Trail Conditions

 
Spring Conditions with Lots of Snow on the Ground in the Bear Lake Area on June 10, 2024
Spring Conditions in Bear Lake Area on June 10, 2024

NPS Photo

 
 

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 June 12, 2024

 

Plan Ahead and Be Prepared.
There is still a lot of snow in the backcountry.

Trails are still very snowy above 10,000 feet or so. Traction devices and hiking poles in these areas will be very helpful. Conditions can change quickly. Tennis shoe wearers will slip and slide, and have wet feet on snowy trails. If a trail is muddy, walk through the mud rather than around it to prevent trail damage.
Destination Date Description of Conditions Found Hiked By
Bear Lake to Dream Lake and Emerald Lk June 10 There is still a lot of snow above Nymph Lake.
Bear Lake to Dream Lake is almost 100% snow-free to about 100 yards below the Dream/Haiyaha Jct, then lots of hard-packed slippery snow heading across to Dream and up to Emerald Lakes.Traction devices and poles are highly recommended.
Park Volunteer
Lake Haiyaha from Dream Lake Trail Junction June 10 The traverse to Lake Haiyaha from Dream Lake may be challenging, scary, and intimidating for many visitors. There is lots of hard-packed, slippery snow for the first 1/3 mile up from Dream/Haiyaha Jct. Snow on the trail is steep with narrow boot track. Many visitors may find it more comfortable to turn around at the Dream/Haiyaha Junction. Traction devices and poles are highly recommended if visitors continue at this point. Immediately before arriving at Lake Haiyaha, a large amount of water must be negotiated in the location where normally some boulder walking/hopping is done; most of these rocks/boulders are currently under water.
Careful, safe decision-making and careful travel is imperative for all visitors.
Park
Volunteer
Lake Haiyaha to Loch/Mills Junction June 10 Lake Haiyaha to Loch/Mills Junction starts out with lots of hard-packed snow but quickly becomes snow-free and wet, with lots of running water. Park
Volunteer
The Loch, Timberline Falls, and Sky Pond June 10 The Loch/Mills Junction to The Loch is almost 100% snow-free until just before arriving at The Loch.
The disappearing-reappearing trail heading around The Loch would be quite confusing for many visitors. Snow recedes and trail becomes more easily followed about halfway around The Loch. The trail goes back and forth between snow-covered and dirt/mud, but is mostly snow-covered from The Loch onward. There is still a lot of snow above The Loch to Timberline Falls including snowdrifts, and route-finding may be challenging for many visitors.
Timberline Falls is still almost totally covered with snow. In only 1 or 2 locations is water visible through open spots in the snow. There is about a 20-foot steep hardpacked slippery slope up from the bottom of the falls to almost the top of the cliff in the ascent gulley; this is the crux and many visitors may find it more comfortable to turn around here. Traction devices and poles would be recommended if visitors continue up at this point.
After surmounting the snow slope and cliff, the middle part of the Timberline Falls ascent gulley is snow-free; the top section to Lake of Glass from Timberline Falls is snow-filled again, and then becomes snow-free at the top by Lake of Glass. The slopes from treeline to Timberline Falls are fully snow-covered, hardpacked and slippery.The ascent beside Timberline Falls to Lake of Glass may be challenging and intimidating for many visitors.Lake of Glass to Sky Pond - The summer trail is snow-free along the lake and in the initial part of the bushes, but becomes 100% snow-covered while in the bushes, and continues 100% snow-coveredalmost everywhere from that point on to Sky Pond. Large snowfieldsare easily negotiated without traction devices.There are downed trees across almost all of these trails in several locations.
Park
Volunteer
Lawn Lake June 10 The trail started out dry and clear, with some deeper snow at about mile 5. At about mile 5.7 the snow and water on the trail became more prevalent. He did not use taction devices or poles; however, at mile 5.7 poles would have been useful as the snow was getting pretty slushy.
The surface of Lawn Lake is still about ¾ frozen. The area around the lakeshore is snow free, however, the trail in the trees is covered with rather deep snow. Several types of flowers where just starting to bloom at the lake.
Park
Volunteer
Onahu Trail June 9 Many downed trees on the trail. Some snow up near intersection with Tonahutu Trail and Big Meadows but navigable. Park Ranger
East Inlet Trail June 9 The East Inlet Trail is snow-free to within a half-mile of Lone Pine Lake. Then, patches of snow are on the trail to Lone Pine Lake, but can be maneuvered by walking through the snow. Beyond Lone Pine Lake there are still large amounts of snow and snowshoes will be needed to continue on toward Lake Verna. The East Inlet water levels are very high and swift. Use extreme caution near moving water; anyone on this trail needs shoes with good traction to avoid slipping on wet rocks. Park Ranger
Lost Lake June 9 A visitor reported making it to Lost Lake. The significant snow starts just before the lake, and the visitor said it was navigable without traction devices. Visitor
Twin Sisters Peaks June 9 Twin Sisters Peaks clear all the way to the top. Park
Volunteer
Calypso Cascades June 9 Totally clear of snow up to Calypso Cascades (and looked clear for a good while afterward, but she did not hike farther). A few points on the trail were mildly muddy, and the stone steps area near Calypso Cascades required walking through water. Visitor
Fern Lake Trailhead to Fern Falls June 9 Fern Lake Trailhead to Fern Falls was totally snow-free (did not continue to Fern Lake, but looked clear for some ways). Trail not as wet. Had to flick off a couple of ticks. Visitor
Mt. Ida June 9 PREPARE TO POSTHOLE! BE PREPARED WITH PROPER GEAR! or maybe wait a week for the snow to melt? This was the visitor’s 4th time summiting Mt. Ida around this time of year and the snowiest by FAR. Everything below tree line is completely covered in probably 4-5 feet of snow. They started at 6 am and the snow was packed and frozen from the previous night. They used traction devices and poles. Be aware – the trail is completely covered with snow!
