Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado, United States
 (33 votes, 33 reviews)
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is the gem of north central Colorado. If you're in the area, spend some time to experience Colorado's high-country. Hiking, camping, wildlife, ecology, and research are just a sampling of the ongoing activities in this paradise.

In a word, "Wild" is what makes RMNP different from other National Parks. Beginning with enactment of the Rocky Mountain National Park Act in 1915, the guiding emphasis of the management plan is to keep "Rocky" wild. Thoughout it's history, the National Park Service (NPS) has sought to eliminate the commercial interests within the park boundaries. Unlike other popular National Parks, such as Yellowstone, and Yosemite, the NPS has purchased private lands, razed buildings, and eliminated concessionaires. You can experience the wild in Rocky's off-trail back-country, or even on short day-hikes on well-maintained trails.

The road system within RMNP will give you quick access to some of the more popular scenic attractions. A free Park & Ride shuttle system connecting the more popular trailheads, relieves some of the congestion during the summer months.

Whatever your interests, allow enough time to experience all of what Rocky has to offer. Young and old, sightseer or backpacker, day-hiker or climber, Rocky will offer you outstanding experiences that you will take back with you, and remember for the rest of your life. And to allow others the same wild experience, practice Leave No Trace.
What to bring on your dayhike hike.....
Water (2 quarts)
Food
Sunglasses
Sunscreen
Raingear
Extra clothing, insulation layers
Navigation (map, compass, GPS)
First-aid kit
Knife
Headlamp
Matches, waterproof
Toilet paper, zip-lock bag
Other cautionary points of interest....
Practice Leave No Trace (LNT).
Be aware of changing weather conditions.
Lightning threat is real and present, peaking in summer afternoons.
Hypothermia risk, avoid exposure to wet, cold conditions.
Altitude sickness, try to acclimate slowly, hydrate, avoid overexertion.

Trails

Summary
Difficulty
Distance
Blue Lake
A hike within the Roosevelt National Forest
Moderate
5.3 mi/
8.5 km
The Loch
6.9 mile trail near Fall River Estates Subdivision, Colorado
Moderate
6.9 mi/
11.1 km
Caribou 4x4 Road
Popular, mostly-easy route close to Boulder
Moderate
8.6 mi/
13.8 km
Devil's Thumb Pass
Devil's Thumb Pass from the Hessie Trailhead
Moderate
13.3 mi/
21 km
Miller Rock 4x4 Trail
Mix of easy and difficult terrain. Popular hiking area.
Difficult
9.2 mi/
14.8 km
Bunce School Road, Ironclads, Plane Crash 4x4 Trails
Three different trails combined into one
Difficult
13.6 mi/
22 km
Longs Peak / Chasm Lake
15.6 mile trail near Meeker Park, Colorado
Difficult
15.6 mi/
25 km
Guides
Blue Lake
Blue Lake
Ward, Colorado, United States
 
Moderate: 5.3 miles, Half day
A hike within the Roosevelt National Forest
Devil's Thumb Pass
Devil's Thumb Pass
Nederland, Colorado, United States
 
Moderate: 13.3 miles, Full day
Devil's Thumb Pass from the Hessie Trailhead
Miller Rock 4x4 Trail
Miller Rock 4x4 Trail
Raymond, Colorado, United States
 
Difficult: 9.2 miles, Half day
Mix of easy and difficult terrain. Popular hiking area.
Longs Peak / Chasm Lake
Longs Peak / Chasm Lake
Meeker Park, Colorado, United States
 
Difficult: 15.6 miles, Full day
15.6 mile trail near Meeker Park, Colorado
The Loch
The Loch
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States
 
