Rocky Mountain National Park from Vail

Old Jul 4th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Rocky Mountain National Park from Vail

We're going to RMNP from Vail in late July and are planning to spend the day in the park. Are there any sights or light hikes that you'd recommend considering we are coming from the west? We need to be in Denver by early evening.
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Old Jul 4th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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From Vail you can head north to the Park at Silverthorne, go through the park on Trail Ridge Road and then back to Denver down the front range.
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Old Jul 5th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Trail Ridge Road is a must, and you'll be doing that just in the course of your drive. A detour to the Bear Lake area would provide you with a variety of opportunities for hikes of varying lengths and difficulty. A walk around the lake itself is nice and easy. You might want to take a ranger walk around there, if one is offered at a good time for you.
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 04:35 PM
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About how long of a hike would it be to go around the lake?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2004, 11:16 AM
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lllaros: the walk around the lake is just that - a 45 min (at most) walk. its crowded and although pretty, i dont consider it a hike.

If you want a short hike from the bear lake trailhead, go up to nymph, dream and emerald lakes..about 1.7 miles each way and not too tough. You can always turn back at each lake as well if its getting late or you are getting tired.

If I were only going to do 1 hike, I would go to glacier gorge trail head, go up past alberta falls (.6 mi) to the loch (2.7 mi). its absolutely georgeous. If you wanted a longer hike, from the lock you you could go further to timberline falls, lake of glass and sky pond (4.6 mi).

warning...you need to get up early and get to the park early. afternoon thunderstorms / rain are the norm and you want to be into your activities before then.

Good luck. Chris
this is a superb link to RMNP hiking info:

http://www.explore-rocky.com/hiking/
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Old Aug 4th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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You'll have to park and ride a shuttle bus to Bear Lake. They are doing road work and won't let you drive past Glacier Campground.
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 08:36 AM
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It would be a lot of driving and doing in just one day to drive from Vail to Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park via Trail Ridge, take a hike and sightsee in the park, drive to Denver by early evening. Can you spend the night in the park instead? It would be a shame to rush through the gorgeous scenery. Trail Ridge itself is worth stopping a time or two to take it all in. It's spectacular.
 
Old Aug 5th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Maureen - you are right. We are already back from our trip. We did drive from Vail to the park and spent about 4 - 5 hours there before we had to get back to Denver. We really didn't have much time to hike but sure enjoyed the beauty! We did see more animals than I expected including a female moose (about 6 feet away from us), many elk - male and female, a fox, a coyote and lots of birds. We were surprised how unafraid they were of people. I suppose that's what happens when you live in a park.
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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lllaros: Glad to hear you trip went well and you were able to see the gorgeous scenery. Isn't Trail Ridge Road spectacular? (I didn't notice till after I'd posted that you were probably already in Colorado! )
 
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