The Five Most Awe-Inspiring Hikes Near High Peak
1) Gem Lake Trail
To start off our recommendations, we have the Gem Lake Trail. This 3.1-mile trail takes hikers out and back along some of Estes Park’s most scenic mountainsides. The trail has been described as moderately difficult and provides hikers with not only a great workout but a great opportunity to explore Colorado.
The Gem Lake Trail is a very popular and famous route near Estes Park, so prepare yourself to see many fellow hikers. What you will not see, however, are dogs. Sadly, your pups will have it sit this hike out, as Gem Lake Trail is a pet-free trail.
In our experience, this trail is best explored between the months of May and October. During this time of year, the water glistens most brightly, and fall foliage transforms in the light, making it the perfect season to explore Estes Park.
2) Emerald Lake Trail
Next up, we will visit the Emerald Lake Trail. This trail covers over 3.2 miles and follows many popular snowboarding and skiing paths. The hike is an out-and-back excursion that is generally accepted to be of moderate difficulty.
On this hike, you will have the chance to explore both Dream Lake and Nymph lake. These two bodies of water have become known as staples of the Estes Park area, and tourists and locals alike love to discover and re-discover them year after year. They are known for the lilypads that coat them and the stunning views that surround them.
The hike nears its end at a third lake, Emerald Lake, and the destination is worth the journey. The lake carves into the ground and dazzles on-lookers with its beauty and size.
3) Lake Estes Loop Trail
This paved trail allows hikers to immerse themselves in a 365-degree visual tour of the Estes Valley and its magnificent landscape. This trail is a perfect way to get better acquainted with the Estes Park area and provides less experienced hikers with an easier experience than some of the other hikes on our list.
The Lake Estes Loop Trail gives guests the opportunity to venture on foot for a slower and more self-paced experience or mount a bike for a more enthralling and exciting adventure around the wondrous lake. At the trail’s conclusion, you will find downtown Riverwalk and the Estes Valley trail system that takes you through Stanley Park, the fairgrounds, and Fish Creek Road.
No matter how you choose to experience the Lake Estes Loop Trail, you are sure to enjoy your time circling the lake and taking in the sweeping vistas of Estes Valley.
4) Deer Mountain Trail
Located in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Deer Mountain trail is a six-mile hike considered to be moderately challenging due to its length and steepness at some points. You would never know from hiking on it, but Deer Mountain was once a thriving tourist hub featuring an inn, a filling station, a 50-foot observation tower, and a ski path.
Now the area is home to immaculate views of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and the surrounding forests. The mountain that lends its name to this trail stands at just over ten thousand feet, making it a smaller addition to the Rocky Mountains and a good warm-up for hikers looking to tackle higher elevations.
5) Sky Pond Trail
If you are seeking a longer, more challenging hike in Estes Park, we recommend the Sky Pond trail. Clocking in at just over nine miles, this hike is an all-day event and the perfect course for experienced hikers looking to challenge themselves and explore Colorado at the same time.
This hike can be accessed via the Glacier Gorge Trailhead located on Bear Lake Road. Once on the hike, you will pass sections of trail restored recently by the National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy as part of a multi-year project rehabilitation process the organizations took on.
For those who think they have what it takes for this nine-mile-long hike, the final view will definitely be worth the walk. If you are looking for a more accessible trail, many paths branch off of the Sky Pond trail and lead to great lookouts and more secluded destinations.
Which Hike Will You Pick?
With so many amazing hikes in our area, lovers of nature in Estes Park are sure to never be bored. The Rocky Mountains provide a range of amazing hiking opportunities at various difficulty levels and lengths, and it is important that you do your research and choose the hike that is right for you and your hiking group.
For those who want to book a retreat near all of the amazing hiking in and around Estes Park, High Peak Camp is the right destination! We can host a variety of group sizes, have amazing hikes on our facilities, are minutes from these amazing trails, and so many more.
These five trails and many others nearby make up a vast network of natural paths that wind through this beautiful area and provide us with amazing views of the natural world. Do not miss out on any of the trails located near High Peak this fall!