Colorado is a leader in the American foodie revolution and continues to set the bar nationwide. Seasonal and perfectly fresh foods are the focus, and health-conscious vacationers will find that the cuisine options are limitless. Many restaurants will let diners know which small farms and local producers were used in sourcing their meal. Colorado’s cities are consistently voted among America's best for foodies, particularly for their attention to quality.

Now, folks are often overwhelmed when they make their first visit to The Park. After all, there are hundreds of miles of trails (in fact there are over 350 miles of trails within RMNP), and dozens of trailheads to explore. So where do you begin? Well, we’re here to help you find the right trail to fit your fitness level, as well as your aptitude at altitude—after all, Longs Peak (the tallest peak in The Park) tops out at a whopping 14,255 feet! Today, we’re going to point out 10 of the easiest hikes you can find in the park. Here’s our list of casual Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes:


Most visitors to the park drive over the famous Trail Ridge Road, but other roads include Fall River Road and Bear Lake Road.[95] The park is open every day of the year, weather permitting.[96] Due to the extended winter season in higher elevations, Trail Ridge Road between Many Parks Curve and the Colorado River Trailhead is closed much of the year. The road is usually open again by Memorial Day and closes in mid-October, generally after Columbus Day.[93] Fall River Road does not open until about July 4 and closes by, or in, October for vehicular traffic.[97] Snow may also fall in sufficient quantities in higher elevations to require temporary closure of the roads into July,[49][93] which is reported on the road status site.[95]
Non-flowering lichens cling to rocks and soil. Their enclosed algal cells can photosynthesize at any temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 °C), and the outer fungal layers can absorb more than their own weight in water. Adaptations for survival amidst drying winds and cold temperatures may make tundra vegetation seem very hardy, but in some respects it remains very fragile. Footsteps can destroy tundra plants and it may take hundreds of years to recover.[73] Mammals that live on the alpine tundra, or visit during the summer season, include bighorn sheep, elk, badgers, pikas, yellow-bellied marmots, and snowshoe hares. Birds include prairie falcons, white-tailed ptarmigans, and common ravens. Flowering plants include mertensia, sky pilot, alpine sunflowers, alpine dwarf columbine, and alpine forget-me-not. Grasses include kobresia, spike trisetum, spreading wheatgrass, and tufted hairgrass.[73]
About 300 million years ago, the land was uplifted creating the ancestral Rocky Mountains.[55] Fountain Formation was deposited during the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era, 290–296 million years ago. Over the next 150 million years, the mountains uplifted, continued to erode, and covered themselves in their own sediment. Wind, gravity, rainwater, snow, and glacial ice eroded the granite mountains over geologic time scales.[56] The Ancestral Rockies were eventually buried under subsequent strata.[57]
Southwest Colorado   |   Northwest Colorado   |   The Colorado Front Range   |   Vail Valley   |   Summit County   |   Pikes Peak   |   Purgatory Resort - Durango, CO   |   Granby Ranch   |   Summit Cove   |   Dakota Lodge, Keystone   |   Wildernest   |   River Run Village - Keystone, CO   |   Foothills Lodge and Cabins   |   Silvermill Lodge   |   Keystone Ranch   |   The Springs - Keystone   |   Lakeside Village - Keystone   |   Arapahoe Lodge, Keystone   |   Wildwood Suites - Breckenridge, CO   |   The Pines, Keystone   |   Ski Tip Lodge, Keystone   |   Snowdance Condominiums

From this page you can access the main photos on this website. These are the ones I've selected as making great prints. If you want to see additional photos visit the search page or visit my Facebook artist page where I post new images nearly every day. I also have a large collection of images from other locations such as the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, United Kingdom, Iceland, etc. These others can all be found at my Morning Light website. 
Settled at the end of a winding, tree-lined country road, the Inn is located on 26 private and secluded acres in Estes Park, Colorado. Our beautiful property includes hiking trails, private access to the National Forest, hidden patios, riverside meadows, calming ponds, and a quarter mile of private riverbank. Guests often see more wildlife on our property than in the National Park!

