Dirty, smelly and excited we stepped into the backcountry office at Rocky Mountain National Park during the busy season, with no reservations. Thanks to the help of the ranger we walked out with permits for two nights near Mirror Lake in a section of the park that sees little use, even during the peak season. Just what we were looking for. The hike in was just under nine miles with some elevation gain. Our camp was a mile from Mirror Lake and was near a few trail junctions providing hiking options.
The drive into the trailhead is long and took two hours from the backcountry office, but was worth it once we were on the trail. The parking lot was packed when we arrived, but are concern was quickly deflated the further down the trail we got. Most the people in the area seemed to be camping relatively close to trailhead. If you would like to find out more about this hike, do some research.