40 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park YOU Need To Do!

Mt Ida

There are no shortage of options when looking for the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park, in northern Colorado, is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. The park has many hikes that can appeal to a variety of skill levels. Some hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park include Continental Divide, Hallett Peak, Longs Peak, and the Loch Vale Trail. Each of these hikes offers a different type of experience and is all worth exploring for those armed with explorer quotes.

Best Time to Visit Rocky Mountain National Park

The summer months are the best months to go hiking in the Rocky Mountains. But there are hikes open almost all year round.

Thunderstorms and Lightning Strikes Warning

 In the Rocky Mountains, the risk of getting struck by lightning is present and should not be overlooked.

Lightning strikes are not uncommon. Especially in the summer months between June and September.

How to Get to Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is located about one to two hours from Denver, Colorado. It’s part of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is open year-round, with the majority of visitors coming during the summer months (June through Labor Day).

Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park

Moraine Lake

Let’s get to the hiking! There is a start to starting points. A lot of hikes start from bear lake road and trail ridge road. The bear lake road is perhaps the most popular spot in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Bear Lake 

Easily one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park is the Bear Lake Trail. And also one of the quickest. If you’re looking for a short hike and have time for just a quick escape from your busy life, the Bear Lake Trail is the perfect trail for you. It is just a 0.9 miles round trip and has views of glacier-carved Bear Lake.

The Bear Lake trailhead is one starting point for many hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. As many hikes start from bear lake road.

Lake Helene

Lake Helene Trail is one of the most scenic hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. I will reward hikers with beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The trail is 5.8 miles long, moderate skill level, and is rated easy. The trail part of the trail is well maintained. But gets more difficult, and wilder after the first two miles. 

Odessa Lake

Odessa Lake is a renowned Colorado destination for hiking, climbing, fishing, and camping. It’s a 9-mile hike up to the lake, and the popularity of this hike is extreme. Although it’s a long hike, it’s worth the payoff. From the top of the mountain, you can see the entire Rocky Mountain, National Park. The scenery is worth the struggle of the hike.

Flattop Mountain Trail

Flattop Mountain Trail is 8.9 miles round trip. It’s a strenuous hike that has a gradual incline to the summit. The trail is mostly shaded, with some rocky and slippery areas. There are a few steep areas that are more difficult to get up.

The first 4 miles are relatively easy, and then the trail climbs steeply to the summit of the mountain.

There are some exposed areas with limited shade. This trial is not recommended for hikers with small children, pets, or significant health issues. 

Continental Divide Trail

This is a huge trail. But for those who have the time, it is one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

The Continental Divide Loop is a 45-mile backpacking loop that takes hikers through the peaks and valleys of Rocky Mountain National Park. This loop is a perfect way to experience a variety of terrain and ecosystems.

Moraine Park Trail

A hike through Moraine Park is a beautiful and relaxing experience. Moraine Park is home to a variety of wildlife and provides stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. A hike through Moraine Park is a beautiful and relaxing experience.

Hiking Moraine Park Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is a moderate hike with unmarked trailheads. The trail is 4.8 miles and offers a panoramic view of the park and wildlife.

Alberta Falls

The hike to Alberta Falls starts at Glacier Gorge. And one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. And since it is only 1.7 miles, it is one of the easiest hikes on this list. The hike takes you through the forest and you’ll stop and see Alberta Falls. One of the many waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike is easy, but it is moderate in elevation. The hike is a fall favorite and the leaves are beautiful to see.

The Loch Lake

Hiking The Loch is a moderately strenuous hike that starts at Glacier Gorge. The hike offers outstanding lake views, waterfalls, and a splendid chance to see wildlife. This hike is perfect for those looking for a little adventure and an opportunity to see the beautiful Rocky Mountain, National Park.

The Loch is one of the most scenic hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and it is easy to see why.

