The elevation gain is just 10 feet, with the highest elevation point being 8,940 feet. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, 10 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, Boulder Canyon Trail: Where the Water Meets the Desert, Camping in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland, High Seas & Summit Breeze: 10 Best Hikes in Big Sur, California, 10 Best Glamping Resorts in Colorado for Epic Outdoor Adventures, 10 Best Cabin Rentals in Estes Park, Colorado. The weather could be really nice and sunny in town, but a couple thousand feet in elevation change could make for blizzard conditions. Greenwood & Myers Mortuary in Frederick provides full mortuary services to families in Northern Colorado, including affordable cremation options. The hike follows a creek through Lion Gulch then ascends and brings you up to Homestead Meadows. Park personnel will not be able to provide hikers with assistance or guidance, and there will be little to no emergency services available to them until the shutdown is lifted. Lake Estes. This trail is open year-round and is a great snow-shoe hike in the winter. Gem Lake is a great little hike with some awesome views of Estes Park. These storms are very serious and develop quickly. Black Bears are prominent in this area and are known to even take a stroll through town. Bierstadt Lake is a family favorite! Winter brings deep snows to Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Continental Divide, but the lighter snowfall on the east (Estes Park) side of the park often leaves low elevation trails open for hiking. Protsnan said the best way to get comfortable with hiking in the snow to mitigate risk is to just go out to a well-traveled zone. The Walker and Griffith homesteads and cabins will be the first that you come to; you can go further and find the Irvin homestead and sawmill, Laycock, Hill, and Boren Homesteads. After a long day of hiking, enjoy a burger (or gyro) at Boss Burgers & Gyros. While Lumpy Ridge is technically part of Rocky Mountain National Park, the trailhead lies just outside the Park’s borders and is free to park and enter. Estes Park hikes for kids. Northeast of Estes Park, Crosier Mountain, near the town of Glen Haven, offers four trailheads with access to the forest: Garden Gate, Rainbow, North Fork, and Bulwark. This hike can be completed all year long, but requires the use of snowshoes and possibly crampons in the winter months. A map and compass is highly recommended on this trail. If you want a trail that has it all, Cub Lake is a great option. If you're seeking trails that explore deeper into the backcountry of the park, check out our list of the Top 10 Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park . While it is a popular trail, you’ll likely find spaces available early-mid morning. Not only have wildfires damaged homesteads in this area, but the trail was also taken out in 2013 by flooding and was reopened in 2017. There are plenty of lodging options in Estes Park, but renting a cabin is the way to go for a truly authentic Rocky Mountain experience. – Lily Mountain: This is a moderate, four-mile round trip hike located just south of Estes Park along Colo. 7. The lake is a great setting for a picnic. A pass is needed for accessing any of the trails in the park and dogs are not allowed. If you are visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, I encourage you to explore outside the park as well! Parking for this trail can be tricky. Keep your distance, use the zoom on your camera if you want a picture, then move along. Alberta Falls Hike at Rocky Mountain National Park. Boulder Brook to Granite Pass to Storm Pass, past the Estes Cone. The hike to Calypso Cascades is a beginner hike that offers impressive views of a cascading waterfall. While this paved trail isn’t the most extreme or doesn’t take you up an iconic summit, Lake Estes still makes the cut for this article because it’s just fun. Located in Roosevelt National Forest, this is a popular and relatively short trail used for backpacking. You can find her on Instagram at @aka_dmoney. Allowing you to find yourself some complete mountain solitude on this trail. 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. Bierstadt Lake Trail. Meeker and Longs Peak, the two highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. R off US34 on MacGregor Ave. 3.5 mi. Daniell is a freelance writer based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. “These are pretty important and that’s what a lot of people have failed to do that have got in trouble and then didn’t get rescued because nobody knew where they were at.”. Emerald Lake Hike Rocky Mountain National Park. Why you should go: Enjoy a thick forest scene, great vistas, and amazing views at the top of this popular trail. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak. The hike starts just outside of Estes up Devils Gulch Road. “Any entry to the park during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk,” said Rocky Mountain National Park Public Information Officer Kyle Patterson in a statement following the shutdown. More in the need of a classic cocktail? Some homesteads were burnt down in wildfires over the years, but most remain. Best hiked in March-September, Lily Mountain Trail is a great way to start or end a day exploring Estes Park. Note: this list is not comprehensive. Estes Park: the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park is a small mountain town packed with history and charm. – Bridal Veil Falls: This 6.2 mile round trip trail is located at the Cow Creek Trailhead near the Northeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re looking to trade in the sleeping bag for a king size bed, then take a look at our top picks for the best glamping in Colorado. President Trump says he will not attend inauguration of President-elect Biden, Guest Op Eds: