Rocky Mountain National Park is an amazing place where your kids can relax and bond with nature. It’s a perfect destination with unforgettable experiences for kids of all ages.
The park has kid-friendly trails and attractions that will give everyone an immersive and memorable experience.
If you are looking for the best places to take your kids in Rocky Mountain National Park, I’ve got some great ideas for you. I will discuss the best trails and destinations for kids in RMNP, and I hope this will help you plan a fun-filled vacation for your little ones.
Let’s hit the trails.
Dream Lake Trail
The Dream Lake Trail is located at the foot of Hallet Peak at the end of Bear Lake Trail, and it’s 12 miles up the road from Estes Park.
Popularly known for snowshoeing and hiking, Dream Lake Trail is an easy route that will take your kids 1 hour to complete.
This trail is sandwiched between mountains, making it a beautiful spot for your young hikers. Additionally, it’s a well-maintained trail with scenic views, wildlife, and wildflowers. It is clearly marked and relatively smooth, making it easy for little feet to navigate.
Consider the Loch Trail if you want something that will lift the spirit of your little ones. The Loch is a 2.3-mile stretch that passes through Alberta falls with lovely scenery, and you will see the Timberline falls cascading down not very far from the spectacular Loch lake.
This trail is one of the most sought-after by visitors and locals, and your kids will have a great outdoor experience.
Remember to carry a camera for memories since the trail boasts beautiful views and features many rocks on which your little ones can rest as they enjoy some snacks and drinks.
Add Lake Haiyaha to your list of kid-friendly trails to visit in Rocky Mountain National Park, and you will be glad you did.
This trail begins from Bear Lake and stretches to Emerald Lake. It’s a less-traveled trail making it the best for reserved kids (or parents who want to avoid the crowds).
At the end of the trail, you will be ushered to the beautiful Lake Haiyaha which has an idyllic setting making it a perfect getaway where your kids can do some fishing. The best time to visit this trail is from June to October.
Be aware that you aren’t allowed to bring your dogs on the trail.
Cub Lake Trail Loop
Head out to this well-traveled trail with your kids, covering 4.6 miles with an elevation change of 540 feet. You will see flat meadows and enjoy great views of Morrain park.
This area has tons to explore, and offers and many activities, including hiking, birding, and horseback riding.
Your kids will meet other visiting kids and make most of the outdoor adventure with some new friends. Watch out for elk and moose that frequently appear on the eastern side of Cub Lake.
Sprague Lake Trail
This trail is an easy, pleasant half-mile route that’s doable even for toddlers.
It boasts all of the stunning mountainous views that make Rocky Mountain National Park popular. The trail is well kept and has benches where your kids can sit and relax, thus adding up as a perfect picnicking place.
Also, the area has lots of ducks to watch and fish to catch down in the lake, and you might see some moose and bears passing by, depending on the time of the day so remind your kids to be on the lookout.
Adams Fall Trail
This 0.3-mile trail snakes its way to the beautiful Adams waterfalls, and it’s a perfect area for some outdoor adventure with your kids.
The trail is easy and flat, and therefore, you won’t have to worry about your little ones poohing out before the hike is finished.
The trail passes over several water streams, and consequently, some waterproof shoes will be handy, not to mention drinking water and maybe even a walking stick.
There is a viewing platform where you can see the beautiful waterfalls, snow-capped mountain views, and chipmunks and moose.
Bierstadt Lake Loop Trail
Start your morning at the Bierstadt Loop Trail and give your kids a chance to enjoy nature and encounter other children. This trail will keep them occupied and focused on their goal for the day.
The Bierstadt trail covers 2.8 miles and has an elevation gain of 500 ft. Though steep, the trail features breathtaking views making it a stunning hike in Rocky Mountain that you should be sure not to miss.
The trail is known for hiking, snowshoeing, and horseback riding, and your little ones will also get a chance to see wildlife as they walk around.
Emerald Lake Trail
Emerald Lake Trail allows you to hike through a panoramic display of nature. Before reaching the lake, you will visit Pretty Nymph Lake and Dream Lake.
This trail is short, easy, and well maintained, making it ideal for young kids. Emerald Lake Trail is easily accessible and the best to visit if you are in Rocky Mountain National Park for a short time. Nevertheless, the trail is always overcrowded; therefore, you should head up early or visit late in the afternoon.
You also have to be on the lookout and take care of your kids because the out-and-back trail has lots of wildlife.
Alpine Ridge Trail
Your family trip to Rocky Mountain National Park will be well worth it if you visit the Alpine Ridge Trail.
It is more of a stair climb than a hike, and you will fall in love with its excellent views. Maybe not the best trail for toddlers, but it is still a big hit with the younger set if you prepare them ahead of time.
Alpine Ridge Trail is often cold, so you should remember to dress warmly. It’s a perfect trail to train your little ones how to hike, but they must not bring their furry friends since dogs are not allowed.
The best seasons to visit the Alpine Ridge Trail are during summer and spring.
Lily Ridge Trail
This is a hidden gem at the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park; taking a stroll on it is definitely worth your time.
Lily Ridge Trail is 1.1 miles, and you can complete it within half an hour. It also becomes a perfect picnic spot where you can munch your homemade lunch as you breathe the fresh air you have been missing in the city.
Your kids will be glad to fish at Lily Lake and view the local wildlife.
Plan to visit this trail early to beat the crowds and capture the best photos of the pristine mountain views.
Coyote Valley Trail
This is a one-mile trail flat trail, and it’s found on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
It is not a frequently visited trail because most visitors prefer the park’s eastern side. The stroll is leisurely, and your kids will enjoy water splashing in the Colorado River. They will also spot some wildlife and have a fantastic encounter with nature.
You can also make a family day trip out of Coyote Valley trail by carrying some snacks and drinks and sharing some memorable family time in its picnic areas.
What You Need to Know Before Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park frequently sees thundershowers in the afternoon. The parking lot is also not so big compared to the number of visitors streaming into the park.
Therefore the best way to beat these two factors is by being at the park early in the day. The crowds are usually manageable in the morning, and you can take advantage of that.
The Park Has no WIFI
Be well prepared before setting out to Rocky Mountain National park. The park has no Wi-Fi (and limited cell service), so you should pick your must-do kid-friendly trails in advance.
Although the visitors center has lots of information, be safe and research your trails on your gadgets in advance because you may not be able to do so due to connectivity issues in the park.
Be Careful With Wildlife
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to thousands of wild animals. You will frequently encounter black bears, moose, and elk, just to mention a few, when hiking.
Avoid getting close to the animals (even when taking photos) for your safety. Some animals may be triggered to irritability by your presence, which might be dangerous. Though they are used to human presence, they are not tame animals!
Carry Your Hiking Gear
The weather in Rocky Mountain National park can quickly take a turn for the worse at times.
You must prepare well by carrying warm clothes and waterproof shoes. Also, ensure the boots are mid-ankled because although most of the above trails are well-maintained, some sections have rocks.
Leave The Park Better Than You Found It
While being in the mountains gives you the freedom to unleash and let go of your troubles, there are some necessary steps the visitors should take to ensure that their visit doesn’t harm this gem. This is why you should endeavor to leave the park better than you found it.
Avoid disturbing the wild animals, throwing trash anywhere, and use the toilets before heading out to the trails. All these will ensure that the park remains wild and natural.