We recently went camping and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park which is one of our favorite parks in Colorado. We have visited it during winter, spring and now summer. There is so much to see that you could spend an entire year exploring every trail and still not see it all.
For our first camping trip with a baby, we had to prepare our Jayco Travel Trailer and purchase a child carrier for our hikes. We absolutely love camping with a trailer and every amenity has come in hand for traveling with a baby. We slept comfortably in real mattresses, warmly with the heater, took baths every night and ate meals prepared in the kitchen. I think you can call it glamping, because it was super enjoyable and easy!
We stayed at Moraine Park Campground which is our favorite so far. It’s on the East side of Rocky Mountain National Park and super close to the entrance. The reason we love it is the sites are shaded, some provide amazing views, it is located close to Estes Park and it’s also a stone throw to some great trails. During this trip, the wildflowers were blooming everywhere as well!
4 Trails to Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park
Cub Lake Trail
On our first day, we arrived at Moraine Park Campground and set up. Since it was already the afternoon and we had a hot day, we went for a short hike in the nearby Cub Lake Trail. This trail is moderate (5 miles) and at some points it has steep elevation gains. It is not a trail you want to start in the afternoon and not a trail you want to do with a baby if you are a newbie at hiking. But, the first 2 miles are actually pretty easy, so we decided to hike for a little bit and turn around. Some people had told us they saw a moose not too far up the trail which peaked our interest, but we never saw it. Hiking this trail in the summer was a different experience than hiking it in Spring or Fall. The mosquitoes were out in full force, which made us turn back. So lesson number one, pack some bug spray if hiking RMNP in the summer.
On our second day on the park, we headed to Sprague Lake. It’s flat and less than one mile roundtrip. Perfect first hike of the day. The trail was actually pretty empty considering all the parking lots were full and we saw busloads of hikers coming from Estes Park.
After Sprague Lake, we took the shuttle to Bear Lake – another short hike (less than one mile). We enjoyed some shade and a break to eat a snack and get Roark out of the carrier. The mosquitoes were bad here as well, but we were better prepared with bug spray.
Local tip: Bear Lake’s parking lot is usually crowded since it’s a popular trail. To avoid the crowds, try going really early in the day or after the morning rush. In the summer, take the shuttle. It is a lot easier!
From Bear Lake we hiked to Alberta Falls (about 1.5 miles). It was so great to hike along the rushing water and take a break at the top. From Alberta Falls we took the shuttle back to Sprague Lake where we had parked our car.
We loved camping and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. We have another trip planned for next month here and I can’t wait to see what other trails we’ll hike then.
To see our video, click here.
What is your favorite National Park and why?