Top Estes Park Hikes: Fern Lake, The Pool and Ypsilon Lake

August 20, 2021

The hike to Fern Lake is relatively tough, but overall a worthwhile trip down one of the most historic trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Following the Big Thompson River and passing through gorgeous forested areas, this hike lends itself to those keen on getting an incredible view and capturing lifelong memories. Once you actually reach Fern Lake, you’ll be enticed towards some of the most gorgeous water in the park. Exceptionally for taking a load off and enjoying a picnic, Fern Lake is a beautiful climax to an exceptionally picturesque adventure.

The Pool is one of the most unique water features found in Rocky Mountain National Park. Easily accessible and a stop on the way to Fern Lake, The Pool is the confluence between Big Thompson River and Fern Creek. As it is the confluence of two rivers the waters are turbulent and create a gorgeous and powerful example of how devastating water can truly be. An easier hike, if the trip to Fern Lake is too much for the family then The Pool offers an incredible opportunity for gorgeous pictures and an incredible picnic spot to enjoy. 

The especially adventurous will find that Ypsilon Lake is a longer jaunt that is well worth the additional effort. Passing by Chipmunk Lake and sitting at the base of Ypsilon Mountain, Ypsilon Lake is home to some of the clearest water in the park. A perfect spot for taking in everything the park has to offer, Ypsilon Lake is even fed by a waterfall that guarantees social media-worthy pictures. The experienced hiker may even use the lake as the first stop on the way up Ypsilon Mountain, a 13,069 foot climb that entices those with a hiking spirit. While not one of Colorado’s famous 14ers, Ypsilon Mountain is a worthy challenger and the lake at its base is a welcome trip for people of all experience levels.