Day Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is defined by its high elevation. Longs Peak towers at over 14,000ft along a stunning ridge. Moisture from the west hits these mountains and deposits the rain on the wetter west side, leaving little for the east side.

This dynamic of mountains and moisture give you lush forests on the west, alpine meadows and rocky landscapes on top, and drier forests on the east side. A wide variety of experiences await as you explore up the drainages to sparkling lakes or traverse across windswept high country.

Below are 78 day hikes that I’ve identified and ranked for my Day Hikes of Rocky Mountain National Park Map Guide.

The ranking is my recommendation based upon what I feel gives you the most “bang for your buck”. Click each trail name to learn more about the hike. All of this information and more is included in the Day Hikes of Rocky Mountain National Park Map Guide. It’s the best map for day hiking in Rocky Mountain that cuts through the clutter of all of the options. It includes distances between junctions, color coded trail segments denoting slope steepness, and much more on one side and a guide on the back of the map. Pick one up to take with you on the trail!

Areas are as follows:

Click to Enlarge
  • La Poudre
  • Colorado River
  • Fall
  • Thompson
  • St. Vrain

Click on the table headers to sort by those columns!

RankNameDistance GroupArea
1Sky Pond5-10Thompson
2Chasm Lake5-10St. Vrain
3Dream Lake and Emerald Lake0-5Thompson
4Gem Lake0-5Fall
5Bear Lake Loop0-5Thompson
6Alberta Falls0-5Thompson
7Bluebird Lake10-15St. Vrain
8Mills Lake5-10Thompson
9Crystal Lake15+Fall
10Twin Sisters Peaks5-10St. Vrain
11Lily Lake Loop0-5St. Vrain
11Lily Ridge Loop0-5St. Vrain
13Lake Verna10-15Colorado River
14Odessa Lake5-10Thompson
15The Keyhole10-15St. Vrain
16Ouzel Falls5-10St. Vrain
17The Loch5-10Thompson
18Flattop Mountain5-10Thompson
19Bridal Veil Falls5-10Fall
20Lawn Lake10-15Fall
21Lake Nokoni and Lake Nanita15+Colorado River
22Ute Trail West0-5Fall
23Timberline Pass (Ute Trail East)0-5Fall
24Tundra Communities Trail0-5Fall
25Black Lake5-10Thompson
26Lake Helene5-10Thompson
27Lion Lake Number 110-15St. Vrain
28Haynach Lakes15+Colorado River
29Dutch Town10-15Colorado River
30Mirror Lake10-15La Poudre
31Sandbeach Lake5-10St. Vrain
32Pear Lake10-15St. Vrain
33Big Meadows0-5Colorado River
34Chasm Falls0-5Fall
35Alpine Ridge Trail0-5Fall
36Deer Mountain5-10Fall
37Lake Haiyaha0-5Thompson
38Shadow Mountain Lookout10-15Colorado River
39Bierstadt Lake0-5Thompson
40Granite Falls10-15Colorado River
41Copeland Falls0-5St. Vrain
42Upper Beaver Meadows Loop5-10Thompson
43Andrews Glacier5-10Thompson
44Holzwarth Historic Site0-5Colorado River
45The Pool0-5Thompson
46Fern Lake5-10Thompson
47Alluvial Fan0-5Fall
48Estes Cone5-10St. Vrain
49Thunder Lake10-15St. Vrain
50Timber Lake10-15Colorado River
51Lost Lake15+Fall
52West Creek Falls0-5Fall
53Adams Falls0-5Colorado River
54Ouzel Lake10-15St. Vrain
55Balanced Rock5-10Fall
56Lone Pine Lake10-15Colorado River
57Cascade Falls5-10Colorado River
58Ypsilon Lake5-10Fall
59Lumpy Ridge Loop10-15Fall
60Cub Lake0-5Thompson
61Calypso Cascades0-5St. Vrain
62Fern Falls5-10Thompson
63Columbine Bay0-5Colorado River
64Finch Lake5-10St. Vrain
65Little Yellowstone Canyon10-15Colorado River
66Spruce Lake5-10Thompson
67Coyote Valley Trail0-5Colorado River
68Lookout Mountain0-5St. Vrain
69Green Mountain Loop5-10Colorado River
70Lake Irene0-5La Poudre
71Lulu City5-10Colorado River
72Poudre River Trail5-10Colorado River
73Poudre River Trail – North10-15La Poudre
74Sprague Lake Nature Trail0-5Thompson
75Mill Creek0-5Thompson
76Hidden Valley Trail0-5Fall
77Ranger Meadows Loop0-5Colorado River
78East Portal Loop5-10Thompson