The hike here begins at Lumpy Ridge. Mills, Black, and Frozen Lakes. Once at the waterfall, you can explore the short trails along Glacier Creek to find your favorite view of the waterfall. It’s a flat, beautiful easy walk... 2. From short, easy strolls around lakes, to ridgeline trails with panoramic views, to challenging but epic climbs to the tallest mountain peaks, there truly is something here for everyone. 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. Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park | Top 10 Hikes in RMNP. Gem Lake: A Great Hike Outside RMNP - See 124 traveler reviews, 179 candid photos, and great deals for Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, at Tripadvisor. By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. From here, at an elevation of 12,899 feet, the entire park stretches out before you. This park is one of the most well-known and well-traveled National Parks, and with VERY good reason. This was one of our favorite hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and we highly recommend it. Which experiences are best for hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park? The views from the summit are simply epic. Not only is this a scenic walk around a lake, but this also can be a learning experience. Emerald Lake is often regarded as the very best hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. This vast park spans 415 square miles , is home to several different biomes, including tundra, and has trails for hikers of all experience levels. On the Keyhole Route, the hike ends with some serious rock scrambling and lots of exposure. Whether you're strolling around a peaceful lake trail or climbing a 14er, the perfect trail awaits! 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. So to help you decide, here are the eight best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park has 355 miles of hiking trails. Over 60 people have died attempting to summit Longs Peak. Chasm Lake is one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. This is one of the easier lake hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Distance: 3.4 miles Of course, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is one of the best places in the country to experience all that the Rockies have to offer. One of the best ways to experience Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in autumn is with its many hiking trails and scenic drives. Some parts of the park may remain closed. Difficulty: Easy Difficulty: Easy Bear Lake This scenic hiking trail to Emerald Lake from the Bear Lake Trailhead is a popular route in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the Glacier Gorge parking lot, is a mostly uphill walk to get to Alberta Falls, but it is not too strenuous. Black Lake looks similar to Chasm Lake, as both of these alpine lakes are surrounded by jagged mountain peaks. Coffee in hand, we headed to the Fern Falls trailhead down in the valley below our campsite. Distance: 10 miles 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. Distance: 9.8 miles So, climb those stairs, catch your breath if you need to, and enjoy the awesome view from the top. Difficulty: Strenuous This hike has a little bit of everything…waterfalls, alpine lakes, high mountain views, and fun river and stream crossings. Spend several days in the park, hiking the other trails, to acclimate yourself to the higher elevation. It’s a flat, beautiful easy walk in the park…literally. Earth Trekkers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. They range from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain peak climbs. To continue to Hallett Peak, follow the rocky, somewhat faint trail. Gem Lake is a short but strenuous hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Distance: 9.5 miles Bear Lake, the heart of the East side - known for easy access with great views & lake hikes. Location: Poudre Lake/Milner Pass on Trail Ridge Road, 4.5 miles south of the Alpine Visitor Center, Learn More: How to Hike the Continental Divide Trail to Mt Ida. In fact, hikers will enjoy ... 2. Sky Pond Expect lots of wind and cold temperatures, even during the summer months. Length of Time: 4 to 6 hours Difficulty: Strenuous There are three ways to hike to Fern Lake. Located on the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, you get panoramic views of Longs Peak and Estes Park from the top of the Twin Sisters Peaks. If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Destination Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips. Length of Time: 4 to 7 hours Tucked into the spruce/fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, this 0.6-mile loop is one of Rocky's most famous trails. 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. With its short distance and manageable elevation gain, it is a great first hike in the park, as you acclimate to the higher elevation (if you haven’t already spent some time in the Rocky Mountains). Length of Time: 2 to 3 hours Moraine Park Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park. The views across the park are incredible. 6 miles. For most of this hike you are entirely within a pine forest, so the views are rather lackluster for much of the hike. Our favorite hikes are Sky Pond (super fun hike to a beautiful alpine lake), Mt. How to Hike the Ute Trail to Tombstone Ridge, How to Hike to Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes (+ Add on Bear Lake and Lake Haiyaha), How to Hike the Continental Divide Trail to Mt Ida, Top 10 Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park, Rocky Mountain NP Itinerary: Suggestions for 1 Day to 1 Week, Everything You Need to Know to Hike to Sky Pond, How to Hike to Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes, How to Hike Bear Lake to Odessa Lake and Fern Lake, Best of Estes Park: Things to Do, Where to Eat & Where to Stay. Ute Trail to Tombstone Ridge It was founded back in 1915 in northern Colorado, north of Boulder, and the state’s capital Denver. These are the best places for kid-friendly hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park for couples? You can either hike to Fern Lakes and Odessa Lake as a point-to-point hike, starting at Bear Lake and ending at Moraine Park (or vice versa). 