Rocky Mountain Hiking

For the best options on exploring the great Rocky Mountain outdoors including hiking, climbing, mountaineering, fishing, riding and rafting, check with Rick, cabin maps and guides, ThisMountain.Life,,,, and   Some of our favorite local hikes include:

Easy: suitable for everyone

  • Riverwalk, Downtown Estes Park to Estes Lake: Our Riverwalk can take you between west & east in downtown Estes Park.  Stroll east all the way to the Lake Estes Marina, around the lake past an accessible fishing pier, west to Performance Park, and back into town again.  You decide how far you want to go.
  • Lily Lake:  Follow Highway 7 south about 4 miles to Lily Lake on your right.  An accessible path around a small lake makes for a lovely one mile stroll.
  • Bear Lake:  One of the most popular and highly visited spots in Rock Mountain National Park.  A beautiful drive takes you up to the Bear Lake parking area and right to the lake trail.  Go early; this parking lot fills quickly in the warm weather season.  You can also take a free seasonal RMNP shuttle to Bear Lake and other spots in RMNP.
  • Sprauge Lake: RMNP
  • Sheeps Lake and Alluvial Fan

Close to downtown:

  • Birch Ruins
  • Old Man Mountain
  • Castle Mountain
  • Prospect Mountain 

Moderate: great for families

  • Alberta Falls
  • Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes
  • Cub Lake
  • Ouzel Falls (via Wild Basin)
  • Gem Lake and Lumpy Ridge
  • Kruger Rock (via Hermit Park)
  • Bridel Veil Falls (via McGraw Ranch)
  • Deer Mountain
  • Mills Lake
  • The Loch 

Challenging: for hikers who want to push themselves a bit

  • Black Lake
  • Chapin, Chiquita & Ypsilon (CCY)
  • Twin Sisters
  • Thunder Lake (via Wild Basin)
  • Timberline Falls & Sky Pond
  • Shelf and Solitude Lakes
  • Spectacle Lakes

Hardcore: memorable, bucket list hikes for mountain goats

  • Blue, Green, Italy & Frozen Lakes
  • Andrews Glacier to Taylor Peak
  • Flattop, Hallet and Otis Peaks
  • Across the Continental Divide (Talk to Rick about routes)
  • Longs Peak

Snowshoe Trails:

  • Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes
  • Homestead Meadows
  • Bridal Viel Falls
  • Glacier Gorge/Loch Vale Trailhead


Old Fall River Road (normally opens beginning of July)
Trail Ridge Road (normally opens Memorial Day)
Highway 7 south to Longs Peak

Check with Rick for a good briefing of details and demands for any of these hikes or for other ideas.

Recommended for your backpack:

1.  Water!  Everyone in your party needs to stay hydrated. Take a water bottle or two for each person.

2.  Rain gear.  Be prepared for seasonal afternoon rain showers.  Check your forecast.

3.  Food or snacks. You’ll want a little something for energy.  Plus, its really fun to enjoy something good to eat at trail’s end or along the way.

4.  Layers. Hikes often start out chilly and get warmer.  Wear layers that you can peel off and put back on as comfort requires.

5.  A whistle and signal mirror.  These small items can make you easier to find in an emergency.

6.  First aid.  A couple of bandaids, a tube of antibiotic ointment, a few aspirin, can be awfully welcome for yourself or for a less prepared hiker you meet on the trail.