The summit of Flattop Mountain, located 4.4 miles from the trailhead, lies on the Continental Divide Trail and offers fantastic panoramic views. You’ll find driving directions above to The Fern Lake Trailhead (closest to this hike), the Fern Lake Bus Stop Parking area (very limited parking), and for the Park & Ride lot. Most areas west of Bear Lake Road remain closed including the Moraine Park Road at the junction of Bear Lake Road and the Moraine Park Campground. It’s a great place to find some solitude as few hikers will push on beyond Fern Lake. Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park can be quite challenging, and hiking a trail above your fitness level can make for a less than enjoyable day while out on the trail. Lily Lake Loop: A short family-friendly loop providing easy access to Jurassic Park. Bring a picnic and admire the wonderful mountain views from the lakeside. The National Park Service (NPS) operates a timely shuttle schedule in the summer. 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. Take advantage of the shuttle and park at the Park and Ride, and then shuttle up to the start at Bear Lake. It has been known to snow … 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. Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park plan to take advantage of any upcoming wet or winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash … Parking is more limited in this area of Rocky Mountain National Park, and you’ll likely have to park at the Park & Ride then take the shuttle to the Fern Lake Trailhead. This hike to Odessa Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Bear Lake Trailhead, located at the end of Bear Lake Road, 9 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. From here you’ll have a front-row vantage point of the dramatic glacial valleys and hulking granite summits that make the Rocky Mountains such a singular landscape. Details about day passes entrance fees for Rocky Mountain National Park as well as upcoming free days can be found on the nps website. Lighter snowfall on the east side of the park leaves low elevation trails open for hiking. "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)." Emphasis on efforts—although this trail is under 4 miles long, the elevation gain is substantial. The advantage of this beautiful trail is that it is outside Rocky Mountain National Park, so you don't have to pay the fees. Beginning at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, the trail climbs steadily and passes by Alberta Falls. Winter brings deep snows to Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Continental Divide. 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. Sprague Lake is peaceful and calm with sunrise light. Revered as one of the top lakes in Estes Park, Mills lake has an incredible backdrop and surrounding scenery. Lake Haiyaha Hike: This short 3.9 mile hike gets you just under the cliffs of the Continental Divide, with fewer crowds than at Dream and Emerald Lake. Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park is an absolutely WONDERFUL experience. Access other major peaks makes this an attractive destination among backpackers as well. After the 3.9 mile hike to Fern Lake, the .9 mile spur trail to Spruce Lake is moderate, with a few steep and rocky segments. Arguably the most popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Emerald Lake Trail is a relatively easy hike for all skill levels. While there is a slight incline of 968 feet, there are some rather steep spots. The hike to Sandbeach Lake begins from the Wild Basin area in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, located near the small communities of Meeker Park and Allenspark. Spruce Lake is an ideal destination in Rocky Mountain National Park for those who are looking to hike through terrain with some variety. Glacier Gorge provides surprises at almost every turn. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park, drive 12.6 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the Wild Basin Road junction and turn right. Fern Lake Tailhead — Region 4 - Heart of the Park, known for easy access & great views From Bear Lake Road, turn right toward Moraine Park Campground, then left after .7 mi. This list is intended to help hikers find a trail that's best suited to their abilities. Drive toward the lake and turn right into the next campground and park at the Shadow Mountain Dam. After driving four-tenths of a mile make another right turn into the park. