On our most recent visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, we did something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time – we staid a night on the West side of the park near Grandby and Grand Lake, Colorado. (Up until now, we’ve always staid in Estes Park, which is on the East side of RMNP.)
We spent our time in Grand Lake splashing in the largest natural lake in Colorado, eating pizza at White Buffalo, and hiking to East Meadow where we spotted a moose.
The hike to East Meadow begins at the East Inlet trailhead at 8,390 ft in elevation. From here you can see Grand Lake in the distance.
One of the reasons we chose this destination is because our daughters (ages 4 and 2) can hike most of it on their own. The total distance is close to 3 miles round trip.
We followed the East Inlet trail for .3 miles to Adams Falls where there is a viewing deck. The waterfall is a popular destination for park visitors, but once we passed the falls, the trail became much less crowded.
After enjoying the waterfall, we climbed the path to the side of the falls to meet back up to the East Inlet trail. This is a steeper section of the trail where we held on tight to our children’s hands.
We followed trail signage towards Lone Pine Lake. The trail levels as you walk through a pine forest.
Soon we arrived at an open meadow where families were fishing and playing in the stream.
One of my favorite things about hiking in July are the colorful wildflowers. My least favorite are the mosquitoes. I always forget to bring bug spray.
Even pesky mosquitoes didn’t stop us. We continued on to East Meadow which was beautiful – the contrast between the wide open blue skies and the lush, green meadow was striking.
We spotted a mother deer and her twin fawns several times on our hike.
Perhaps they were curious what our two girls were singing as they walked along the trail.
The hike to the East Meadow featured waterfalls, mountain streams, moose, deer, wildflowers, and boulders for our girls to climb. This was the perfect hike to start our family vacation.
Additional Articles about Rocky Mountain’s West Side:
Crossing the Divide—Bear Lake to Grand Lake Traverse
4 Great Reasons to Visit Grand Lake, Colorado with Kids
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