Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Walking & Hiking

More than 350 miles of trails lead to crystal-clear mountain lakes, lacy waterfalls and breathtaking views for hikers of every skill level, from easy and flat to vertical ascents that challenge the most experienced hiker. 

If the plans for your trek include an overnight stay in the backcountry, you'll need a backcountry permit.

A chart of walks and hikes (available at the park) will give you ideas on where to begin your exploration of the park. You may also want to purchase a copy of a self-guiding tour booklet available at the visitor centers.

Hiker Safety

Please follow these common sense tips as well as all park regulations:

• Always carry plenty of water and extra food.

• Be prepared for a variety of weath-er conditions; dress in layers and bring rain gear.

• Wear comfortable shoes or boots and quality outdoor socks.

• Keep your party together and set your pace to the slowest hiker.

• Plan your route and share your itinerary with a friend so that someone can look for you if you don't return as scheduled.

• Know your limitations and remember that heavy loads, young children or bad weather may greatly slow your progress.

Winter Hiking

Hiking is not recommended in deep snow. It exhausts the hiker and ruins trails used by cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

While the peaks lie under drifts to depths of 35 feet, elevations below 8,700 feet are often sufficiently free of snow to allow for winter hiking. Gem Lake, the Pool, Cub Lake and Chasm Falls are often accessible during the winter. These hikes offer many vantage points to see wildlife, including bighorn sheep that prefer the steep, windswept rocky slopes to the impassible snow-packed terrain.

Ask at visitor centers or park information stations for the handout, Winter Day Hikes.