rocky mountain national park lake hikes

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. 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. Bring your camera for some epic landscape shots, and keep an eye out for the local wildlife and birds. And, it is less crowded than the trailheads in the park. Combine the hike to Ouzel Lake with an overnight, and a journey to the shores Bluebird Lake. The path circles the lovely Sprague Lake, passing from hard gravel to wooden boardwalks, ideal if you’re travelling with a buggy. Just go north of Estes Park to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. The National Park Service (NPS) operates a timely shuttle schedule in the summer. 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. Lighter snowfall on the east side of the park leaves low elevation trails open for hiking. 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. Bring a picnic and admire the wonderful mountain views from the lakeside. Expect some scramble as you approach the summit. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. Drive toward the lake and turn right into the next campground and park at the Shadow Mountain Dam. 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. 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. 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. Our girls were eager to play in the snow and thrilled that the lake was frozen solid. See the 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. "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)." Bear Lake is one of the park’s most popular destinations for first-time visitors, and with good reason. Beginning at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, the trail climbs steadily and passes by Alberta Falls. 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. It’s a moderate, 4.9 mile, creekside hike that passes several beautiful cascade waterfalls, including one of our favorites, Ouzel Falls. Glacier Gorge provides surprises at almost every turn. The journey to Nymph Lake is only .5 miles. After driving four-tenths of a mile make another right turn into the park. This scenic hiking trail to Emerald Lake from the Bear Lake Trailhead is a popular route in Rocky Mountain National Park. Emphasis on efforts—although this trail is under 4 miles long, the elevation gain is substantial. https://dayhikesneardenver.com/lake-hikes-rocky-mountain-national-park Below is a list of hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park based on difficulty rating, and ranked from easiest to hardest hikes. 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. This schedule and map can be viewed here. Nymph Lake. 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. You’ll be entranced by spectacular views of mountain ridges, rugged peaks, and the color of wildflowers along the trail. 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. 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. Spruce Lake is an ideal destination in Rocky Mountain National Park for those who are looking to hike through terrain with some variety. 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. 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. Like all the national parks in the U.S., Rocky Mountain has a wonderful diversity of trails for adventurers at all levels. After that date, it only runs during the weekends through October 20. Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park plan to take advantage of any upcoming wet or winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash … All areas and trails east of Bear Lake Road have reopened. 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. The summit of Flattop Mountain, located 4.4 miles from the trailhead, lies on the Continental Divide Trail and offers fantastic panoramic views. It is literally full of wonders. 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. Sprague Lake . Located just north of Estes Park, this (extremely) well-marked trail is a steep climb that’s well-worth your efforts. It’s a great place to find some solitude as few hikers will push on beyond Fern Lake. 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. Driftwood larger than Tucker At the time of this article being written, timed entry passes for the park are required from 6am-5pm. Sprague Lake is peaceful and calm with sunrise light. Access other major peaks makes this an attractive destination among backpackers as well. This park is one of the most well-known and well-traveled National Parks, and with VERY good reason. 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. 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. 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. However, it only runs daily from May 25-September 13. Revered as one of the top lakes in Estes Park, Mills lake has an incredible backdrop and surrounding scenery. Mt. The advantage of this beautiful trail is that it is outside Rocky Mountain National Park, so you don't have to pay the fees. 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. 5. Hiking is the perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. Climb through aspen and pine to reach the beautiful views of Estes Park and the majestic peaks of RMNP. It's only 1.7 miles each way, but it is a steady, steppy climb. 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. It has beautiful views of Glacier Gorge from the shoreline of the lake. Although not technically located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Gem Lake is, well, a total gem. 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. Some of the Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes are easily accessible by the park’s shuttle system. "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." Guide to the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Colorado. Due to the extreme popularity of the area you may want to consider using the free park shuttle to … 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. While there is a slight incline of 968 feet, there are some rather steep spots. Lily Lake Loop: A short family-friendly loop providing easy access to Jurassic Park. Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park reopened today after being closed since October 22, due to the East Troublesome Fire. One of the most scenic areas in the park is the aptly named Glacier Gorge. The summer gets very busy in the park. For summer hiking, be sure to be down from mountain summits in the early afternoon to avoid summer thunderstorms. 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. This list is intended to help hikers find a trail that's best suited to their abilities. 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. 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. Eventually the trail reaches a junction leading to either Loch Vale, Lake Haiyaha, Andrews Glacier and Sky Pond or Mills and Black Lakes. to the end of the road at Fern Lake … These five beginner hikes in the park are sure to please, as they provide both great scenery and easy terrain. Chapin, Mt. The total hike was 5.6 miles and had an elevation gain of 700 feet. 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. Chasm Lake: In my humble opinion this is the best lake hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. You will have a couple of trail choices, but the best is to go directly to Gem Lake. 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. Mills Lake was my favorite hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. 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. Take advantage of the shuttle and park at the Park and Ride, and then shuttle up to the start at Bear Lake. Stop at the pier at the far end of the lake to take in the views. It has been known to snow … Emerald Lake hiking trail is inside of Rocky Mountain National Park near the town of Estes Park, Colorado. 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