Best Easy Day Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park  by Kent Dannen

Best Easy Day Hikes: Rocky Mountain National Park Guide Book

by Kent Dannen (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park  by Kent Dannen
Best Easy Day Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park includes concise descriptions and detailed maps for thirty-six easy-to-follow trails, from flat, family-friendly strolls to popular vistas to hillier wooded pathways leading to secluded lakes. View the high peaks above Wild Basin, traverse glacier-carved lakes to dramatic cliffs at Emerald Lake, or meander through meadows and aspen groves by Bridal Veil Falls. There’s even an entire section on winter hiking for the year-round adventurer.

© 2014 Kent Dannen/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Rocky Mountain National Park" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 36.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 36.

A gentle trail leads to a misty falls within a spectacular defile. The easy walk to Adams Falls rises gradually amid lodgepole pines and glacially deposited boulders. Adams Falls is within a gorge that evidently follows a geologic crack formed during the uplift of the Rockies and subsequently altered by glacial scouring and water erosion.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.6
The hike to Alberta Falls follows a well-constructed path to one of the park’s most photographed waterfalls. This easy path to a waterfall is one of the most popular short hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the way to Alberta Falls are many aspen that grew after a 1900 forest fire. Particularly with their fall color, these trees make this an extremely pleasant trail. Heavy use has dictated that a certain percentage of the throngs, those who are ignorant of proper wilderness behavior, have carved their initials on the white aspen bark along this trail. Thankfully, most of this damage appears to be fairly old.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 1.8
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These cascades display lovely pink Calypso orchids in midsummer. Forest fire has opened views of high peaks above Wild Basin. Calypso Cascades is a popular destination in Rocky Mountain National Park, but by starting at the Allens Park Trailhead, the hike to the cascades is free from the bustle of crowds until you reach the destination. The trail offers interesting scenery opened by a 1978 forest fire.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.2
This path perambulates the perimeter of the park’s most popular lake.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
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Snow on the route to Hollowell Park often is adequate and shaded by heavy forest after a short ascent on an open, southfacing slope. This trail leads to Bierstadt Lake, a popular destination for backcountry travelers in Rocky Mountain National Park in both winter and summer. Frequently during the winter and spring, snowshoes or skis must be carried over some relatively snowless sections when hikers are traveling beyond the lake to meet Bear Lake Road in Hollowell Park. Bright markers delineate the 4.5-mile route from the Bear Lake parking lot to Hollowell Park. Markers also lead to an alternative destination at the summer parking area for the Bear Lake Shuttle. Begin with a short, steep climb to the trail’s high point, about 0.5 mile from Bear Lake. Thereafter the route is downhill for the remaining 4 miles. At the high point the Odessa Lake Trail heads left from the Bierstadt Lake Trail. The National Park Service considers the trail to Odessa Gorge to be avalanche prone.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
After a short climb, this walkway wanders through the woods to a uniquely formed lake.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3
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A lush trail passes tumbledown historic structures.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 7
Meadows and aspen groves surround the way to a falls easy to imagine from its name.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6
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Short and flat, this walkway amid meanders of the Colorado River can take wheelchair-bound visitors through a variety of water-dependent habitats.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.6
The Cub Lake Trail meanders across a meadow recovering well from wildfire damage, then it climbs through burned forest to the lake, still displaying yellow pond lilies.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6.3
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Ascending past glacier-carved lakes, the track ends below dramatic cliffs encircling a timberline tarn.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
A track across alpine tundra descends amid expansive views of the Never Summer Range.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
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This one-lane byway drops through three life zones and is closed to vehicles during much of the year, when it makes an excellent route for hikers.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
This trail winds amid uncounted granite monoliths to a gem’s setting on the east end of Lumpy Ridge. Watch for bitterbrush blooming first near the surface of rocks that are solar collectors, radiating heat to create early spring before the season arrives for most other plants. Even the most unimaginative of hikers can see a pair of owls in the two huge granite pillars that rise above the trailhead on Lumpy Ridge. Equally obvious is Paul Bunyan’s Boot about halfway to Gem Lake. Wind and mildly acidic rain have sculpted countless other abstract monoliths along the trail into formations fascinating to both romantic and prosaic minds. It is a natural playground for children, but parents need to supervise and warn kids to avoid falls from slick rocks.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3.6
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Often crowded on the first half, much less so on the second, this trail climbs and descends to a lovely lake whose name is challenging to pronounce and worse to spell. The first half of the hike to Lake Haiyaha follows one of the most popular (and crowded) trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Avoid the crowds and experience the trail at its best by starting early in the day, as soon after sunrise as you can bear. At the beginning of the hike, there are striking views of Hallett Peak above Bear Lake, seen by detouring a few yards from the Dream Lake Trail.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
Scenic as the euphonious Loch Vale Trail is in summer, it is even more so when low-angle winter light accents the textures of snow and stone on the peaks. One of the most popular trails in Rocky Mountain National Park in the summer, the path from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to Alberta Falls is pleasant for winter travelers. But the frozen falls are probably less interesting than in the summer, and portions of the trail beyond often are swept clear of snow by the wind. Drifts in other areas may be hip deep. A pattern of on again, off again with snowshoes or skis would be likely on this slope. The large spruces and firs in the stream course present lovely forms and textures when clothed in snow. The risk of avalanche along the valley floor is slight, but caution is always necessary, especially after high winds following a snowstorm. This typical pattern may set up unstable snow slopes in atypical locations.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
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A ramble along the peaceful headwaters of the Colorado River passes faint ruins of faint mining dreams set in pastoral majesty. Lulu City was never a city, and it was never a lulu. Lulu City was a vain hope that silver deposits in the Never Summer Range would be rich enough to exploit profitably. The streets laid out on paper in 1880 never passed more than the few buildings it took to serve 50 to 200 residents until the community’s complete abandonment by 1884. These buildings are gone, and the few remaining logs and stone foundations and rusting bits of mining machinery are not obvious. Distracted by the rich scenery, hikers often give no thought to the riches sought by Lulu City founders and residents. Even history enthusiasts usually are more impressed by the unbankable riches of wildflower color and jagged, snow-accented skyline than by the hopes of silver miners.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 7.4
This very popular hike leads to a rock-rimmed lake situated dramatically below Longs Peak and the extremely jagged Keyboard of the Winds.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.6
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Rarely removed from falling water music, this wilderness walk passes through enclosing woods to plummeting falls.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.4
Downhill all the way, the trail between Glacier Gorge and Sprague Lake provides a pleasant ski route after recent storms have piled up enough snow.
Estes Park, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.1
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