Colorado Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails on the North Side of Rocky Mountain National Park

Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock
3.2 miles
Elev. Gain 880 ft
easy
Trailhead

Along the trail to Gem Lake, a curious balanced rock called Paul Bunyan's boot.

Black Canyon Trail
Black Canyon Trail
3.3 miles
Elev. Gain 560 ft
easy
Trailhead
Horse Trail

This trail intersects the Cow Creek Trail, and forms part of the Gem lake loop.  Goes through the old McGregor Ranch valley, past towering Lumpy Ridge rock formations.  Make it a loop hike by dropping down the trail into the McGraw Ranch valley.

West Creek Falls
West Creek Falls
2 miles
Elev. Gain 600 ft
easy
Trailhead

Perfect area for quiet getaways.

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
3.2 miles
Elev. Gain 1060 ft
moderate
Trailhead

An attractive day hike past McGraw Ranch up a lightly forested valley, following a stream to a pretty waterfall.  More on Bridal Veil Falls trail...

Cow Creek Trail
Cow Creek Trail
9.5 miles
Elev. Gain 2500 + ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse Trail

This trail extends past the Bridal Falls turnoff (3 mi.) as the Dark Mountain trail (1.7 mi), then joins the Black Canyon trail to intersect the Lawn Lake trail shortly below the lake (4.8 mi.).  There are many beaver ponds along the trail as it follows Cow Creek.

North Boundary Trail
North Boundary Trail
5.8 miles
Elev. Gain 1760 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Use this trail to connect to the Lost Lake trail system.

North Fork Trail
North Fork Trail
9.2 miles
Elev. Gain 2924 ft
moderate
Trailhead

This trail begins outside of the park, and travels through the Comanche Peak Wilderness before reaching the park boundary. The trail ends at Lost Lake. It intersects the Stormy Peaks trail and North Boundary trail along the way.

Stormy Peaks Trail
Stormy Peaks Trail
7.1 miles
Elev. Gain 2640 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Stormy Peaks connects Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus in the Comanche Peak Wilderness and the North Fork Trail inside the park.

Beaver Mountain Loop
Beaver Mountain Loop
5.9 miles
Elev. Gain 1971 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Leaving the Old Ute Trail, you'll pass through forest and meadows, crossing Beaver Brook and several aspen-filled drainages. Great view of Longs Peak. Forms a loop hike about 5 miles long. Also used by horseback riders.

Deer Mountain
Deer Mountain
3 miles
Elev. Gain 1083 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Deer Mountain gives a 360 degree view of east Rocky Mountain National Park.

Deer Mountain in the Winter
Deer Mountain in the Winter
3 miles
Elev. Gain 1083 ft
difficult
Trailhead

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.

Lake Estes
3.75 miles
Elev. Gain 0 ft
easy
Trailhead

Lake Estes in the town of Estes Park is ringed by a lovely, wide, paved path that meanders through a bird sanctuary, beside a golf course, along the Big Thompson River and Fish Creek, through the lakeside picnic area and along the lakeshore. Wonderful for strolling, biking, dog walking, birding, and watching the elk that like the golf course grass, it's a town treasure!

Alluvial Fan
Alluvial Fan
0.15 miles
Elev. Gain 20 ft
easy
Trailhead
Picnic Area
Fishing Access

Two parking areas and picnic areas bookend the Alluvial Fan trail that takes you to a bridge over the river and good viewing point of the effects of the Lawn Lake Flood. Read more on More on Alluvial Fan trail...

Chasm Falls
Chasm Falls
2.5 miles
Elev. Gain 400 ft
moderate
Trailhead

A favorite winter hike to icy waterfalls goes up Old Fall River Road about 1 mile when it's closed to vehicles.

Lawn Lake Trail
Lawn Lake Trail
6.2 miles
Elev. Gain 2447 ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse 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.

Ypsilon Lake
Ypsilon Lake
4.5 miles
Elev. Gain 2180 ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse Trail

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...

Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake
7.7 miles
Elev. Gain 2972 ft
difficult
Trailhead

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.

Gem Lake
Gem Lake
1.8 miles
Elev. Gain 910 ft
easy
Trailhead
Horse Trail

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...

Potts Puddle
Potts Puddle
7.5 miles
Elev. Gain 3014 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Follow the Black Canyon trail to about a half a mile before it intersects with the Lawn Lake trail.

Lodging Availability

Castle Mountain

Hideout Cabins

EP Central