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. You will get occasional glimpses of Longs Peak early on during the hike, but for the most part, you will have to wait until you reach the summit for the best views. Ida: Hands down this is the best hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park - Ecology Rocky Mountain National Park ranges from 7,860' - 14,259' across 5 ecosystems and sub-systems. Ida. The path is paved for the first 0.5 miles and provides excellent views of nearby peaks, including Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. Location: Longs Peak Trailhead, which is located at the end of Longs Peak Road on the east side of RMNP. These distinct but interconnected life zones support elk, moose, mule deer, bear, bighorn sheep, mountain lion and mountain goat among hundreds of animals: The view of Longs Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds from Mills Lake is one of Rocky's finest. Hiking Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Our Rock Mountain National Park hiking tours include Colorado backpacking trips, porter and llama supported treks, a basecamp Rocky Mountain hiking tour, inn-based Colorado hiking tours, and Rocky Mountain National … If this sounds like a hike you would like to do, it will take some planning and patience. Location: Glacier Gorge Trailhead on Bear Lake Road. Fortunately, there are hikes for all ages and ability levels. Rocky Mountain offers something for every hiker, from easy strolls to big mountain ascents. Hikes around Rocky Mountain National Park offer you the chance to experience the park at your own pace. RockyMountainHikingTrails.com is the most comprehensive website for hiking trail information in Rocky Mountain National Park. I'll link a picture of her below. We hiked to Odessa Lake and Fern Lake as an out-and-back hike from Bear Lake. In a world of superlatives, Rocky Mountain is on top! Easy Hikes. Pets are prohibited on ALL Rocky Mountain National Park trails, tundra, and meadows. Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes These places are best for hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park for kids and families? For very little effort, the views you get are unbelievable. Alpine Ridge Trail 700. Of course, you don’t have to hike all of the way to Emerald Lake. This 6.4-mile out-and-back hike is the perfect introduction to Rocky Mountain hiking for those who want to sample some of the area’s highlights without putting in too much effort. Here’s what to expect: The best easy hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park; The park’s most scenic moderate hiking trails Longs Peak. Glacier Gorge. Twin Sisters One of the best ways to experience Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in autumn is with its many hiking trails and scenic drives. 20 Epic Day Hikes in the US National Parks, 15 Great Hikes to do in Big Bend National Park, The Complete Guide to Hiking the Zion Narrows, How to Hike the Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, 14 Best Things to do in Acadia National Park, 10 Best Things to Do in Rocky Mountain National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary: 1 Day to 1 Week in RMNP, Gem Lake Hike, Rocky Mountain National Park, Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lake Hike (+ How to Add on Bear Lake & Lake Haiyaha). Rocky Mountain National Park - Ecology Rocky Mountain National Park ranges from 7,860' - 14,259' across 5 ecosystems and sub-systems. Length of Time: 5 to 7 hours To learn more about Rocky Mountain National Park, visit www.nps.gov. Mt. If you are new to the park consult with rangers at the visitor centers and backcountry office. Top Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking & Camping Tours: See reviews and photos of hiking & camping tours in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado on Tripadvisor. Length of Time: 10 to 15 hours However, it only runs daily from May 25-September 13. Nymph and Dream Lakes are beautiful, so you will have a wonderful hike if you choose to turn around at Dream Lake. Whether you're strolling around a peaceful lake trail or climbing a 14er, the perfect trail awaits! Pro Travel Tip: For the hikes that start on Bear Lake Road (Bear Lake, Alberta Falls, Mills & Black Lake, Sky Pond, Fern Lake, Hallett Peak) consider either arriving very early in the day (by 7 am) or taking the free park shuttle. The trail ends at the summit of Hallett Peak. These are the best places for couples seeking hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Which places provide the best hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park for travelers on a budget? These are the most romantic places for hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Popular Rocky Mountain National Park Categories, Commonly searched for in Rocky Mountain National Park, Things to Do in Rocky Mountain National Park. How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Location: Glacier Gorge Trailhead on Bear Lake Road. It gets even better once you reach the summit of Mt. You spend very little time below the tree line, so the views are incredible for most of the hike. They can provide advice about trails which are appropriate to different fitness and experience levels. Starting at the Alpine Visitor Center (the highest visitor center in the United States) you simply hike up a long staircase to a viewpoint. At just over a half of a mile, round trip, this hike sounds easy. For very little effort, the views you get are unbelievable. Fortunately, for beginner hikers, Glacier Gorge is an excellent introduction to the park. Home to towering Longs Peak (14,259′), which stands guard over the rest of the Park, Rocky Mountain is a Colorado hiking and backpacking paradise. Then, pick the day with the clearest weather forecast, get a very early start (many hikers begin at 3 or 4 am), and keep your fingers crossed that afternoon thunderstorms don’t come rumbling through the park. The National Park Service (NPS) operates a timely shuttle schedule in the summer. Some parts of the park may remain closed. Distance: 9 miles Location: Bear Lake Trailhead. Get an ad-free experience, support The Outbound, and snag a bunch of other perks by subscribing for only $29.99/year. 1. 