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park, drive 12.6 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the Wild Basin Road junction and turn right. Climb through aspen and pine to reach the beautiful views of Estes Park and the majestic peaks of RMNP. Although not technically located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Gem Lake is, well, a total gem. The hike to Nymph Lake begins at the Bear Lake trail head. Hiking is the perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. This schedule and map can be viewed here. Opening up the new year (2021) with a hike to Mills Lake from the Glacier Gorge trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado, USA. Just go north of Estes Park to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. In addition to the outstanding panoramic views you'll encounter on the way up, you'll also enjoy front row views of the famous "Diamond" - the east-facing wall of Longs Peak which rises more than 2,400 feet above this incredibly beautiful alpine lake. The total hike was 5.6 miles and had an elevation gain of 700 feet. It has beautiful views of Glacier Gorge from the shoreline of the lake. On our last visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, we were on a mission to hike as many of the trails that start from Bear Lake as we could squeeze into our 48 hour visit to the park. Chiquita, & Ypsilon Mountain=CCY Route (8.3 miles, 3,100 ft, moderate-to-difficult): This is the ultimate hike for those who love to chase summits. https://dayhikesneardenver.com/lake-hikes-rocky-mountain-national-park This park is one of the most well-known and well-traveled National Parks, and with VERY good reason. The hike up to Mills Lake is a steady, uphill, 5.6 mile trek into the breathtaking Glacier Gorge trail system of Rocky Mountain National Park. For summer hiking, be sure to be down from mountain summits in the early afternoon to avoid summer thunderstorms. As part of the Hermit Park open space, the hike to Kruger Rock is spectacular and one of our favorite accessible hikes outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll be entranced by spectacular views of mountain ridges, rugged peaks, and the color of wildflowers along the trail. Sprague Lake . After that date, it only runs during the weekends through October 20. The hike to Thunder Lake begins from the fairly remote Wild Basin Trailhead in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, located near the small communities of Meeker Park and Allenspark. See the Bring your camera for some epic landscape shots, and keep an eye out for the local wildlife and birds. Below is a list of hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park based on difficulty rating, and ranked from easiest to hardest hikes. Sprague Lake is a short hike, less than 1.6 km, but worth the stop.Whether you’re looking for a hike to do with a stroller or a recovery jaunt to shake out your legs from driving, Sprague Lake is a great place to enjoy the Rocky Mountain National Park’s views and wilderness. You will have a couple of trail choices, but the best is to go directly to Gem Lake. Lily Mountain: This hike is not within the park boundaries, but it offers expansive views of Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy colorful wildflowers in the summer and yellowing aspens in the fall. It's only 1.7 miles each way, but it is a steady, steppy climb. Ouzel Lake is nestled in an expansive valley in the Wild Basin, and is one of the better fishing destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park. "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." It is literally full of wonders. Eventually the trail reaches a junction leading to either Loch Vale, Lake Haiyaha, Andrews Glacier and Sky Pond or Mills and Black Lakes. Guide to the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Colorado. The path circles the lovely Sprague Lake, passing from hard gravel to wooden boardwalks, ideal if you’re travelling with a buggy. to the end of the road at Fern Lake … However, it only runs daily from May 25-September 13. Nymph Lake. Combine the hike to Ouzel Lake with an overnight, and a journey to the shores Bluebird Lake. Bear Lake is one of the park’s most popular destinations for first-time visitors, and with good reason. Hikers will pass pristine alpine lakes including Nymph Lake and Dream Lakes and be treated to beautiful views of rocky peaks including Flattop Mountain, Hallett Peak, and Glacier Gorge. Due to the extreme popularity of the area you may want to consider using the free park shuttle to … Mt. Our girls were eager to play in the snow and thrilled that the lake was frozen solid. Expect some scramble as you approach the summit. This lake was stunning with views of Thetchtop Mountain Peak, Longs Peak, McHenrys Peak and Chief Head Peak I could have stayed there for hours. Emerald Lake hiking trail is inside of Rocky Mountain National Park near the town of Estes Park, Colorado. Chapin, Mt. Driftwood larger than Tucker At the time of this article being written, timed entry passes for the park are required from 6am-5pm. Fascinatingly, of all Rocky Mountain National Park hikes, this is the only day hike that takes you from the east side to the west side of the park. 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. These five beginner hikes in the park are sure to please, as they provide both great scenery and easy terrain. The journey to Nymph Lake is only .5 miles. Chasm Lake: In my humble opinion this is the best lake hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Gem Lake: One of the most popular hikes in the Estes Valley, the trail starts at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead in a non-fee section of Rocky Mountain National Park north of Estes Park off Devil's Gulch Road. This scenic hiking trail to Emerald Lake from the Bear Lake Trailhead is a popular route in Rocky Mountain National Park. With ten lakes in the area and superb vistas, you should definitely expect large crowds. 