Looking for an easy hike with dreamy views? Take the Alberta Falls Hike in the gorgeous Estes Park. Try to plan your trip around the Aspen trees changing and you will be in hiking heaven.
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Estes Park is so beautiful, you can make a whole vacation staying here! We chose to wrap it in with a Denver trip and drive up from early morning and stop in Boulder for a bite at Lucille’s. I cannot recommend this brunch spot enough! The biscuits and gravy were incredible, if you are not a gravy fan, make sure to get the biscuits, they are HUGE and full of flaky goodness.
In case you’re not convinced you need to stop here, one word for you BEIGNETS. So grab some friends to share (or not)! You’re going to be hiking, you need fuel right??? Definitely head here early because it is a local favorite and will most certainly be busy.
One thing we have learned from hiking in Seattle, is go early. The earlier you go, less traffic, less people, more parking, generally better weather, etc. This is the same for Estes Park, especially on a weekend. Your hike will be much more enjoyable without all the stress!
This hike is also one of the busier hikes in Estes Park because of its ease and its beauty. We went on one of the busier weekends and it wasn’t that bad, but it was definitely busy.
Estes Park is part of the Rocky National Parks, so entry for 1-6 days costs $25 per car. So if you have more time, it is definitely cost saving to spend some extra time here! You can buy your pass online ahead of time or at the gate. National Parks also have free entry days throughout the year, so make sure to check these days out to save a little money.
Where to Park
There is very limited parking at the trail heads for the different hikes, especially on the weekend. So plan on taking their free shuttle service that will shuttle you from the parking lot to your trial head. Shuttles run fairly frequently and are easy to take.
What to Bring
This trail is fairly easy, so you don’t need much, which makes for an easy and relaxing day. Just make sure to dress in layers and wear a comfortable pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes. The biggest thing to remember is to bring water and lots of it. Altitude sickness is a thing and is no fun, so make sure to stay hydrated. Our newest favorite find is Nuun tablets, which you can pop into a water to give you missing electrolytes and vitamins. We also love Gin Gin ginger chews for motion sickness, they are an immediate fix for the nausea. If you are still hungry after Lucille’s make sure to bring a few snacks like trial mix or granola bars we personally love Cliff Bars and Larabars.
Alberta Falls Trail
The Alberta Falls Trail is an easy 1.6 mile out and back trail that ends at the Alberta Waterfall. There is a little elevation gain here but it is very gradual, so it’s easy on the feet. One thing we love about this hike is the whole way to the falls you have amazing views of mountains, valleys, streams, and beautiful Aspens. We got really lucky and got to go hiking when the Aspen trees had turned beautiful fall yellow, so if you have the opportunity to go in the fall, we cannot recommend it enough.
If you are concerned about the weather or are curious of the views, make sure to check out Rocky National Parks web cams. They provide live views of different spots in the park, so you can get excited about your hiking adventure.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, we happened to catch a glimpse of these elk on our way out of the park. Estes Park has lots of varied wildlife from black bears, big horn sheep, to mule deer, and so much more.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown Denver, we cannot say enough good things about our stay here. We had a disastrous experience at the Westin in Downtown Devner and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco was our saving grace.
On our next adventure, we would love to be closer to Estes Park and will either stay in Boulder or in Estes Park. We really loved the laid back college vibe of Boulder and have the Boulderado Hotel on our bucket list. This cute 1909 restored hotel seems incredible and has incredible reviews.
Looking to really check something off the bucket list? We definitely have a stay at the Overlook Hotel from the Shining movies on ours! The Stanley Hotel is located in Estes Park and is the perfect location for all of your adventures, just don’t forget to pack a night light.