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. This part of the hike is tough as you are hiking over very rugged terrain. Bear Lake Location: Ute Trailhead on Trail Ridge Road, 7 miles east of the Alpine Visitor Center, Read More: How to Hike the Ute Trail to Tombstone Ridge. Gem Lake This schedule and map can be viewed here. Length of Time: 30 minutes Difficulty: Strenuous Mt. Alberta Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls to visit in Rocky Mountain National Park. Flattop Mountain Trail. Difficulty: Easy to moderate Mills Lake. Length of Time: 4 to 5 hours This is a great hike for newbie hikers who want to summit a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Ida. Best Short Hikes 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. Get all of the details on how to do this hike in our post about Fern Lake. During the 15+ miles of hiking, you will ascend more that 5,000 feet. Length of Time: 3 to 4 hours Rocky Mountain National Park houses some enormous terrain along the Continental Divide. Parking in the lot at the end of Bear Lake Road adds roughly .4 miles to the hiking distance above. Distance: 3.6 miles Some of these hikes are popular while others are more remote. Black Lake and Mills Lake are often labeled as two of the prettiest lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. When we did this, we saw lots of elk, some of them males with enormous antlers. There is never a boring moment on this trail. 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. To get to Sky Pond, you will rock scramble up a waterfall, which can be refreshing when the weather is warm and downright cold in chilly conditions. Sky Pond is one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for good reason. OK, we know Gem Lake is not actually in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it is nearby just north of Estes Park, and it really is a gem. Bear Lake Trailhead. Continental Ridge Trail to Mt. Difficulty: Easy to moderate It also makes a nice acclimatization hike if you just arrived in Colorado and want to warm up your legs and cardio system, before tackling hikes like Chasm Lake, Flattop Mountain, or Mt. The 11-mile Mills-Black-Frozen Lakes round-trip hike is considered by some to be “the most beautiful hike in the park.”. Flattop Mountain & Hallett Peak Difficulty: Extremely difficult There are three ways to hike to Fern Lake. In the morning, this can be a beautiful place to watch the sunrise. Location: Bear Lake Trailhead or Moraine Park, Read More: How to Hike to Odessa Lake and Fern Lake. But the whole reason to do this hike is for the view of Sky Pond, one of the most spectacular lakes in the park. The Emerald Lake hike is a family friendly hike and it also makes a great intro to hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. For the ultimate hiking experience in Rocky Mountain National Park, put Long’s Peak on the top of your list. 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. If you want a short, easy hike, we recommend Tombstone Ridge (this makes a great add-on to your scenic drive along Trail Ridge Road) or Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes. This is a great hike to do with kids. This park is one of the most well-known and well-traveled National Parks, and with VERY good reason. Distance: 7.5 to 10 miles, depending on the route you choose You can also hike to Fern Lake out-and-back from either Bear Lake or Moraine Park. Location: Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road. However keep going for another mile to reach the incredible meadow that lies past the falls. Chapin, Mt. 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.. These are the best places for budget-friendly hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park: Which places provide the most romantic hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park? For summer hiking, be sure to be down from mountain summits in the early afternoon to avoid summer thunderstorms. But once at the top, the view is very nice. For much of the hike you are walking along the Continental Divide. What do you think are the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park? Distance: 15 miles Rocky Mountain National Park's 15 Best Hikes. Each of these hikes is a day hike, so they can all be completed in one day. With 355 miles of trails, Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes make up a long, long list. Difficulty: Moderate Through this post, I have come to know a lot more about these adventurous hiking trails in Rockey Mountain National Park. Length of Time: 1 to 1.5 hours Bear Lake Loop: Short 0.6-mile, family-friendly loop around Bear Lake in the heart of the park. Another summit hike that would best be started early in the morning to avoid afternoon storms as you near the summit. Those in the know confirm this is because this trek from Glacier Gorge includes practically everything any hiker could ever want in … Like Bear... 3. Required fields are marked *. Ida), Chasm Lake (another gorgeous lake hike), and Tombstone Ridge (it’s short, it’s easy, the views are amazing, and most people can handle this hike). Difficulty: Easy For the final mile of this hike, you are treated to breathtaking views of Longs Peak, Columbine Falls, Peacock Pond, and finally Chasm Lake. This is a great hike for almost all ages and ability levels. Black bears can be found in the Rocky Mountain National Park, but they are shy and avoid busy trails, so encounters with humans are very rare. An east hike in Rocky Mountain National Park s a flat, beautiful easy walk... 2 by Park! Mills Lake is a 20-minute drive to get here, plan on arriving later. Moment on this short hike travels through woods that blaze with color in the park. ” well-traveled National,. Amazing views of the hike that date, it only runs daily from May 25-September 13 Strenuous. Of them males with enormous antlers Outbound Collective + save to a list northern Colorado, north Boulder... 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