Thing to Do

Hike to Ypsilon Lake

a lake with a large mountain behind it
Ypsilon Lake

NPS Photo / Kim Grossman

  • Distance: 4.5 miles one-way (7.2 m)
  • Elevation Gain: 2,180 ft feet (664 m)
  • Type of Trail: Out and Back from the Lawn Lake Trailhead

The hike to Ypsilon Lake features unique terrain in Rocky Mountain National Park. During the first mile, hikers will trek along the edge of a sharp ravine.

Created when the Lawn Lake Dam burst on July 15, 1982, the ravine is a testament to the amazing power of water. The trail then climbs upward with switchbacks and through a forested trail. The last quarter mile descends to the scenic and secluded Ypsilon Lake. Looking to the northwest, the peaks of Ypsilon Mountain and Mount Chiquita are visible from the water’s edge.

Weather Warning: Weather in the mountains can turn in an instant! Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Check the forecast before heading out. Lightning can strike anywhere in Rocky. Watch for building storm clouds and return to the trailhead immediately if you hear thunder. As a rule of thumb, try to be back at the trailhead by noon.

Help keep wildlife wild. Never approach or feed wildlife. Animals that learn people are a source of food can become aggressive or stop hunting or foraging on their own. Keep your distance - it's the law! You could be hurt or issued a fine.

Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

From May 27 to October 10, 2022, Timed Entry Permit Reservations are required to enter most areas of Rocky Mountain National Park between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To access the Bear Lake Road Corridor, Timed Entry Permits are in effect from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Timed Entry Permit Reservations are only available to be booked through One Timed Entry Permit Reservation is $2.00 and non-refundable. 

Timed Entry Permits are vehicle permits. One Timed Entry Permit will cover one vehicle and all passengers in the vehicle. Timed Entry Permit Holders must enter the park during their reseved 2-hour reservation window. 

To learn more, visit the park's Timed Entry Permit Reservation webpage at

Accessibility Information
This is not a paved trail. The trail is rugged with an elevation gain of 2,255 feet.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: July 21, 2022