Kawuneeche, the Arapaho word for coyote, was the name given to this gentle valley of the Upper Colorado River. he trail follows the bank of the Colorado River with views of the Never Summer Mountains. Look for moose (especially during the early morning and early evening hours), songbirds and wildflowers. Features educational exhibits along the trail. Accessible. Strollers permitted. Picnic tables. In the winter, an easy choice to test those skis or snowshoes.
The summit plateau of Deer Mountain offers spectacular views of the Continental Divide. The lower trail generally has little snow, but expect packed and drifted snow on the switchbacks. Snow cover on the summit may be three to five feet deep, making snowshoes or skis necessary for safe travel. Summit 10,013 ft.
The shallow waters of Gem Lake are cradled high among the rounded granite domes of Lumpy Ridge. Untouched by glaciation, this outcrop of 1.8 billion-year-old granite has been sculpted by wind and chemical erosion into a backbone-like ridge. Pillars, potholes, and balanced rocks appear midway along the trail. Spectacular views of the Estes Valley and Continental Divide. Gem Lake's elevation is 8,800 feet. More on Gem Lake trail...
An easy walk around a high-mountain lake with peak views. Tucked into the spruce/fir forest at the base of Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, this 0.6-mile loop is one of Rocky's most famous trails. Unlike other trails listed as accessible by the Park, Bear Lake is not entirely flat and is a more challenging route. As a wedding site it accommodates 2-35 people. More on the Bear Lake trail...
The Cub Lake trail begins in the willow thickets along the Big Thompson River and continues upward through stands of pine and aspen. Ice or deep snow sometimes makes the last mile difficult, and may require the use of skis or snowshoes. Combine with The Pool hike for a six mile loop by taking a connection trail beyond Cub Lake to The Pool.
The Pool is a turbulent water pocket formed below the confluences of Spruce and Fern Creeks with the Big Thompson River. The winter route is along a gravel road, which leads to a trail at the Fern Lake Trailhead. Look for beaver-cut aspen, frozen waterfalls on the cliffs, and the Arch Rocks. Elevation of lake 8,280 ft.
Upper Beaver Meadows offers two hiking routes--the road which winds along the north side of Beaver Creek for two miles and a trail that leaves the dirt road on the left, just inside the barricade. The trail crosses the stream and runs along the south side of the meadow at the base of the moraine. The trail and road meet at the parking area at the west end of Beaver Meadows. You may choose to make a loop by using both the road and trail, or you may follow either route in both directions. Hiking along the trail, you may see elk bedded down among trees near the trail or along the stream.
Southern-most trailhead along Hwy 7. Joins Finch Lake trails. Parking area is too small for horse trailers - park on the east side of the road.
Near the top of Trail Ridge Road (Hwy 34) at the Alpine Visitor Center. Trailheads are located on the East side of Trail Ridge Road, across from the Visitor Center, and from the parking lot.
At the end of Bear Lake Road, 9.5 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. During summer, Shuttle Bus is highly recommended. Although the parking lot at the trailhead is large, it fills up early in the day during summer. Elevation: 9.475 ft.
Along Bear Lake Road after Sprague Lake, across from the Storm Pass trailhead.
About 6.5 miles north(east) of the Grand Lake entrance on Highway 34.
Near the top of Old Fall River Road. About 6.5 miles from Endovalley on the right side (open only in summer, limited parking). Access to 2 backcountry sites.
On the west side of Trail Ridge Road across from the Timber Lake Trailhead, about 9.6 mi north (east) of Grand Lake Entrance Station. Hwy 34 closes here in winter. Access to 9 backcountry sites.
Cow Creek trailhead is near the historic McGraw Ranch, at the end of McGraw Ranch Road, which can be found north of Estes Park off Devils Gulch Road (Limited parking). R off US34 on MacGregor Ave. 3.5 mi. then L on McGraw Ranch Rd. 2.5 mi. to end. Access to 12 backcountry sites along the northern boundary of the Park, and 2 closer in along the Cow Creek trail.
South of Bowen/Baker and north of Onahu Creek trailheads on Hwy 34, about 5.6 mi. north(east) of the Grand Lake Entrance Station.
From Bear Lake Road, turn R toward Moraine Park Campground; after .7 mi. turn L and follow signs to Cub Lake Trailhead . Access to 1 backcountry site.
