Quick Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park

Quick Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is easily one of our top 3 favorite destinations. It is versatile and wild, and the temperature is manageable 3 of the 4 seasons. It lies on the edge of Estes Park, which is a lovely mountain town to explore in your down time. Check out our quick guide to navigating Rocky Mountain National Park, and let us know when you hit one of our favorite trails!


estes park Visitor's Center

500 Big Thompson Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
(970) 577-9900

Coffee On The Rocks 

510 Moraine Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517


Fishing in the Park is permitted, but as always, you must have a valid fishing license. The trails mentioned in the next section have some amazing fishing spots, and are a little quieter as they require a trek. There is also the incredible Big Thompson River in Moraine Park shortly after you pass through the main entrance of RMNP, as seen in the video here:

Wilderness Camping

An overnight stay in the wilderness requires a permit, which are available at two Wilderness Offices within Rocky Mountain National Park. Be there early to get the good picks!

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (east side of park near Estes)

Kawuneeche Visitor Center (west side of park)

Favorite trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Beginner hike - ALberta Falls

If you are new to hiking and are wanting to get warmed up, Alberta Falls is a great option for you. This overlook is a 3/4 mile hike from Glacier Gorge Trailhead, or about a mile hike from Bear Lake Trailhead.

Emerald Lake Trail

Length: 3.3 miles RT
Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead
Grade: Easy/Moderate
On this trail you will pass Nymph Lake and Dream Lake as well as several waterfalls on the way to Emerald Lake. It is a beautiful and relaxing hike.


Length: 11.6 miles Round Trip
Trailhead: Wild Basin Trailhead
Grade: Moderate

This is a very versatile hike through the alpine where you will cross wildlife, several waterfalls and cascades, and end at the valley of Thunder Lake. We recommend the Tahosa campsite and Thunder Lake campsite.


Length: 6 miles RT (to Loch Lake)
Trailhead: Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Grade: Moderate
1,088 ascent in 3 miles

This is a beautiful, versatile hike with several waterfalls (including the popular Alberta Falls). There are steep grades through portions of this trail - take it easy and soak in the surroundings! Trekking poles would be beneficial for this hike.


Length: 8.3 miles RT (to Sky Pond)
Trailhead: Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Grade: Moderate

Take the Loch Vale trail and continue past Loch Lake and Lake of Glass until you reach Sky Pond. This is a beautiful hike to overnight. Check out the Andrews Creek wilderness campsite


Length: 14.5 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: Longs Peak Trailhead
Grade: Difficult

This is a difficult trail for even the avid backpacker or climber. Be sure to check the weather conditions for most optimal experience, and prepare yourself mentally and physically before the trail.


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