Learn how your comment data is processed. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, which stretches north to south from Canada to Mexico, also travels through Rocky Mountain National Park. The ranger said the trail was snow-free to a mile before Lone Pine Lake. If you prefer to drive take Old Fall River Road or Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center. On the east side of the park lies the Beaver Meadows Entrance, the most direct entrance from Estes Park, which lies right outside Rocky Mountain National Park.An hour’s drive from Boulder and two hours from Denver, the lively Estes Park is the closest town to the park on the east side of the park. Bowen Pass is part of the Arapaho National Forest, and is a steep, short hike from Bowen Lake. 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. The National Park Service (NPS) operates a timely shuttle schedule in the summer. Glacier Creek thunders down this spectacular waterfall that ranks as one of the park's more popular hiking destinations. 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. 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. Spur trail off the CDT to a high mountain lake at the base of Andrews Peak. Not much remains now, but this historic area is written up in a trail booklet available at visitor centers for a nominal price. 6 Secret Places in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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. At the town site, we found a perfectly placed log next to the river to sit and take in the view while eating lunch. 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. Picnic tables. There was not many, and only a single one met the “hike to an alpine lake” criteria. The hike to Timber Lake travels through dense forest and crosses several creeks, and uses the flank of Jackstraw Mountain. Length: 3.3 mi • Est. The drive over Trail Ridge Road alone is worthy of any mountain-lover's bucket list.. Come take a hike! Watch for an early morning rainbow shining through the falls spray. 2 backcountry sites. 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. The Onahu, Tonahutu, and Green Mountain trails intersect to form a circle route with a few steep sections of short duration. Some parts of the park may remain closed. Hike length: 3.5 miles out-and-back The Bear Lake Road corridor, and the Bear Lake parking area in general, is the most popular place in Rocky Mountain National Park, according to park officials. 0.6 mile. Make a left turn to follow the road all the way to the trailhead and parking lot. However, Bluebird Lake, which fills a deep cirque beneath Ouzel Peak along the Continental Divide, is definitely the star attraction. It then continues along the edge of east meadow before turning into the forest and beginning the ascent to the lake and beyond. The summit of Flattop Mountain, located 4.4 miles from the trailhead, lies on the Continental Divide Trail and offers fantastic panoramic views. Hiking is the perfect way to experience Rocky Mountain National Park. Find out about up to the minute special offers. Indeed, some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s best hikes can be found right near the town of Grand 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. 5.75 miles. The beginner hikes listed below are under five miles roundtrip and are considered fairly easy. 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. This easy hike wanders through the forest for a few miles before opening up to a large meadow circled by snow-capped mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park. Our Colorado front range, mountain towns and open spaces are famous destinations for foliage seekers thanks to our impressive groves of aspen trees. north (east) of the Grand Lake Entrance Station. Look for moose (especially during the early morning and early evening hours), songbirds and wildflowers. Makes a gentle ski tour in the winter. 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. Easy loop through the Kawuneechee Valley. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign, Exploring Big Bend: Desert, Mountains, River. 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. Amazing how all that snow melt really changes the landscape. 2 backcountry sites. The trail passes through lodgepole pines and follows North Inlet Creek. The East Inlet Trail starts on the edge of Grand Lake and follows a short trail up to Adam’s Falls. 3 backcountry sites. 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. Sure does feel good to be in the mountains. I think we ended up hanging out by the river, soaking up the sun, and admiring the scenery for nearly an hour. The east side of the park sees more visitors than the west. I saw a photo of the “lake” in the meadow near the start of the Lone Pine hike taken later in the year and it simply wasn’t there. 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. 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. The East Inlet Trail leads to Lone Pine Lake and subalpine forest before reaching the soggy ground around Lake Verna. Take a one minute vacation from your computer. For summer hiking, be sure to be down from mountain summits in the early afternoon to avoid summer thunderstorms. The rugged terrain of the lake hides the summit of Mount Ida. But with deep snow reported on the far end, we skipped the full loop in favor of a 3.5 mile out and back. 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". The path is paved for the first 0.5 miles and provides excellent views of nearby peaks, including Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. A wide, roaring waterfall with great picnic spots on the flat rocks. 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.. The 30 miles of trail looping through RMNP pass through beautiful alpine tundra and scenery. If you want to leave the crowds behind, Twin Sisters, Mt. Keep an eye out for moose. If you get to Flattop, do yourself a favor and do the extra little bit up to Hallett Peak. But we managed to find three suitable west side trails to quench our desire for some rocky mountain hiking. Follows a gentle grade to the site of the old 1880's gold mining camp of Lulu City. Ida on day 3. A quiet loop highlighted by Big Meadows. Big Meadows Trail. The lake contains a rock island that once housed a single lodgepole pine in a crack. Visitation has … Cascade Falls is 3.5 miles up this trail. 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. 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. 1 backcountry site up Skeleton Gulch, and 2 near trail junction. Fortunately, the scenery along this trail is absolutely stunning and helped distract us from the lack of oxygen and relentless uphill climb. Accessible. 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