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Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

09.05.17

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Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

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  • Lion Lakes.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Chief's Head over Lion Lake 1.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
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  • Lily Lake Loop Trail.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Ouzel Falls.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Copeland Falls is about 0.3 miles from the Wild Basin Trailhead.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park viewed from Sprague Lake.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Gem Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Ypsilon Lake at the foot of Ypsilon Mountain.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Panoramic view of Lake Haiyaha, Rocky Mountain National Park.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • One of the many cascades below Bridal Veil Falls.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Ouzel Falls.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Ouzel Falls.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Chasm Falls.- Late Season Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
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Contributor

Fall is one of the best times to go to Rocky Mountain National Park. The tourists are gone, and the bustling summer mountain town of Estes Park reverts to its sleepiness. When school starts at the end of August, the park begins to clear out and the trails begin to open up. For hikers who appreciate seeing the park’s rugged terrain without the stress of summer crowds, the fall is your hour of triumph. The season is late now, the colors have turned, and leaves have fallen. Winter is right around the corner, but there is still late-season hiking to enjoy in the nation’s third-most visited park.

Snows tend to fall elsewhere in the Rockies during the fall; when they come to Estes Park, they tend to arrive after New Year’s. Cool, dry days are followed by cold, dry nights, when the temperatures routinely drop below freezing. Bundle up and head out to explore the sheets of ice that form on Rocky Mountain National Park’s alpine lakes such as Mills Lake, Sky Pond, and pretty much every other lake above 11,000 feet.

When you go, just bear in mind that all bets are off at high elevations. The peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park are subject to strong winds and rapid weather changes, particularly in the fall.

Alpine Lakes

Waterfalls

About road conditions: Check in with the National Park Service for road closures. Many roads in Rocky Mountain National Park remain open for the season, Trail Ridge Road included, but may close temporarily due to wintry weather.

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