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Estes Park, Colorado

Top Spots in and near Estes Park

  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Ptarmigan Lake via Bear Lake Trailhead

    11.33 mi / 3850 ft gain
    The hike to Ptarmigan Lake has plenty of elevation gain for mountain lovers and views for miles from the Continental Divide. If you want to reach this spot for sunrise you'll need a very early start in the morning, but that also means you won't have to use the shuttle system to Bear Lake. The las...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak

    4.4
    9.73 mi / 3240 ft gain
    Arrive at the Bear Lake Trailhead. Follow abundant signage toward Flattop Peak. Once you arrive at the summit of Flattop identify the unnamed unmaintained trail leading south toward Hallett Peak. Round the head of Tyndall Gorge and ascend the rocky slopes toward the summit by connecting short use...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Snowshoe to Emerald Lake

    4.6
    3.6 mi / 605 ft gain
    Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake was completely different from hiking the trail during summer. Instead of hiking around Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake, I was able to go straight across them (check the ice to make sure it's thick enough to support your weight). Rocky Mountain National Park's...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Climb Notchtop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park

    5.0
    3.5 mi / 1550 ft gain
    Park at Bear Lake, and follow the signs north of the lake to Odessa Lake. However, do NOT go all the way to Odessa Lake; after about 3 miles, when Notchtop is in full view, the trail begins to descend to Odessa Lake. Find an unmarked spur trail to the left which leads to shallow Lake Helene, then...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Hike Flattop Hallett Andrews Loop

    5.0
    10.9 mi / 3238 ft gain
    Bear Lake to Flattop Mountain The trail starts at Bear Lake, where you get a view of Hallett Peak (12,713 ft) which will be the highpoint of your hike. After a short walk on the Bear Lake Trail, take the path to the right. After 1/2 a mile, take a trail left to the north. 1/2 a mile later, stay l...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Dragon's Tail Couloir Climb

    5.0
    Start your day at the Bear Lake parking lot, and head out on the short 2-mile approach that winds uphill past Nymph and Dream Lake. After arriving at Emerald Lake, skirt around the shore on the left side to reach the bottom of the couloir, clearly visibile on the far side of the lake.The 1500 ft ...
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  • Larimer County, Colorado

    Lake Haiyaha

    5.0
    3.64 mi / 800 ft gain
    Begin the hike at the Bear Lake trailhead, this will be the same for any season you chose to hike to the lake. From the Bear Lake trailhead follow the Dream Lake trail for ~1.05 miles to just before Dream Lake itself. The trail is very easy to follow up to this point in all seasons. In winter the...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Photograph the Night Sky Over Trail Ridge Road

    4.0
    The highest continuous paved road in North America, Trail Ridge Road takes you above 12,000 ft to an alpine tundra. Being above treeline means you have unclogged panoramic views of the night sky and any possible meteors. You can start your trip from Grand Lake in the west or Estes Park in the ea...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Watch the Sunset at Forest Canyon Overlook

    5.0
    0.2 mi / 32 ft gain
    Trail Ridge Road is an incredible highway that crosses the mountains between Grand Lake and Estes Park, one of the most famous parts of Rocky Mountain National Park. It features incredible views of the Rockies and the Front Range, as well as the unforgettable experience of being immersed in the t...
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  • Lyons, Colorado

    Winter Camp Near Coulson Gulch

    4.0
    County Road 47 is between Lyons and Estes Park. It's an easy drive from Denver and is a great place to get away for the weekend. I have camped here in the summer, fall, and winter. I have to say that snow camping was my favorite. I didn't see anyone the whole weekend and had the entire area to ex...
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  • Lyons, Colorado

    Camp at Coulson Gulch

    4.0
    9 mi
    Coulson Gulch is a lightly used area of the Roosevelt National Forest which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway without the crowds. This is a great place to camp out under the stars!To get to Coulson Gulch From Lyons, head west on U.S. Highway 36 for about 9 miles. Turn southwest onto Larimer ...
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  • Estes Park, Colorado

    Backpack the Gorge Lakes

    11.5 mi / 3200 ft gain
    Start at the Rock Cut Parking Area. Head east on Trail Ridge Road 0.25 miles to a more gradual and bald western slope leading down into Forest Canyon. This bald is located between two creeks which merge before joining the Big Thompson River (a small creek in mid September). Use the creeks to navi...
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  • Allenspark, Colorado

    Sandbeach Lake Trail

    4.0
    8.56 mi / 2057 ft gain
    Sandbeach Lake is best known for (as you can probably guess) its wide sandy shore. At nearly 50 feet deep, it is one of Rocky Mountain National Parks deepest lakes. If you are looking to fish at the lake, make sure to bring barbless flies and lures. There are six official campsites (1.8 miles Hol...
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  • 1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

    Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

    6.25 mi / 580 ft gain
    While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option. The entrance station isn't manned in the winter, so you'll get in for free, as well! You can put the Wild Basin Trailhead into your GPS, but you'll have to park at the w...
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  • Allenspark, Colorado

    Ouzel & Ogallala Peaks

    17.18 mi / 4403 ft gain
    Begin at the Wild Basin Trailhead in southeastern Rocky Mountain National Park near the town of Allenspark. Plan to start before sunrise if attempting this trek as a day trip in order to avoid afternoon thunderstorms above the treeline. This trip can easily be made into a backpacking experience b...
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  • Allenspark, Colorado

    Hike to Pear Lake

    5.0
    13 mi / 2112 ft gain
    Pear lake is a beautiful alpine lake in the southern Wild Basin region of Rocky Mountain National Park. Once used as a reservoir, Pear Lake has been restored to its natural state and lies in scenic basin below some of the most isolated mountains in the park. The trail to Pear Lake passes through ...
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