The park's climate is also affected by the Continental Divide, which runs northwest to southeast through the center of the park atop the high peaks. The Continental Divide creates two distinct climate patterns - one typical of the east side near Estes Park and the other associated with the Grand Lake area on the park's west side.[49] The west side of the park experiences more snow, less wind, and clear cold days during the winter months.[49]
Streamside on Fall River is nestled between the cool clear waters of Fall River and the granite peak of Old Man Mountain. As one of Estes Park's most unique resorts, our secluded village of 21 cabin suites and condos feature such amenities as gas fireplaces, private hot tubs, jetted tubs, kitchens, free Wi-Fi, cable TV/DVD, gas grills, and hammocks for relaxing under the sunny blue skies of Colorado. Fish for rainbow trout or enjoy great wildlife watching. Challenge yourself to the summit of Old Man Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views or hike the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, just three miles away. Guests enjoy having 24 hour access to the Swim Spa with exercise pool, Jacuzzi and two outdoor hot tubs--perfect after a long day of hiking. On-site guest laundry is available as well.

This 5-bedroom residence features a stunning family room with a massive gas fireplace and a professional chef’s kitchen with dining area and breakfast nook. No expense was spared on the multi-zone sound system and other electronics throughout the home. Guests can settle into the cozy library/TV room or be blown away by the mineshaft themed cinema with a state-of-the-art digital projector and 11.1-point channel sound and hundreds of first-run movies and TV – all complimentary!

Get away and enjoy the surrounding beauty and frequent wildlife visits right from your cabin. Only 3 mi. from Estes Park, our quiet piece of paradise is set on 15 acres of pines & aspen next to RMNP. Full kitchen, living room, and fireplace in all cabins for evening relaxation. Private decks and gas grills.  Some w/private hot tubs.  Valhalla Resort Details


The Mummy Range is a short mountain range in the north of the park. The Mummies tend to be gentler and more forested than the other peaks in the park, though some slopes are rugged and heavily glaciated, particularly around Ypsilon Mountain and Mummy Mountain. Bridal Veil Falls is a scenic point and trail accessible from the Cow Creek trailhead, at the Continental Divide Research Center.[41] West Creek Falls and Chasm Falls, near Old Fall River Road, are also in this region. The Alluvial Fan trail leads to a bridge over the river that had been the site of the Lawn Lake Flood.[42]

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.[35] Other peaks and passes include Lily Mountain, Estes Cone, Twin Sisters, Boulder-Grand Pass, and Granite Pass.[47] Eugenia Mine operated about the late-19th to early-20th century, with some old equipment and a log cabin remaining.[47] Sites and trails include Boulder Field, Wild Basin Trail, and Homer Rouse Memorial Trail.[47]


The complex interactions of elevation, slope, exposure and regional-scale air masses determine the climate within the park,[48][49] which is noted for its extreme weather patterns.[49] A "collision of air masses" from several directions produces some of the key weather events in the region. When cold arctic air from the north meets warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the Front Range, "intense, very wet snowfalls with total snow depth measured in the feet" accumulate in the park.[48]

Most visitors enter the park through the eastern entrances near Estes Park, which is about 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver.[91] The most direct route to Trail Ridge Road is the Beaver Meadows entrance, located just west of Estes Park on U.S. Route 36, which leads to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and the park's headquarters. North of the Beaver Meadows entrance station is the Fall River entrance, which also leads to Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road.[91] There are three routes into Estes Park: I-25 to U.S. 34 west which runs alongside the Big Thompson River; U.S. 36 west (northwest) from Boulder connecting to U.S. 34 west; and the Peak to Peak Highway, also known as State Highway 7, from points south.[91]
Estes Park is the gateway into the national park, but it’s also a destination unto itself. Stop by The Barrel, a seasonal alfresco beer garden, and window-shop along Elkhorn Ave., Estes' bustling main thoroughfare. Filled with one-of-a-kind stores, several fine restaurants and plenty of places for an afternoon snack, the area is just steps from the park’s eastern entrance. Stop for coffee and sit outside on the Riverwalk. 

Cabins, luxury suites, 2 bedroom suites, mini suites, and rooms, nestled in the pines of Pikes Peak. Outdoor area with fire pit, hot tub, tables, chairs, and charcoal grills. We specialize in large groups, family reunions, corporate travelers, and visitors wanting the best accommodations central to the Pike National Forest and Woodland Park. Convenient to all area attractions and activities.


