Parika Lake lies outside of the park boundary and is one of the classic tundra lake hikes.
A long, gradual climb through thick forest to the lake.
This trail offers a barren and rocky landscape, and the last section is difficult to access. 2 backcountry sites.
The East Inlet Trail leads to Lone Pine Lake and subalpine forest before reaching the soggy ground around Lake Verna. 2 backcountry sites.
Lone Pine Lake is past East Inlet meadows and Adams Falls on the East Inlet trail. The lake contains a rock island that once housed a single lodgepole pine in a crack. 3 backcountry sites near the lake.
Long, beautiful hike on a trail mostly used by backpackers. Llamas allowed, but no other stock. 3 backcountry sites.
Spur trail off the CDT to a high mountain lake at the base of Andrews Peak.
Lake Nokoni is a glacial tarn surrounded by beautiful landscape, including great wildflowers.
The hike to Timber Lake travels through dense forest and crosses several creeks, and uses the flank of Jackstraw Mountain. The rugged terrain of the lake hides the summit of Mount Ida. 5 backcountry sites along the Timber Lake trail.
The Lawn Lake trail climbs to a pair of beautiful alpine lakes (Lawn Lake and Crystal Lake) along the course of the Roaring River. The river shows the massive damaged caused by a dam failure in 1982 that claimed the lives of three campers. A strenuous snowshoe in the winter. 5 backcountry sites along the trail before the Lake.
This trail offers a visit to Chipmunk Lake, well-composed scenes of Longs Peak, pine forests carpeted with grouseberry and bearberry, and dramatic views of the canyon gouged out by rampaging water that broke loose from Lawn Lake Dam in 1982. You'll see Ypsilon Mountain's extraordinary southeast face with its Y shaped gash rising sharply from the shoreline. More on Ypsilon Lake trail...
A continuation of the Lawn Lake trail to one of the deepest lakes in the park. Take the left fork after leaving Lawn Lake. Fairchild Mountain is the backdrop.
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...
From Bear Lake, a level walk through forest, with Continental Divide views. More climb if you start from the Bierstadt Lake trailhead. Iconic trail to see fall Aspen gold. Trail from the Glacier Basin Park and Ride lot also joins the Bierstadt Lake trail. More on Bierstadt Lake trail...
Notchtop Mountain provides the backdrop to views in the area. Two Rivers Lake is found along the hike to Odessa Lake from Bear Lake. 1 backcountry site.
Pass the famous Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls. A gorgeous lake with views of the Continental Divide (Little Matterhorn and Notchtop Mountain). It is a heavily used area. 2 backcountry sites near the Lake, and 2 closer to the trailhead. More on Fern Lake trail...
There are two approaches to Odessa Lake, another magnificent feature of the Bear Lake region: a 4.1 mile route along the Flattop trail from Bear Lake, and a 4.5 mile route from the Fern Lake trailhead. The longer route is also steeper, but you get the pleasure of seeing Fern Creek, The Pool, Fern Falls, and Fern Lake itself along the way. 1 backcountry site. More on Odessa Lake trail...
The hike to the Loch is filled with mountain scenes as you pass Alberta Falls and the Glacier Knobs, then travels alongside and above Icy Brook. It's one of the most popular destinations in the park and well worth spending the day and exploring, while soaking in the majesty and serenity. More on The Loch trail...
Three quarters of a mile past Black Lake, following the inlet stream. Scramble over rock slabs - no trail. Above treeline.
Hike past Alberta Falls and The Loch to reach a cascading fall over a black granite wall - Timberline Falls. The falls are fed from the runoff of the Lake of Glass. Another .4 miles away is Sky Pond with great views of Taylor Glacier and Taylor Peak, and Powell Peak. More on Sky Pond trail...
A popular stop on a drive up Bear Lake Road with a picnic area and beautiful views of the Continental Divide. There is an easy and accessible half-mile-long trail around the lake with a fishing pier. An accessible backcountry camping site is located in the area. A good place for a short winter walk, or to try those crosscountry skis on a frozen lake. Good views of the Continental Divide. More on Sprague Lake trail...
Hike past the Arch Rock formations, The Pool, and the cascading water of Fern Falls to reach the spur trail to Spruce Lake. The stroll to the marshy shores of Spruce Lake leads through boulders left by glaciers. 1 backcountry site.
Lily Lake offers splendid views of Longs Peak and Mount Meeker amid rocky outcrops. A level packed gravel trail encircles the lake featuring educational exhibits. Accessible trail and fishing pier. Strollers permitted. Enos Mills, the "father of Rocky Mountain National Park," enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Look for wildflowers in the spring and early summer. In the winter the trail around the lake is often suitable for walking in boots, or as a short snowshoe or ski.
Pass through 3 climate zones on the way to this magnificent alpine lake at the base of the east face of Longs Peak (the Diamond) - one of the most popular hikes in the park.
From Copeland Lake, this trail is a steep hike through Copeland Moraine, requiring significant effort due to the steepness of the trail. The lake itself provides a pretty end to the trail. 6 backcountry sites.
Former reservoir, excellent wildflower displays. 1 backcountry site. Horses not permitted on the last 1/2 mile of the trail to the lake.
Lightning strike started a large fire in 1978, unique landscape 1 backcountry site.
Great base area for exploring stunning scenery. 3 backcountry sites.
Awesome views of high peaks, remote, well worth the long hike
Snowbanks last late into the summer
No established trail, best views from tall rock outcrops nearby
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 Bear Lake Road Construction, 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.