An inverted reflection shot of Hallett Peak on the waters of Nymph Lake.
This is a wonderful mountain located in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park along the Continental Divide. This is the large jagged mountain clearly visible from the Bear Lake area. It is also easy to distinguish from downtown Estes Park.
If you are looking for solitude, this may not be the best mountain. It is heavily traveled, and is one of the most visited mountains in the National Park. However, I have started before sunrise, on a couple of occasions, and missed the large crowds until the hike back down. Weekday, obviously, are much less crowded. In my opinion, the best time to hike Hallett Peak would be early on a weekday morning.
This is a pretty easy hike. You will do nothing more than walk, and will not need to use you hands for anything more than eating, drinking, or taking the all important pictures of this beautiful hike.
Round Trip: 10 miles
Elevation gain: 3,238 feet
You will want to start your hike from Bear Lake, in Rocky Mountain National Park. The easiest way to get to Bear Lake, will be to enter the Park at the Beaver Meadows Entrance (hwy 36). Take your first left onto Bear Lake Road, and follow it until it dead ends (about 10 miles) at the Bear Lake Parking Lot. Follow the path about 1/4th of the way around the lake until you see the trail with sign directing you to Flattop Mountain. Follow that trail.
The only permit required is a pass to get into the National Park. You can buy a week pass for $15, or an annual pass for $30. If you plan on camping , you will need to contact the Backcountry Office at 970-586-1242. Fees for camping vary, depending on the season, and the number in your party. A parking pass will only be required when parking overnight. A pass is included in the price of you backcountry camping permit.
Hallett Peak can be climbed any time of the year. However, the Flattop Mountain Trail is basically snow free from June through September. So the Summer and early Fall are the easiest times to climb this mountain. It is just a little harder in the Winter, simply because it's more work using snowshoes. You will not need crampons or an ice axe.
Camping is allowed in the National Park. There are a few campsites in the area, some closer to Hallet Peak than others. There are no campsites on the Flattop Mountain Trail. Ask about campsites around Fern Lake and/or sites just West of Hallett in the Tonohutu drainage, or the North Inlet drainage. Call 970-586-1242 to make reservations. Fees will vary depending on season and the number in your party. These will ALL be STOVES ONLY campsites.