Moderate: 6.9 miles, Half day
6.9 mile trail near Fall River Estates Subdivision, Colorado
Bunce School Road, Ironclads, Plane Crash 4x4 Trails
Bunce School Road, Ironclads, Plane Crash 4x4 Trails
Peaceful Valley, Colorado, United States
Difficult: 13.6 miles, Half day
Three different trails combined into one
Caribou 4x4 Road
Caribou 4x4 Road
Nederland, Colorado, United States
Moderate: 8.6 miles, Half day
Popular, mostly-easy route close to Boulder
Community Trips
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Sky Pond (10,900'), RMNP
by jimlarkey on Aug 10, 2009
Beaver Point, Colorado, United States
9.1 miles
Located in Loch Vale of RMNP, striking views of granite towers, a hanging valley with alpine tarns, and a class-2 climb up the side of Timberline Falls.....what an enjoyable hike.  Along the way, you'll pass Alberta Falls, one of RMNP's popular destinations.  You pass along the west shore of The Loch.  Soon after The Loch, Timberline Falls will come into view.Climb Timberline Falls on the west side, and if the flow is not...
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Emerald Lake, RMNP
by jimlarkey on Oct 28, 2008
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States
2.7 miles
Glacier Creek Photo
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Alberta Falls Photo
Fall is Here Photo
Bear, The Loch, Haiyaha, Dream, Nymph Lake Loop
by phpjeff on Sep 17, 2010
Estes Park, Colorado, United States
7.0 miles
Crystal clear, temps in the 70's, aspens changing, you couldn't ask for a more perfect day for a hike in RMNP. Originally it was meant to be an out and back from Bear Lake to The Loch. We decided to detour towards Lake Haiyaha on our way back, giving us a chance to see Dream and Nymph as we dropped back down to Bear Lake. This seven mile loop is a wonderful way...
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Twin Sisters Hike
by jimlarkey on Jun 24, 2008
Meeker Park, Colorado, United States
7.2 miles
Great views of Longs Peak (Elev 14,259'), Mt. Meeker (13,911’), Mt Lady Washington (13,281'), as well as Powell Pk (13,208’) and Estes Cone (11,006')....well worth the climb.  You will catch a glimpse of Longs Pk's "Diamond", as well as Estes Park to the north, and Indian Peaks to the south.The trailhead is well marked, with adequate parking.  The trail climbs 2.5 mi.s along switchbacks, through lodgepole forest, reaching a saddle between The...
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Tyndall Glacier, and Dream, Emerald, Nymph and Haiyaha
by keggman12 on Aug 03, 2008
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States
6.2 miles
G and I left the house around 630 am and headed up to rocky mountain national park to see Tyndall Glacier.  I dont think I ever saw it unless it was one of the snow piles by emerald lake!
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Lily Mountain Trail, Roosevelt National Forest
by jimlarkey on Dec 02, 2008
Beaver Point, Colorado, United States
4.1 miles
 You'll see views of Longs Peak, Mt Meeker, Twin Sisters, Meadow, St. Vrain Mtns.  Also the Mummy Range, and the Continental Divide from McHenrys Peak to Flattop Mtn.Lily Mtn (9,786') is only a 2 mile hike on a well-maintained trail; great for a 1/2-day hike to strech your legs.  The summit offers some awesome views that you would not expect from the view of the summit from the highway.  You'll also...
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Bierstadt and Bear Lake loop with Alberta Falls
by mhsundstrom on Jun 13, 2009
Beaver Point, Colorado, United States
5.9 miles
This loop worked out nicely since the shuttle bus started running this weekend. After circling the lake, I went to Bear Lake and circled it as well, then made a trip up to Alberta Falls before coming back to catch the shuttle bus at Glacier Gorge. 
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Chasm Lake (11,800'), RMNP
by jimlarkey on Oct 23, 2009
Meeker Park, Colorado, United States
8.7 miles
Chasm Lake is tucked in below Longs Peak (14,255')  "Diamond" Face.  It offers some outstanding views of Longs summit, the "Loft", "Lambs Slide", the "Ships Prow", and surrounding minor peaks like Estes Cone, Twin Sisters, Mt Lady Washington.  The trail to Chasm Lake is well worth the 2400' climb. We had great weather for the climb.  We met a couple on Mills Moraine that were descending from overnighting at Chasm Meadow.  They were wearing crampons,...
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Rocky Mountain NP: Lakes, lakes, lakes!
by sammydee on Jun 15, 2010
Fall River Estates Subdivision, Colorado, United States
6.6 miles
I still remember my first trip to Bear Lake ... 42 years ago.  It made a big impression on a kid from Kansas.  I was really happy to make a return visit!When planning this trip, I didn't know how much time we would have, and how we would react to hiking at this elevation.  So my Plan A objective was to make it up to Dream and Emerald Lakes. I am sure...
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St. Vrain Mountain (12,162'), Indian Peaks Wilderness
by jimlarkey on Jun 29, 2010
Allenspark, Colorado, United States
9.3 miles
What St Vrain Mountain (12,162') fails to offer the hiker in technical climbing, more than rewards you in views of the Continental Divide, Longs Peak, Wild Basin, The Indian Peaks, and the plains.  St Vrain is an oft overlooked experience by tourist.The St Vrain trail is situated in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and the summit is on the RMNP boundary line.  The summer trailhead (TH) is located about 1-1/2 miles south of Allenspark,...

