Trail Conditions

Winds in winter along the Continental Divide
Windy winter day along the Continental Divide

NPS/VIP Schonlau

RMNP Trail Conditions Report
as of January 23, 2020

RMNP TRAIL CONDITIONS are changing often this winter, as RMNP has experienced a lot of wind and new snow. In general, RMNP trails parkwide are hard-packed and icy at lower elevations, where traction devices and poles (at least) are advised; with snowier conditions at higher elevations, where snowshoes and poles may be better. Remember: route-finding is important, as RMNP trails are not marked in winter and following other tracks is not advised, as you don’t know where they lead, and the wind and new snow obliterate tracks.

1/23/2020 Fern Lake
Trail was icy. Some spots open but snow 3 feet deep along trail. Cold and windy. Traction recommended. If going beyond Fern Lake, snowshoes definitely needed as route finding very difficult.
By a Visitor

1/23/2020 Cub Lake Loop
Started at Cub Lake Trailhead and went to Cub Lake and then down to The Pool and out on Fern Lake Trail and on road back to parking. Mostly packed snow with a couple places where postholing occurred. Traction devices and poles needed. Slippery spots on the trail from The Pool to trailhead.
By a Visitor

1/22/2020 Ouzel Falls
The trail to Ouzel Falls is snow packed, with some powder and icy in spots so traction devices and poles are recommended. Snow shoes are not needed.
By a Visitor

1/21/2020 Mills Lake and the Loch
There is a 3' + hard snowpack with some new snow. The trails to these lakes are over hard, icy, packed snow so traction devices are better than snowshoes.
By a Visitor

1/21/2020 Dream Lake
The trail to Dream Lake is snow packed; traction devices and poles are recommended. Snowshoes are not required, and traction devices will work better.
By a Visitor

1/20/2020 Gem Lake Trail
Trail has long sections of solid ice that are difficult to work around. Traction devices and poles strongly recommended, especially after Paul Bunyan's Boot.
By a Volunteer

1/19/2020 Deer Mountain
Trail well packed and easy to follow to summit. Traction and poles were sufficient if staying on the main trail.
By a Visitor

1/6/2020 Park & Ride to Bierstadt Lake
Trail was snow-packed with several downed trees across trail. Some drifting snow encountered near the lake and post holed. Trekking poles very helpful.
By a Visitor

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: January 23, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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