There’s nothing better than trying out one of the best easy hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park when visiting Colorado. It’s a great way to enjoy some of the best lakes, gorgeous waterfalls and stunning mountain views in the area.
Easy hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park aren’t difficult to find and they offer you just as many wonders as longer routes. Some of them end with stunning waterfalls while others circle beautiful lakes with amazing views. There are even wheelchair-friendly trails to be found if you know where to look.
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Here are just a few of our favourite easy hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park:
Adams Falls Trail
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 104 feet
The Adams Falls trail is great if you’re looking for a fairly flat trail with spectacular views. It’s great for all skill levels and features a beautiful waterfall as well as lush forests. The route is open from June to November and can even be used for horseriding. Just keep in mind that it’s a popular hike and gets pretty busy so get there early.
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Sprague Lake Trail
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 36 feet
Located just off Bear Lake Road, this is one of the most popular easy hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park. This hiking trail is a short loop around the lake with panoramic lake views and access to a picnic area. It’s the perfect hike for the whole family and even offers you stunning sunsets with an amazing mountain backdrop. This route is handicap-friendly and open year-round. If you’re lucky you may even see some wildlife like moose while you enjoy your hike.
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Bear Lake Trail
Distance: 0.7 miles
Elevation: 49 feet
This well-marked trail is one of the best easy hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Bear Lake trailhead serves as a starting point for several different routes, including a short loop around Bear Lake. The route is great for every hiking level and offers you beautiful lake views and even a few wildlife sightings. The trail is open from March to November and is a popular destination during the summer months. If you want to make the best of the breathtaking views, make sure to get an early start before it gets crowded.
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Dream Lake Trail
Distance: 2 miles
Elevation: 427 feet
Great for all hiking levels, the Dream Lake is a great route that can be used from April until November. Along the trail, you’ll come across a clear creek that runs into Dream Lake as well as picturesque wildflowers and mountain views. This lake hike is well-maintained and partially paved, perfect for the whole family.
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Lily Lake Trail
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 30 feet
Lily Lake Trail is a great route for the whole family and sports some exciting views and birding opportunities. The whole route is flat and paved in some places, making it wheelchair and stroller friendly. Take a moment to stop and enjoy the fresh woody air and calm lake waters that are filled with a great variety of fish and other aquatic wildlife.
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Alberta Falls Trail
Distance: 1.6 miles
Elevation: 232 feet
A picturesque waterfall awaits you on this easy hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a popular trail from spring to autumn where you can enjoy beautiful aspen trees and the best mountain views. The route is multi-purpose and great for hiking, running, horseriding and snowshoeing. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours enjoying the beautiful falls.
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Bierstadt Lake Trail
Distance: 3.2 – 4.8 miles
Elevation: 255 – 566 feet
The Bierstadt Lake trail has two popular starting points, the Bierstadt Trailhead that is 3.2 miles with a 566-foot elevation gain and the Bear Lake Trailhead that is 4.8 miles with a 255-foot elevation gain. Although both are considered easy hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Bierstadt Trailhead is considerably steeper. On the route, there are some great spots to stop for a picnic with stunning views of the lake. The best thing about this trail is that it’s open for most of the year and is a great option for snowshoeing too.
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Copeland Falls to Calypso Cascades
Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation: 610 feet
The Copeland Falls Trail is a moderate day hike and offers unforgettable views of cascading falls. This out and back trail takes you past several small streams as you make your way up the well-shaded trail. Calypso Cascades create a refreshing backdrop to the stunning forest and mountain views.
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Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 112 feet
Popular between April and September, Beaver Ponds is one of the best easy hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park for seeing wildlife. Most commonly you’ll find plenty of chipmunks and elk in the area. One of the most beautiful aspects of Beaver Ponds is the abundance of lily pads on the water. The trail is well marked and flat for the most part with a gentle climb towards the end of the trail. It’s a fantastic route for beginners but can get busy during summer so get there early.
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Toll Memorial Trail
Distance: 1.1 miles
Elevation: 155 feet
This short but steep hike is well worth it. The sweeping views at the top of Toll Memorial Trail are mesmerizing, to say the least. Enjoy the fascinating tundra filled with wildflowers during the summer. Add to the challenge by climbing the mushroom-shaped rock formations at the top. Make sure to look out for the signboards that boast interesting facts about the trail. Don’t forget to climb the last rock formation to the compass located at the top.
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Alpine Ridge Trail
Distance: 0.7 miles
Elevation: 148 feet
The Alpine Ridge Trail is short but the elevation and altitude can make it a little more difficult than it looks. But, the amazing views at the top are more than worth the short climb. During summer you can enjoy panoramic views of wildflowers and towering mountains. You can do this trail from June to October, but make sure to take a jacket with you to the top. It can get pretty windy and cold, even in summer.
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Crater Lakes Trail
Distance: 7 miles
Elevation: 1,870 feet
Located near Black Hawk, the Crater Lakes trail features amazing lake views, wildflowers, lush forest and even a rock scramble or two. The route isn’t very challenging but there is a section with a steep incline by the lake. Along the way, there are a few clearings where you can stop for a picnic and admire the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail is also great for dogs as there is plenty of shade and water along the way. This isn’t exactly an easy hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, but if you have some experience hiking this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
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