Searching through Rocky Mountain National Park guidebooks, maps, routes, and planners can leave you overwhelmed! It’s exhausting to try to sort out which hikes are at your skill level, then determine how long those hikes are, and THEN determine if those hikes that you have narrowed down are even close to each other! I hear you, and, wow, can I relate. It seemed impossible to sift through the endless hiking guides, because I didn’t really know what I was looking for, and how all of those hikes intersected with each other (or if they even did!!!)
This guide will help you show you the hikes near Estes Park, Colorado that are in the same area, and can be done either on the same day, or on different days! Either way, you will know that if you choose this area, you will be traveling within the same geographical location of Rocky Mountain National Park (which is, by the way, a HUGE place.)
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The areas we are going to cover in this article are hikes near Estes Park in the Moraine Park Area! From here, you can pick and choose which ones you want to go on. Each one of these hikes is broken down in DETAIL in other areas of the site, with very specific resources and information!
Highlights and Information Before You Start Estes Park Hiking Trails near Fern Lake Trailhead and Moraine Park
National Parks Pass
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Many people hike near the Moraine Park area near Estes Park. It can get very busy in this popular national park! You may choose to ride the shuttle bus service available at Rocky Mountain National Park during the operating months May through October. Please check the National Park Service Website Here in order to see dates, times, and a map of the shuttle bus service within RMNP!
Updated Trail Conditions
Trail conditions can be found here. Updated Trail Conditions can be found by clicking here.
Colorado Road Conditions
Estes Park hiking weather can be fickle, and its always important to look at the road conditions. Road Conditions in Colorado can be found by clicking here.
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Depending on where you are going, and when, and who is going with you, you will need to pack certain gear. Take time before to find, purchase, and pack the gear you need. Consider our 17 things you need to pack, but didn’t think of, as well as our list of essentials for a day hike. You can even check out our guide to gifts for hikers and adventurers to give you ideas regarding items that you may need (or want!) to make your vacation even better!
Gear is really important, and give yourself the time to think, research, and plan for the things that you will most need and want during your vacation. Frankly, I even make lists for food and clothing. (But like I said, I’m a planner, people.)
Moraine Park Area
Fern Lake Trailhead
Please note: The 3D maps in this post, and below are NOT FACING NORTH (on purpose!). Repeat: These maps do NOT face North. These maps are shown specifically for those of us who are “map-ically challenged” and need to visually see which way we are hiking. Please refer to the compass at the bottom right of the map below to show where NORTH actually is!
CLICK ON THE MAP BELOW, OR CLICK HERE, AND YOU WILL LINK TO THIS EXACT GOOGLE MAP. You can zoom in on it and take as many screenshots as you would like! If you bring up the map in Google, if you use your mouse and hit CONTROL, then you can MOVE the map to the direction in which you are ACTUALLY HEADED!!!! (Amazing!)
When you click on this, and open the map, you can then click on the link below the blue box on the left and have these directions sent DIRECTLY TO YOUR PHONE!
You can then screenshot those images, so that you can see these directions, and maps, even if you do not have wi-fi as you are hiking!
Finally – look look LOOK! AT THE BOTTOM RIGHT of the map. See that little yellow guy? Click on him when you open up the map on your phone. You can see ACTUAL PICTURES on the blue dots that people have taken. This is a GREAT resource to have. If you look at your map before you go, you can screenshot what the intersections in the trail look like to help you navigate your way, and not get lost!
This is the Fern Lake Trailhead where all of these hikes will start. You will only need to park here to get to all of these hiking trails!
Isn’t that awesome? Yah, I thought so too.
If you start at the Fern Lake Trailhead, then in about a mile and a half you will pass between the Arch Rocks on either side of the trail! Keep going, and you will finally reach the Pool at 1.7 miles right after the Rock and Timber Brdige over the Big Thompson River. Amazing views – I love this river!!!
If you keep walking on that trail, you will cross the bridge and turn right towards Fern Falls and reach it at 2.7 miles!!!
Keep walking on the same trail! This part may have some deep snow on it, but if you can make it (remember to think safety, first!) you will get to Fern Lake! This will be around 3.8 miles into your hike. If you turn around and come back the way you came – you’ll get right back to the start at Fern Lake Trailhead.
This hike starts at the Cub Lake Trailhead, which is right next to the Fern Lake Trailhead mentioned above. More information, including driving directions, and maps, with respect to the Cub Lake Trail hike is on our website!
If you start at the Cub Lake Trailhead, then you can turn right to get onto the Cub Lake Trail. The Trail to Mill creek goes to the left, so you need to go Right to go onto the Fern Lake Trail. At Fern Lake Trail, go right to reach the Pool in the Big Thompson River at the bridge, and then at the Fern Lake Trailhead, you can cross dirt parking lot back to Cub Lake Trailhead! If you keep going you will arrive back at Fern Lake Trailhead!
Hiking is supposed to be enjoyable, and it’s all about the journey and not necessarily just the destination. With views like these, it’s nice to be able to stop for a bit, have a bite to eat (but don’t feed the animals!) and enjoy what you came here to see – the gorgeous views. If you take that all into consideration, you will be able to make excellent decisions regarding which hikes to do over how many days!
If you are interested in traveling to the Bear Lake Trailhead or Glacier Gorge Trailheads, we have a ton of information regarding hikes in both of those areas as well, easy for you to navigate and understand!
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Tell me about your experiences on these Estes Park hiking trails near Moraine Park! Did you think the hikes were easy or difficult? Did you make one stop, two, or three…..or more???? I’d love to hear your opinions and your experiences! I’d love to see your pictures as well! Seriously! Send pics!!!! I can’t wait to hear from you!
Adieu for now!