Along the trail to Gem Lake, a curious balanced rock called Paul Bunyan's boot.
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.
Perfect area for quiet getaways.
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.
Use this trail to connect to the Lost Lake trail system.
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 connects Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus in the Comanche Peak Wilderness and the North Fork Trail inside the park.
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.
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 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!
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 damage 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...
Follow the Black Canyon trail to about a half a mile before it intersects with the Lawn Lake trail.