7 of the Best Sites To See in Rocky Mountain National Park

Image source: Flickr - Gallopingphotog
Image source: Flickr – Gallopingphotog

You will feel like you’re on top of the world when you are in Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!

I list down 7 of the best sites to see in Rocky Mountain National Park, in no particular order. And feel free to add your choices in the comment section below.

 

1. Sky Pond

Image source: Flickr - Steven Bratman
Image source: Flickr – Steven Bratman

Sky Pond Trail is a 9 mile out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until September.

 

2. Bear Lake Area

Image source: Flickr - Wally Gobetz
Image source: Flickr – Wally Gobetz

The Bear Lake Area has scenic overlooks, picnic sites, and trailheads for many of the most popular hikes on the east side of the park. Be sure to take the free park shuttle during the busy summer and fall months. Both Bear Lake and Sprague Lake are perfect spots for a quick photo or a nice stroll.

 

3. Kawuneeche Valley

Image source: Flickr - Kent Kanouse
Image source: Flickr – Kent Kanouse

Home to the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River, the Kawuneeche Valley is a great place to enjoy the quieter west side of Rocky. Start a hike from one of the many trailheads, stop for a picnic, or visit the Holzwarth Historic Site. Explore the accessible and family-friendly Coyote Valley Trail to look for wildlife, get an up-close view of the river and have a picnic. The Kawuneeche Valley is also the best place to look for moose in the park.

 

4. Alberta Falls

Image source: Flickr - Gary Craig
Image source: Flickr – Gary Craig

Alberta Falls Trail is a 1 mile out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from May until October.

 

5. Loch Vale

Image source: Flickr - Brendan Bombaci
Image source: Flickr – Brendan Bombaci

Loch Vale itself is beautiful and big, a prime location for fishing or just laying out in the sunshine on the surrounding rocks. Loch Vale Trail is a back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October.

 

6. Old Fall River Road

Image source: Flickr - Matt Malone
Image source: Flickr – Matt Malone

One of the first pullouts is Chasm Falls where a short steep trail leads to a nice view of these falls that drop about 30 feet or so. The Fall River Road was the first road to cross the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. The road continues along its narrow path offering views across the valley of Sundance Mountain high in the alpine tundra. The road climbs up out of the trees to the Fall River Cirque, the starting point of a glacier that carved the steep chasms of the Fall River valley. Many varieties and colors of wildflowers grow along the road. Also, be sure to watch for elk, deer, bighorn sheep and marmots when you get above tree line.

 

7. Lily Lake

Image source: Flickr - Frank DiBona
Image source: Flickr – Frank DiBona

Located along Highway 7 just south of Estes Park, beautiful Lily Lake features stunning views of Longs Peak, picnic tables, a fishing pier, and a short accessible family-friendly trail around the lake.

 

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