Prepare yourself for a bracing hike through the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. The place is a vast wonderland of desolate tundra and features a huge bionetwork of wildflower species, enough for a nature lover’s heart to skip a few beats. The Rocky Mountains boast of chiseled peaks that are outlined against azure blue skies, truly a spectacle in the Continental Divide.
Here are some of the most popular hiking tracks on the spot, listed as a handy reference.
Rocky Mountain Trails
The national park where these mountains lay is one of the United States’ oldest parks. As beautiful as the place seems, hikers have to be careful in trudging the terrain though.
Make sure you start your hiking well prepared. Take the essential hiking gear along with you, including detailed maps (a hiking GPS handheld should have a paper backup) and rain jackets and pants and insect repellant. Enough water and energy bars to keep you going strong. If you’re planning an overnight trip, a lightweight backpackers tent and warm sleeping bag are needed as well.
Hikers should get ready for weather extremes and fast-changing weather conditions over the course of the trek. Put poor weather gear in your backpack and recognize all safety precautions beforehand. If possible, leave your hiking plans and time you expect to be back at family or the hotel so they can start a search and rescue when you don’t show up in time.
Find here our top 6 of the best hiking tracks in the Rocky Mountains:
The Chasm Lake trail starts at Long Peak Ranger Station and is 8.5 miles of strenuous hiking. The track is one of the most popular in the park so make sure that you arrive earlier in the morning, particularly on weekends during peak seasons.
Longs Peak is the steepest point in the park while Chasm Lake is located at the foot of Mt. Lady Washington in the direction of the north part and Longs Peak toward the western part. You will be greeted by striking panoramic views, especially if you have just conquered the Diamond, one of Longs Peak’s walls.
The Bear Lake trail begins at Bear Lake and is 9.2 miles of hiking, from simple to challenging. It is also one of the park’s most coveted spots because of the ample amount of excellent sights one can be rewarded with. You will witness fantastical ice-cold valleys and giant granite peaks that make the entire place an extraordinary environment.
Hikes done on this track range from easy to difficult hikes that go along the glacial gorges up to its beginnings. If you want easy, you can go for the Bear Lake route (0.5 miles) and if you want more spectacular views, opt for the Loch trail or Flattop Mountain.
Bluebird Lake begins at the Wild Basin Trailhead and is 12.6 miles of strenuous hiking. The track provides a number of attractions over the course of a hike, and these includes the Calypso Cascades, Ouzel Falls and lake and Copeland Falls. The first attraction will be Lower Copeland Falls while the upper falls can be found beyond the upstream down North St. Vrain Creek.
Further than the waterfalls hikers will soon come across Sandbeach Creek and to continue towards Bluebird Lake, hikers will have to reach the Upper Ouzel Creek Backcountry Campsite first. Bluebird Lake is located less than a half-mile further than the campsite, and you will be rewarded by this mountain lake’s incredible beauty.
The track to Mount Ida starts at Milner Pass and is 10 miles of moderate to strenuous hiking. It is one of the simplest peaks to take on and is also the most popular spots to witness outstanding immense views. If you can’t stand the packs of hikers crowding Trail Ridge Road, then you should get on this track since at this point this trail is a pretty new summit.
You will be welcomed by a steady ascent, going along the Continental Divide Trail preceding small mountain wildflowers through and through to the highpoint. The last expanse of the hike is a scramble all over stony fields, preceding a number of peaks and comes to a close with a steep descent on the eastern margin of the crest that observes below a sequence of mountain lakes.
The Emerald Lake track starts at the Bear Lake Trailhead and is 3.5 miles of easy hiking. This is a rather popular destination as well and if you plan on hiking during the peak season, you should consider making use of the park’s free shuttle service.
Majority of hikers will halt at Bear Lake just to take in magnificent sights from the lake’s eastern shores prior to continuing their journeys. From the lake, the track produces a slow ascent to Nymph Lake and throughout the course of the hike you will be greeted with snatches of Longs Peak among the trees. This is a rather smooth hike because majority of this part of the track is paved pretty well.
By the south end of the lake, hikers will come into contact with a moderately sharp climb, which comprises a stunning view of Longs Peak from the left. Trudge higher and hikers will be rewarded with amazing sights of Hallett Peak too. This part of the trail, among Dream Lake and Nymph Lake, provides a profusion of wildflowers in the summer.
The Ute trail begins at the Ute Crossing and it is 4.0 miles of easy hiking. To choose this track means taking in immense views and mountainous tundra backdrops minus the strenuous climbing. By hiking beyond the tree line, you will be rewarded with jaw-dropping sights along the route’s entirety.
This is a moderately flat trek which features 2 brief climbs as you traverse Tombstone Ridge, which is the first climb at the onset of the trek and the second climb happens by the 1-mile mark. All hikers must anticipate plenty of sun and wind at this altitude and possibilities of thunderstorms.
Majority of the mountainous tundra in the Rocky Mountain National Park is enveloped with solid fields of grass and undergrowth that sustains a variety of animal species. Its fertile, abundant soil reinforces a wide range of wildflowers as well, which includes the alpine sunflower, an exclusive Rocky Mountains-only wildflower species. There are only a few numbers of animals that live around the area all year round and they include the marmot, ptarmigan and pika.