Best Hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park
By Allison Fitts & Lillian Robinson
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most iconic parks in the country. And it’s also one of the most accessible at just about 2 hours north of Escape’s Denver depot. The park sees millions of visitors each year too. All visitors have different skill levels and interests when it comes to hiking around the park. As regulars to the park, we will break down our favorite hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for all skill levels!
Your exposure to altitude and experience with being at high elevations will impact your hiking at this park. Happy hiking!
Best Beginner Hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park
Bear Lake Nature Trail
Hikes around Bear Lake are some of the most popular and scenic in the park. This half-mile trail is a paved loop around the lake, so it’s a nice and easy path. You can finish the walk in a few short minutes or take your time and stretch it over a longer period of time. That way, you can take in the views of the surrounding mountains. Since it’s paved and is so short, we definitely recommend this to beginners as the best hike in Rocky Mountain National Park to start with.
Adams Falls Trail
If you are spending time on the western Grand Lake side of the park, this trail is a great start to your visit. Located right by the entrance, this trail is a little less than a mile and has amazing views of the trail’s namesake waterfall. Most hikes that are under a mile are terrific beginner hikes.
Best Intermediate Hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park
Marmot Point Trail
If you’d like to step up the difficulty, Marmot Point Trail is for you. During the summer months, the rustic Old Fall River Road is open to reach the highest point in the park, Alpine Visitor Center. Near the top, do yourself a favor and pull the car over to do this beautiful hike. It overlooks multiple valleys and towering peaks. Although it’s only a mile, this is a moderate hike because it is straight uphill. Be sure to keep your eye out for the cute marmots!
Deer Mountain Trail
Another intermediate hike is Deer Mountain Trail. This 6-mile hike has a lot of elevation gain that begins in a valley and ends by summiting Deer Mountain. Get started early and be done by the afternoon so you can enjoy a slice at Antonio’s Real New York Pizza – an Estes Park staple.
Difficult Hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park
Longs Peak – Keyhole Route
This hike that culminates in summiting a “fourteener” (or 14,000-foot mountain) should only be attempted by very experienced hikers and climbers. Hiking Longs Peak requires some advance planning, as many do this lengthy hike over two days. As one of Colorado’s most iconic mountains and a fixture of the Front Range, Longs Peak is not to be missed.
Bridal Veil Falls
Enjoy all types of scenery and landscapes during this hike that spans a big section of the park. Bridal Veil Falls and the connecting Lumpy Ridge Trail are proper day hikes, so plan accordingly and pack appropriate provisions.
One of the best ways to experience Rocky Mountain National Park is by campervan! Rent yours today from Escape’s Denver depot.