14 Snowshoeing Trails to Explore in Rocky Mountain National Park

Explore the snowy trails of Rocky Mountain National Park this Valentine's Day with your sweetheart! Check out our top 14 trails with a mix of trail difficulty for beginners and experts alike. Just be sure to come prepared with plenty of warm, wool layers – avoid cotton – and waterproof or water repellant clothing. You’ll also want to carry plenty of water and some snacks with you out on the trail.

Top 14 snowshoeing trails in Rocky Mountain National Park:

Easy

Bear Lake Loop – The ultimate trail for beginners or those that want a little practice run in before heading off into the mountains! This trail is just under a mile with very minimal elevation gain.

Sprague Lake Loop – Another trail that’s less than a mile with only 10 ft. of elevation gain. This easy trail is great for snowshoers wanting excellent photo opportunities on their hike with little pullouts on the trail where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Continental Divide.

Nymph Lake – This 1.1-mile trail from Bear Lake only has 245 ft. of elevation gain making it perfect for new snowshoers. You’ll appreciate the lake views, some of which could be frozen, as well as the wintry forest that surrounds you.

The Pool – This easy, 3.4-mile trail is off of the Fern Lake Trailhead and provides a delightful mix of forest views and open air views of the Big Thompson Valley. The trail follows the Big Thompson River to your final destination at The Pool, which used to be near the site of the 1917 Forest Inn and lodge.

Upper Beaver Meadows – This 3-mile trail departs from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and offers two options for hikers: Either walk along the road or find the trail just inside the barricade. Keep your eyes open for wildlife that hangs around near this trail and section of the park.

Moderate

Cub Lake – Just under five miles, this moderate hike has over 500 ft. of elevation gain in the Moraine Park area. It’s a great introduction to moderate snowshoe trails with excellent views and the occasional moose sighting!

Gem Lake – This moderate 3.5-mile trail is located off of the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead and has spectacular panoramic views as you gain 1,000 ft. in elevation. This trail is also quite popular in the fall with great views of the mountain ranges sprinkled with the vibrant fall hues.

Odessa Lake – An 8.9-mile trek off of Bear Lake with 1,900 ft. of elevation gain. This trail offers amazing views of Longs Peak, Chiefs Head Peak, and other peaks as it climbs through thick forests. Odessa Lake can also be accessed from the Fern Lake Trailhead.

Chasm Falls – A moderate 2.5-mile trek off of Old Fall River Road. If the road is closed to traffic, you can still hike up the road to reach the trail to take in the beautiful waterfall waiting for you at the end.

Flattop Mountain – This 8.9-mile trail, from Bear Lake, could be moderate or difficult depending on your snowshoeing ability but does see 2,850 ft. in elevation gain. It’s a popular trail due to its stunning views of the Continental Divide as well as views of Dream and Emerald lakes on the ascent.

Difficult

Deer Mountain – A moderate 6.2-mile hike in the summer, this trail becomes a bit harder to navigate in the winter with a total of 1,210 ft. in elevation gain. This trail is located off of Deer Ridge Junction, about three miles west of the Beaver Meadows Entrance. Parking is limited so get to the park early if you wish to hike it.

Black Lake – This strenuous 9.6-mile trail off the Glacier Gorge trailhead offers 1,480 ft. of elevation gain and runs along popular sights in the park like Alberta Falls, a gorgeous 30-ft. waterfall before entering Glacier Gorge.

Mills Lake – Another Glacier Gorge trail that becomes difficult with the snow, Mills Lake spans 5.3 miles roundtrip with 780 ft. in elevation gain. You’ll see many of the same sites as you would on your Black Lake hike but your final destination isn’t as far away.

Lake Haiyaha – This 3.9-mile trail, off the Bear Lake trailhead, is rated as moderate for summer hikers, but when the trail is buried under snow it can be quite the challenge for snowshoers! You’ll gain about 865 ft. of elevation on the trek as you take in the glorious alpine lake views. Your final destination brings you into Chaos Canyon at Lake Haiyaha with views of Otis Peak and Hallet Peak.

Ready to plan your romantic getaway to Estes Park or a snowshoeing adventure in the early spring? Start by finding the perfect accommodations in Estes Park to return to after a day of exploring the snowy trails!

Share this Blog Post