Rocky with Kids

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A father and daughter kneel down to explore the edge of a lake
A family explores the shores of Sprague Lake

NPS Photo/ by T. Morse



Whether you're interested in hiking, fishing, spotting wildlife, or becoming a Junior Ranger-Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to explore with kids of all ages.

Rocky offers over 415 square miles to explore- don't know where to start? Check out a few tips below to help plan your next Rocky Mountain National Park adventure!
 

Trails

Looking to head out on the trail? Check out the suggested hikes below to find the best fit for your group. Don't forget your sturdy shoes, layers, snacks, and plenty of water!

"Let's Go for a Stroll" - Stroller Friendly Trails

Trail

Distance Roundtrip Elevation Gain
Lily Lake
Enos Mills, the "father of Rocky Mountain National Park", enjoyed walking to Lily Lake from his nearby cabin. Check along the trail through this relatively low-elevation area for wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Located six miles south of Estes Park on Highway 7.
.8 mi/ 1.3 km 10 ft/ 3 m
Sprague Lake
Abner Sprague homesteaded in this area more than a century ago and created a trout pond by damming
a stream. Sprague also undoubtedly appreciated the breathtaking views of the Continental Divide, which are best seen from this half-mile-long trail at the far end of the lake.
.5 mi/ .8 km 10 ft/ 3 m
Holzwarth Historic Site
Explore a historic homestead cabin and 1920's dude ranch located in the beautiful Kawuneeche Valley. Located 8 miles north of Kawuneeche Visitor Center on Hwy 34.
1 mi/ 1.6 km 70 ft/ 21 m
Coyote Valley Trail
Kawuneeche, the Arapaho word for coyote, was the name given to this gentle valley of the Upper Colorado River. Elk and moose are sometimes sighted from trail,especially during the early morning and early evening hours. Located 5 miles north of the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.
1 mi/ 1.6 km 15 ft/ 4.6 m

"Let'sTake it Easy" - Easy Trails

Trail Roundtrip Distance Elevation Gain
The Pool
Starting from the Fern Lake Trailhead, follow this trail along the Big Thompson River and take a rest at your destination- a bridge overlooking the river- for lunch.
3.4 mi/ 5.4 km 245 ft/ 75 m
Alberta Falls
These falls can be easily accessed from either the Glacier Gorge trailhead or the Bear Lake trailhead. The short climb is worth it to catch views of this spectacular waterfall!
1.6 mi/ 2.6 km 160 ft/ 49 m
Adams Falls
Begin your short journey at the East Inlet trailhead. After a short walk you'll find yourself overlooking Adams Falls- named after one of Grand Lake's first settlers.
.6 mi/ 1 km 79 ft/ 24 m
Tundra Communities Trail
This is a great hike to explore the tundra- the land above the trees. Access this trail from the Rock Cut Parking area and begin traversing up the trail for 360 views of RMNP!
1 mi/ 1.6 km 200 ft/ 61 m

"Let's Heat Things Up! " - Moderate Trails

Trail

Roundtrip Distance

Elevation Gain

Cub Lake
Begin your hike at the Cub Lake trailhead, hiking through riparian areas to subalpine forest to eventually reach your destination at Cub Lake. In the summer, this is a great spot to find pond lilies blooming.
4.6 mi/ 7.4 km 540 ft/ 165 m
Nymph Lake
This beautiful lake also offers a great opportunity to spot pond lilies in the summer in addition to views of the pointed summit of Hallet Peak which stands at 12,713ft.
1 mi/1.6 km 225ft/ 69 m
Calypso Cascades
This trail which takes off from the Wild Basin trailhead, features a few waterfalls along the North St. Vrain Creek. These waterfalls are usually roaring with snowmelt during early summer.
3.6 mi/ 5.8 km 700 ft/ 213 m
Lulu City
This hike takes you back in time to the late 1800s to the site of Lulu City- one of the early mining towns established here to mine for gold. While they didn't find much gold here, what they did find were great views of the Colorado River- tackle this hike to enjoy those same views!
6.2 mi/ 10 km 300 ft/ 91 m

"We're Up for a Challenge!" - Difficult Trails

Trail Roundtrip Distance Elevation Gain
Deer Mountain
This attainable summit hike offers spectacular views of mountain ranges and valleys alike. Parallel parking is found along the road for this hike- so start your hike early to ensure a parking spot!
6 mi/ 9.6 km 1,083 ft/ 330 m
Bierstadt Lake
Starting from the Bierstadt trailhead, journey upward on a glacial moraine through several switchbacks and find solace on the shores of Bierstadt Lake which holds impressive views of the Continental Divide. If timed just right, this hike will find you in the midst of changing aspen groves!
2.8 mi/ 4.6 km 566 ft/ 173 m
Cascade Falls
Enjoy this steady climb as you follow the North Inlet River and make the rewarding journey to the rushing water of Cascade Falls!
7.0 mi/ 11.2 km 300 ft/ 91 m
Ouzel Falls
Take in the sights and sounds of Wild Basin along this hike that captures views of multiple falls along the way- lower and upper Copeland Falls, and Calypso Cascades. Ouzel Falls is named after American dippers or the water ouzel birds- see if you can spot them bobbing and dipping around the rocks and water!
5.4 mi/ 8.6 km 950 ft/ 290 m

Looking for more trail options? Check out our list of hiking trails

 
3 children sit on a log and color
Let Rocky's landscapes inspire creativity!

NPS Photo/ by C. Hernandez

Activities in the Park

Searching for a little guidance in your nature explorations?

Check out our Self Guided Field Trips for guided explorations in the park.

Become a Junior Ranger and earn your badge by completing our Junior Ranger Program.

 

Safety

Know before you go! Always follow current health guidelines from state and local authorities. You are responsible to check for any changes in regulations/restrictions for public lands, parks and neighborhoods. Check current park guidance by visiting the Current Conditions page.

Weather in Rocky Mountain National Park changes quickly and is always colder and windier than on the Front Range. Be sure your group is prepared for adverse weather. Everyone should dress in layers and always take along warm jackets or sweaters. Shoes with laces and drinking water are essential.

Emergencies Should anyone in your group need emergency assistance or is separated from the group, contact park rangers immediately (dial 911).

Last updated: July 7, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park , CO 80517

Phone:

970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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