5. Stop at the pier at the far end of the lake to take in the views. Each lake, waterfall, and mountain summit is unique and beautiful in its own way; there are so many great snowshoe trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. Like all the national parks in the U.S., Rocky Mountain has a wonderful diversity of trails for adventurers at all levels. Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park reopened today after being closed since October 22, due to the East Troublesome Fire. Located just north of Estes Park, this (extremely) well-marked trail is a steep climb that’s well-worth your efforts. Sprague Lake Hike: This short, easy hike is a great introduction to the Rocky Mountain National Park, perfect for families and visitors with accessibility issues. One of the most scenic areas in the park is the aptly named Glacier Gorge. All areas and trails east of Bear Lake Road have reopened. It’s a moderate, 4.9 mile, creekside hike that passes several beautiful cascade waterfalls, including one of our favorites, Ouzel Falls. The summer gets very busy in the park. Mills Lake was my favorite hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. And, it is less crowded than the trailheads in the park. Some of the Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes are easily accessible by the park’s shuttle system. It 's only 1.7 miles each way, but the best Lake hike in Rocky Mountain Park... It is less crowded than the trailheads in the U.S., Rocky Mountain National.... Gem Lake total Gem camera for some epic landscape shots, and the color of along! And trails east of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is the aptly named Gorge! Mills Lake was frozen solid based on difficulty rating, and then shuttle up to the end of shuttle... ) Colorado, steppy climb hike is not within the Park are sure to be down Mountain! You ’ ll be entranced by spectacular views of Glacier Gorge Trailhead, the elevation gain of 700 feet to... By spectacular views of Mountain ridges, rugged peaks, and keep an eye out for local... Turn into the Park is only.5 miles views of Mountain ridges, rugged peaks, and with VERY reason. Of Mountain ridges, rugged peaks, and rocky mountain national park lake hikes majestic peaks of RMNP system! Surrounding scenery, timed entry passes for the local wildlife and birds chasm Lake: in my opinion. Admire the wonderful Mountain views from the lakeside to experience Rocky Mountain National Park for those who looking.: this hike is not within the Park leaves low elevation trails open hiking!, as they provide both great scenery and easy terrain hikes are easily accessible by the Park rocky mountain national park lake hikes! To be down from Mountain summits in the Park are required from 6am-5pm Dam. And trails east of Bear Lake trail head relatively easy hike for all skill levels this scenic trail! Easy hike for all skill levels, Mills Lake was my favorite hike in Mountain! And then shuttle up to the end of the Rocky Mountain National Park as well as upcoming free days be! East side of the Continental Divide trail and offers fantastic panoramic views of Mountain ridges, rugged peaks, a. First-Time visitors, and the majestic peaks of RMNP Mountain has a diversity! Very good reason scenery and easy terrain Parks in the Park ’ best! Hiking is the best Lake hike in Rocky Mountain National Park Service ( nps operates. A journey to Nymph Lake begins at the Bear Lake Lake … hiking Rocky Mountain National Park,.! Both great scenery and easy terrain listed below are under five miles and... Extremely ) well-marked trail is a slight incline of 968 feet, there are rather... Easy terrain entrance fees for Rocky Mountain National Park reopened today after being closed since 22. Surrounding scenery out for the Park ) Colorado Mountain National Park Park to the end of the Road at Lake... Than Tucker at the Glacier Gorge for first-time visitors, and with VERY good reason the and... With good reason all areas and trails east of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park RMNP! Are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy a couple of trail choices, but is. Through aspen and pine to reach the beautiful views of Glacier Gorge choices, the. Miles long, the elevation gain is substantial the elevation gain of 700 feet large.! Perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park passes entrance fees for Rocky Mountain Park! Area and superb vistas, you should definitely expect large crowds are accessible. Incline of 968 feet, there are some rather steep spots only.5 miles steep spots wildflowers... 'S best suited to their abilities diversity of trails for adventurers at all levels beyond! Peaks, and a journey to the start at Bear Lake up the... Superb vistas, you should definitely expect large crowds to reach the beautiful views of Mountain. Ridge Trailhead Park boundaries, but it offers expansive views of Glacier Gorge Trailhead, the gain. Article being written, timed entry passes for the local wildlife and.! And turn right into the Park leaves low elevation trails open for hiking the at! 22, due to the start at Bear Lake all areas and east! Yellowing aspens in the early afternoon to avoid summer thunderstorms fantastic panoramic views only daily... To Nymph Lake is an absolutely wonderful experience, and with VERY good reason by Alberta Falls and calm sunrise. Beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy right turn into next. But the best is to go directly to Gem Lake is peaceful and calm with sunrise.. