NOTE - Spring conditions exist on all the trails now - snow becomes soft and sticky and lakes are unsafe to walk on. USE CAUTION WHEN HIKING.
These Trail Conditions reports are the viewpoints of the submitters, whether park staff, volunteers, or visitors. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. Use these reports only as guidelines. Be prepared for varying weather and trail conditions.
Due to the September 2013 Flood, missing foot bridges, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes, falling trees due to soil moisture, rutted trails, damaged water bars and steps, standing water, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs could be encountered. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance and adventure are expected. Hikers should be prepared to take responsibility for their own actions; search and rescue may be delayed. Be prepared to stay overnight even if you are a day hiker. Hiking poles may be helpful on uneven trails. Route finding skills may be required. Carry a map and compass and other backcountry travel essentials. Hike at your own risk.
Enjoy one of the many hikes in Rocky!
What's your trail conditions report? Please email e-mail us, call the Information Office, 970-586-1206, or stop by a park visitor center.
Trail conditions reports help everyone. We need them year-round, and this spring it's more important than ever as hikers encounter possible impacts from last fall's flood. Thanks very much for your report!
Trail: Longs Peak
Trail: September 2013 Flood Damage
Trail: Crater Trail
Below are some pictures of recent hiking
Mixed ice and packed snow along with dry spots.Because of the September 2013 flood, hard to find trail in some spots and we had to make our own trail. Pure ice near the summit.Used traction devices. Also very windy at the top, so bring extra layers.
Fern Lake trailhead to The Pool
As of 5/1/2015 the road is open to the trailhead. Only very occasional patches of snow in the trees with none on trail. Waterfall at "jaws" is very nice! Consequently the trail in that area is under water in several stretches. Adequate footwear - i.e. hiking boots - will allow you to wade through most of it as it is not that deep. Gently skirt any deeper water. Creeping barberry is in bloom in profusion along the trail.
Chasm Falls (Old Fall River Road)
Road is clear and dry to the falls. Falls are "great" right now.
Bear Lake to Emerald Lake
The trail from Bear Lake Trailhead to Emerald Lake is well packed all the way and very easy to follow. This route is icy slick in the morning and by mid-day becomes slushy slick when the temperature warms. No matter what the weather conditions, this trip is quite slick the entire distance.
Bear to Nymph is very well packed with portions of the trail almost totally melted out. All Lakes on this hike are ice and snow covered but the ice is not to be trusted and a route that avoids crossing the lakes should always be used.
From Nymph to Dream the trail is well packed but slick. Going beyond Dream Lake the visitor can select one of two routes on the way to Emerald Lake. There is a nice track on the left (south) side of the lake and also a track around the right (north) side of the lake. Both are well defined, but the left side track does have less ups and downs. On a trip to Emerald Lake one route could be used on the way up and for variety the other can be used when coming down.
Both of the routes join just above Dream Lake and continue on a well defined trail to Emerald Lake. There is great snow cover all the way and this trip makes for a very rewarding spring trip. The snow is quite slick along the entire route, so appropriate equipment should be used.
Sturdy boots with traction devices (the snow can be very wet and soak through light shoes)
Snowshoes are a good alternant choice as they provide excellent stability on the slick snow
Trekking poles are extremely helpful
Sun protection (sun screen and good sun glasses)
Clothing layers to adjust to changeable weather conditions
Snowshoes, gaiter, hiking poles and traction devices recommended.The trail is difficult to find above tree line.
95% Snow free up to Devil's Staircase. Easy hiking but recommend traction devices and trekking poles to go higher than Devil's Staircase.
By Park Ranger
Trail around lake is uneven but one may do it in just hiking boots as it is packed down but fairly icy.Poles would be recommended.
The Loch from Glacier Gorge
Trail is icy but packed to junction to Mills Lake.Need snow shoes after the junction.Can do trail to junction in boots but poles are recommended for stability.
Falling trees are ever-present hazards when traveling in the forest. Be aware of your surroundings. Dead trees can fall without warning!