From Park Headquarters at Beaver Meadows, drive 4.5 miles on Highway 36 to roadside parking on the R at the Deer Ridge Trailhead, just before Junction with Highway 34.
Located at the east end of Grand Lake. From Highway 34, head east on 278 towards Grand Lake for .3 mile, bearing left at all forks until you reach the East Inlet trailhead parking lot. Access to 8 backcountry sites.
Follow Highway 66 past the YMCA about 1 mi. to its end at East Portal. Park in the small day use parking area about 100 yds before the road ends. Access to 3 backcountry sites. Easy turn-around for horse trailers, with space for 1-2 trailers.
West of Grand Lake, L onto CO 66. After 1 mi., L into the campground. Drive toward the lake and turn right into the next campground and park at the Shadow Mountain Dam.
From Bear Lake Road, turn right toward Moraine Park Campground, then left after .7 mi. to the end of the road at Fern Lake parking. Access to 6 backcountry sites.
About 1,000 feet east of the bridge that crosses North St. Vrain Creek to Wild Basin Ranger Station. Wild Basin is about 12.5 miles south of Estes Park on Highway 7. Access to 5 backcountry sites.
Less than 1 mile before Bear Lake along Bear Lake Road. SMALL parking lot. Shuttle bus is highly recommended in summer. Access to 2 backcountry sites.
Located on the west side of the park on US 34, 2.8 mi. north (east) of the Grand Lake Entrance Station. Northern access to the Continental Divide trail loop through the Park,
R at Hollowell Park turn-off, about 3.5 miles south on Bear Lake Road. Shuttle Bus recommended. Access to 2 backcountry sites. Parking is challenging for horse trailers.
Located on the west side of the park on US 34, Kawuneeche Visitor Center.
Join the Lake Estes trail and the Downtown Riverwalk trail from behind the Visitor Center on Big Thompson Avenue.
About .5 mile north of Highway 34 past the Endovalley picnic area along Old Fall River Road. Access to 5 backcountry sites.
Six miles south of the town of Estes Park on Highway 7, past Mary's Lake.
At Longs Peak Ranger Station, 7.5 miles south of Estes Park on Highway 7. Access to 4 backcountry sites.
Drive north from downtown Estes Park on MacGregor Avenue. Cross Hwy. 34 bypass and continue on MacGregor Avenue past MacGregor Ranch to the trailhead parking lot on the left. Access to 4 backcountry sites along Black Canyon trail. Designated horse trailer parking spot for 2 trailers with easy pull-around.
On Trail Ridge Road at the Continental Divide west of the Alpine Visitor Center and 16 mi. east of the Grand Lake Entrance Station.
Drive east from Highway 34 on 278 towards Grand Lake, bearing left at the forks until you reach the parking lot. Trailhead at E. end of parking lot. Tonahutu accesses 4 backcountry sites before the Green Mountain trail; North Inlet and southern part of Continental Divide trail loop through the Park accesses 13 backcountry sites.
Located on the west side of the park on US 34, .5 mile north(east) of the Green Mountain trailhead. Access to 3 backcountry sites.
At the Continental Divide coming up Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park, before the Alpine Visitor Center.
12.5 mi. south of Estes Park on Highway 7, R at Wild Basin Road. Immediately to the R of the Ranger Station Kiosk. Access to 5 backcountry sites.
On the south side of Bear Lake Road. Shuttle Bus recommended.
After Sprague Lake, on the south side of Bear Lake Road across from Bierstadt Lake trailhead. Access to 2 backcountry sites along the Boulder Brook trail.
Grand Lake (west side) of the Park. Trailhead is located on the east side of Hwy 34 across from the Colorado River trailhead. Access to 4 backcountry sites.
Same as North Inlet Trailhead.
Across Highway 7 from Lily Lake.
From the Beaver Meadows entrance, pass Bear Lake Road and continue along Hwy 36 until just before the junction with Hwy 34. Left onto dirt road. Go about 2 mi. to road end.
At Fall River Pass along the east side of Trail Ridge Road about 2 mi. below Rock Cut. Limited parking. Access to 1 backcountry site.
12.5 mi. south of Estes Park on Highway 7, right at Wild Basin Road. Take right fork to Entrance station, then 3 mi. to Ranger Station. Access to 6 backcountry sites. 2 Horse Trailer parking spaces.