The Ridgeline’s delectable catering options bring the same love and inspired menu ideas you might expect from Latitude 105, and takes it upscale. Our catering menus and service run the gamut from hearty buffets to elegant formal dining, from Filet Mignon, to delicately plated Chicken Piccata, Wild Caught Salmon, and scrumptious desserts. Our award-winning Chef and talented culinary staff customize each event with personalized menu options designed to perfectly match your vision, and your budget.
Rooms, suites and cabins--Misty Mountain Lodge has accommodations to fit every budget and every family size. Included are old stone fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs with a mountain view. The lodge is full of rustic elegance, where deer and elk are often seen, and yet it is only a short walk to downtown Estes Park. In the winters you can go for horse-drawn sleigh rides, and in the summer you can go for quiet walks in the beautiful woods. The Misty Mountain Lodge is the perfect romantic getaway.
Attractions and activities in and around the Baldpate Inn include hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park, custom tours of Estes Park, cultural arts and events at Estes Park, horseback riding and rodeo watching at Estes Park’s Stanley Fairgrounds, and fly-fishing in one of the area’s many lakes and streams. Other activities include boating on Lake Estes, summer music festivals in Bond Park and at Performance Park, golf at Estes Golf Course, shopping in the antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, and shops of downtown Estes Park, and recreational pursuits like whitewater rafting, putt-putt, go-karting, and bumper boats.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest national parks in the nation, with elevations from 7,860 to 14,259 feet (2,396 to 4,346 m),[30] the highest point of which is Longs Peak.[31] Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through-road in the country, with a peak elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m).[32] Sixty mountain peaks over 12,000 feet (3,658 m) high provide scenic vistas.[30] On the north side of the park, the Mummy Range contains a number of thirteener peaks, including Hagues Peak, Mummy Mountain, Fairchild Mountain, Ypsilon Mountain, and Mount Chiquita.[33] Several small glaciers and permanent snowfields are found in the high mountain cirques.[34]

Features: Sprague Lake offers up pristine, open views of Half Mountain, Thatchtop Mountain, Otis Peak, Flattop Mountain, Taylor Peak, Notchtop Mountain, and Hallett Peak, as well as much of the Continental Divide. You can also catch a glimpse of aspen groves on the hillsides surrounding the lake, making Sprague Lake another ideal spot to visit in autumn. Sprague Lake is considered a handicap accessible hike.
The complex interactions of elevation, slope, exposure and regional-scale air masses determine the climate within the park,[48][49] which is noted for its extreme weather patterns.[49] A "collision of air masses" from several directions produces some of the key weather events in the region. When cold arctic air from the north meets warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the Front Range, "intense, very wet snowfalls with total snow depth measured in the feet" accumulate in the park.[48]
I live in Colorado and visit Rocky Mtn National Park often. I was collecting several good articles for friends who will be visiting so they can preview the area. Why do what others have already done so well? You did an excellent job! I hope you get a chance to come back and see the park from the other entrance. It is somewhat different, also beautiful and not to be missed.
According to my GPS app the winter track up the hillside from Dream Lake is slightly off from the actual trail, but connects up with the trail within 1/4 mile. Also, about 1/4 mile from Haiyaha the trail peters out and the established track goes straight downhill to the lake. We couldn't figure out where the actual trail was supposed to go so we followed the tracks; it's very steep but will get you to the lake. 

Just 30 minutes outside of Estes Park, you’ll find WeeCasa, the world’s largest tiny house resort. Set up neighborhood-style in close proximity to each other and just steps from the creek, each tiny house consists of approximately 135 – 400 square feet of charm and character. Just like hotel rooms (and even better, too), each home is fully stocked with appliances, towels, bedding, cutlery and dishes, and even WiFi. All you need to bring are food and beverages!
We ended up doing Sprague Lake, which is a nice, leisurely walk along a paved path by the lake. It was a beautiful view. I only wish it wasn't so cloudy that day. Next, we drove to the Copeland Falls trail, which is a 0.3 hike from the trailhead of Wild Basin. But to the falls and back is a bit over two miles. Barely anyone was on the trail, which was nice but also creepy at the same time.
Back to the Fall River Road, and it’s just another few hundred yards to the Sheep Lakes Information Station. From here you have about the best chance in the park to see the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, a truly impressive sheep species that is notable for its agility, as well as having enormous horns. Be sure to keep your distance from the sheep and any other animals here, they are wild animals and this is their home!
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