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Sprague Lake-Rocky Mountain National Park Estes Park CO

Updated: Jul 14


Unlike the parking lot at Bear Lake Comfort Station, the parking lot of Sprague Lake isn’t as quick to fill up. Granted during peak season, you do have to reserve entrance fee tickets to enter Rocky Mountain National Park. But even during off season these two parking lots tend to fill up fast. I decided to take my last trip to Rocky Mountain in late May, just before one had to start reserving an entrance ticket prior to arrival. Keep in mind that the park is open 24 hours a day. So, if you’re really set on snagging a parking spot at one of these two locations, you can always arrive early (like 4AM early) or in the evening. That being said, I arrived at Sprague Lake’s parking lot around 10AM and still managed to find a spot alongside the parking lot’s entrance.


Sprague Lake is a family friendly destination. With ample bathroom facilities, plenty of open space and wide flat trails encircling the pristine lake, children and adults of all ages may find themselves enchanted by this perfect lakeside setting. Views of Otis Peak, Flattop Mountain, Mount Wuh and Joe Mills Mountain make for a perfect backdrop of Sprague Lake. During our visit we encountered an intimate wedding taking place right on the lake’s trail.



Once you’ve taken in all the sites of Sprague Lake, test your luck and see if you can snag a parking spot at Bear Lake Comfort Station. It is well worth the 5 minute drive further up the mountain. If you are fortunate enough to find a parking spot, enjoy Bear Lake Trail, an easy half mile loop encircling Bear Lake. Still got time? Stop bye Moraine Park on your way out and test your elk-spotting luck.


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