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If you have to choose 1 hike...

Seal Beach...
Level Contributor
34 posts
4 reviews
If you have to choose 1 hike...

We are driving from Denver and have the afternoon to do 1 hike in RMNP. We should arrive about 12. We are looking for a 5-6 mile hike and are considering cub lake, either out and back or including the loop to the pool and fern lake trail. Is this our best choice or is there another recommendation anyone has? We are driving back to Boulder that evening. We will be there June 29. Thanks!

Boulder
Destination Expert
for Boulder
Level Contributor
1,456 posts
37 reviews
1. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

Mills Lake.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
12,946 posts
136 reviews
2. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

Afternoon thunderstorms are very common in RMNP. That may alter your plans. This is a good loop hike.

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/four-lakes-loo…

Do not hike back to the Bear Lake Trailhead from Alberta Falls. Hike to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and take the free shuttle back to Bear Lake parking or to the Park and Ride if you parked there.

I agree that Mills Lake is another good choice and is easier than the Four Lakes Loop hike.

rockymountainhikingtrails.com/mills-lake.htm

The area around Cub Lake was burned in late 2012. It will still look very much like this picture from last year.

checkconnect.net/blog/…

Edited: 1:14 am, June 06, 2016
Estes Park, Colorado
Level Contributor
405 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

You didn't say which day this is to be.

If it's a Saturday or Sunday, you may find that the Park & Ride lot on Bear Lake road is full, as will be most all other parking in that general part of Rocky. (By noon this time of year, both Bear Lake and Glacier Gorge parking are full by 8am or earlier.)

While the hikes mentioned are good ones, you may therefore find it hard to get to them. One possible option is to pick up the hiker shuttle from the Visitor Center -- that lot usually has a few spaces in the outlying edges, and the turnover is fairly quick.

Basking Ridge, New...
Level Contributor
82 posts
4. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

Question for you....

We are going to RMNP on June 25 for three nights.

On June 26, we have 8am horse back riding from glacier stables.

Our goal is to hike to alberta falls and do bear lake/ nymph lake, etc after the horse riding. To get to the later lake trailheads, can we leave our car in the parking lot of glacier stables and take a shuttle to them?

Estes Park, Colorado
Level Contributor
405 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

Sounds like a question for Glacier Stables to answer.

Seal Beach...
Level Contributor
34 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

We are going June 29, a Wednesday. Do they fill up on weekdays?

Colorado
Level Contributor
12,958 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

The parking lots fill up early every day of the week, all summer long.

Edited: 12:51 pm, June 06, 2016
Estes Park, Colorado
Level Contributor
405 posts
5 reviews
8. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

^^ Exactly. But on weekends there's bumper-to-bumper traffic looking for parking spaces (makes the traffic flow just dandy), while on weekdays there tends to be a car-length or two between those searching.

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
12,946 posts
136 reviews
9. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

As pointed out above, since you may indeed need to make use of the free park shuttles, here is that information.

https:/…shuttle_bus_route.htm

Do you know about hiking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness closer to Boulder? Although that area can also be very busy, you may find that is a better option than traveling to RMNP. Look at the hiking options in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.

protrails.com/area/5/indian-peaks-wilderness…

St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
3,808 posts
98 reviews
10. Re: If you have to choose 1 hike...

Just park your car at the visitor's center in town and take the hiker's shuttle. If we aren't up early we do this and find it really easy and fun.