Fern Lake Trailhead

Fern Lake trail is a strenuous 7.6-mile hike that starts at Fern Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The hike is worthwhile, with scenic views of Fern Lake, wildflowers, and aspens in the fall. The rocky trail is not for the faint of heart.

Bring plenty of water as this isn’t the easiest of our best hikes in rocky mountains national park.

Thunder Lake

Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and it is easy to see why. One of the best day hikes in the park is the Thunder Lake Trail. The trail is relatively easy and has three significant falls along the way. The first is Copeland Falls; this waterfall is easy to get off the trail. The second is Calypso Cascades; this is a short hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end. The last is Ouzel Falls; this is a short hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

There are a variety of trails to choose from, but one that I think is worth checking out is Thunder Lake. It is 6.8 miles round trip, which is moderate difficulty. The trail passes Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, and Ouzel Falls.

Green Mountain Trail to Big Meadow

Green Mountain Trail to Big Meadow is a 4-mile round-trip hike that has a moderate difficulty level and takes 2 hours to hike. The hike starts at the western entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. A hike through the forest. With the occasional meadows. It also features great scenery and a perfect day hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Mount Ida

Mount Ida Trail is a 9.8-mile, hard hike, but well worth the journey. The trail starts by circling the southern end of Poudre Lake. You’ll have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the water and the mountains and then be treated to an outstanding panoramic view of the Never Summer Mountains.

The Mt Ida hike is one of the best hikes in Rocky National Park. And showcases the beauty of the landscape with spectacular sweeping views. 

Chasm Lake

Chasm Lake, which starts at Longs Peak Ranger Station, is known for its panoramic views. 

The round-trip hike is about 8.6 miles and is quite strenuous. The views from the lake are amazing and it’s the perfect reward for the hike. If you are planning to go, be aware that there is a thunderstorm warnings. And hiking in the dark is dangerous.

Black Lake

The Alpine Lake Trail starts at Glacier Gorge and climbs to McHenrys Peak, a 10,000 ft mountain. The hike is 9.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1,480 ft. This is a strenuous hike. It is worthwhile. 

Alpine Lake is a spectacular alpine lake that fills a deep cirque basin. Which was carved out of the base of McHenry’s Peak and Chief’s Head Peak. 

The views of the surrounding mountains are outstanding. The hike offers much more than just a beautiful lake. You will see waterfalls, meadows, and wildlife.

Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park for Families

best hikes in rocky mountain national park for families

Rocky Mountain National Park is a perfect place to take your family for a day of fun in the outdoors. There are several great hikes that we recommend, but it’s important to know the terrain and weather before embarking on any hike. The best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for families are not dangerous. But you should know the conditions before going. You can also check with the national park service for more info. 

Bear Lake Trail

We have already talked about the short day hike at Bear Lake. This is a quick out-and-back trail that is perfect for those traveling with kids. And easily one of the best hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. You get to appreciate the backcountry without wandering too far into the wilderness.

Sprague Lake

Sprague Lake Loop is an easy hike in Rocky Mountain National Park that travels around Sprague Lake. The trail is only 0.9 miles and has outstanding lake views. The trailhead is near the Sprague Lake Campground, where there are restrooms, picnic tables, and a boat launch.

And one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for Families. Because it is an easy trail, with magnificent views, close to the campground. So you can venture out and check out the highlight of the hike any time of the day from morning to afternoon.  And campgrounds are great for those family travel on a budget.

The Loch Lake

Another hike we already went into more detail on. This is without a doubt one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a moderately hard hike. So might not be dangerous for families with smaller children. The beauty of Lock Lake could even be compared to Lake Louise in Canada.

Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake Trail

Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake are in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. This beautiful lake hike is only 3.6 miles and can take 2-3 hours to complete. This is a great hike for all ages and abilities. If you’re looking for an easy to moderate hike, this hike is a great option.

