(c) July 2000,
First it was just a long, long drive, 520 miles from Jackson to Estes Park. We were absolutely happy when we arrived. The Blue Arrow camp site is a bit urban. But that was not the problem. The second night we really felt the mountains. It was extremely windy. The kitchen tent was blown away over night, and part of the stove and one light too. But luckily, there was no major damage. But that was the second night...
We used the first evening to grab the required information from the visitor center at the park entrance. It's not a bad idea to buy maps if you plan to go hiking (as we did). Anyway that's about why you're here.
So obviously, next day was our hiking day. We drove to Cub Lake Trailhead from where we started our hike. We hiked straight up to Fern Lake (1.5-2 hours approx.). After an extended lunch stop at the lake we went the same way back to The Pool from where some of us took the long way back via Cub Lake . But it was worth the effort. The lakes were just marvelous. We made it back just by 3pm (on time). So the whole roundtrip took us about 6 hours (9am-3pm).
On the way back we also stopped at Bear Lake. In fact, that was not on the direct way back, but who cares. It was nice and we saw some real tourists for a change. Of course, there's much more hiking in Rocky Mountain N.P., but how should we see it all in just one day. It was perfect like it was.
After a stormy dinner (real swiss Älpler Macaroni) we decided for another cinema night, some of us with The Thomas Crown Affair.
Btw. Estes Park is a very alpine little village. You may visit resorts like the Appenzeller Hof.
The next morning we took Trail Ridge Road through the park in direction to the south exit at Grand Lake.