Colorado Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails on the West Side of Rocky Mountain National Park

Baker Pass
Baker Pass
5.75 miles
Elev. Gain 2389 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Baker Pass in the Never Summer Range crosses the Continental Divide into the Michigan River drainage to the west of Mount Nimbus.  It can be reached by either the Baker Gulch trail, or from just before Parika Lake by contouring NE to the Pass.

Parika Lake
Parika Lake
5 miles
Elev. Gain 2496 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Parika Lake lies outside of the park boundary and is one of the classic tundra lake hikes.

Bowen Lake
Bowen Lake
7 miles
Elev. Gain 2160 ft
difficult
Trailhead

A long, gradual climb through thick forest to the lake.

Bowen Pass
Bowen Pass
7.5 miles
Elev. Gain 2596 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Bowen Pass is part of the Arapaho National Forest, and is a steep, short hike from Bowen Lake.

Little Yellowstone
5.1 miles
Elev. Gain 1021 ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse Trail

This area has unique geological features, and resembles the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

LuLu City
LuLu City
3.7 miles
Elev. Gain 350 ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse Trail

Follows a gentle grade to the site of the old 1880's gold mining camp of Lulu City. Not much remains now, but this historic area is written up in a trail booklet available at visitor centers for a nominal price. Keep an eye out for moose. Makes a gentle ski tour in the winter.

La Poudre Pass
7.4 miles
Elev. Gain 1501 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Heads north, following the Colorado River to the Lulu City site. .9 mile beyond is the Little Yellowstone trail that heads to Poudre Pass near the north boundary of the Park, the Neota Wilderness, and Long Draw reservoir. 2 backcountry sites.

Lake of the Clouds
6.9 miles
Elev. Gain 2440 ft
difficult
Trailhead

This trail offers a barren and rocky landscape, and the last section is difficult to access. 2 backcountry sites.

Skeleton Gulch
Skeleton Gulch
6.7 miles
Elev. Gain 1840 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Past Lulu City, follow Lulu Creek to junction with Thunder Pass trail. 1 backcountry site up Skeleton Gulch, and 2 near trail junction.

Thunder Pass
Thunder Pass
6.9 miles
Elev. Gain 2321 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Once used by stage coaches, Thunder Pass is now an excellent trail, with the Michigan Lakes beyond it a must see.

Coyote Valley
Coyote Valley
1 miles
Elev. Gain 0 ft
easy
Trailhead

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.

Adams Falls
Adams Falls
0.3 miles
Elev. Gain 79 ft
easy
Trailhead

The most popular walk in the Grand Lakes region - a short and easy stroll thru aspen and lodgepole pine forest, passing beautiful out-croppings of grey-black rock and river scenery. Watch for an early morning rainbow shining through the falls spray.  Adams Falls trail...

Lake Verna
Lake Verna
13.8 miles
Elev. Gain 1809 ft
moderate
Trailhead

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
Lone Pine Lake
11 miles
Elev. Gain 1494 ft
moderate
Trailhead

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.

Shadow Mountain Lookout
4.8 miles
Elev. Gain 1533 ft
moderate
Trailhead

This trail ends at the Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Big Meadows
Big Meadows
3.2 miles
Elev. Gain 1110 ft
easy
Trailhead

The Onahu, Tonahutu, and Green Mountain trails intersect to form a circle route with a few steep sections of short duration. Big Meadows is a sea of grasses and wild flowers rimmed by hills. 3 backcountry sites.

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
30 miles
Elev. Gain 3500 ft
moderate
Trailhead

The entire Continental Divide National Scenic Trail corridor is approximately 3,100 miles (4,988 kilometers) long, from the Canadian border in Montana to the border of Mexico in New Mexico, ranging from 4,000 ft to over 13,000 ft in elevation. The 30 miles of trail looping through RMNP pass through beautiful alpine tundra and scenery. 17 backcountry sites.  Continental Divide trail in RMNP...

Flattop Mountain (from Green Mountain)
10.3 miles
Elev. Gain 3530 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Flattop Mountain can be accessed from either side of the Park, thus provides a cross-park route from Estes Park to Grand Lake.

Haynach Lakes
8.3 miles
Elev. Gain 2286 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Long, beautiful hike on a trail mostly used by backpackers. Llamas allowed, but no other stock. 3 backcountry sites.

Valley Trail
Valley Trail
5.5 miles
Elev. Gain -192 ft
easy
Trailhead

Easy loop through the Kawuneechee Valley.

Cascade Falls
3.5 miles
Elev. Gain 300 ft
moderate
Trailhead

A wide, roaring waterfall with great picnic spots on the flat rocks. The trail passes through lodgepole pines and follows North Inlet Creek.

Tonahutu Creek Trail
Tonahutu Creek Trail
13 miles
Elev. Gain 3618 ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse Trail

Branches south off of the Green Mountain trail through Big Meadows, and connects to the Kawuneeche VC.

Lake Nanita
Lake Nanita
11 miles
Elev. Gain 2240 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Spur trail off the CDT to a high mountain lake at the base of Andrews Peak.

Lake Nokoni
Lake Nokoni
9.9 miles
Elev. Gain 2240 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Lake Nokoni is a glacial tarn surrounded by beautiful landscape, including great wildflowers.

North Inlet Falls
North Inlet Falls
7.6 miles
Elev. Gain 1000 ft
difficult
Trailhead

Pass through Summerland Park and North Inlet Meadow on the way to the falls. Cascade Falls is 3.5 miles up this trail.

Green Mountain
Green Mountain
2 miles
Elev. Gain 1519 ft
moderate
Trailhead

The Green Mountain Trail once was a wagon road used to haul hay from Big Meadows. Summit of Green Mtn is at 10,313 ft.

Timber Lake
Timber Lake
4.8 miles
Elev. Gain 2060 ft
moderate
Trailhead

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.

Granite Falls
Granite Falls
5.2 miles
Elev. Gain 1046 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Follows an easy grade upstream on Tonahutu Creek after skirting the upper end of Big Meadows on the Tonahutu Creek Trail.  Pictures...

Long Meadows
3.7 miles
Elev. Gain 1475 ft
moderate
Trailhead

Because the trail disappears in the marshes of Long Meadows (it's swampy), it's termed by the Park Service a "cross-country experience".

Onahu Creek Loop
Onahu Creek Loop
6.5 miles
Elev. Gain 1148 ft
moderate
Trailhead
Horse Trail

A quiet loop highlighted by Big Meadows. 3 backcountry sites.

From the top of Granite Falls

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