hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
Hiking in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is pretty close to heaven! If you go for a hike in RMNP you’ll be among the 265,000 acres (107,300 ha) of nature. RMNP has everything you need for a great hiking holiday. Rocky Mountain National Park has easy hikes, long hikes, summit hikes, and looped hikes through meadows and trees. There are waterfalls, lakes, flowers, and animals of all kinds.
With well over 362.3mi of different hiking trails to choose from, you can spend weeks exploring all the RMNP hikes.
There are so many great hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ve compiled our view on the 10 best hikes in RMNP. But be aware, with trailheads between 7999ft – 11998ft, the elevation can make these RMNP hikes seem more difficult than the raw numbers would imply. Check out our 10 Best Rocky Mountain National Park hikes below.
THE TOP 10 HIKES IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLORADO
- Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes (6.1mi, 722ft, 3-4h): Hiking to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes takes you to just a few of the hundreds of lakes to see while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Every one of them is unique and beautiful in its own way. This hike takes you to five different lakes, all with unique views and special qualities that give each of them their own sense of beauty.
- Sky Pond and Lake of Glass (8.5mi, 1726ft, 4-6h): The Sky Pond and Lake of Glass hike is a favorite hike for locals. You get a beautiful glimpse of Rocky Mountain National Park on this fun, yet challenging hike that takes you by stunning lakes and up a waterfall!
- Chasm Lake (8.3mi, 2664ft, 4.5-6h): The Chasm Lake hike is a challenging trail on The Diamond face side of Longs Peak. Don't be fooled by the distance, the hike starts at altitude and then you climb through the trees into the alpine tundra to be greeted by wildflowers and waterfalls before reaching Chasm Lake. This is a classic hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Lake Haiyaha (3.7mi, 797ft, 3-4h): The hike to Lake Haiyaha is quite steep, but well worth the amazing alpine lake nestled into a panoramic mountain cirque! This is a great hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Trail Ridge Road (1.1mi, 151ft, 1h): Trail Ridge Road climbs high into the alpine tundra to an elevation of 12,183 ft (3,713 m), with incredible panoramic views of RMNP. Trail Ridge Road itself is the destination with many unique and exciting hikes along the way! Most are short so make a day out of travelling the road and stopping for several hikes.
- The Loch (5.5mi, 1066ft, 2.5-3.5h): The Loch is a great hike in RMNP, and getting to The Loch, a large alpine lake at the intersection between Andrews Glacier and Taylor Glacier, offers stunningly clear reflections of the surrounding peaks.
- Twin Sisters Trail (7.0mi, 2057ft, 3-4.5h): The Twin Sisters Trail is a fun summit hike that gives you a taste of many features of Rocky Mountain National Park. Hiking through wooded, rocky, and alpine terrain, it is a great way to see so much of what RMNP has to offer.
- Bluebird Lake (9.8mi, 1608ft, 4-6h): Bluebird Lake is located in the lesser known Wild Basin area of RMNP and offers amazing panoramic views of RMNP and Longs Peak. Be sure to tack on some extra time not only for the views at the top, but the whole route is scenic and breathtaking!
- Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak (8.8mi, 2841ft, 5-6.5h): The Flattop Summit hike can be a challenge as you climb towards the summit, but you are rewarded with stunning views. As you are hiking you will be able to peer down onto some of the park’s other hikes such as Dream Lake, Sprague Lake, and Emerald Lake.
- Gem Lake and Balanced Rock (7.2mi, 1558ft, 3-4.5h): Aptly named, the Gem Lake and Balanced Rock Hike is on the Northern Side of Rocky Mountain National Park in the Lumpy Ridge Area. This unique trail has you hiking through lumps of rocks, beautiful aspen trees and has great views into Estes Park. Gem Lake truly is a gem, and acts as a gateway to a truly unique rock formation – Balanced Rock.
The best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
Yes, there are more than 10
Rocky Mountain National Park is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park that you should take a look at as well
Are we missing your favourite hike?
Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.