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Best Hikes and things to do

Telford
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Best Hikes and things to do

Me and my husband will be spending 2 and a half days in RMNP during August and staying near Estes Park. I have been looking at things to do and wondered if anyone could help narrow down to the best things to do in the short time we have. We love hiking and being out in nature and have found the following things:

Drive on Trail Ridge and visit the Alpine Visitor Centre (considering this on the day we arrive from Casper)

I have seen trails for Bear Lake, and Nymph to Emerald Lake is this all on the same trail?

Alberta Falls Trail

Adams Falls Trail

Sky Pond Trail

Chasm Lake

Ghost Tour at Stanley Hotel

As we will not have time to do all of these any help or advice on what to pick over another would be great, we do plan to head off early to try and beat some of the crowds at this time of year.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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1. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

Trail Ridge Road with all the many overlooks and short and longer trails along the way is a destination in itself. Just to stop, park and get out at all the overlooks adds 2 hours to the drive. Alter your route from Casper and drive Trail Ridge Road in its entirety west to east in one direction as part of your trip. See this link.

http://goo.gl/maps/eGNn6

The must sees of Trail Ridge Road with limited time in order west to east would be Adams Falls (only .3 miles from the trailhead which is a short distance from Trail Ridge Road)

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/adams-falls.htm

Far View Curve Overlook, Alpine Visitor Center for the views, Gore Range Overlook, Tundra Communities Trail (link below), Forest Canyon Overlook, Rainbow Curve Overlook and Many Parks Curve Overlook.

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/tundra-communi…

Many trails in RMNP are multi-destination trails and interconnect. You can easily see this on the simple trail maps provided for the various hiking areas of RMNP at this link.

www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/maps.htm

From Estes Park, major trailheads on the east side of RMNP are less than a 30 minute drive. How far do you want to hike in a day? That would help me and others make suggestions about which trails to combine for the most bang for your buck.

Tacoma, Washington
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2. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

from bear lake one of the trails goes to Nymph to dream to emerald. There are about 0.5 miles apart but the hike is mainly uphill then back to bear lake its downhill. For this hike you need to do it in the morning otherwise the pictures will have sun in them.

Parking at bear leake usually fills up early so you should just plan on parking at the park and ride lot and use the buses.

On trail ridge there are a bunch of pull off areas for a few cars and a few designated pull off lots where you have some sort trails.

With crowds....if you there on the weekends there will be more people there than during the week because its an easy day trip for those in Denver/Boulder area.

another asp[ect of your trip to plan for......

plan on eating dinner around 5pm and then go back into the park during the last 2 hrs of sunlight and look for wildlife in the valleys.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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3. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

"On trail ridge there are a bunch of pull off areas for a few cars and a few designated pull off lots where you have some sort trails."

All the major overlooks along Trail Ridge Road (especially the ones I listed) have parking for at least 20 cars which I consider more than a "few" cars. Some areas like Rainbow Curve and Rock Cut (where the Tundra Communities Trail begins) probably have at least 30 parking spaces.

Edited: 25 June 2014, 23:54
Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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4. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

This link will give you the loop hike which includes Dream and Emerald Lakes, Lake Haiyaha, the Loch, Sky Pond, Alberta Falls and more.

utahtrails.com/Colorado%20pages/LochVale.html

5. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

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Telford
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6. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

That is great advice thank you, we don't mind hikes ranging from a couple of miles to 10 miles we would like to do one long hike I was thinking Sky Pond or Chasm Lake?

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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7. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

For your longer more strenuous hike, probably choose Chasm Lake. Since this hike uses the Longs Peak Trailhead, parking will be an issue. All the folks hiking to Longs Peak must begin their hikes by 3 am and they take up all the parking spaces. You will have better luck if doing this hike during the week as opposed to a weekend.

As an alternative, do take a look at the link I gave you in reply #4. That hike done more or less as a loop covers many of the "must see" and "best hikes" in RMNP - all in one hike.

If you choose Chasm Lake, at a minimum on your other day, do the loop hike from the Bear Lake Trailhead to Dream Lake, Lake Haiyaha and back by way of Alberta Falls. You can easily add a side trip to either The Loch or Mills Lake. You can see this loop on the map. You take the shuttle from Glacier Gorge Trailhead to either the Park and Ride or the Bear Lake trailhead at the end of the hike.

nps.gov/romo/…bear_lake_summer_trails.pdf

See the description of the loop in two parts. The basic loop is less than 6 miles.

protrails.com/trail/59/rocky-mountain-nation…

protrails.com/trail/252/rocky-mountain-natio…

Edited: 27 June 2014, 17:59
Telford
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8. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

Fantastic that is great just had a look and is really what we were looking for.

Thanks

9. Re: Best Hikes and things to do

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