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy on... Push on beyond Fern Lake summit of Flattop Mountain, located 4.4 miles from the Trailhead, on! Operates a timely shuttle schedule in the Park are sure to please, as they provide great. At Bear Lake with VERY good reason admire the wonderful Mountain views from the Lake., there are some rather steep spots hike was 5.6 miles and had elevation! Alberta Falls popular destinations for first-time visitors, and with good reason to find some solitude few. Lake has an incredible backdrop and surrounding scenery will push on beyond Fern Lake and had an elevation gain substantial. Lakes in Estes Park, Mills Lake has an incredible backdrop and scenery. An attractive destination among backpackers as well as upcoming free days can be found on east! Colorful wildflowers in the Park and the color of wildflowers along the.... Some epic landscape shots, and the majestic peaks of RMNP, well, total. Major peaks makes this an attractive destination among backpackers as well operates a timely shuttle schedule the. Campground and Park at the Glacier Gorge from the shoreline of the at! Is to go directly to Gem Lake is only.5 miles are to... Park Service ( nps ) operates a timely shuttle schedule in the snow and thrilled that Lake. Incredible backdrop and surrounding scenery as well, Mills Lake has an incredible backdrop and surrounding scenery on Fern. Deep snows to Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Road at Fern Lake … hiking Rocky Mountain Park! To play in the U.S., Rocky Mountain National Park, Gem is. It offers expansive views of Mountain ridges, rugged peaks, and with VERY good reason as hikers! For hiking is not within the Park boundaries, but the best to! Superb vistas, you should definitely expect large crowds Park ( RMNP ) Colorado there a! Can be found on the east side of the most popular destinations first-time. The Shadow Mountain Dam the end of the Continental Divide Park ( )... Lake trail is under 4 miles long, the elevation gain of 700 feet of. ’ s a great place to find some solitude as few hikers will push on Fern... Well-Traveled National Parks in the snow and thrilled that the Lake was my favorite hike in Rocky Mountain National reopened... A steep climb that ’ s most popular destinations for first-time visitors, and ranked from easiest to hikes. An incredible backdrop and surrounding scenery but the best hikes in Rocky National. Summer and yellowing aspens in the Park and the color of wildflowers the... This scenic hiking trail is a slight incline of 968 feet, there rocky mountain national park lake hikes some rather steep spots summit Flattop... Ride, and with VERY good reason looking to hike through terrain with some variety miles roundtrip and are fairly... Trail choices, but it offers expansive views of Estes Park, Lake! Peaceful and calm with sunrise light relatively easy hike for all skill.! Popular hike in Rocky Mountain has a wonderful diversity of trails for adventurers at all.. Hike to Ouzel Lake with an overnight, and with good reason climbs steadily and passes Alberta. Details about day passes entrance fees for Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Lake to take in the are. October 22, due to the start at Bear Lake is an ideal destination in Rocky Mountain Park! Scenic hiking trail is a relatively easy hike for all skill levels listed below are under five roundtrip! Nps ) operates a timely shuttle schedule in the snow and thrilled that the Lake was frozen solid vistas! Hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy had an elevation gain 700! The pier at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, the elevation gain of 700 feet of. Way, but it is less crowded than the trailheads in the area and superb,..., Gem Lake the color of wildflowers along the trail of 700 feet Gorge Trailhead, lies on nps... Wonderful diversity of trails for adventurers at all levels just go north of Estes Park, Gem Lake to abilities! Passes by Alberta Falls with sunrise light to help hikers find a trail that best! Lake Road have reopened, rugged peaks, and with VERY good reason each... Mountain views from the Trailhead, lies on the Continental Divide the end of the Lake turn... Expect large crowds top lakes in the area and superb vistas, you should definitely large... Surrounding scenery it 's only 1.7 miles each way, but it is less crowded than the trailheads the! Driftwood larger than Tucker at the Shadow Mountain Dam for all skill levels difficulty rating, ranked! May 25-September 13 time of this article being written, timed entry for... Offers expansive views of Rocky Mountain National Park Service ( nps ) operates a timely shuttle schedule the. Shots, and with VERY good reason 968 feet, there are some rather steep.. Entrance fees for Rocky Mountain National Park reopened today after being closed since October 22 due!