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Rocky Mountain National Park Trails

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in the north-central region of Colorado, northwest of Boulder, is one of America’s classic backpacking destinations. The park includes varied environments, from woodland to alpine tundra, as well as the Continental Divide and headwaters of the Colorado River. The peaks of the Rocky Mountain’s Front Range dominate Rocky Mountain National Park.

The park is accessible by three roads, U.S. Highway 34, 36 and State Highway 7, and has five visitor centers. It features 349 miles of trails, 150 lakes, and 60 named peaks over 12,000 feet elevation. The Rocky Mountain National Park’s high point is Long’s Peak, at 14,259 feet. About 25 percent of the park is above tree line.

The Rocky Mountain National Park is split by the Continental Divide, and the western and eastern regions of the park have different characteristics. The eastern portion tends to be drier, with heavier snowpack and more rugged peaks. The western portion is more lush and forested.

The Rocky Mountain National Park’s headquarters are in Estes Park, CO, a mountain town that sits on the park’s eastern border. Many visitors to the park stay in Estes Park before entering the park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Sandbeach Lake Loop

Follow this 9.9-mile loop through vibrant wildflower displays and past snow-fed streams to a huge alpine lake with unbeatable campsite views of Mount Meeker.

Colorado 14ers: Longs Peak via Keyhole Route

This stiff but non-technical ascent leads to the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park with unrivaled postcard views.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Beaver Mountain Trail

Thanks to only a little elevation gain, this 7-mile loop offers flatlanders great rewards (big views, wildlife, solitude) without much suffering. Pack plenty of water and sunscreen.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Fern Lake and Spruce Lake via Fern Lake Trail

Get high fast on this 9.1-mile, out-and-back to Fern and Spruce lakes, which sit in gorgeous alpine valleys beneath the Little Matterhorn and several other commanding peaks.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Pear Lake via Finch Lake Trail

This 12.4-mile out-and-back sweeps under a giant evergreen forest to a blossoming burn zone, then ends at an alpine lake perfect for stargazing.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Lawn Lake Trail

A wicked flood raged through this valley 20 years ago, carving wide furrows down the Roaring River from Lawn Lake. This hike is 11.6 miles round trip.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Ypsilon Lake Loop

On this 8.4-miler, you’ll climb well-marked trails to the tentacle-like flanks of Ypsilon Mountain and its namesake lake, then return off-trail by following a mountain stream past unnamed waterfalls.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Lily Lake to Estes Cone

This moderately challenging 7.2-mile hike to a photogenic summit proves that sometimes it’s not how high you climb–it’s where you climb.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Mirror Lake

Wander through lush forests and high-alpine meadows to a pair of secluded mountain lakes nestled at the foot of the Mummy Range.

Never Summer Wilderness: Baker Gulch to Bowen Gulch

Moose, knee-high flowers, two alpine lakes, and infinite views are just a few reasons to hike this 19-mile loop in the Never Summer Wilderness.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Mills Lake

The must-see list for this 5.7-mile dayhike to Glacier Gorge is long: raging waterfalls, alpine lakes, and a skyline of humbling mountain views.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Ouzel Falls

Connect subalpine waterfalls, gurgling creeks, and overlooks above Wild Basin on this 5.3-miler in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Lost Lake

Lost Lake. Stormy Peaks. These places represent their names well on this 19.4-mile out-and-back in the northeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Lumpy Ridge Loop

Go counterclockwise on this 10.2-mile loop touring the rocky cliffs and odd-shaped boulders of Lumpy Ridge to an alpine lake and several campsites in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Cub Lake Loop

This 5.9-mile loop is great for eager flatlanders who are acclimating to the thin Rocky Mountain air.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Timber Lake and Mount Ida

Summit a lesser-traveled 13,000-foot peak, then catch some summer alpine fishing at Timber Lake on this 13.4-mile out-and-back.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Lone Pine Lake via East Inlet Trail

