Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Estes Park. As the Base Camp to Rocky Mountain National Park, and surrounded by National Forest, there is no shortage of trails! Join us as we highlight a new trail each week! If you've made the trek before, let us know what you thought of the hike, or share any favorites you may have!
Estes Park Hiking Tips
Being one of the most popular activities, hiking trails and trailheads can get busy. Hike early (before 9 A.M.) or late (after 4 P.M.) to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the cooler weather. Use the shuttles! You can shuttle all of the way from the large parking lot at the Events Complex into Rocky Mountain National Park! Keep a close eye on the weather, especially during the summer afternoons when thunderstorms can roll in quickly. Remember to bring water, sunscreen and layers. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints (on the trail), and don't touch or feed the wildlife! They are wild after all.
Twin Sisters - July 21, 2017
It always feels good to bag a summit, and you'll certainly earn it on Twin Sisters. At a 7 mile round trip, with nearly 2500 elevation gain, this hike is a doozy, but once you get to the top, you're offered outstanding views of Longs Peak and the Continental Divide. This trail takes you above the tree-line, which is amazing, but also becomes a safety issue during the frequent afternoon thunderstorms. You'll have a wide view of any weather headed your way, so keep an eye out, and don't leave yourself exposed.
Gem Lake - July 14, 2017
A shorter hike, at only 3.5 miles round-trip, Gem Lake still hosts plenty of elevation gain! You'll climb 1,000 ft from the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead to your final destination. A small lake embedded among surrounding cliffs. Offering wonderful rocks to sit and enjoy the stillness, Gem Lake is a great place for a picnic!
Black Lake - July 8, 2017
A true alpine lake, with other treasures along the way. This strenuous hike takes off from Glacier Gorge Trailhead. You'll get a view of Alberta Falls en route to Mills Lake. This is a great place to stop for a beautiful view and grab a snack and water break. It can also be a great turning around place, if you don't want the full 9.6 mile round trip. However, trekking past Mills will reward you as you pass Jewel Lake and Ribbon Falls before reaching your final destination, Black Lake, a gorgeous alpine lake nestled among the mountains. Important Note: There was still quite a bit of snow on this trail! Take precautions like hiking poles and microspikes or other traction devices!
Ouzel Falls - July 1, 2017
Hike 5.4 miles round trip, and see three amazing waterfalls! Leaving from the Wild Basin Trailhead, you'll catch Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascade and finally Ouzel Falls. This is a fantastic late spring or early summer hike, as the falls are rushing with snow melt! A great hike for a hot day, as a majority of the trail is shaded, and Ouzel Falls provides a soothing mist to cool you off!
Deer Mountain - June 24, 2017
This 6.2 mile round trip hike leaves from the Deer Ridge Junction Trailhead. The perfect hike for anyone looking to bag a summit, but also hoping to limit the elevation gain (1210 ft.) and has a maximum elevation of just over 10,000 ft. The reward of this hike is gorgeous panoramas of Longs Peak and the Continental Divide to the south and west, along with views of the village and Estes Valley to the east.