Big Meadows Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, CO that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
I read 3.5-4 hours but can be done much faster. I did it in 2.25 with a couple stops. Nice meadows. Trail is undergoing a bit of maintenance due to wet/muddy conditions.
Not a bad day hike... Remember to bring your bug spray....the Mosquitos were horrible. Overall I liked the views at the meadow at the end of the hike, there is a running creek through the meadow that makes for some really great panoramic photos.
The elevation gain was okay as I completed the hike carrying our daughter on my back in her carrier. We started at the green mountain trailhead and hiked to the big meadows which was only 3.8 miles there and back. Plan on about three hours with kiddos.
This is a good hike with not a lot of people. We hiked a loop up Green Mountain Trail, across Tonahutu, and down Onahu Creek, then took the Onahu Creek back to Green Mountain Trail head. Mosquitos were really bad but the wildlife and wildflowers made for a great hike.
We normally spend our time on the east side of RMNP and came here to hike for one reason: the elusive moose!
I wasn't particularly impressed with the hike itself. The trees here are not nearly as attractive as many on the east side of the park, in my opinion. The pine beetle damage was very bad through here, and you don't get the overlook views that you do on many hikes on the east side.
There are multiple small meadow areas here which are nice. There were lots of bugs — something we hadn't experienced much of in RMNP.
We also hiked a loop coming up Green Mountain Trail, across Tonahutu, and down Onahu Creek, finishing by hiking Onahu Creek TH to Green Mountain TH. I'd probably recommend the reverse of this, as Big Meadows and the cabins near there were the scenic highlight of the trip and I think I prefer Green Mountain to Onahu.
We finally got our moose a few hundred yards before the hike ended, which I guess made it worth the trip.