If it’s your first time visiting Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park and also you’re desirous to take advantage of your go to, then this set of hikes is a good place to begin. I’ve spent over six full months climbing the tons of of miles of trails in RMNP, and we drive up with visiting household and buddies to indicate them round. Nonetheless, earlier than we get into the hikes, listed below are just a few situations on the way you would possibly need to spend your day.
NOTE: Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park requires that you’ve got timed-entry permits Late-Could by means of Late-October. Extra info on the RMNP Timed-Entry Allow Web page.
Climbing Eventualities for Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park
State of affairs #1: You’ve gotten a full day and younger children.
Consider your day in two components. Half 1 is climbing and Half 2 is the scenic drive up Path Ridge Street (if it’s open) to the Alpine Customer Middle. Hike first, early within the day, earlier than the storms roll in through the afternoon. Some nice household hikes are: Horseshoe Falls, Sprague Lake, the brief hike round Bear Lake, and Alberta Falls, or Emerald Lake. Between driving, parking, and climbing, you’ll probably have time for only one of those earlier than your drive up Path Ridge Street.
State of affairs #2: You’ve gotten a full day and no children with you
You’ve acquired some choices. Choice A is to do one of many longer hikes on this put up: Sky Pond, Timberline Falls, Ouzel Falls, or Fern Lake.
State of affairs #3: You solely have just a few hours.
This one is the hardest situations as a result of there are such a lot of nice locations to see, and lots of of them require a drive. In the event you solely have just a few hours, I’d advocate the brief hike round Sprague Lake, and in case you have a bit extra time, to drive as much as Bear Lake. Bear Lake gives you an up-close really feel of the mountains, and Sprague Lake will offer you a larger-than-life panorama of the continental divide.
Prime 10 Hikes at Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park
I’ve organized these from best to most demanding (that are additionally the longest).
Sprage Lake Loop Hike
4 Lakes and Waterfall Loop
Distance: 0.5 Mile | Issue: Straightforward
In the event you don’t have a variety of time and are lookign for a simple introduction to Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, Sprague Lake is the place to begin. On the best way, remember to cease and search for elk in Moraine Park. This small lake was truly constructed by an early settler of the world, Albert Sprague, who constructed a resort alongside its waters. It is a excellent spot to carry a picnic lunch or watch the solar set over the Rockies.
Distance: 0.6 Miles | Issue: Straightforward | Elevation Acquire: Nominal
Consider Bear Lake because the epicenter of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park. From the Bear Lake Trailhead, you possibly can enterprise to locations inside Glacier Gorge, Andrews Creek, and even as much as the highest of Hallett Peak. Although the car parking zone is large, it fills rapidly, and you might have to take the shuttle from down in Glacier Basin. The hike at Bear Lake is a simple half-mile across the lake. In the event you’ve traveled all this fashion, I’d advocate trying out Alberta Falls and the hike to Emerald Lake.
Distance: 0.4 Miles | Issue: Straightforward | Elevation Acquire: Nominal
Horseshoe Falls is a phenomenal and simply accessed off Previous Fall River Street. When our children have been youthful, they liked this hike as a result of you possibly can scramble alongside small boulders and discover the various programs of the waterfall. Do watch out although as rocks can shift, and the granite may be sharp. In the event you’re up for an extended journey, you possibly can drive up Previous Fall River Street (when it’s open) and take Path Ridge Street again down.
Distance: 1.6 Miles | Issue: Straightforward | Elevation Acquire: 200′
Glacier Creek plummets thirty toes to creat the spectacular spray of Alberta Falls. The falls are recognized for his or her spectacular stream, particularly through the spring and early summer season months when the snowmelt will increase the water quantity. The hike as much as Albrta Falls is brief and simple, making it maybe the busiest path in your complete park. Nonetheless, we just lately hiked it within the late afternoon and have been the one individuals on the path for many of our hike.
Distance: 6.4 Miles | Issue: Average | Elevation Acquire: 800′
That is one among my favourite hikes to take buddies on in RMNP. You’ll journey previous Alberta Falls in your means as much as Lake Haiyaha. I really like lake Haiyaha as a result of it’s proper up in opposition to the mountainside, had actually cool huge granite boulders, and a phenomenal previous pine tree alongside its shore. After that, you’ll hike to Dream Lake. From there, you’ll hike to Dream Lake and Nymph Lake, with the choice of including an out-and-back section to Emerald Lake to your journey. From Nymph Lake, take the path again to Bear Lake.
Distance: 5.4 to eight Miles | Issue: Average | Elevation Acquire: 650′
The hikes as much as Fern Falls and Fern Lake start on the Fern Lake Trailhead. It’s a small trailhead with restricted parking, so go early, or plan so as to add 0.8 (one-way) to your hike from the shuttle cease. I really like Fern Falls as a result of it crashes by means of the forest over granite boulders and deadfall. It’s loud and picturesque. Alongside the best way you’ll move by means of Arch Rocks, move by The Pool, and listen to the dashing waters of the Massive Thompson River because it programs its means out of the excessive nation.
Distance: 7.8 to 9.4 Miles | Issue: Average | Elevation Acquire: 1400′
Fern Lake is a phenomenal alpine lake, and value taking this extra demanding hike. Bear in mind that there may be snow protecting the higher reaches of the path into early Summer time. The fishing on the lake is nice, and the lake is an ideal place to hike to for a day picnic. In the event you begin early, you possibly can add Odessa Lake to your journey.
Distance: 5.4 Miles | Issue: Average | Elevation Acquire: 1000′
The hike as much as Ouzel will take you into the Wild Basin space of Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park and previous two different smaller however lovely waterfalls. Lower than a half-mile into your hike you’ll move Copeland Falls, and at roughly one mile into the path, you’ll see Calypso Cascades. The path climbs, changing into extra demanding and offering some nice views into the Wild Basin. A bridge crosses Ouzel Creek and provides the primary breathtaking views of the falls. It is likely to be my favourite waterfall within the park due to the way it shoots off the cliff above.
Distance: 8 Miles | Issue: Troublesome | Elevation Acquire: 1500′
In the event you’re searching for a difficult hike in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park that provides a ton of surroundings, the hike as much as Timberline Falls is ideal. You’ll enterprise into Loch Vale and expertise the vaulting grey-granite spires of the encompassing mountains. Throughout snowmelt, the waterfall covers an extended ridge as effectively has has a central spout that leaps from the cliffside. In the event you’ve hiked this far, take into consideration pushing additional to Sky Pond.
Distance: 9+ Miles | Issue: Troublesome | Elevation Acquire: 1650′
There are such a lot of sights to absorb on the best way to Sky Pond, you need to plan to take your time and plan on it taking your whole day. The peaks surrounding Sky Pond appear to be jagged sharks enamel, and the wildflowers on it’s western flanks are resplendant within the mid-summer. Alongside the best way, you’ll move Alberta Falls, The Loch, Timberline Falls, and Lake of Glass.