Reviews
DaveandMary
Had to leave early because of floods. Liked the little bit we got to do.
Visited on Sep 11, 2013

by DaveandMary on Sep 17, 2013
craftf
Always awesome up at RMNP
Visited on Jun 07, 2013

by craftf on Jun 14, 2013
jeanine.mayer
We live in Colorado...love, love, love it
Visited on Jan 05, 2013

by jeanine.mayer on Jan 05, 2013
calgabelman
Nice trails but nothing spectacular
Visited on Nov 29, 2012

by calgabelman on May 12, 2013
scgodsey
We stayed in Loveland and drove each day to the park. I would recommend staying in Estes Park if you're hardcore, gonna get out on the trails each day at the crack of dawn. However, Loveland was very friendly, good hotels, lots of great places to eat.
Visited on Sep 15, 2012

by scgodsey on Jan 18, 2013
DanLManzanares
I ride over Trailridge on by Harley each summer on my birthday!
Visited on Jul 16, 2012

by DanLManzanares on Aug 31, 2012
carbonspace
Hi Country Stables offers a variety of tours to see RMNP by horseback. Highly recommended.
Visited on Jul 15, 2012

by carbonspace on Jun 05, 2013
mwriddle
Great trip, views and animals
Visited on Jun 10, 2012

by mwriddle on Jun 25, 2013
kristen.wedul
Did have a whole lot of time to actually explore as much as I would like, but a very nice place to go for hiking. Especially with dogs!
Visited on Jun 05, 2012

by kristen.wedul on Oct 07, 2012
Ronin2211
Good experience, close to home. Beautiful scenery. Want to go on the West side of the park next trip
Visited on May 28, 2012

by Ronin2211 on Jun 09, 2012
mlz2000
Beautiful with lots of backcountry hiking for all abilities.
Visited on Oct 20, 2011

by mlz2000 on Dec 17, 2011
jimilagro
RMNP is one of the better parks in my opinion and not just cause I live here. The trails are great.
Visited on Sep 28, 2011

by jimilagro on Sep 30, 2011
Bushcraft101
Had a great time the park campsite were pretty full, we made it out to Timber Creek. Great camping spots. At around 1700hrs ate dinner and watched a heard of about 45 elk come through he campsite as we ate. The girls loved it and counted each elk as they pass. Even tho Timber Creek is far, its deff worth the drive there. Nice quite family camping. Remember to bring a fishing rod, the stream is only a 5 min drive away and the kids loved it.
Visited on Sep 04, 2011

by Bushcraft101 on Mar 12, 2012
battman919
This place is great. You can stay on the paved road with visiting folks, or get on the trail for the very best of the Rocky Mountain landscape.
Visited on Jul 31, 2011

