If you want to leave the crowds behind, Twin Sisters, Mt. It can be reached by either the Baker Gulch trail, or from just before Parika Lake by contouring NE to the Pass. The East Inlet Trail starts on the edge of Grand Lake and follows a short trail up to Adam’s Falls. 5 backcountry sites along the Timber Lake trail. The east side of the park sees more visitors than the west. The remains of this short-lived town are scarce — there is reported to be an old cabin, some old mine shafts, and a few scattered artifacts. #4 of 40 Outdoor Activities in Rocky Mountain National Park "Bear Lake Trailhead is the starting point for many of RMNP’s most popular hikes including the easy 0.5 mile (0.8k) loop around Bear Lake, the 3.6 mile (5.8k) roundtrip hike to Emerald Lake that also passes by Nymp..." he trail follows the bank of the Colorado River with views of the Never Summer Mountains. The first few miles of the trail were pretty crowded (the waterfall is a very popular spot for families) but as soon as we started climbing uphill we left the crowds behind. For summer hiking, be sure to be down from mountain summits in the early afternoon to avoid summer thunderstorms. It can be reached by either the Baker Gulch trail, or from just before Parika Lake by contouring NE to the Pass. Glacier Creek thunders down this spectacular waterfall that ranks as one of the park's more popular hiking destinations. Editor's note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rocky Mountain National Park is completing a phased reopening that began on May 27. 0.6 mile. This is another outstanding hike that offers several attractions along its route, including three waterfalls. 5.75 miles. The trail starts at Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead, and heads south, paralleling the creek. It then continues along the edge of east meadow before turning into the forest and beginning the ascent to the lake and beyond. Heads north, following the Colorado River to the Lulu City site. Amazing how all that snow melt really changes the landscape. But we managed to find three suitable west side trails to quench our desire for some rocky mountain hiking. Like to do some moderate hikes. Since 2012, we have traveled the U.S. while living and working from our renovated 25-foot Airstream. Eagle Cliff Mountain Trailhead: Moraine Park Museum Distance: 0.5 miles Difficulty: Easy What you’ll see: Views of the Continental D… Follows an easy grade upstream on Tonahutu Creek after skirting the upper end of Big Meadows on the Tonahutu Creek Trail. 1 h 20 m This scenic hiking trail to Emerald Lake from the Bear Lake Trailhead is a popular route in Rocky Mountain National Park. Discover Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver or Boulder. Llamas allowed, but no other stock. Below is a list of suggested hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Gain 2389 ft. Baker Pass in the Never Summer Range crosses the Continental Divide into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus. It is interesting to see so much water in your meadow shots compared to when we were there. Lake Nokoni is a glacial tarn surrounded by beautiful landscape, including great wildflowers. This hike has become very popular but is very easy to see why. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. With trail ridge closed should I go to the east or west side? We’ll cover a few hidden gems on both the eastern and western side of Rocky Mountain National Park to find the perfect secluded hike during your next stay in the Rockies: Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls – Off the Wild Basin Trailhead is the easy 5.4-mile hike with stunning waterfall views. Mt. 1 backcountry site up Skeleton Gulch, and 2 near trail junction. From Nymph Lake, filled with water lilies, to the incredible views at Lake Haiyaha, each of … Keep an eye out for moose. Must be because all the other moose and elk were hanging out near the road where even the non-hikers could get a good look :). Elev. Ida on day 3. In the winter, an easy choice to test those skis or snowshoes. The drive over Trail Ridge Road alone is worthy of any mountain-lover's bucket list.. Sure does feel good to be in the mountains. This easy hike wanders through the forest for a few miles before opening up to a large meadow circled by snow-capped mountains. 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. I think we ended up hanging out by the river, soaking up the sun, and admiring the scenery for nearly an hour. The trail passes through lodgepole pines and follows North Inlet Creek. The summit of Flattop Mountain, located 4.4 miles from the trailhead, lies on the Continental Divide Trail and offers fantastic panoramic views. 3 backcountry sites. Follow us on our crazy journey in search of beautiful scenery, fun adventures, interesting people, tasty foods, and more…, @2017 - PenciDesign. Big Meadows Trail. 