Thunder Lake


  • Respect Wildness... Practice the 7 Leave No Trace Ethics
  • Plan ahead and prepare: Plan your trip carefully. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies. Plan for the least experienced member of your party.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Hike single file in the middle of the trail or side by side in areas without trails. Camp in hardened areas only, not in meadows or on vegetation.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pick up all spilled foods and trash. Disperse washing and cooking wastewater 70 adult steps (200 feet/60 meters) from camps and all water sources. Leave no evidence of your stay.
  • Leave what you find: Leave plants, rocks, antlers and artifacts as you find them for others to enjoy.
  • Minimize campfire impacts: CAMPFIRES PROHIBITED AT THIS SITE. Use portable stoves only.
  • Respect Wildlife: Use carry-in/carry-out bear resistant food storage canister April 1 through October 31. Minimize noise. Avoid lakes and streams at dawn and dusk.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Respect the quality of every visitor’s experience.

EMERGENCIES: In case of emergency, call Park Dispatch at (970) 586-1203 or 911. Map (over) shows the location of the nearest phone.

Site Location: Individual and Group sites are in a forested area west of trail. Stock site is south of trail and east of lake and Patrol Cabin. A wood sign indicates the path to the site; the path may be marked by red arrowheads on trees. Camp safely away from standing dead trees, as near as is safely possible to the silver metal arrowhead.

Number of Sites: 3 individual; 1 group; 1 stock
Elevation: 10,570 feet
Distance: 6.8 miles from Wild Basin TH
Approximate Travel Time: 5 to 7 hours
Elevation Change: 2,070 feet gain
Privy: YES

Water Source: Water is available at inlet and outlet streams of lake. Boil or adequately treat all water.

To Reach the Trailhead (TH): Wild Basin TH: From Beaver Meadows Visitor Center follow Hwy 36 approximately 1 mile east then turn right onto Mary’s Lake Road and follow approximately 2.4 miles to Hwy 7. Turn right and follow Hwy 7 approximately 9.1 miles to Wild Basin Road. Turn right onto Wild Basin Road and drive past the Wild Basin Lodge, then veer right to approach the Entrance Station. The TH and Wild Basin Ranger Station are at the end of this road (approximately 2 miles).
Drawing of Thunder Lake Group Campsite Location
Modified: 05/09


Last updated: May 9, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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