Current state of EPH Living Center alternatives evaluation, U.S. unemployment claims slip to still-high 787,000, Colorado Rep. Jason Crow recounts being trapped in House chamber as pro-Trump mob attacks Capitol, Jeep of woman thought to be missing in RMNP found near Poudre Canyon, VIDEO OF THE DAY: Geese flock on Lakes Estes, TIME LAPSE VIDEO: Clouds roll over RMNP peaks in winter, Video of the Week: SOUND ON- The undisturbed wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park, RMNP announces winter pile burning operations on both sides of Park, Brought to you by Prairie Mountain Publishing, Photo Gallary of the week - Winter in RMNP, Inside People: Dr. Zehr is new EPH Chief of Staff, Video: Congressman Neguse issues statement on today’s breach of the U.S. Capitol, Larimer County still seeing high numbers of COVID-19 cases, Colorado unemployment FAQ: How to apply, details about missing PINs and more. Check out more of our hiking guides featuring the most epic terrain in the Rocky Mountains: 10 Best Hikes in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. 2.5 mi. Lumpy Ridge is a massive granite rock outcropping just to the north of Estes Park. You can even fish around Lake Estes! Join 80,000+ adventurers getting epic travel, camping and hiking ideas every week. But for anyone who is looking for safe hiking options that are outside of the park, there are hundreds of trails to choose from. If you are visiting ... Bear Lake Hike at Rocky Mountain National Park. These bears live close to humans and are pretty comfortable with being close to us; that doesn’t mean you should take a selfie with them. Even when you are in town you can enjoy a leisurely nature walk around Lake Estes. If you love mountains, this is the place for you. Twin Sisters trailhead sits right across the street from Lily Lake. Rocky Mountain National Park is just an hour drive from boulder and an hour and a half from Denver. Bierstadt Lake offers amazing alpine lake views and abundant chances to see wildlife up close without venturing too far. The Gem Lake Trail is a relatively short hike that starts just outside the town of Estes Park. Why you should go: Experience the charm of Estes Park and take a stroll around its namesake. He wants people to be aware of what they’re getting into when they set out to hike and the precautions they should take. Lily Lake has a short, mellow trail that loops around the lake. If you are hiking through a canyon or in a pass that blocks your surrounding view, it is very easy to get caught in a very serious situation. While it is always important to check the weather before you leave for a hike, unfortunately weather forecasts don’t mean a whole lot in Colorado. Here’s our list of the top hikes in RMNP if you’re just looking for in-park options. This itinerary is, at its base, an epic circuit hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. But be prepared, this trail gets fairly steep towards the end. With campsites deep in the Rocky Mountains, camping here will provide ample solitude and recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Mt. – Gem Lake: This moderate, 3.5-mile round trip hike begins at the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead along Devils Gulch Road. Dogs are allowed (on leash) on this trail. One of the most common mistakes made by hikers this time of year is not preparing for the elements. Why you should go: Go back in time as you hike up through pristine alpine country to the remains of 8 homesteads that date back to 1889. The ambiance and wildlife are just as spectacular if you aren't huffing and puffing up a steep mountainside, after all. There is a small entrance fee you will have to pay, and dogs are allowed in the park on leash. Choose from plenty of great family hikes in Rocky Mountain National park. The lake is frozen right now and can be carefully walked on. Your best bet is to get familiar with weather patterns and be able to recognize any dangerous looking clouds. Nymph Lake. Quite often I think about how fortunate I was to grow up near to such a beautiful place. 11 Easy Estes Park Hikes for the Whole Family. No, not the same Donner Pass that led to the historic Donner Party’s tragic demise. If you'd like to hike with your pets, there are nearby trails outside Rocky Mountain National Park, including trails in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest, multi-use trails around the Town of Estes Park… Wildlife is quite abundant here; you can find deer, elk, black bears, foxes, coyotes, and even wild turkeys. Some that I recommend are Hidden Valley, Alluvial Fan, Moraine Park, and the Tundra Trails near the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of Trail Ridge Road. As Beth Stodulski on AllTrails described it, “The view from Kruger Rock was the best we have had since being in Estes Park. Expect some scramble as you approach the summit. Why you should go: What better way to find some solitude than in a place called Hermit Park? Photo: Brendan Bombaci. We suggest trying these trails out: Lily Lake: The Lily Lake Trail encircles the pristine Lily Lake for 0.8 miles with very little grade, or incline. I did a lot of hiking on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Roundtrip, the hike to Calypso Cascades is 3.6 miles. Turn on to Lumpy Ridge Road and park in the lot. And as always, please practice Leave No Trace Principles while on the trails of this beautiful Colorado mountain town! – Lily Mountain: This is a moderate, four-mile round trip hike located just south of Estes Park along Colo. 7. When the road is closed to traffic, hiking … Hike up through thick forest, listen to trickling waterfalls, then walk through high alpine meadows until you find yourself at the famous Walker and Griffith homesteads. Parking and entering is free, and dogs are allowed on leash in the area. 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