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Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

Rhode Island
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161 posts
18 reviews
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Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

Hi,

I will have a chance to escape to Rocky Mountain NP for one day. I realize that awefully little time, but I'd like to make most of it. Could anyone give me any suggestions which hikes are worth doing?

Thanks,

Colorado
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443 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

Assuming your entering on the east side I'd head to Bear Lake, take the hike up to The Loch and sky pond. Or the Dream, Emerald, Nymph lake hike. Both are easy to get to and great scenery.

Loveland, Colorado
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2. Re: Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

I was just there backpacking this weekend and we found a wonderful hike!

It's 8.5 miles and took us about 5 or 6 hours to do. We started at the Bear Lake trailhead and headed up to Odessa Lake and a few other beautiful lakes and waterfalls. Eventually you come out at the Fern Lake trailhead where you can catch a shuttle bus back to the Bear Lake parking lot. You can always turn around anywhere if you don't want to come out at the other trailhead.

The first part of the hike was steep, but it only lasted a little bit. Then it was a gradual uphill climb,but nothing too hard. Once you hit the lakes, it flattens out and the last part is down hill to the second trailhead.

It was one of the most scenic and beautiful hikes I've done in the park, have fun!

Rhode Island
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161 posts
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3. Re: Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

Thanks a lot for your reply.

How would you compare summiting Long's Peak to the hikes you described? Getting to the highest point of the park sounds exciting but if the trail is not as scenic as the ones by the lakes maybe it is not worth (?)

Loveland, Colorado
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4. Re: Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

The Long's Peak trail is definately longer. If you take the Keyhole route, it is 14 miles. The last time we climbed Long's, we started at 4:30am to reach the summit before any chance of thunderstorms. We summited around 10:30 and were back to the car by 3:30. Although we did stop for lunch and some photos, it is definately a looooong hike!

Unfortunately, in order to be safe from storms, you have to leave early, so alot of the hike is in the early morning when the lighting isn't that great for viewing the scenery.No matter what the weather report says, it just isn't safe to start hiking after 8am or so because of the threat of lightning.

There is a waterfall that you cross which is very beautiful! Once you get above timber line, the views are amazing. The last part of the hike before the keyhole is a huge boulder field. The boulder field alone took us almost 2 hours because you really have to watch your foot placement. Once you get to the keyhole, the views on the other side of Long's are absolutely breathtaking!

I havne't seen any trip reports about Long's so far this year, but alot of times the summit is snowed over and is not safe for climbing because of ice. Definately look into that before you decide to leave!

Overall, I'd say if you're up for a long and hard hike with great views, go for it. Otherwise, I'd stick to the trails around Bear Lake. Hope this helps!

5. Re: Rocky Mountain NP - Hikes

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