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Rocky Mountain National Park/Denver Area Hiking

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Rocky Mountain National Park/Denver Area Hiking

Old Sep 7th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Rocky Mountain National Park/Denver Area Hiking

Hello! I am going to be in the Denver area the second weekend in October and I would love some hiking advice. I am looking for something moderate in the 5-8 mile range (out and back or loop) with great scenery. I am planning to head to the National Park but I am not married to it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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In RMNP I'd highly recommend anything in the Glacier Gorge area: Mills Lake or Loch Vale are about 5 miles out and back, and you can continue out to Black Lake, Sky Pond, or Andrews Glacier for a roughly 10 mile out and back.

A nice 6 mile Loop is Bear Lake - Dream Lake - Lake Hiyaya - Alberta Falls - Bear Lake. You can add to this by taking the recommended side trips to Mills Lake and/or Loch Vale.

Wild Basin is another nice area and you can head out towards Thunder Lake as far as you feel like going. En route you'll pass Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls. Much of this hike is in forest with occasional views.

Also look into the Brainard Lake area of the neighboring Indian Peaks Wilderness. Superb out and back hikes to Lake Isabelle, Blue Lake, or Pawnee Pass. If conditions are OK you can try the trail up Mount Audubon to bag a 13'er. Turn around at any time of course, you've still had some great views.

The aspen will probably be past peak by then, but there still might be some nice color.

Have a great trip.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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I did the first paragraph described above by Nelson and we really enjoyed it. We did a little in Wild Basin are, but didn't like it as well. You aren't far from Estes Park. We ate a meal in The Stanley. We camped in Morraine Park.
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Old Sep 7th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Here's the places to start:

http://www.rocky.mountain.national-park.com/hike.htm
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisi...ing_trails.htm
http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisi...mer_trails.pdf

I recommend starting at Bear Lake, simply because the flexibility is un-matched. If the hike you plan is too difficult (or too easy) for you, then you can easily alter your plans, and make a hike more to your preferences.
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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These tips look great. Thanks everyone!
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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also check out our forums. Lots of helpful advice from people who are there almost every weekend. www.rmnpforums.com
IWP-Brainard Lake (Lake Isabelle) is magnificent. Be careful as it tops out over 10,500 ft. Be sure to acclimate before heading up there. But only 2.2 miles and views that you can't beat. Also be watchful in Wild Basin-bear sightings this year. I would recommend Twin Sisters also. It starts right across the road from Lily Lake. Its about 3.7 miles to the summit but amazing views from the top and an easy trail to follow. Happy Vacation!
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Old Oct 19th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Thanks everybody. I ended up going to the National Park and doing Glacier Gorge to Bear Lake and Nymph Lake. I had really bad altitude sickness the night before so I took it a little easier than I had planned. But it was so beautiful.
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Old Oct 20th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for reporting back. Glad you found it beautiful.

Too bad about the altitude sickness. Having it once does not necessarily mean you'll have it the next time, so don't give up on higher altitude trips if you enjoy them.
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