Storm Mountain

Hands down, the best views in northern Colorado. Rivaled only by the Switzerland trail. Although there are a couple difficult sections, It's worth the trip to the summit, even if you have little experience.

Personally, my favorite place on earth is the Storm Mountain summit. It's a must see.

Be on the lookout for bull moose. There are a couple big ones up there.

From beautiful alpine meadows, stunning vistas, and dark creepy forests, you'll see the best of Colorado on Storm Mountain.

Skill Level - Moderate/difficult

Open - June 15th - December 1st

Time to complete - Full day

See Fire Update on Storm Mountain

Pole Hill (part of Estes Loop)

This is a favorite among our guests. The loop consists of three trail systems and makes for an unforgettable day.

People like it so much because if you don't like one trail, it's quick and easy to jump on another.

A lot of people elect to hit Old Fall River Road or another easy trail, ending their day with Pole Hill which is only a couple miles outside of downtown Estes Park.

Starting only 5 minutes outside Estes Park, expect to experience a wide variety of terrain and beautiful views.

Skill Level - Easy / Moderate

Open - June 15th - December 1st

Time to Complete - Full day

Storm Mountain summit Jeep trail near Estes Park Colorado
Spruce Mountain
Spruce Mountain on Storm Mountain Jeep trail.
Bear Gulch
Bear Gulch on Storm Mountain Jeep trail.
Nelson Spring
Nelson Spring on Storm Mountain Jeep trail
Hard Rock Section
Part of initial climb to the Storm Summit. It is steeper and harder than it looks in this picture.
Show More
Pole Hill View
One of a few nice views on the Pole Hill Jeep trail
Rock Section
Optional rock section on Pole Hill Jeep trail
View Point
Another view point on the Pole Hill Jeep trail
Easy Stuff
Most of Pole Hill is considered easy. It's just the first half mile that is full of big rocks.
Short Rock Section
Johnny's first time 4 wheeling
Show More

Johnny Park (part of Estes Loop)

This trail is very diverse. It has some steep nasty stuff for the adventure seeker and a good deal of smooth terrain for those not so daring. I'd have to say it's one of my favorite trails. The loop consists of three trail systems and makes for an unforgettable day.

People like it so much because if you don't like one trail, it's quick and easy to jump on another.

Skill Level - Easy / Moderate

Open - June 15th - December 1st

Time to Complete - Full day

Rock Section
Optional difficult section on the Johnny Park Jeep trail.
View Point
Great view point on the east side before you reach the difficult stuff.
Another shot of one of the optional rock sections
Easy Stuff
A good deal of Johnny Park has smooth sections
Coming down
West entrance to Johnny Park Jeep trail
Show More

Pierson Park (part of Estes Loop)

The first half of Pierson is really easy. The second half gets a little more interesting with a fairly steep drop into a darkly wooded canyon. However, the end destination is a beautiful meadow. I like Pierson in early morning or evening. This is when the abundant wildlife appear. Trophy bull elk and moose in this area. 


The loop consists of three trail systems and makes for an unforgettable day.

People like it so much because if you don't like one trail, it's quick and easy to jump on another.

Skill Level - Easy / Moderate

Open - June 15th - December 1st

Time to Complete - Full day

Rock Section
Only difficult section of the trail. It's not that hard really.
Fall shot. Summer is so green.
Bull Moose
My wife and I ran into this guy in Pierson Park when we went out for a personal day Jeeping in 2020
Thick woods
Most of Pierson Park is thickly wooded.
Another meadow shot
Show More

Switzerland Trail & Gordon Gulch

Although 45 minutes from Estes Park, this is a very extensive, and easy trail system with some really fun challenging sections as options. One in fact has a view to die for. However, it's quite the rocky climb.

If you're not interested in the difficult stuff, you can elect not to stray from the main path. They call it Switzerland trail because it curves along the edge of multiple mountains.

At the very end, you can elect to jump on the Gordon Gulch trail system loop for some more fun.