6 Secret Places in Rocky Mountain National Park. I remember that Lone Pine Lake being a long one…but so pretty! Hiking is the perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. Chapin, Mt. Which turned out to be the perfect length for an after work hike. It’s a big place, so to help you find your way, here are some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes. Rocky Mountain National Park was once one of America’s most underrated national parks.This is most certainly no longer the case. Beautiful falls and views of surrounding peaks. Answer 1 of 3: Have half a day to visit the park on Sunday June 5th. Here you’ll find Bear Lake, the Mummy Range, Wild Basin and Longs Peak. The Onahu, Tonahutu, and Green Mountain trails intersect to form a circle route with a few steep sections of short duration. The lake contains a rock island that once housed a single lodgepole pine in a crack. Even though the big meadow is rumored to be a good place to spot moose and elk, we only saw a single moose way, way on the other side of the meadow tucked up against some trees. 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. Picnic tables. This trail offers a barren and rocky landscape, and the last section is difficult to access. Features educational exhibits along the trail. Sky Pond. 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. Strollers permitted. Rocky Mountain National Park. The path is paved for the first 0.5 miles and provides excellent views of nearby peaks, including Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. All 3 of these pristine mountain lakes culminate the true beauty of the park – be sure to bring your camera! The summer gets very busy in the park. If you get to Flattop, do yourself a favor and do the extra little bit up to Hallett Peak. Here are five hikes to consider for your visit: 1. 2 backcountry sites. 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. Summit of Green Mtn is at 10,313 ft. Hiking at these high elevations is not for the faint of heart! All Right Reserved. 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). Take a one minute vacation from your computer. With its expansive glacier-carved valleys, easily accessible tundra, abundant wildlife and thunderous waterfalls, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the American West's must-see places. But narrowing it down and finding an east hike in Rocky Mountain National Park that is also kid friendly can be a chore. At the town site, we found a perfectly placed log next to the river to sit and take in the view while eating lunch. Pass through Summerland Park and North Inlet Meadow on the way to the falls. 210. Bowen Pass is part of the Arapaho National Forest, and is a steep, short hike from Bowen Lake. Kawuneeche, the Arapaho word for coyote, was the name given to this gentle valley of the Upper Colorado River. When you reach the top you get views of the east and west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The 30 miles of trail looping through RMNP pass through beautiful alpine tundra and scenery. Long, beautiful hike on a trail mostly used by backpackers. Pro Tip: The west side is the best side. Bear Lake Loop: Short 0.6-mile, family-friendly loop around Bear Lake in the heart of the park. 2. Ida, and Tombstone Ridge are the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for your list. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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.. Find out about up to the minute special offers. Visitation has … A quiet loop highlighted by Big Meadows. The trail follows a gentle grade along the Colorado River for nearly four miles before reaching the old town site. Best Easy Hikes in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park Coyote Valley — Region 1 - West Side, known for moose & big meadows South of Bowen/Baker and north of Onahu Creek trailheads on Hwy 34, about 5.6 mi. ... Best Seller. 17 backcountry sites. Emerald Lake is often regarded as the very best hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. Reflections on Lake Irene on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday, July 13, 2019. If you prefer to drive take Old Fall River Road or Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center. 2 backcountry sites. How to get there: The most direct route is to take Highway 36, from Estes Park, to Bear Lake Road. Indeed, some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes can be found right near the town of Grand Lake. One of the most popular hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, it can be quite crowded. But that was early in the week and the strong sun must have done its job because, by the time we got there on Saturday, only a few piles of snow remained near the lake. The hike to Timber Lake travels through dense forest and crosses several creeks, and uses the flank of Jackstraw Mountain. Rocky Mountain National Park Vacation and Travel Information, Photo Credits:  Michael Hodges, Jim Osterberg. