Sarah GiekExplorer

Worth the drive

I was hesitant to drive out to this area of the park because of all the precautions I read about the road, but I'm so glad I did! Yes, the road has some rough sections, but if you take it slow it's totally manageable. Head out early as there is limited parking and you will be ticketed if you don't follow the parking signs. And definitely take the short detour to Spray Falls, but use caution near the slippery rocks.

Take the short hike up the falls

The falls themselves are awesome, but it's worth the 20 minutes it takes to walk the path behind and above the falls. The trail will take you along limestone caves before making your way to the overlooks above the falls. Though it's a little out of the way, this adventure could easily be turned in to a day trip by camping in the park and exploring the other trails.

Beautiful Lake

We included Loch Vale as part of a longer loop hike, which featured 5 other alpine lakes (Bear, Dream, Nymph, Emerald, and Haiyaha). Of the 6, this one was my favorite. Even though it felt more secluded than the others, it was still busy with lots of other hikers. Regardless, a worthy hike if you're in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Beautiful stop along longer loop hike

While Alberta Falls is a worthy adventure on its own, this stop can easily be combined with a longer loop or out-and-back hike to the surrounding alpine lakes (Loch Vale, Lake Haiyaha, etc). Because of its easy access, the waterfall can get crowded. Just be patient if you're taking pictures and be respectful of the area.

Beautiful hike

This is a popular hike for good reason; the 5 lakes offer different views of the surrounding mountains, each one equally breathtaking. With minimal elevation gain throughout the hike, it is well-suited for all skill levels. We choose to combine this hike with Loch Vale and Alberta Falls to make a 10-mile loop. Great way to spend the morning!

Nice stop along Highway 82

As if driving along Highway 82 wasn't beautiful enough, this quick stop provided a totally different adventure. We went in the fall, so we didn't go swimming. But I can easily see why this would be a popular summer spot to beat the heat.

Great intro to Colorado hiking

This was the first hike we did after arriving in Colorado. It was a nice, easy hike to start our trip and it gave us a chance to adjust to the altitude. Gem Lake was a bit of a disappointment, as it was very small and rather unremarkable. Nevertheless, the views along the trail were beautiful and it was an enjoyable hike.

I almost forgot I was in Colorado

This place is stunning. Even after seeing the pictures beforehand, I couldn't believe how beautiful the falls were. We went in the late afternoon in the fall on a Monday and there were very few people on the trail. Though I can see why it gets busy in the summer months - short hike with a big payoff!

Amazing sunset views

I didn't plan to catch the sunset at Lake McDonald, but as I was driving out of the park, I just had to stop to watch the show. There were plenty of spots to park alongside the road, so I found an open space and walked down to the shore. I had the place all to myself; a perfect way to end a day of hiking!

Beautiful falls near Crater Lake

I made a quick stop at Toketee Falls after leaving Crater Lake. I wish I would have had more time (and not have been solo) so that I could have ventured down to the base of the falls. Regardless, a beautiful sight to see!

Beyond pictures

It really is hard to capture this place in pictures. The lake is so massive and blue; every stop along the drive provides a different perspective!

Worth an early start

Despite some clouds early on, the sun eventually broke through and produced the most beautiful reflections on the lake. I wandered the Rim Trail taking in the views and different perspectives along the way. Great way to start the day!

Beautiful falls!

While the falls themselves are beautiful, some of my favorite parts of this experience were views of the rushing blue waters along the trail. There were several points along the trail where you could wander off to get a better glimpse. I will note, however, that at Sahalie Falls there is a sign prohibiting visitors from venturing down to the base of the falls, but several people ignored this sign to get a better picture. Don't be like them - read and obey any posted signs!

Nice spot to relax

I stopped here after exploring the nearby falls. The lake is calm and peaceful and there were several people out on the water in their kayaks and canoes. I wish I would have had more time to join them! I took a little time to wander the shores and marvel at the clear blue water. You could easily spend the entire day here!

Beautiful falls

Went there on a Monday afternoon and it wasn't too busy, although the small parking lot was full and cars were parking along the road. Great views from the initial viewpoint, but I would recommend making the short hike up to the upper viewpoint for an even better perspective.

Classic Yellowstone adventure

In an attempt to get away from the crowds, I hiked the short trail to Observation Point to watch the eruption. It was cool to see it from above, but afterwards I wish I would have seen it from ground-level instead (even with all the people). It's remarkable how well-timed the eruptions are. Certainly helps with planning the day!

Amazing experience

I did this hike in April and rented gear from a local outfitter and had a wonderful experience. There were plenty of other people around, but it didn't take away from the hike at all. This is definitely a bucket-list worthy adventure!

Amazing views!

This short hike provides some of the best views of Yosemite, including Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Yosemite Falls. You can also see the now-toppled Ansel Adams tree at the top of the dome, made famous for its improbable location. There were a few people on the trail who were nervous about the final climb to the top, but if you're wearing good shoes, it's no problem at all. A must-do hike if you're in Yosemite!

Fun adventure

I thought the best part of this hike was just in overcoming the obstacles of the log jam and wading through the water. I chose to hang on to the rocky wall on the right side of the gorge to prevent myself (and my bag) from getting soaked. I went around 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon and most of the crowd was leaving at that time, which made the hike back out a little more peaceful.

Great park, beautiful view

I expected the park to be busier on a Sunday evening in the summer, but was pleasantly surprised that it was relatively quiet, even with the walkers/bikers/skateboarders passing through. Nice little spot in the city!

Worth a quick stop

The falls were beautiful, and definitely worth a quick stop. But as everyone has mentioned, the crowds make it difficult to stick around for too long.

Easy hike, big reward

The trail to Falls Creek Falls was an easy hike that required little effort - perfect for every age and skill level. The falls are just stunning. I could have sat there for hours watching the water flow over the two tiers. The trail was fairly busy on a Sunday afternoon, but never felt too crowded. Highly recommend!

The best bang for your buck

If you're looking for classic Mount Rainier views but don't have a lot of time (or even if you do have a lot of time), this hike should definitely be on your list! After the first quarter mile, you begin to move above the trees and get the most breathtaking views of the mountain. The ascent is a steady climb, but it only gets better as you make your way up to the pass; giving you lots of good reasons to stop and take a few pictures/catch your breath.

Wow!

Such great views on an accessible and relatively easy trail. My biggest problem was all the stops I made to take pictures along the way! I'd suggest doing the full Skyline Loop, rather than shortening the route with the Golden Gate Trail. Doing so will take you past more wildflowers as well as Myrtle Falls.