Rocky Mountain Park Trails in Colorado

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Rocky Mountain Park Trails

You can choose from 355 miles of trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hike to a lake, to the top of Longs Peak, or take off for a backpacking trip.

  • Enjoy Gem Lake’s gorgeous rock formations 
  • Twin Sisters has spectacular views of Longs 
  • Emerald Lake is a 3 in 1: see two other lakes along the way 
  • Bierstadt is an easy ascent with amazing scenery 
  • For a longer hike, traverse across the Park to Flattop

Where can I go to hike Rocky Mountain Park trails?

If you hike trails inside the entrance of the Park, there is a fee of $20, which covers entrance for seven consecutive days. You can access a few free trailheads along the east boundary of the Park.

If you are backpacking and staying in the park overnight, you must pay for a campsite. Fees vary. Register your site through the backcountry office, located at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.

Ask Rocky Mountain National Park about current trail conditions: (970) 586-1206 Daily 8am-4:30pm.

Gem Lake
This glistening lake sits near the top of Lumpy Ridge just north of Estes. You can look down into town, and up at gorgeous granite rock formations.
Don’t forget to look for The Twin Owls: two enormous rocks side-by-side with an owl’s profile. This trail is located on the northeast boundary of the Park. Entrance is free. 

  • Distance: 3.4 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 2.5 hours 
  • Elevation: 948 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Lumpy Ridge Trailhead

Twin Sisters Peaks
Enjoy the coverage of the pine forest and gaze southwest at Longs Peak, the Park’s 14,000-foot peak. From the trailhead you can see Lily Lake (Lily Lake Trailhead), which has a nice trail that loops around it.

  • Distance: 8 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 4 hours 
  • Elevation: 2,428 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Twin Sisters Trailhead (Across the street from Lily Lake Trailhead).

Emerald Lake
A strand of lakes stretches along this trail. You will pass by Nymph Lake and Dream Lake before your destination: Emerald Lake. Enjoy the views of Flattop Mountain and Hallet Peak. 

  • Distance: 3.6 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 2 hours 
  • Elevation: 605 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead

Bierstadt Lake
Once you reach this haven, enjoy the scenic view of Longs’ Peak. Have a picnic on one of the lake’s sandy shores.
Bear Lake is an extremely popular point for its surrounding trails. In the wintertime, they are some of the best trails in the park for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 

  • Distance: 5 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 2.5 hours 
  • Elevation: 556 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead

Flattop Mountain: West approach
For a longer traverse, hike through meadows and trees all the way to Flattop. Go left where Green Mountain Trail intersects Tonahutu trail. Take a break and pitch a tent at Renegade campsite, a little over 7 miles in. 

  • Distance: 23.2 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 13 hours 
  • Elevation: 3530 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Green Mountain Trailhead

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