Spring is the season that has you ready to break that cabin fever. What better way to do that than with a spring hike? The conditions during spring can vary greatly. Be sure to check out our Spring Hiking Guide and How to Pack for a Spring Adventure before lacing up your boots, and read on to find the 4 Best Spring Hikes in Estes Park.
Get a Taste of Summer
- Kruger Rock - https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7032562/kruger-rock-trail
- 3.6 miles round trip, 913’ elevation gain
- Hermit Park Open Space, $9 entrance fee, (Closed April 15-17 for roadwork)
- A moderate out-and-back with a few steeper sections, this trail tends to dry out earlier as its max elevation is 9,276’. Though not in the national park, it offers beautiful views overlooking the Estes Valley toward the Continental Divide and some of the more dramatic peaks in RMNP. Big plus, you can bring your (leashed) dog!
Hang on to Winter
- Flattop Mountain
- 8.4 miles round-trip, 2,533’ elevation gain
- Bear Lake Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park
- Not for the faint of heart, Flattop is a much more difficult summit than Kruger Rock. It’s double the distance and nearly three times the elevation gain, plus the starting elevation is higher than the top of the former. But if you want to keep winter going, you’ll have to work for it. At the least, traction devices like microspikes are necessary, but you’d most likely benefit from snowshoes to avoid post-holing in the deep snow above the tree line. Note: since this hike goes above tree line, be extra prepared to fight the elements: sun, snow, wind and fast-moving weather. Walk among the tundra as you hear the chirping of pikas among the rocks, and see one of RMNP’s five active glaciers, Tyndall.
See Some Megafauna
- Cub Lake Loop – Moose, Elk, Deer
- The Cub Lake Loop is a wonderful opportunity to see wildlife. Herds of elk and mule deer are often spotted grazing in Moraine Park. There have even been sightings of moose wading around Cub Lake and grazing on the aquatic, lush plants around the shores. But it’s not only ungulates along this trail. You’re liable to find ducks paddling around the lily pads on the lake. You may spot a hummingbird zipping around, if your eyes are quick enough. Don’t forget those binoculars - you could see the colors popping on a warbler or western tanager.
Hear the Roar of the Falls
- Ouzel Falls
- Make your own distance – 1-mile round-trip to Copeland Falls, 3.5-mile round-trip to Calypso Cascades, 5.3-mile round-trip to Ouzel Falls
- Note: Wild Basin closes at winter parking and may take a while to open up all the way to the trailhead adding approximately a mile to your trip.
- This hike follows water features the entire way, from rivers to waterfalls, and the spring melt makes them even more dramatic. With all the different features, you can easily customize the length of this hike, to decide how far you want to go. Hear the rush of the falls, feel the mist in the air, and see the water tumbling down over the rocks. Plus, if you wait until early summer, this trail is great for wildflowers. Keep an eye out for Indian Paintbrush, Fairy Slipper, Colorado Columbines, and more. There are plenty of beautiful spots for a snack break (or just to catch your breath). Note: just because some snow is thawing, doesn't necessarily mean the trail will be! It's always helpful to carry some extra traction, like microspikes, this time of year.