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2013 summer trip RMNP

Bismarck, North...
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2013 summer trip RMNP

We are throwing around the idea of visiting RMNP again this summer. My wife and I have not been there since 2005. Not sure how days we would be there but, I am leaning on at least a week. I am looking for ideas/suggestions on which hikes we should do.

The hikes that we did in 05 were:

Emerald lake

Ouzel Falls

Keyhole with a side trip to Chasm Lake

Bear Lake trailhead to Fern Lake trailhead

Sky Pond with a side trip to Mills Lake

Flat Top & Hallett

The hikes I am leaning towards this summer:

Emerald Lake (use as a warm up but include Haiyaha, which we didn’t get to in 05)

Gem Lake

Black Lake

Longs Peak Summit (try for a weekday with the best weather forecast)

Mount Ida

Spectacle Lake (Not sure on this hike since I don’t know what to expect and am finding little detail on how hard the scramble part is)

This time we will be going with my wife’s family. Approximately 15 to 20 individuals. Any suggestions on where to stay? We are open to getting one big cabin or multiple smaller cabins.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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1. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

Spectacle Lakes is out of my league but the account from Spirit of the Rockies (link below) may help you. I know from talking to some hiking friends that many people turn back on this hike. rky, the other DE can probably tell you more. From what I have been told, you must either negotiate the waterfall route or rock climb. Rangers at RMNP are usually very knowledgeable about hikes. The info office phone number is 970-586-1206.

thespiritoftherockies.net/spirit/TrailJourna…

You might also check www.rmnpforums.com for accounts of this hike.

There are several good options for small family reunions in Estes Park. See reply #3 at this previous topic. Also check www.vrbo.com as folks report good results there, too.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60945-i436-k58329…

I did notice this link is not working on reply #3 so here it is again.

http://www.glacierlodgeonline.com/

Edited: 1:07 pm, December 18, 2012
Bismarck, North...
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2. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

Thanks for the link on Spectacle Lake. Sounds very hard and you still are going to have to come down which usually ends up being harder than the way up. I have found another hike to add to the list. Lake Isabelle in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This looks awesome and is short so maybe I will take my 3 year old.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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3. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

One of the favorite hiking sites here on the forum is www.protrails.com which covers not only RMNP but also Indian Peaks Wilderness. The authors of that site live in Boulder. You may find it very helpful.

Louisville
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4. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

mxfuel - you've hit (or will hit) many of the best hikes in the park. Let me throw out two others - that are favorites of mine - that you may not have considered yet. One is Bluebird Lake in the Wild Basin area (beyond Ouzel Falls):

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/bluebird-lake.…

The other is the Ute Trail on Trail Ridge Road. Although this seems to be a lot easier than most of the trails you've mentioned, it's quite spectacular:

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/ute-trail.htm

One other suggestion I'll offer is to definitely tack on Lake Haiyaha to your hike to Emerald Lake. It's not as spectacular as Emerald or Dream Lake, but is still an outstanding lake.

Good luck!

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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5. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. I actually think Lake Haiyaha is more spectacular than Dream or Emerald. It is larger than Nymph, Dream and Emerald combined. You will also have far less company at Haiyaha. A forum member took a lengthy trip around CO this past summer and wrote in their trip report that Haiyaha ranked first among all the places they visited in the state. There are so many fantastic sites in CO, it is really hard to compare them.

mxfuel, take a look at St. Vrain Mountain.

http://protrails.com/trails/view/121

thespiritoftherockies.net/spirit/TrailJourna…

Excelsior, MN
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6. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

I have been on 6 separate hiking trips to Rocky Mountain National Park and each time, we have stayed either in Grand Lake or Winter Park which granted us west access to the park. Therefore, most of the hikes we did were on the west side. Here is what we did:

Timber Lake

Mount Ida

East Inlet (Adam's Falls, Cat's Lair...)

North Inlet (Cascade Falls)

Alberta Falls (this is the one on the eastern side we did)

Ida is great if you want to reach a great peak (12,880 feet) in just several hours (a moderate-ranked hike according to the RMNP website)

Timber Lake is actually labeled as strenuous. This is an alpine lake just SW of Ida's peak.

East Inlet is a lovely hike with spectacular views of Mount Baldy and Grand Lake as you go. A quarter mile in is Adam's Falls. We stopped at Cat's Lair which is a beautiful campground with lots of flowing water. Places to climb around too.

North Inlet is great if you like playing in the icy water! We had a blast playing on all the rocks. Very very easy hike. Would be great for kids.

Alberta Falls is a short and very easy hike. Continue and it gets a bit more challenging, but less crowded. Several more destinations beyond.

Last time I was in the Park was in June 2012. We rented a cabin near Grand Lake off of VRBO.com. Great way to go. Cheaper with lots of space and flexibility.

Please let me know if you have any questions about hikes, accommodations, or anything else!

Julia

Estes Park...
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7. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

Here are a couple more suggestions to add: for a classic "big" hike over the Continental Divide that includes many of the features of other hikes mentioned, here is one that locals choose

rockymountainnationalpark.com/explore/trip-i…

Now Is a good time to start booking for a summer trip for a large group to ensure that you can stay together or nearby. You'll find a comprehensive list of cabins and cottages for lodging for your family at

http://Estes-park.com/lodging/cabins

8. Re: 2013 summer trip RMNP

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