Winter is a spectacular time to visit the wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park. With a little bit of preparation, many exciting activities await you. Be sure to layer up with insulating, waterproof clothing, wear sunglasses, use sunscreen and carry water. We really want your trip to be both safe and enjoyable.
Ticks are out! - CAUTION! Lakes are thawing! It is not advised to go out on any high country lakes. - Warm afternoons are causing snow to be soft; visitors are postholing.
Lawn Lake Trail (first 2+ miles)
Walked up to Lawn Lake/Ypsilon intersection. Couple very small snow packed areas but otherwise dry. Walked 200 yards up Ypsilon Trail and all snow-packed and slippery. Then walked up to Cuthroat and Golden Banner Camp sites. Snow most of the way after beginning big switchback away from river. Packed some but postholed a lot in the soft snow.
Bear Lake immediate area
Snow and ice on trail. Snow is 4 ' deep. Postholed a few times. In the morning, it is icy and spikes are useful. In the afternoon, the snow is very soft and snowshoes would be appropriate.
Trail clear at trailhead. Encountered packed snow at switchbacks. It was a little icy and slippery. Hiked OK with just boots, but traction would help. Watch for snowshoe trackt that leave the trail and shortcuts up the switchbacks. When the trail turns into the woods on top, it went off to the right and transversed Deer Mountain to the left until reaching the summit. It was not even close to where the summer trail goes. Getting to the actual top was a little tricky but wonderful and clear at the rocky top.
Endovalley Road from the Alluvial Fan to Endovalley Picnic Area is clear and dry (one small patch of snow in the shade). Did not go farther.
Cub Lake TH to The Pool to Fern Falls back to Pool and Fern Lake TH
Icy/Snowy Cub Lake to The Pool. Snowy to Fern Falls, Lots of Postholing. Clear from Pool to Fern Lake TH. Advise to hike slow, take your time, watch your step. Traction devices and hiking poles helpful at various times.
Mix of hard and soft snow - with snow shoes, we would hit areas where the surface would collapse around four to five feet, especially near rock insets, making it particularly hard and potentially dangerous in many areas. Additionally, the winter has left many fallen trees, making it very unclear where to follow the intended trail. Use caution.
Bear lake to Alberta Falls
Trail slippery. Traction would be very useful. The falls are still completely frozen although there is some open water 15 yards below falls. Use caution if climbing around the falls area.
Started at Bierdstadt Parking Lot and went up and around Bierstadt and then to Bear Lake and back down along Glacier Creek trail. Used spikes the whole time. The switchbacks up to Bierdstadt still had a fair amount of snow--please do not short cut them as there is evidence of unnecessary erosion occurring. Bierdstadt Lake looked soft and we did not go out on it. Trail going down along Glacier Creek was getting softer by the minute and we postholed several times. Definitely spring conditions.
Had a wonderful time hiking up to Twin Sisters Peaks. Snow was great in the morning before the sun hit it. Microspikes or Snowshoes are a good idea since you're hiking switchbacks on the side hills. Some difficulty staying on trail in places where the snow has drifted. Little snow above treeline because of the exposure it gets to the sun.
Trail was lovely. Microspikes were worn but may not have been necessary as the snow was not all that deep.
Went all the way in spikes. Trails are pretty packed down and above treeline is packed wind swept snow. Trails are numerous in terms of tracked snow when you get above Dream Overlook.