Following an ancient glacial retreat, this 13.5-mile out-and-back on the East Inlet Trail traverses moose country toward a couple of lonely alpine lakes.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Boulder Brook to Glacier Gorge

Rushing waterfalls, mountainous views, and a healthy dose of altitude highlight this 6.3-mile loop in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Ouzel Lake

Amble along rushing creeks, waterfalls, and lichen-covered rock outcroppings on the way to a secluded alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Wild Basin.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Chasm Lake

For the ultimate view of Longs Peak’s 1,000-foot Diamond Face, climb to Chasm Lake on this 8.2-mile out-and-back that tops out above treeline.

Rocky Mountain National Park: North Inlet Trail

This 18.8-miler follows the North Inlet through aspen groves, spruce stands, and marshland (feeding grounds of bugling elk) to a campground tucked beneath the Continental Divide.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Twin Sisters

Climb 2,400 feet to twin peaks on Rocky Mountain National Park’s east side. Aspen-shaded trails and unobstructed views of Longs Peak are just two rewards of this 7.2-mile out-and-back.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Flattop Mountain

A must-do for dayhikers, this 8.1-miler traverses windswept alpine tundra with dramatic overlooks and 360-degree views of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Bridal Veil Falls

Trace a mountain stream through knee-high grasslands and shady aspen groves to a 20-foot waterfall on this moderate 6.2-miler in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Balanced Rock via Cow Creek Trail

Trek from a golden, mountain-rimmed valley to a ponderosa and lodgepole forest with towering rock formations on this 8.3-miler in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Glacier Gorge to Black Lake

Waterfalls, alpine lakes, and mind-blowing scenery. It’s all included on this 9.1-mile out-and-back hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Sky Pond

This 8.1-mile hike skirts wind-scoured lakes and scrambles up the edge of a waterfall before arriving at Sky Pond, where crumbling spires stretch 2,000 feet into the air.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Loch Vale

This 5.4-mile out-and-back in Rocky Mountain National Park leads to The Loch, a mountain lake ringed by spectacular granite cliffs.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Emerald Lake

Tour two mountain lakes en route to Emerald Lake, a picturesque tarn with stunning views of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, on this popular hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Grand Loop

Follow a long-forgotten 5- to 7-day loop in Rocky Mountain National Park across the Continental Divide, through moose-infested meadows, and up Longs Peak via a rarely climbed route.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Lily Lake to Sprague Lake Loop

Traverse exposed ridgelines and thick pine forests for postcard views of Rocky Mountain National Park on this 20.6-mile lollipop loop.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Green Mountain Trail to Big Meadows

Want an easy hike and a shot at seeing a monster moose? Then earmark this 3.4-mile out-and-back on the westside of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Longs Peak via Clark’s Arrow and the Keyhole

Climb this iconic summit on an uncrowded sneak route.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Mount Ida and Gorge Lakes (Version 2)

Follow a well-established trail to Mount Ida before ducking into the rugged backcountry surrounding the Gorge Lakes on this 10.7-miler through Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Ypsilon Lake

Discover solitude in busy Rocky Mountain National Park on this 8.7-mile out-and-back leading to a pristine lake perched beneath the Mummy Range.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Tonahutu Loop

Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn-busy flats on this park’s quiet side.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Thunder Lake to Lion Lake Loop

Find unusual solitude at this popular alpine park on a 16.4-mile peakbagging overnight to the Continental Divide.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Mount Alice via Hourglass Ridge

Feel like you’ve notched a first ascent.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Ypisilon Peak Loop

Connect two remote lakes on this challenging off-trail alpine adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Storm Pass via Boulder Brook Trail

This rolling, 20.6-mile lasso, only a few miles from Longs Peak, climbs to views on Granite Pass, drops down Boulder Brook, then ascends to forested Storm Pass.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Mount Ida and Gorge Lakes (Version 1)

Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes on this challenging point-to-point in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Continental Divide Loop

Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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