by battman919 on Aug 01, 2011
weathercrazy
Was awesome, great weather most of the time, although the snow was still quite deep in areas!
Visited on Jun 23, 2011

by weathercrazy on Aug 12, 2011
mlagodna
Great camping, but make reservations during peak season.
Visited on Jun 10, 2011

by mlagodna on Apr 21, 2013
pixiewolfe
A place with different trees, sounds, rocks/boulders, lakes, and elevation to gain. Someone once said this is God's country.
Visited on Jun 01, 2011

by pixiewolfe on Nov 23, 2011
coloradoengineer
Snowshoe trip from Glacier Gorge trailhead to Black Lake, 10 mile round trip. Excellent variety of terrains and vistas. Strenuous at times with wonderful pine-scented mountain air, peaceful and serene, but be prepared for wind at times.
Visited on Mar 02, 2011

by coloradoengineer on Mar 21, 2011
wakingstorm
Fantastic trip! We hiked and climbed the area of the Alluvial Fan at Horseshoe Park, site of the great washout of July 15, 1982 when 39 million gallons of water washed down the Roaring River.
Visited on Jan 16, 2011

by wakingstorm on Feb 04, 2011
Chconrad
Beautiful during the winter. Make sure to check the weather forecast and trail conditions.
Visited on Dec 10, 2010

by Chconrad on Mar 20, 2011
jrwisniewski
Beautiful in fall when all the leaves are changing colors
Visited on Sep 30, 2010

by jrwisniewski on Feb 17, 2011
phpjeff
Fall leaves and great trails. No better places to take in a little Fall than RMNP.
Visited on Sep 17, 2010

by phpjeff on Feb 03, 2011
Shredware
Mirror Lake Trail is great, good spot to picnic and hang out.
Visited on Aug 28, 2010

by Shredware on May 08, 2011
Lifes2Short
An absolutely beautiful park full of wildlife and endless photo opportunities.
Visited on Jul 17, 2010

by Lifes2Short on Dec 26, 2012
Wanderer321
Still had plenty of snow at the top of Twin Sisters, didn't bring snowshoes and had to turn back before the end. Great trail, though.
Visited on Jun 05, 2010

by Wanderer321 on Dec 22, 2011
AceandNell
Amazing beauty with endless miles of trails for every type of hiker. Can't wait to get back there someday.
Visited on Jul 22, 2009

by AceandNell on Apr 19, 2011
passinmeby77
Must see park in Colorado! Hiked several of the "easy" trails while in the park. Beautiful scenery and a ton of wildlife.
Visited on Sep 10, 2008

by passinmeby77 on Jun 11, 2011
autarkis
My first trip into RMNP as an adult was great. Climbed 7 peaks greater than 14k feet in seven days, got married just outside the park, and then spent my honeymoon hiking more!
Visited on Jul 21, 2008

by autarkis on Jan 13, 2011
Jldubu
Great place to go early morning in the fall to see Elk and hear them bugle
Visited on Sep 15, 1999

by Jldubu on Sep 28, 2011
slopeside
this was the first park i visited when i moved to colorado!~ it's also where i saw my first moose!~ absolutely a must see in colorado!~

by slopeside on Aug 04, 2013
drmwvr2246
Only 4 stars since they don't allow dogs

by drmwvr2246 on Jun 29, 2013
Vicki5280
Bring your camera, wear layers, wear your hiking boots whether you're planning to or not, and *everyone* in the car must wear a seatbelt while inside the park - it's a federal law we discovered the hard way!

by Vicki5280 on Jul 22, 2012
Celestron2000
Obviously its gogeous.

by Celestron2000 on Jul 28, 2011

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What people are saying...

indian peaks, Longs Peak, arapahoe, Boulder, pass, summit, hike, RMNP, Estes Park, Odessa, Wild Basin, colorado, Chaos Canyon, Hiking, Nymph Lake, Peaks, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Lake, Glacier Gorge

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