The Best Hikes In Estes! Nymph Lake, Lawn Lake & Mt. Ida

July 30, 2021


Nymph Lake provides a simple and easy hike perfect for the entire family. To reach the lake, simply head down the Bear Lake Trailhead until you reach Bear Lake itself. If it isn’t too crowded, we recommended stopping to take in one of the most renowned views in the entirety of the park. If you turn right, you’ll be able to reach Bear Lake Loop and walk the distance of the lake’s shore. If you turn left instead, a paved path welcomes you down to Nymph Lake. A beautiful natural lake with perspectives on Hallett Peak and even Longs Peak through the trees. Once you arrive take in the wonderful assortment of natural pines and pond lilies. We also think this is one of the best picnic spots anywhere, so don’t forget lunch!

The hike to Lawn Lake is one of the more physically demanding hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, but well worth it for the experienced hiker. Most notable along this hike are the numerous gorgeous water features that visitors pass over on their way to Lawn Lake itself. Most notably, Roaring River was incorporated heavily into the trail during maintenance performed in 2016 and 2017. While the trail to Lawn Lake itself is fairly straightforward if you know the way, difficulty lies in the increasing grade along the trail. The steeper the path gets, the more we recommend you hydrate and keep up a steady and realistic pace on the way up. Luckily, however, once Lawn Lake is reached just 6 miles from where the hike began, hikers are treated to a gorgeous lake nestled gently under numerous peaks and creating a picturesque scene well worth the walk.

While the hike to Mt. Ida can appear to be a simple hike, the conditions and weather along this trail greatly impact the hike to make it much more intense than the numbers would suggest. Many hikers experience a relentless sun, whipping wind, and rugged terrain. However, if this does not dissuade you from taking up this adventure, the summit of Mt. Ida is well worth the trial undertaken to get there. The fact of the matter is that the views are simply awe-inspiring. No matter your eyes for aesthetics or prowess with a camera, it would be impossible to not take some of the most gorgeous photos of your life on this hike. Other mountains, beautiful forests, and incredible vantages on lakes such as Azure Lake make the way to the top unlike anything else in the park. Without ruining the surprises of this trail, the most I can say is prepare well for the weather, but also prepare to have your breath taken.