Top Attractions in Rocky Mountain National Park
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What travelers are saying
- This is a amazing road that is also very scary. No guardrails at all with 100s or 1000s of feet drops in some places. What this means are the views are wide open and spectacular. I am a very experienced driver but I still felt nervous in some parts. Would not recommend for nervous or new drivers. Stunning road.Written January 19, 2023This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Beautiful area that reminds me of Banff because of the unbelievable amount of people. You need to make a reservation to even be able to drive into the area. We thought because it was a overcast cloudy day the crowds would be down a little. Nope. I could spend all day exploring but the mass of people made us leave. Sad that places like this are getting loved to death.Written January 20, 2023This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- One of the best, if not the most popular, trails in RMNP. It starts at the Bear Lake trailhead and is about 3.6 miles round trip. It encompasses the Nymph, Dream and Emerald lakes which are all not bad (but I think Dream is the best). It is a not that easy of a hike but quite doable with a total incline of about 600 feet. I thought that the stretch between Dream and Emerald lakes was the toughest. We hiked in mid-August in the morning but got crowded as the day wore on. This hike is a must, if you are short on time.Written November 2, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Sprague Lake has a nice and flat trail that allows you to walk around the lake. If winds are calm, you can get nice reflections off the lake of the surrounding landscape.
Note that Sprague Lake is accessed via Bear Lake Road which requires a timed reservation slot late spring to early fall. Best to check RMNP’s website for the latest details. The timed slot gives you a window to enter Bear Lake Road, but does not restrict when you need to leave. Slots fill up very quickly. Sprague Lake can be accessed via shuttle bus or driving directly. We ended up driving there and did not have any issues getting parking.Written December 18, 2022
- Great scrambling above the initial pool. Spent about 1-2 hours at the site. Really enjoyed the views up and down.Written December 8, 2022
- It was beautiful. I'd would highly recommend driving it. The only bad thing was there was almost always another car on our ass. We had to always find a spot to pull over. Seemed like they didn't want to enjoy the views as much as we did. Even with that it was fun and exciting.Written November 8, 2022
- This is the trailhead that you should choose if you are short on time at the Park. A lot of nice and interesting trails / sites radiate from this trailhead. Parking here gets filled up very early, so use the Park & Ride service take the free bus here.Written October 31, 2022
- This is a great attraction in the Bear Lake area. We parked at Glacier Gorge and visited this first before going up to Bear, Nymph and Dream Lakes. The waterfall was as good as any we saw in the park. However, what makes this a better visit is really a bigger and better rocky viewing area adjacent to the creek. Compared to other waterfalls, it seemed that this one better rocks to see the waterfall and get pictures. The trail is pretty easy especially from Glacier Gorge, real short.Written December 5, 2022
- This visitor’s center is at the peak altitude of Trail Ridge Road. Aside from the usual visitor’s center, there is an adjacent store with a large selection of items and a cafe serving hot food and snacks. From the visitor’s center, there are nice views into a valley. Given the high altitude, take it easy and dress appropriately. When we visited in September, the plumbing had been turned off in preparation for the winter and hence only the vault toilets were available.Written December 18, 2022
- This is an easy walk around the lake and accessible to all. The views are gorgeous. Trails branch off the main path if you choose to take them. Picnic spots are dotted throughout the grounds. Parking in the small lot is limited or across the street. No one was in the booth to check our pass to enter the park when we went.Written October 22, 2022
- This was a strenuous hike for us. We are 53. My husband rides bicycle regularly and can do 40 miles at a time and this kicked his butt too. Could be because of the elevation too. Me, I do not exercise and it has been awhile since I have hiked. But we both made it to the top!!! It just took us a couple hours longer than most, I am sure. We started at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead at 7:30 a.m. and it took us almost 4-1/2 hours to reach Sky Pond. By tye time we finished, it had taken almost 8 hours.
It was 45° when we started the hike at 7:30 a.m. on Wed. August 17th and 73° when we ended. So dress in layers!
The scramble up the side of the waterfall wasn't too bad - it was scarier coming back down it. Not as easy to find something to grip onto.
When we came up over that waterfall and saw the "pond" we collapsed next to it and started eating our lunch thankful we had made it. Then I heard a guy tell his family it was the Lake of Glass and I looked at my husband and said OMG we are not there yet! From the Lake of Glass it is kind of difficult to figure out where the path is to go to Sky Pond. I kept looking for other people to see where they were going. We figured it out and it wasn't too much beyond the Lake of Glass so make sure you continue on!
Honestly I thought the Loch Lake was prettier and then next the Lake of Glass. Sky Pond might be better earlier in the summer, once they open it up. It is a lot smaller than the other bodies of water but it is still breathtaking scenery.
You should definitely have a walking stick or hiking poles for the trek back down the mountain. It is very hard on the knees. I had knee surgery in 2014 and my knee was screaming at me not long after we started down the mountain without poles.
My photos will show the entire hike up from Glacier Gorge Trailhead, to Alberta Falls, The Loch, Lake of Glass and Sky Pond.
We even saw a female Elk on the trail. She was up ahead so we stopped about 50 yards away and kept as still and quiet as possible. Then she came walking right at us, off to the side, stared at us like she was saying we were in her way, went around us and came back to the trail behind us. Very cool.Written August 31, 2022
- Excellent hike with two senior citizens and two young kids in tow. Plenty of spots to stop and catch your breath on the way up. Highlight of our visit to the park that day!Written January 23, 2023
- Right on the property of the Chapel on the Rock, Tahosa Coffee Shop (check web for open days/times) is located in what once was a stone storage building, but remodeled and a deck was added. This building, north of the driveway to the Chapel, houses a gift shop and coffee house that serves Boulder OZO coffee, pastries, burrito, and most importantly offers, cow, almond and oat milks! The interior of the building is calm and serene, the staff super friendly and the coffee/tea is very good. This just makes St. Malo a great stop when visiting the area. Tahosa Coffee Shop just opened Summer 2023.Written October 14, 2022
- This area of RMNP is not the most popular and well known of all the hiking spots. However, it is very nice and most of all, not overly crowded when compared to the Bear Lake area. It is about 16 miles south of Estes Park on Highway 7. Timed entry reservations were not required. However, the parking lot was not that large.
We hiked in mid-August to Ouzel Falls (5.4 miles round trip) a “moderate” trek with about 950 feet of elevation gain. There are also other much tougher trails to Finch, Ouzel, Pear et al.Written November 2, 2022
- Nice hike to some pretty falls. I had read in a guidebook to keep going past the falls where most people turn around and head to a meadow. So glad I did! Beautiful meadow with peaks in the background and a lazy stream running through it. Totally worth the little extra walk.Written January 20, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions about Rocky Mountain National Park
- The best day trips from Rocky Mountain National Park according to Tripadvisor travelers are:
- Discover Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver or Boulder
- Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park Tour from Denver Winter and Spring
- Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver
- Winter / Spring Private Rocky Mountain National Park Guided Tour
- Private Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver and Boulder
Rocky Mountain National Park Attractions Information
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