We got to the trailhead around 8am and barely ran into anyone our whole hike up. We used snowshoes the entire time but the trail is well defined. It wasn’t too windy for us but I have heard it can get really windy on this hike especially up at emerald lake. There are some inclines that will get your heart rate up but overall it isn’t too difficult of a hike. When we started to head back to our car around 9:30 the trail started to get really busy. When we left the parking lot was nearly full. If you want a quiet hike I suggested starting early.
What can I say!!!! Five stars! How can you even rate nature?! It's perfection! I'm a lover of nature and parks and can find no fault in what I love! Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is beautiful and so pristine! I highly, highly, highly recommend you visit if you're in the area! My pictures do not do it justice! There are cabins, hiking paths, beautiful lakes and rivers and lots of deer! Unfortunately I didn't see any other living creatures besides birds and deer on this trip! Lol :) I'm happy not to run into bears though!
Region 5, known for waterfalls and backcountry, is south of Estes Park and contains Longs Peak—the park's iconic fourteener—and the Wild Basin area. Other peaks and passes include Lily Mountain, Estes Cone, Twin Sisters, Boulder-Grand Pass, and Granite Pass. Eugenia Mine operated about the late-19th to early-20th century, with some old equipment and a log cabin remaining. Sites and trails include Boulder Field, Wild Basin Trail, and Homer Rouse Memorial Trail.
Highlights of our trip were stopping and eating lunch at Hidden Valley, where we saw a bull Elk up close grazing. Hiking the beautiful Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and then on to the breathtaking Dream Lake. Fly fishing in Moraine Park on the Big Thompson River, with Elk surrounding us. Seeing a Moose for the first time at Forest Canyon. Seeing two Big Horn sheep at Sheeps Lake.
Rocky Mountain National Park really delivers in all seasons! This park is so beautifully diverse: from streams and Bear Lake to impressive peaks and herds of elk...I love coming back here to explore all the beauty of nature. Also, if it's too hot at the lake, drive a few thousand feet above the tree line and you're able to cool down. Nature and altitude are magical!
Estes Park cabins, homes, rooms, and suites bordering Rocky Mountain National Park! Enjoy wood-burning fireplaces and fully-equipped kitchens with a hot tub on-site. Free Wi-Fi, dog friendly lodging (w/ conditions). Spectacular views and great wildlife watching! Easy access to hiking, snowshoeing, back-country skiing! The perfect place for your mountain getaway! McGregor Mountain Lodge Details
Lumpy Ridge Trail leads to Paul Bunyan's Boot at about 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from the trailhead, then Gem Lake, and a further 2.2 mi (3.5 km) to Balanced Rock. Black Canyon Trail intersects Cow Creek Trail, forming part of the Gem Lake loop which goes through the old McGregor Ranch valley, passing Lumpy Ridge rock formations, with a loop hike that goes into the McGraw Ranch valley.
Apart from elk, many other ungulates reside in the park, including bighorn sheep, moose, and mule deer. Bison were eliminated from the park in the 1800s, as were pronghorn and moose, the latter of which was restored to the area in 1978. Moose are now frequently seen in the park, especially on the park's west side. The park's bighorn sheep population has recovered and is estimated at 350 animals.
If you want to hike in the Bear Lake Road corridor and plan to arrive after 10, your best option, and on some days your only option, will be to take the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center. This shuttle runs every 30 minutes from the Estes Park Visitor Center to the Park & Ride on Bear Lake Road. Expect wait times to board the shuttles. An entrance pass is required to use The Hiker Shuttle. Purchase a pass online at go.nps.gov/rockyfees
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