My buddy and I are heading to the Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend to summit Flattop Mountain as well as mess around in the valleys near the lakes. We are fairly new to the Colorado backpacking scene and could use as much advice as possible.

We were planning on summiting flattop with daypacks and heading back to the car for our backpacks. Then setup camp and hang somewhere along the trail to one of the lakes.

Is there parking near the trailhead?
Best bear and mountain lion practices?
What to expect weather-wise based off of weather forecasts. (I'm sure the forecasts don't include the weather we'll experience on the summit.)
Anything you'd like to tell us would be much appreciated.

We have ALL the gear, just iffy on what to bring.

Thank you in advance,