There are some great sites along the way. Make sure to picnic at Mt. Alto. 

Skill Level - Easy / moderate

Open - Year-Round

Time to Complete - Full Day

Trail 461 easy part
Most of 461 is a little more difficult than this picture shows.
Cliff Edge
This is the most exposed cliff on the Switzerland trail. It looks scarier than it really is. However, you can see more of the trail way down at the bottom.
The view
It's a really rough climb to make this view point, but it is so worth it.
The climb
Optional trail. It doesn't look steep in this picture. Pictures never do anything justice. Trust me, this trail gets real steep and rocky.
Water hole
This water hole never goes away. This picture shows it during a drought
Show More

Middle Saint Vrain (MSV)

Although absolutely stunning and a hell of a lot of fun! MSV is very difficult.

The water crossings are abundant and deep. So deep, you may want to take a little swim in Coney Flats. It's a river that has literally just melted off a glacier not more than a couple miles upstream.

There are waterfalls you can hike a few yards too, and the moose and black bear are also abundant here.

Unless you have rock 4 wheeling experience, don't attempt it. Be careful, you can easily break a machine out there.

Skill Level - Difficult / Extreme

Open - July 1st - November 15th

Time to Complete - Full day

Beginning Boulders
Right off the bat you have large boulders to navigate. This is not an easy trail by any means
Water and Rocks
Water and rocks. This pretty much sums up MSV
Natural Spring
More water crossings
More Boulders
The first mile of MSV is nothing but rocks on top of rocks
Rock Garden
This is the trickiest section on MSV. It's harder than it looks in the picture. Picking a line through these rocks requires some skill and common sense.
Show More

Old Fall River Road (the only National Park trail)

Although you can do this dirt mountain road in a 2 wheel drive car. Alot of people like to do it in a Jeep with the tops and doors off.

It starts near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and dumps you out at the Alpine Visitor's center at over 12,000 feet. It's a must see no matter what in Estes Park.

Along the way there are awesome waterfalls you can hike too, as well as plenty of places to stop and take pictures.

The views simply breath taking. Please note: ATV's are not allowed here. 

Skill Level - Easy

Open - Although the park is open, this trail is closed for 2020

Time to Complete - 3 hours

Bright Trail (Taylor Road)

Aside from Old Fall River Road, this is the easiest trail in the area. Super easy and super smooth.

If you're up for a secluded hike, there is one up there. I guarantee you won't see another human being. That might sketch you out if you're a city person. Break a leg out there and you won't be found for a week. However, the trail takes you to a river at the bottom, and it is an amazing place to hang out.

This trail is close to Johnny Park. Alot of people start out on this easy one and work their way up to Johnny and Pole.

Skill Level - Easy

Open - June 15th - November 15th

Time to Complete - hours

Rock Creek

You won't see much but very dense forest and water runoff along Rock Creek. However, if you reach the top of the trail, there is an amazing view of the Indian Peaks. Its a wilderness white cap mountain range you can only see from a trail system like this.

Personally, I love it. I like deep, dark forests with huge Spruce trees.

If you're looking to get into 4 wheel drive and want something fairly easy, this is a great trail to couple with Bright Trail.

Skill Level - Easy/moderate

Open - Year Round

Time to Complete - 3 hours

When you rent a Jeep Wrangler from Backbone Adventures in Estes Park Colorado, it's yours for the day. You can take it anywhere you like. Our Jeep rentals are unguided. We don't do tours or shove 12 people in a Jeep and drive you around on paved roads. Renting a Jeep Wrangler from us means you'll be exploring off road trails in the Estes Park area on your own. It's a real adventure. Check out our Jeep Rentals page with details, pictures, and prices. 

© Copyright 2020 - Backbone Adventures and Backbone Adventures Inc.

This institution is operated under special use permit with the National Forest. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



8am - 5pm

Monday - Sunday


1851 North Lake Ave

Estes Park, Co 80517