Forest Canyon Overlook

people stand on a platform watching the sun set behind mountains
Sunset at Forest Canyon Overlook

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot

Get a panoramic view at 11,716 feet!

Take a five minute walk down the paved asphalt trail to see Forest Canyon and its tributary canyons, Hayden Gorge and Gorge Lakes. Here the erosive force of glacial ice is unmistakable. A 1,500 feet thick glacier shaped a V-shaped stream valley below. With grinding force, the ice scoured the valley into the distinctive U-shaped valley of today.

Please stay on the paved asphalt trail to protect fragile alpine tundra plants. Studies have shown it can take decades for alpine plants and soil to recover after human trampling. Thank you for staying on the path and enjoying the flowers by not picking them, so future visitors can enjoy them as well.

Note: Trail Ridge Road closes mid-October to Memorial Day. Extreme weather can change the status of Trail Ridge Road at any timeā€”be ready to adjust your travel plans if needed, and always check the weather before you start your drive.

Altitude Warning: Altitude sickness affects many visitors every year. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and even unconsciousness. Altitude can also aggravate pre-existing conditions like heart and lung disease. Take your time, drink water, eat, and rest. The only cure for altitude sickness is to go down to a lower altitude.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: November 13, 2020