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  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    For a mountain person, you just can't beat the Rockies. Home to some of the most glorious mountains in the world, countless lakes and rivers, world-class rock climbing and miles of trails, this place belongs on everyone's national park bucket list.

    Top Spots in and near Rocky Mountain National Park

    • Estes Park, Colorado

      Backpack to Odessa Lake via Fern Lake Trailhead

      4.0
      9.65 mi / 1890 ft gain
      Odessa Lake seems to be one of the true hidden gems of Rocky Mountain National Park. Don't get me wrong, you will likely see some folks there, but it is a far cry from the other crowded Bear Lake trailhead lakes. There are two ways to reach Odessa; one, from the Bear Lake Trailhead, and the oth...
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    • Estes Park, Colorado

      Hike from Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead

      5.0
      10 mi / 2100 ft gain
      On this Rocky Mountain hike you’ll explore 4 picturesque mountain lakes and a 60 foot waterfall. Completing this hike requires familiarizing yourself with Rocky Mountain National Park’s free shuttle system. Hikes along Bear Lake Road are some of the busiest in the park. Trailhead parking lots fi...
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    • Estes Park, Colorado

      Photograph Bear Lake

      4.6
      Bear Lake is a popular tourist destination in Rocky Mountain NP, but when the sun is low in the sky or the stars are out you'll find the big crowd are gone. The lake is beautiful at sunrise and sunset but especially photogenic in the fall or at winter's end. While it doesn't have the darkest nig...
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    • Estes Park, Colorado

      Dream Lake

      4.9
      1.97 mi / 402 ft gain
      Begin at the Bear Lake Trailhead, located at the end of Bear Lake Road, 9 miles from the entrance on Highway 36. Follow the signs to Dream Lake, passing Nymph Lake about halfway through. At 1.1 miles you will reach Dream Lake. The views of 12,713-foot Hallett Peak and 12,324-foot Flattop Mountain...
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    • Estes Park, Colorado

      Winter Hike Flattop Mountain

      4.8
      8.6 mi / 2850 ft gain
      To catch the sunrise, begin at the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the trailhead, veer right around bear lake and continue along the Odessa Lake/Flattop Mountain trail. This will begin to ascend on your right.After approximately 1 mile, the Flattop Mountain Trail will sp...
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    • Estes Park, Colorado

      Nymph Lake via Bear Lake Trailhead

      4.8
      1.13 mi / 245 ft gain
      While not as popular as Dream Lake, Nymph Lake is just as beautiful. The hike to Nymph Lake is an easy hike just over 1 mile. You start from the Bear Lake Trail head and can go further on to Dream Lake and Emerald Lake if you want to. Both Dream and Emerald Lakes are also stunning and very photog...
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    • 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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    • Larimer County, Colorado

      Lake Helene and Two Rivers Lake

      5.0
      6.18 mi / 1230 ft gain
      Begin the hike by following the Bear Lake trail and after ~.45 miles take the trail to the right towards Odessa Lake and Flattop Mountain. Continue along the trail as it climbs above Bear Lake to the split with the Flattop Mountain trail at approximately 1 mile. The trail continues toward Odessa ...
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    • Larimer County, Colorado

      Emerald Lake via Bear Lake Trailhead

      4.9
      3.15 mi / 650 ft gain
      Anyone who has been to Rocky Mountain National Park, or any national park for that matter, knows they get CROWDED. One of the best ways to beat the crowds are to arrive before the sun comes up (or stay after it goes down). That's how we opted to do Emerald Lake in RMNP. After spending the night ...
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    • Larimer County, Colorado

      Nymph, Dream, Emerald, and Haiyaha Lakes

      4.9
      4.51 mi
      From the Bear Lake Trailhead, the path to Nymph Lake is a moderate paved trail. At the lake there are several places to sit and take in the scenery. This is also where you'll find the most people. From here, continue up the trail towards Dream Lake. On the way, the trail forks. The left will take...
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    Camping and Lodging in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Moraine Park Campground
    Estes Park, Colorado

    Moraine Park Campground

    Glacier Basin Campground
    Larimer County, Colorado

    Glacier Basin Campground

    Estes Park / Rocky Mountain National Park KOA Holiday
    Estes Park, Colorado

    Estes Park / Rocky Mountain National Park KOA Holiday

    Olive Ridge
    Allenspark, Colorado

    Olive Ridge

    Green Ridge
    Grand Lake, Colorado

    Green Ridge

    Cutthroat Bay Group
    Grand Lake, Colorado

    Cutthroat Bay Group

    Guides, Insights and Stories from Rocky Mountain National Park

    The Three Types of Rocky Mountain National Park Hikers

    The Three Types of Rocky Mountain National Park Hikers

    Lysianne Peacock

    Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell Complete an Insane Linkup in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell Complete an Insane Linkup in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Kyle Frost

    New Timed Entry System for Rocky Mountain National Park

    New Timed Entry System for Rocky Mountain National Park

    Brynn Schmidt

    How To Get Great Winter Photos At Emerald Lake

    How To Get Great Winter Photos At Emerald Lake

    Kyle Reader

    It's Time for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park

    It's Time for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Brynn Schmidt

    Rocky Mountain National Park's 30 Best Hikes

    Rocky Mountain National Park's 30 Best Hikes

    The Outbound Collective