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK • At the trailheads on the west side of this national treasure, Henry David Thoreau is honored. But we managed to find three suitable west side trails to quench our desire for some rocky mountain hiking. Bluebird Lake: Rounding out the top 10 hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park is Bluebird Lake. This easy hike wanders through the forest for a few miles before opening up to a large meadow circled by snow-capped mountains. After realizing how many of the trails were still not passable, we stopped by the visitor center where a helpful ranger highlighted a map with all the trails that were reported to be snow-free. ... Do's and Don'ts When Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park; north (east) of the Grand Lake Entrance Station. There was not many, and only a single one met the “hike to an alpine lake” criteria. Arguably the most popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Emerald Lake Trail is a relatively easy hike for all skill levels. 3 backcountry sites. Easy loop through the Kawuneechee Valley. Watch for an early morning rainbow shining through the falls spray. Not much remains now, but this historic area is written up in a trail booklet available at visitor centers for a nominal price. 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. There was not many, and only a single one met the “hike to an alpine lake” criteria. Some parts of the park may remain closed. More on the Continental Divide trail... Flattop Mountain can be accessed from either side of the Park, thus provides a cross-park route from Estes Park to Grand Lake. This schedule and map can be viewed here. The East Inlet Trail leads to Lone Pine Lake and subalpine forest before reaching the soggy ground around Lake Verna. Glacier Gorge Jct. Branches south off of the Green Mountain trail through Big Meadows, and connects to the Kawuneeche VC. His quote is posted: “In wilderness is the preservation of the world …” With the crowds smaller here than on the east side, wilderness does seem more at hand. It can be hiked as a  7+ mile loop by combining a few trails. The ranger said the trail was snow-free to a mile before Lone Pine Lake. If you have limited time, I recommend driving Trail Ridge Road and hiking Tombstone on day 1, Sky Pond on day 2, and then Chasm Lake or Hallet Peak or Mt. Watch out for those sneaky tourists though. The hike to an 1800s mining camp called LuLu City is another easy, low-elevation trek that makes for a good choice early in the year. Pictures of Granite Falls... Because the trail disappears in the marshes of Long Meadows (it's swampy), it's termed by the Park Service a "cross-country experience". Lone Pine Lake is past East Inlet meadows and Adams Falls on the East Inlet trail. The hike is short and easy and one of the most scenic hikes in the park. .9 mile beyond is the Little Yellowstone trail that heads to Poudre Pass near the north boundary of the Park, the Neota Wilderness, and Long Draw reservoir. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign, Exploring Big Bend: Desert, Mountains, River. The entire Continental Divide National Scenic Trail corridor is approximately 3,100 miles (4,988 kilometers) long, from the Canadian border in Montana to the border of Mexico in New Mexico, ranging from 4,000 ft to over 13,000 ft in elevation. No matter if you’re looking for a scenic lake […] Discover the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for all ages and experience levels to tackle on your adventure in Colorado. However, Bluebird Lake, which fills a deep cirque beneath Ouzel Peak along the Continental Divide, is definitely the star attraction. The Green Mountain Trail once was a wagon road used to haul hay from Big Meadows. Here in the heart of the Rockies, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Make a left turn to follow the road all the way to the trailhead and parking lot. There are plenty of photo worthy pull offs and short hikes along the way. 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. But sometimes, after spending the winter in Florida and the spring crossing the sweltering middle of the country, you forget about all that cold white stuff and just want to go hiking in the mountains. 3 backcountry sites. Baker Pass in the Never Summer Range crosses the Continental Divide into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus. 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. Rocky Mountain National Park is the obvious choice with 350 miles of trails. It should also be obvious that those fantastic hiking trails up to high mountain lakes and waterfalls will not be accessible. Look for moose (especially during the early morning and early evening hours), songbirds and wildflowers. Picturesque trail nestled among surrounding peaks including Flattop Mountain, you will pass Nymph Lake and Dream Lake before arriving at the majestic Emerald Lake. Cascade Falls is 3.5 miles up this trail. Big Meadows is a sea of grasses and wild flowers rimmed by hills. Spur trail off the CDT to a high mountain lake at the base of Andrews Peak. 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