Have you ever wanted to embark on an adventure to Rocky Mountain National Park? Whether it’s the alpine lakes, vast mountain ranges, pristine wilderness, or scenic forested trails, Rocky Mountain National Park has certainly retained its status as one of the most popular national parks.
If you’re looking to explore some hiking trails on your RV camping adventure, then we’ve got you covered. We’ll take you through some of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll also cover some general tips to ensure you remain safe while exploring one of America’s most beloved destinations.
Best Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park
There are several destinations in this park that offer a rewarding exploration experience. Here are some of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Bear Lake Loop
The Bear Lake Loop spans 0.8 miles and is arguably one of the best easy hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail is located at the end of Bear Lake Road, beyond the Ranger Station. You’ll come across lodgepole pines, get an up-close view of the surrounding lakes, and get some commanding views of the Rocky Mountains. Keep in mind that this is one of the most popular areas in the park, so arrive early!
Named after Alberta Sprague, one of the original settlers in the Estes Park area, Alberta Falls is another one of the best short hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The waterfall is located about 0.8 miles from the parking area (1.7-miles roundtrip). If you feel like adding a few extra miles to your walk, you can continue hiking on either Mills Lake or The Loch trail.
The trail to Ouzel Falls takes you through several natural wonders, including Copeland Falls, the Calypso Cascades, and Sandbeach Creek. From the Wild Basin Trailhead, it’s approximately 2.7 miles to the Ouzel Falls (a 40-foot waterfall). The entire hike is 5.4 miles. Because of its moderate difficulty status, Ouzel Falls is one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for families.
Deer Mountain is one of the best day hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for those seeking some experience hiking at high altitudes before taking on some of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. The trail is located on the Deer Ridge Junction, 3 miles west of the Beaver Meadows entrance. On the trail, you’ll hike through open meadows and an evergreen forest. At just over 10,000 feet, the summit offers some outstanding views of Longs Peak and Moraine Valley.
Mount Ida provides a unique alternative compared to low-mileage hikes. The trail starts at the Poudre Lake Trailhead, 15.7 miles north of the Grand Lake entrance. The first few miles take you through open tundra on mostly level terrain. After 3.5 miles, you’ll be hiking on rugged terrain, which may be a challenge if you’ve only hiked on smooth terrain. Afternoon thunderstorms are also common, so make sure to start early and turn around if needed. The length to the summit is 4.8 miles (9.6 miles roundtrip).
Standing at 14,255 feet, Longs Peak is the only fourteener in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hiking the mountain from the Keyhole Route is a serious undertaking and must be considered with extreme caution. Falling rocks, cliffs, and narrow edges are some of the aspects that make Longs Peak dangerous. That said, if you’re up for a 15-mile challenge, make sure you get an early start and be ready to turn around if conditions become dire.
Hiking Tips for Rocky Mountain National Park
Keep in mind the following tips when hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Hydration is Key: Like any other outdoor activity, make you bring several liters of water to stay hydrated.
- Consider the Weather: Colorado thunderstorms are common in the summer, so make sure you stay up to date on any weather-related developments.
- Pace Yourself: Know your body’s limits and hike at a moderate pace to avoid fatigue and discomfort.
- Wear Appropriate Layers: The temperatures in Colorado fluctuate depending on the season and the altitude, so make sure you stay comfortable by bringing appropriate layers.
- Minimize Altitude Sickness: Rocky Mountain National sits at a high point (7,860 to 14,259 feet), so you might experience some form of altitude sickness. Symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, and dizziness. To minimize these symptoms, spend one or two days at a low-elevation area before hiking to a high-elevation point.
RV Rental for Rocky Mountain National Park
Now that you’re familiar with some of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, it’s time to contact Cruise America for a customized RV vehicle.
Whether you’re looking for an RV with all the essentials or something more suited for your outdoor lifestyle, Cruise America’s RV rentals provide all the comforts of home so you can embrace the journey as much as the destination.