Alpine Ridge Trail

If you’re looking for an easy hike with a spectacular view, Alpine Ridge Trail is the perfect fit. This short trail begins at the Alpine Visitor Center and takes you on a beautiful and scenic walk through the woods. The trail is only one-half mile, so you can easily make a day of it by trekking up to the ridge and enjoying the breathtaking views. Alpine Ridge Trail is a great way to enjoy the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Lily Lake

Lily Lake Loop, Rocky Mountain National Park, short 0.8 Miles, easy hike, starts at Lily Lake Trailhead, Scenic Lake View, Wildflowers

The Lily Lake Loop in Rocky Mountain National Park is the quintessential Rocky Mountain National Park hike.

It’s short, easy, starts right at the Lily Lake Trailhead, and has some magnificent views to boot.

Coyote Valley Trail

A short and easy trail leads to some scenic views. The trail starts at the Coyote Valley Trailhead and is a 1-mile round trip. The trail is easy and is a great stroll.

The hike has scenic views and wildlife. Making it one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for families. 

Adams Falls

Adams Falls is a short, easy hike outside of Estes Park. This waterfall is a short 1.2 miles (round trip) from the East Inlet Trailhead, and it features a view of the Rocky Mountains from the edge of the falls.

If you are looking for a short, easy hike, this is a great option. If you are looking for a hike that is more challenging, Adams Falls is a great stop along the way!

Boulder Brook Trail

The Boulder Brook Loop is a challenging hike with a variety of terrain, scenic views, and a variety of foliage. 

The Boulder Brook Loop Trail is a great option for those interested in a hard hike that offers views and waterfalls.

We can find the trailhead for this hike at the Storm Pass Trailhead, which is about an 8.6-mile loop.

Its beauty makes it one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for families. But it is hard and long. So not ideal for children. But still the area is great for those traveling as a family.

Tundra Communities Trail

A short hike within Rocky Mountain National Park will lead you to an experience like no other. The Tundra Communities Trail is a short and easy hike at Rock Cut.

The hike is approximately a mile long, with a gentle slope. This trail is a popular spot to take family members because of the outstanding views and the easy terrain.

Ouzel Falls

Ouzel Falls is a popular destination along the Wild Basin Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. This 5.4-mile-long, easy hike is perfect for families and anyone looking for a nice, easy hike. The trail starts at the Wild Basin Trailhead and follows the North St. Vrain Creek to the Waterfall, where the falls are located.

Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park In November

best hikes in rocky mountain national park

November is a great time of the year to go hiking! You can still go hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy the snow-covered trails.

But not all trails are accessible. And you should be prepared for winter conditions. 

November Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park

November is a time when the weather can be just as unpredictable as the ever-changing leaves. One day it’s warm and the next day it’s so cold your nose hairs freeze. The weather can change rapidly, so you need to be prepared before you head out for the best hike in the park.

Sprague Lake

We have already gone off this short hike. But it is easy to get to, as well as an easy hike. All good things to have in the winter months in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

The Pool 

For those seeking an easy hike, a short drive from Denver is the Fern Lake Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike of 3.4 miles is perfect for the winter months. The trail is fairly flat and is a short hike to Fern Lake. This hike is a great way to see the fall aspens and wildflowers.

Calypso Cascades

Calypso Cascades hike is an easy hike that takes you to waterfall after waterfall. The best time to visit this hike is during the winter when the cascades are at their most spectacular. The hike is 3.6 mil

es and starts at the Wild Basin Trailhead.

Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park In August

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park provides breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and is ranked as one of the best-hiking destinations in the country. You can spend hours exploring the wilderness, or you can take a bit of a shorter hike to one of the many scenic overlooks.

Weather in August

Rocky Mountain National Park is a hot spot for adventure seekers. With Colorado’s summer heat, it’s the perfect place to go hiking, biking, and exploring. With its 8,000-foot elevation, it’s also a great place to go camping as well. In August, the Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to go for a hike, bike ride, or camping trip.

