• Photo of early morning clouds hanging low in the valley with mountains of the Continental Divide stretched out above. NPS Photo/Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

Trail Conditions Reports

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 recent flooding, expect to encounter 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. 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.

 
Ice on Lake Haihaha 1_14

Some beautiful ice colors at Lake Haiyaha - picture taken January 14, 2015

NPS/Jon Olsen

Enjoy one of the many hikes in Rocky!
A great many of the visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park hike the variety of scenic trails. There are many outstanding opportunities to hike, snowshoe, ski or ride during the winter on one of Rocky's trails. You can stop by a park visitor center to obtain current conditions and recommendations. Remember, safety is your responsibility.

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
For current conditions, check the Longs Peak Conditions Report.

Trail: September 2013 Flood Damage
For current trail conditions as a result of the September 2013 Flood, please visit Flood Impacts and Closures.

Trail: Crater Trail
The trail will remain closed for the remainder of 2014. The park is considering closing it permanently - read more.

Below are some pictures of recent hiking

 
combined pics 1_15
Both pictures are from Lake Haiyaha hike on January 14, 2015.
Left is of the track crossing at the exposed area
Right is the track leading to the east side of the lake
NPS/Jon Olsen
 

1/15/15 WARNING -- ICE ON MANY LAKES HAS BECOME THIN OVER THE LAST WEEK!

1/15/16
The Loch

The Loch has hard snow packed conditions with several open water holes along Icy Brook. At the entrance to The Loch someone has dug a nice snow cave. We used snow shoes and poles because of reported open water, but traction devices would have worked.
By Visitor

1/14/15
Bear Lake to Lake Haiyaha via summer trail

Trail to Haiyaha junction just below Dream Lake is very well packed. At the junction the Haiyaha summer trail is well tracked. The drifts at the start near the east end of Dream are no problem and track is easy to follow. This first section of this route which is often difficult due to large drifts has been well traveled and presents none of the usual problems. The trail is excellent all the way down to the Chaos drainage and easy to follow. The few exposed places present no problems at this time. When the track reaches the Chaos drainage there is a well-defined track that approaches Lake Haiyaha from the east and drops down onto the lake. (The summer route around to the south side of the lake had no obvious tracks.) Following the route up the long drift and down to the lake is excellent.

Equipment Needed:
Boots with traction devices can be used the entire trip--and/or
Snowshoes (they become very useful the last half mile to the lake as the snow is soft)
Trekking Poles
Wind resistant clothing is important as the Chaos Canyon area can be very windy
By Volunteer

1/13/15
Lake Helene

Deep snow, particularly last mile.Excellent for snow shoeing and cross country skiing.Trail was icy.Traction devices on lower part of trail, but last mile definitely need snow shoes or skis.
By Visitor

1/13/15
Black Lake

Trail was packed enough from Glacier Gorge to Jewel Lake that spikes and poles were ok.Beyond Jewel Lake, snow shoes were needed.
By: Visitor

1/10/15
Fern Lake

Trail was icy and packed to The Pool, then knee-deep snow toward the top. Snowshoes recommended. Boots alone okay, but some postholing. Moose sighted on trail.
By Visitor

1/10/15
Storm Pass toward Estes Cone

Very good cross-country ski conditions
By Visitor�

1/8/15
Bear, Nymph, Dream, & Emerald Lakes
The trail is well packed all the way from Bear Lake Trailhead to Emerald. It is easy to follow however there are a number of solo snowshoe tracks that lead off the main route. Nymph Lake's surface is completely packed and the hiker should stay to the left side of lake to connect with trail to Dream Lake. Visitors need to be careful to follow the most packed trail. From Dream to Emerald the track is a bit softer but creates no real problem. Wind can be a factor at times along this route with Dream being windy most often. Emerald can be windy but often not as much as Dream. This route offers the visitor a great introduction to winter travel in the mountains and outstanding scenery.

Equipment Needed:
Sturdy boots with traction devices
Trekking poles are extremely helpful
Snowshoes are useful for stability more than flotation
By: Volunteer

1/7/15
Fern Lake Trailhead to The Pool

Snow packed from the Winter Parking area.Trail is well defined and was ok with boots, traction devices and poles if you stay on the trail
By: Visitor

1/6/15
Hollowell Park (from trailhead and 2 miles up)

Starts out easy but snow gets deeper further on.Trail was slightly icy.Snowshoes recommended but could make it in boots.
By Visitor

12/31/14
Glacier Gorge to Black Lake

Snowshoes needed beyond Mills Lake and trail-finding skills useful.The snow depth was about 40 inches.A male big horn sheep was spotted below Black Lake.Ice was "amazing" on east of Black Lake.
By:Visitor

12/27/14
Park &Ride to Bierstadt Lake

Took trail from Glacier Basin Park &ride to Bierstadt Lake and beyond to high point on trail to Bear Lake.Very good snowshoeing/ski conditions.This trail is out of the wind.
By Visitor

12/18/14
Bear Lake to Lake Helene

The trail from Bear to about 1/2 mile from Helene is well packed. There has been a number of snowshoers and skiers on this trail and is very easy to follow. The winter route over Two Rivers Lake and down to Helene is not obvious and drifting does cover most tracks that might exist. The last 1/2 mile is the most challenging with a mix of wind pack and soft drifts to arrive at Two Rivers Lake and then on to Lake Helene. This line is moderately difficult and does require some knowledge of the terrain. There were no tracks on the summer trail line but it could be followed if desired. Going beyond Helene down to Odessa has some serious route problems with steep snow across the summer trail. Best to make Helene the final destination.

Equipment Recommended:
Snowshoes or skis for the majority of the trip
Sturdy boots and traction devices could be used as far as the last 1/2 mile of the trip, then snowshoes or skis needed
Trekking Poles will be very helpful
Wind will be a factor for last part of this trip so appropriate clothing is very necessary
By Volunteer

 

Falling trees are ever-present hazards when traveling in the forest. Be aware of your surroundings. Dead trees can fall without warning!

Did You Know?