July 11, 2012

Rocky Mountain National Park: Trails for Kids

Rocky Mountain National Park is 415 square miles of wilderness that contains over 350 miles of hiking trails.  The cost to enter the park and access these trails is $20 per vehicle for a one week pass or $40 for an annual pass.   

Of these 300 miles of trails, there are several hikes that are suitable for flat landers and children.  I have summarized some of them here:

Bear Lake Trail

Trail head - Bear Lake: accessed via Shuttle bus  from the Moraine Park Visitor Center, which is only several miles from our chalet (whatever that is)
Distance - 0.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain - none
Description - mountain lake at elevation 8,500 feet with an interpretative nature trail that circles the lake, this trail is considered to be heavy use, meaning, lots of people, but very kid friendly


                                                Alberta Falls

Trailhead - Glacier Gorge: accessed via shuttle bus from the Moraine Park Visitor Center, which is only several miles from our chalet (whatever that is)
Distance - 0.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain - 100 feet
Description -  short hike to a waterfall, this trail is considered to be heavy use, meaning, lots of people, but very kid friendly


Gem Lake

Trailhead - Lumpy Ridge: accessed via car on Devil's Gulch Road, which is only several miles north east of our chalet
Distance - 3.8 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain - 910 feet
Description -  a seldom used trail to a little lake that sits among odd granite rock formations, this hike might be a little difficult for the children and flat landers, the rock formations and cliffs here are reported to be the home to some various birds of prey, the first mile is very steep followed by a leisurely stroll in the woods

                                    Beaver Boardwalk

Trailhead - near Hidden Valley Creek, which is several miles northwest on Highway 34 or Trail Ridge Road from our chalet
Distance - 0.25 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain - 0
Description -a short interpretive hike on a boardwalk over wetlands and several small ponds that were created by beavers, there are a lot of ducks and flowers; no fishing allowed, there is a small chance of seeing some beavers

Sprague Nature Trail

Trailhead -Sprague Lake: accessed via shuttle bus from the Moraine Park Visitor Center, which is only several miles from our chalet
Distance - 0.5
Elevation Gain - 0
Description -  mountain lake at elevation 8,200 feet with an interpretative nature trail that circles the lake, this trail is considered to be heavy use, meaning, lots of people, but very kid friendly