Mills Lake

Mills Lake is a moderate 5.3-mile hike that starts at Glacier Gorge Trail, with outstanding views of the lake, waterfalls, and wildlife. This hike is perfect for most fitness levels can accomplish a day trip to the park.

Dream Lake & Emerald Lake

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Dream Lake is a short and easy hike, with outstanding views of Alpine Lake and stunning wildflowers that grow in abundance in the early summer. The three-mile hike starts at Bear Lake Road and takes you through the woods, ending at Alpine Lake, where Dream Lake is located. Emerald Lake is easily one of the best hikes rocky national park offers.

Bierstadt Lake

Bierstadt Lake is a beautiful Alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Starting at the lake, this easy hike is only 2.4 miles long and is full of gorgeous, picturesque views. There are many opportunities to photograph some of the beautiful larch and aspen trees around the lake, and the lake itself is stunning. There is a short but steep ascent at the end of the hike, but the beautiful views make it worth the effort.

Loch Vale

Loch Vale is a moderate hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. It starts at Glacier Gorge and has several beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Loch Vale is a 5.7-mile hike that can take up to 8 hours depending on how much time you’ll spend exploring the lakeside.

Deer Mountain

Deer Mountain, in Rocky Mountain National Park, offers a moderate hike that leaves you in awe of the beauty of the Rockies. At the summit, you will see panoramic views of the continental divide and the valleys below. The hike is 6.2 miles, which takes around 3 hour’s round trip, and is a great day trip for the whole family. It starts at the deer mountain trail.

Lone Pine Lake

Lone Pine Lake is a beautiful and challenging hike that starts from East Inlet Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. This 11-mile hike features scenic views, waterfalls, and wildlife. The last mile of the hike is the toughest, but the rewards of the lake are worth it.

Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park In September

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in September is a great way to experience the park in cooler weather. You get fewer crowds and more time to enjoy the beauty of the park without the summer heat. September also offers some of the best fall colors. The temperatures are milder this time of year. Which makes it good for high elevation hikes and long hikes.

Gem Lake

A moderate hike with a little of elevation gain, Gem Lake, near Lumpy Ridge, is a quiet, beautiful place to spend some time. The trail is mostly level. The lake is a gorgeous color, and depending on the time of year, you may find different wildflowers to enjoy. This is a great hike to do during the autumn when you can see the fall colors. The hike starts at the lumpy ridge trailhead.

Cascade Falls 

This hike takes you to a series of waterfalls along North Inlet Creek. The hike is moderate, with a gradual incline, and is about 6.8 miles round-trip. We can access the trail from the North Inlet Trailhead 

The views of the falls and the creek are amazing. We can see some really beautiful wildflowers in the meadows.

Sky Pond

Is one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, and also a great hike for families. 

It’s a 9-mile strenuous hike with outstanding views of the park’s beautiful landscape. You’ll walk along a creek, see an alpine lake and waterfalls, and have a breathtaking view of the mountains and sky.

The hike starts at Glacier Gorge Trailhead. It is a long and hard hike for experienced travelers. But worth it to be surrounded by such beauty.

Grand Lake

Grand Lake is a popular place to visit in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It is an oasis of tranquility in the center of the park and provides a day’s worth of scenic activities for visitors.

Cub Lake

Cub Lake is a small lake at the edge of the Continental Divide and is surrounded by scenic mountains. The lake is a popular destination for hikers, backpackers, and day-trippers alike. There are three lakeside campsites for those who want to stay awhile. The lake is a popular fishing spot, and it is stocked with trout each year.

Lake Haiyaha

Lake Haiyaha is the perfect hike for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, especially those looking to take in some outstanding views. It’s a moderate hike that starts at Bear Lake but the 4 miles of terrain are worth it for the views of Alpine Lake.

The best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park showcase some of the best landscape in the United States. Adventures like the Mt Ida Hike are worth seeing. 

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