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!

Rank Name Distance Group Area
1 Sky Pond 5-10 Thompson
2 Chasm Lake 5-10 St. Vrain
3 Dream Lake and Emerald Lake 0-5 Thompson
4 Gem Lake 0-5 Fall
5 Bear Lake Loop 0-5 Thompson
6 Alberta Falls 0-5 Thompson
7 Bluebird Lake 10-15 St. Vrain
8 Mills Lake 5-10 Thompson
9 Crystal Lake 15+ Fall
10 Twin Sisters Peaks 5-10 St. Vrain
11 Lily Lake Loop 0-5 St. Vrain
11 Lily Ridge Loop 0-5 St. Vrain
13 Lake Verna 10-15 Colorado River
14 Odessa Lake 5-10 Thompson
15 The Keyhole 10-15 St. Vrain
16 Ouzel Falls 5-10 St. Vrain
17 The Loch 5-10 Thompson
18 Flattop Mountain 5-10 Thompson
19 Bridal Veil Falls 5-10 Fall
20 Lawn Lake 10-15 Fall
21 Lake Nokoni and Lake Nanita 15+ Colorado River
22 Ute Trail West 0-5 Fall
23 Timberline Pass (Ute Trail East) 0-5 Fall
24 Tundra Communities Trail 0-5 Fall
25 Black Lake 5-10 Thompson
26 Lake Helene 5-10 Thompson
27 Lion Lake Number 1 10-15 St. Vrain
28 Haynach Lakes 15+ Colorado River
29 Dutch Town 10-15 Colorado River
30 Mirror Lake 10-15 La Poudre
31 Sandbeach Lake 5-10 St. Vrain
32 Pear Lake 10-15 St. Vrain
33 Big Meadows 0-5 Colorado River
34 Chasm Falls 0-5 Fall
35 Alpine Ridge Trail 0-5 Fall
36 Deer Mountain 5-10 Fall
37 Lake Haiyaha 0-5 Thompson
38 Shadow Mountain Lookout 10-15 Colorado River
39 Bierstadt Lake 0-5 Thompson
40 Granite Falls 10-15 Colorado River
41 Copeland Falls 0-5 St. Vrain
42 Upper Beaver Meadows Loop 5-10 Thompson
43 Andrews Glacier 5-10 Thompson
44 Holzwarth Historic Site 0-5 Colorado River
45 The Pool 0-5 Thompson
46 Fern Lake 5-10 Thompson
47 Alluvial Fan 0-5 Fall
48 Estes Cone 5-10 St. Vrain
49 Thunder Lake 10-15 St. Vrain
50 Timber Lake 10-15 Colorado River
51 Lost Lake 15+ Fall
52 West Creek Falls 0-5 Fall
53 Adams Falls 0-5 Colorado River
54 Ouzel Lake 10-15 St. Vrain
55 Balanced Rock 5-10 Fall
56 Lone Pine Lake 10-15 Colorado River
57 Cascade Falls 5-10 Colorado River
58 Ypsilon Lake 5-10 Fall
59 Lumpy Ridge Loop 10-15 Fall
60 Cub Lake 0-5 Thompson
61 Calypso Cascades 0-5 St. Vrain
62 Fern Falls 5-10 Thompson
63 Columbine Bay 0-5 Colorado River
64 Finch Lake 5-10 St. Vrain
65 Little Yellowstone Canyon 10-15 Colorado River
66 Spruce Lake 5-10 Thompson
67 Coyote Valley Trail 0-5 Colorado River
68 Lookout Mountain 0-5 St. Vrain
69 Green Mountain Loop 5-10 Colorado River
70 Lake Irene 0-5 La Poudre
71 Lulu City 5-10 Colorado River
72 Poudre River Trail 5-10 Colorado River
73 Poudre River Trail – North 10-15 La Poudre
74 Sprague Lake Nature Trail 0-5 Thompson
75 Mill Creek 0-5 Thompson
76 Hidden Valley Trail 0-5 Fall
77 Ranger Meadows Loop 0-5 Colorado River
78 East Portal Loop 5-10 Thompson