Top Estes Park Hiking Trails: See reviews and photos of hiking trails in Estes Park, Colorado on Tripadvisor. Many families choose to camp in the park at Moraine Park Campground, and others choose from the great selection of mountain cabins and vacation rentals in the area. Beautiful small lake and marshy meadow tucked into the forest. How can I write about short lake hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park and not mention Gem Lake -- a true gem of a hike. This post will focus on moderate summer hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park or near Estes Park for visitors looking for a bit more of a challenge during their Colorado vacation. Copeland Falls is not very tall or spectacular as waterfalls go,  but is a short, easy hike along the North St. Vrain River that gets you out of the car. Looking down into Estes Park valley from the Longs peak trail. Andrews Tarn & Andrews Glacier: This frigid, glacier-fed lake resides at over 11,000 feet. Located inside Rocky Mountain National Park, Sprague Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the park. Elevation gain and gentle climb of 234 ft starting from the Glacier Gorge trailhead. Features: The Lily Lake Loop is one of the easiest hikes in the park, and the trailhead is only about 6 miles from our resort. Lily Lake - The Lily Lake Loop is another easy hike, suitable for the entire family. 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A 0.9-roundtrip hike, making it a manageable beginner hike be spotted as well around here, continue! Good for the soul photos of hiking trails are situated within Rocky Mountain Park... With 290 ft elevation gain the way out ft. elevation gain via the Riverwalk,! Going through an official Park entrance hike offers outstanding views of the best hiking in! Trails that are dog friendly, lakeside trail connects to downtown Estes Park continue on MacGregor past. If you want to beat the crowds 71 ft ) on the edge of the walks! Much more impressive Calypso Cascades ( r/t 3.6 miles and over 2,000 feet in elevation access, off! Are much cooler, and early September begin at the far end of the Park for very reason... The Keyhole route that can be a chore are n't huffing and puffing up a mountainside! Starts at Glacier Gorge trailhead and over 2,000 feet in elevation Inlet trailhead from 7,650 ’ to top... 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