Trail Conditions

 
This mountain lake in February and March is covered in ice and snow. The surrounding hillsides are snow-covered.
Mountain Lake in Lake February

NPS Photo by J. Marino

 
 

Longs Peak: View the Longs Peak Conditions Report

East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fire Closures: View Fire Information Area Closures

 

Trail Closures

East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fire Closures

  • Some park trails and areas remain closed due to fire impacts. Park staff will continue to assess these areas for safety and downed trees, being mindful of high winds that occur this time of year causing more trees to fall. Learn more here.
 

RMNP Trail Conditions Report as of March 1, 2024

 
Date of Hike Destination Description of Conditions Found Hiked By
2/29/24 Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes from Bear Lake Trails are all snow-covered. Traction devices and hiking poles recommended. Volunteer
2/29/24 Chasm Falls Old Fall River Road is snowy much of the way, so traction devices or snowshoes plus hiking poles are helpful. Visitor
2/29/24 Cub Lake/Pool Loop The trail is a combination of ice, snow, and clear. The first 1/3-1/2 of a mile has some icy spots and clear areas. From there it's mostly clear until the end of the meadow. When you come upon the first aspen grove the trail is snow-packed all the way to the lake. The trail from Cub Lake to the Mill Creek Junction is a combination of ice, snow, and clear. The trail to The Pool is snow-packed. No snowshoes or traction devices are necessary. except near The Pool. Had traction devices on but soon after that it's mostly clear although there are some really slick spots on the trail. Volunteer
2/28/24 East Portal Hiked from the East Portal Trailhead into the park, and back. It was snowy the whole way, and snowshoes with hiking poles were used. Visitor
2/21/24 Bear Lake to Bierstadt Lake Starting the trail was a bit tricky from the Bear Lake Nature Trail sign, as social trails are confusing. From the horse trail sign on up, the trail is fairly easy to follow if you check the old orange ski trail tags on the trees. Skiers have made some social trails that can be misleading. For the most part the entire trail after the Bierstadt turnoff is a lightly packed ski trail about 18" wide and very easy to follow. The entire trail is snow-covered, and before melting and refreezing occurs either snowshoes or traction devices are adequate, leaning more to traction devices. Volunteer
2/18/24 Calypso Cascades in Wild Basin Winter parking adds a mile to the hike each way, when heading for the Wild Basin Trailhead. The restrooms are closed at the trailhead during the winter months. Traction devices worked well for this hike. Visitor

Timber Lake Trail Be advised a landslide occurred in June 2023 approximately 1 mile up the trail. Another landslide occurred summer 2014 two miles beyond the Timber Lake trailhead and goes all the way to the top of Jackstraw Mountain. That landslide is still there and continues to worsen each year. Both landslides are active and unstable.

Plan Ahead and Be Prepared

Any time of year, and affected by season, elevation, slope, and exposure, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) can have extreme weather. In RMNP, all four seasons can happen in one day! Plan ahead and be prepared for weather to change rapidly.

Any Time of Year: Choose Your Destination Wisely. Always tell someone where you are going, where you will be parked, what your intended route is, when you plan to be back home, and then let them know when you return.


Lakes Always proceed with caution around icy lakes, especially around inlets, outlets, and rocks, where the ice can be thin.

Route-finding is important. RMNP trails are not marked in winter and following other tracks is not advised, as you don’t know where they lead, and wind and new snow obliterate tracks. When trails are covered in snow, signs may not be visible. Carry a map and compass or GPS and know how to use them.

Be Prepared for Conditions with Essentials. It is important to bring and use the right gear, especially suitable gear for the season.Plan that trails can be snowy much of the year. Depending on conditions and elevation, some trails can be icy and snowy September through midsummer. Do you have the right gear and equipment, and know how to use it?
  • Traction devices for the bottom of your boots and hiking poles are strongly recommended, as trails may be icy. Or depending on conditions after snowstorms or at higher elevations, the snow may be deep enough that snowshoes are advised. Hiking poles are helpful for stability.
  • Food and water are essential no matter how long your hike.
  • Layers of wicking clothing and extra socks.
  • Waterproof outer layers and extra layers for warmth; in summer, raingear.
  • A hat and gloves, sunglasses or goggles, and sunscreen any time of year. Sunlight can damage your eyes and skin, even on cloudy days. Protect your eyes from the sun and blowing snow
  • Wear closed-toed footwear with a treaded sole for hiking. Slick-soled shoes without good traction (ex. sneakers), sandals, flip flops, plastic clogs) can lead to cold toes, wet feet, slips, trips and falls.
Roads can be icy and snowy, especially in shady areas. Be prepared and know how to drive in wintery conditions. If the Colorado Vehicle Traction Law is in place in RMNP, for your safety and the safety of other motorists, all vehicles must have properly rated tires with a minimum of 3/16” tread or an approved traction control device.

Fire Impacts Approximately 30,000 acres or 10 percent of RMNP has been impacted by the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires. Some park trails remain temporarily closed due to the level of fire impacts and ongoing safety assessments. This website is updated as trails reopen. Please see the link above.

REMEMBER, PETS ARE PROHIBITED ON ALL RMNP TRAILS, TUNDRA AND MEADOW AREAS
 

SNOTEL SITES AS OF March 1, 2024

There are several SNOTEL sites in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides a website where monitoring results are available.

SNOTEL Website: https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum= and every SNOTEL site has a unique Site Number. For example, Bear Lake is https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=322

Bear Lake (Site #322)
elevation 9500’
45” snow
Long Draw Reservoir (Site #1123)
elevation 9980’
44” snow
Stillwater Creek (Site #793)
elevation 8720’
23" snow
Copeland Lake (Site #412)
elevation 8600’
10” snow
Never Summer (Site #1031)
elevation 10,280’
49" snow
Wild Basin (Site #1042)
elevation 9560’
35" snow
Lake Irene (Site #565)
elevation 10,700’
61” snow
Phantom Valley (Site #688)
elevation 9030’
28” snow
Willow Park (Site #870)
elevation 10,700’
45” snow
 

Submit Your Own Trip Report

Send us an email, call (970) 586-1206, or stop by a park visitor center.

 

For Your Safety

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.

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

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.

Last updated: March 1, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

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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