No snow at all on the traverse. There was snow at the final stretch to the summit, around 12,500 feet. This snow was pretty packed, but they did posthole in a couple spots, so be very wary here. It’s only loose rocks & boulders beneath and you could easily break/twist/sprain something if you are not prepared to posthole and fall wrong.
Route-finding is critical, as the way is completely covered with snow.
The sun was hot during the day, so coming down from the summit later in the day the snow below tree line had softened considerably. Though their traction devices were helpful in some spots, they basically post holed/fell/slid down the mountain despite their best efforts. They reported it to be a fairly miserable slog. They finished with socks soaked, feet freezing, and absolutely exhausted from the last mile of descent.
In the past, they completed Mt. Ida in around 6-7 hours. With all the melting snow right now, it took them just under 9 hours. Do NOT attempt Mt. Ida this week without proper gear (spikes, poles, waterproof pants, sunglasses for snow blindness). Or wait a week or so until hopefully the snow is much more manageable.
Visitor
North Fork Trail June 8 The first five miles from the trailhead to the park boundary have been cleared. But past that, there are huge numbers of downed trees. Park Ranger
Timber Lake Trail June 7 Snowline is around 10,200 feet, starting near the Long Meadows trail junction. Significant snow the further up the trail you go. Many downed trees along the trail. Park Ranger
North Inlet Trail June 7 The North Inlet Trail is also experiencing flooding and downed trees like some other west side trails. There is flooding all along the trail. The most significant trail flooding is about 0.75 miles from the trailhead where a 200 foot stretch of trail has about 2 feet of flowing water on it. There are some downed trees along the trail. The river is very high and swift. The mosquitos are already relentless. Park Ranger
Park & Ride Shuttle Lot to Bierstadt Lake to Lake Helene June 7 He hiked from the Park & Ride shuttle lot up to Bierstadt Lake and on to Lake Helene. The trail to Bierstadt Lake was clear and dry. From Bierstadt Lake to the turnoff to Lake Helene (just past Bear Lake), the trail was mostly dry with some snowy and wet spots. The rest of the hike up to Lake Helene was snowpacked with snow up to a few feet deep above 10,000'.
Traction devices and trekking poles were very helpful. While there was some postholing, the snow is pretty well consolidated and relatively easy to stay on top.
Park
Volunteer
Colorado River Trail June 4 The Colorado River Trail is flooded and underwater, starting about one mile up from the trailhead. Flooding is now covering the entire trail 1/4 mile past the junction on the Colorado River Trail. There are signs that visitors are walking up on the side of the hill to get around the flooding. Continuing toward Lulu City, there are long stretches of snow and lots of downed trees and brush making it difficult to maneuver the trail. Current conditions make this trail hazardous for families with children, and all visitors should exercise caution if they choose to continue past the flooding.
As an alternative, visitors could hike to the Red Mountain junction and then go up the Red Mountain Trail toward Grand Ditch. That trail is dry.
Park Ranger
Ranger Meadow June 4 Half a mile below the junction with Shadow Mountain Lookout, the trail is impassable. The trail is underwater. Numerous trees down. Park Ranger
Ouzel Lake and Bluebird Lake Trail June 3 Just past Ouzel Falls there are a couple of snow piles where traction devices and/or hiking poles are recommended. At about mile 4, sporadic snow piles become more numerous, with deep snow at times. He did not go to Ouzel Lake, but another hiker confirmed quite deep snow covering the trail. Past the Ouzel Lake Trail junction toward Bluebird Lake, there were more and larger snow piles with quite a bit of running water/puddles in those spots. From mile 5.4 to Bluebird Lake the snow is deep and the trail is very hard to follow. He postholed up to his hip in one spot. They could hear water running under the snow as they hiked over it. They did not break through these snow bridges, but doing so will become a real possibility as the snow melts. Snow depths of up to 4 feet were observed along the route to Bluebird Lake. The final assent was straightforward, as the snow is so deep it actually afforded somewhat firm footing. Past mile 4.5, he used traction devices and poles, both of which are highly recommended. Bluebird Lake is mostly frozen and snow-covered. Park
Volunteer
East Shore Trail June 3 The East Shore Trail still has many fallen trees. The bridge is out where Columbine Creek meets the trail and water is flowing fast and high. The trail is also flooded 1/2 mile below the junction on the stock trail to Ranger Meadows when coming from Shadow Mountain Dam. Park Ranger
Spruce Lake Trail June 2 Spruce Lake is fully melted out. Snow starts ½ mile below Fern Lake. Did not use traction devices. Park Ranger

Timber Lake Trail Be advised a 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, is active and unstable, and continues to worsen each year.

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.


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 June 12, 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’
no snow
Long Draw Reservoir (Site #1123)
elevation 9980’
no snow
Stillwater Creek (Site #793)
elevation 8720’
no snow
Copeland Lake (Site #412)
elevation 8600’
no snow
Never Summer (Site #1031)
elevation 10,280’
12" snow
Wild Basin (Site #1042)
elevation 9560’
no snow
Lake Irene (Site #565)
elevation 10,700’
no snow
Phantom Valley (Site #688)
elevation 9030’
no snow
Willow Park (Site #870)
elevation 10,700’
no 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: June 13, 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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