National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park

Gray Line

Park Map

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado. It features majestic mountain views, mountain lakes, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments — from wooded forests to mountain tundra. The park is located about 1 hour northwest of Denver, CO and includes the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Colorado River. The park has five visitor centers and may be accessed by three roads: U.S. Highway 34, 36, and State Highway 7.

Whatever run you choose to take here. make sure you cool-down with a drive along Trail Ridge Road (US 34). Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the US, runs through the park, from Estes Park on the east to Grand Lake on the southwest. As you drive the 48 miles, you will enjoy sunning panoramic views of the Colorado scenery. The road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet, and is closed by snow in winter. Our recommended routes:

  1. Cub Lake
  2. Lily Lake
  3. Upper Beaver Meadow
  4. Emerald Lake

Cub Lake
4.6 mile out-and-back Start: Cub Lake Trailhead, Moraine Park Area

This route is a moderately difficult trail runs through meadows, wetlands, and woods of ponderosa pine and aspen where wildlife and wildflowers flourish. As your run progresses, your will pass through willow thickets and along the Big Thompson River. After 0.5 miles bear right to stay on Cub Lake Trail. This dirt trail is relatively flat and well packed until the 1.9 mile marker. Here, the trail begins climbing through mature aspen groves and the path becomes fairly rocky. Ultimately, the trail will round large rock outcrops and lead you to the Cub Creek. To reach the trailhead from Bear Lake Road, follow Moraine Park Road for a half-mile to an unmarked junction — just before reaching the campground. At the junction, turn left and drive roughly 1.2 miles to the Cub Lake Trailhead. Parking space is fairly limited here, however, you will have the option of taking the free hiker shuttle from the Moraine Park Visitor Center.

Lily Lake
1.2 mile loop Start: Lily Lake parking area

 

Lily Lake is an excellent loop with beautiful scenery featuring a view of Longs Peak (the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park). The path is hard packed gravel and may be a bit busy with visitors during peak visiting hours. After running clockwise on the path for 0.4 miles, you’ll reach the western Lily Ridge Trail junction. Although this path is not as well established and will add a bit of elevation (100 feet), it provides stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. To increase mileage, complete the route as many times as desired. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park, drive 6.3 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the Lily Lake parking area.

Lily Lake is an excellent loop with beautiful scenery featuring a view of Longs Peak (the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park). The path is hard packed gravel and may be a bit busy with visitors during peak visiting hours. After running clockwise on the path for 0.4 miles, you’ll reach the western Lily Ridge Trail junction. Although this path is not as well established and will add a bit of elevation (100 feet), it provides stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. To increase mileage, complete the route as many times as desired. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park, drive 6.3 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the Lily Lake parking area.

Upper Beaver Meadows

~3 mile loop. Start: Turnoff for Upper Beaver Meadows

The road to Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead makes for a great place to run. This route is inspired by the Rocky Mountain National Park’s Firemen, who regularly run a longer (more difficult) version. From the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, drive 0.7 miles to the turnoff for Upper Beaver Meadows. Begin your run by turning left onto this rough paved road. This road does not have a defined shoulder but cars have plenty of space to pass safely. The road continues for 1.4 miles until you reach the Upper Beaver Meadow’s Trailhead. From here, continue just beyond the trailhead and turn onto an unmarked social trail spurring off to the right. This well maintained trail will lead you along a relatively flat route that loops back to the road.

Emerald Lake
3.5 mile out-and-back Start: Bear Lake Trailhead

This trail is very popular but for a good reason; it is beautiful! Begin your run at Bear Lake Trailhead. Although beautiful, this trail does require a bit of hard work. The path is a well maintained dirt path that gains about 650 feet of elevation. Along the route you will enjoy views of Nymph Lake (ringed by pond lilies), Longs Peak, and Hallett Peak. At your final destination, you will be greeted by Emerald Lake, 12,713-foot Hallett Peak and 12,324-foot Flattop Mountain to the right. For the most enjoyable running experience, it is recommended that you hit this trail early in the morning to avoid crowds.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I would like to see more posts like this.

  2. I’m often to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and hold checking for brand spanking new information.

  3. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  4. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  5. I’m impressed, I need to say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is one thing that not sufficient individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for one thing regarding this.

  6. The root of your writing while sounding agreeable originally, did not settle well with me after some time. Someplace within the paragraphs you managed to make me a believer but just for a short while. I nevertheless have got a problem with your leaps in assumptions and one might do well to help fill in all those gaps. In the event that you actually can accomplish that, I could certainly be amazed.

  7. What i don’t understood is in truth how you are not actually much more neatly-liked than you may be now. You’re very intelligent. You know therefore significantly with regards to this subject, made me in my opinion imagine it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested except it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  8. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  9. Normally I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  10. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really understand what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my website =). We will have a link trade arrangement between us!

  11. I just couldn’t depart your website prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information an individual provide for your visitors? Is going to be again often to investigate cross-check new posts

  12. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch
    out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  13. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be working with?
    I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  14. Thanks for any other informative website. Where else could
    I am getting that kind of info written in such an ideal approach?
    I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the glance out
    for such info.

  15. Hi this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if
    blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted
    to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  16. Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Having read this I thought it was very informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short
    article together. I once again find myself personally spending way
    too much time both reading and commenting. But
    so what, it was still worthwhile!

  18. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.

    But think of if you added some great pictures or video clips to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images
    and video clips, this website could definitely
    be one of the very best in its field. Good blog!

More Comments