Rocky Mountain National Park | Colorado

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Season

June to October

Nearest city

Estes Park, CO

Duration

5-14 hours

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Epic hikes with picture-perfect backdrops in all directions

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is the essence of mountain scenery inviting you for breathtaking hikes in photographic landscapes — no matter where you point your lens. RMNP is home to nearly 200 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy meadow walks in wildflower-covered valleys to challenging alpine climbs along the lofty heights of the Continental Divide. The park’s geological diversity, abundance of wildlife, and accessible trails are just a few of the reasons it’s one of Colorado’s most popular hiking destinations.

Most Popular Itineraries

Beginner Day Hike in Glacier Gorge

From $145 per person · 5-8 hours

This Rocky Mountain National Park guided tour features the popular Bear Lake, an alpine lake at 10,000 feet. The Glacier Gorge Hike also takes you past Alberta Falls, dense forest, and glaciers. Your day is complete with a picnic on Loch Vale’s idyllic shores before heading back.

Intermediate Day Hike to Chasm Lake

From $145 per person · 6-8 hours

Chasm Lake is an idyllic shoreline at the base of the Rocky Mountain National Park’s famous 14,00-foot Longs Peak. You’ll hike around spruce-fir trees to sweeping views of the scree fields famous to Colorado’s alpine terrain. With surrounding mountain views, enjoy one of the most scenic destinations in the park.

Advanced Day Hike to Continental Divide Trail Summits

From $145 per person · 6-8 hours

Extending 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, hike this gorgeous stretch of the Continental Divide Trail through Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll have the opportunity to summit multiple peaks on the nine-mile hike. Starting early, you’ll also break to soak in the magnificent views of alpine lakes and streams below.

Advanced Longs Peak Guided Day Hike

From $250 per person · 12-14 hours

Escape to true wilderness on this challenging, steep and technical 12.5-mile day hike on Longs Peak. Start at the same time others grab a nightcap. Your reward is reaching Battle Mountain in time to watch the sunrise crest on the infamous 1,800-foot cliff face shaping the 14er’s east side.

Things you need to know

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

Why should I go hiking?

Cars just don’t do Rocky Mountain National Park justice. Why view this breathtaking landscape passively through a window, when you can walk to alpine lakes and smell the fresh wildflowers dotting the Colorado meadows? Hiking is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park’s striking terrain and experience the untouched nature around you.

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • A local guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • Trail snacks and a picnic lunch
  • Technical day pack
  • Trekking Poles
  • National Park entrance fee and permits
  • Transfers to and from Estes Park to RMNP

Not included:

  • Personal items
  • Travel insurance

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Rocky Mountain National Park’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will transport you to and from the destination. RMNP also has notoriously fickle weather, but your guide will know just what to do if the weather takes a turn or something unexpected happens.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag) — complimentary pack is available to use
  • Water bottle
  • Hiking boots
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Compass & map
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

What’s the itinerary?

Each hiking trip will be customized to the skill level of your day hike in RMNP. Tours range from 6-14 hours depending on the itinerary.

  • Meet at a previously agreed upon location in Estes Park, CO. It’s also possible to meet on location at Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Tours hiking above the treeline or mountain summits will begin before sunrise, depending on your tour selection
  • Hike to alpine lake for a picnic lunch and to take in the views
  • Hike down, taking in the views and learning about the wildlife
  • Guide will transport you to your hotel or meeting location in Estes Park

How fit do I need to be?

You need to be able to hike for a full day with around 1000-plus feet of elevation gain, carrying a full daypack. Beginners are invited on day hikes that can accommodate a range of skill levels. That said, the more fit you are the more fun you will have. If you are looking for adventure and up to the task of a full-day of trekking, you’ll be rewarded immensely.

The alpine terrain, however, can be challenging and the weather unpredictable. Additional training recommendations for intermediate and advanced day hikes, include hiking for three days per week at least 12 weeks prior to your trip. Start with short hikes about one hour in length with a light daypack. Also, the altitude can really catch people off guard, so for a 72-hour period before your trip begins, ensure that you are consuming sufficient amounts of sodium and fluids.

What is the minimum age requirement?

Everybody over the age of 12 is welcome on this hiking adventure. Children five and older can join on private tours on a case-by-case basis.

What about group sizes and pricing?

Groups usually consist of seven guests and one guide, with a private tour maximum of 10 guests and two guides if you’re traveling with a larger party. All pricing is per person.

What about bad weather?

The Colorado Rocky Mountains are home to infamously unpredictable weather, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a stormcloud plummeting hailstones within minutes. Rest assured, your guide will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball.

Do I need an insurance policy?

It’s highly recommended that you cover all your bases with travel and medical insurance. While hiking might seem like a low-risk outdoor activity, accidents can happen anywhere and we recommend insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for costly medical expenses. And as we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to have cancellation insurance that also covers lost baggage. It’s tried and tested and it works.

Cancellation policy

All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance will be clearly laid out by your guide prior to booking your adventure. Contact us if you’d like more information on a specific adventure.

Getting there and meeting location

The meeting location is at your hotel or agreed upon meeting place in Estes Park, CO. From there, you’ll be transferred to Rocky Mountain National Park. Your guide will transfer you back upon departure. If you’re driving separately, you can also meet your guide at the park or follow them to the trailhead.

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