Just when I think we’ve hiked every kid-friendly trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, we find a new one and I get so very excited to try it out. Our recent hike on the Black Canyon trail exceeded our expectations. Our young girls enjoyed themselves because of the short distance and rocks to climb on, while I appreciated the unique rock formations and the mountain views.
Lumpy Ridge Trailhead
The Black Canyon trail leaves from the Lumpy Ridge trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Lumpy Ridge is located off of Devils Gulch road in Estes Park, Colorado.
This area is known for unique rock formations which are natural habitats for raptors. When raptors make nests in the rocks, the National Park Service shuts down the trail to protect these birds of prey. When planning a trip, just be aware that the trail might be closed from spring through mid-summer.
rock climbing and trail running
The Lumpy Ridge is a popular technical rock climbing destination. You can see Twin Owls perched above the trail. We saw several rock climbers heading up with their ropes and climbing gear. This trail also seems to be a popular spot for trail running.
Views of the Rocky Mountains
This area offers expansive views of the peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park.
There was a huge rock and tree right off the trail that my girls LOVED. They pretended that it was their tree house. This was a great spot to enjoy a water break.
We continued our hike, but soon the trail divided. The left leads to climber access trails for Batman Rock as well as The Book, The Pear, and Sundance Buttress. We were surprised to see that the trail continues all the way to Lawn Lake (9 miles).
Towards the right, there is a trail up to Lower Twin Owls and Upper Twin Owls. We decided to head back the way we came, making the total distance 1.2 miles round-trip.
More hikes from lumpy ridge Trailhead
On prior trips, we’ve enjoyed hiking up to Gem Lake. Seeing our young kids, a park ranger urged us to go on the Black Canyon trail and I appreciate the suggestion. Gem Lake is a great hike, but a good portion of that hike is straight up the mountain.
Links to our posts about Gem Lake:
Rocky Mountain Tot Goes to Gem Lake