Fern Lake Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.
A relatively uncrowded hike to a scenic mountain lake accessed from the Moraine Park area of RMNP. Great views of Notchtop Mountain and the Little Matterhorn from the lake's North side.
Nice variety of views on this hike. We stopped and enjoyed more than we normally do on hikes because there was so much to take in. All the elevation gain seems to happen about halfway through the full length of things, but it makes going down quite a pleasure! Want to do this trail all the way to Odessa Lake and then out toward Bear Lake, that'd be awesome as Odessa Lake is the most beautiful I've seen in RMNP so far.
Moderate, climbed the whole way to the lake some parts steeper than others. You go past the Pool, and Fern Falls on this trail. There's a cool ranger log cabin by the lake. Good rocky mountain views
I love this trail. We usually start at Bear Lake and end at the Fern Lake trailhead, I love it because you get a little bit of everything from being in the pines to the aspens, the fall and so many beautiful lakes! You can spend hours just wondering!
Great time of the year to go. The weather was just right. Some foot traffic but not too bad. The river runs by the trail pretty much 1/3 of the way to the lake. The lake itself is breathtaking. I've seen many a mountain-nestled lake, and this makes top three.
Beautiful colors in the fall. Highly trafficked but was a Saturday and peak time for fall colors, so no surprise there. Beautiful bodies of water all along. Felt like a fairy tale.
25 SEPT 2016 - Very nice hike on a crisp late-September morning, a trail lined with aspens and following a river up to beautiful Fern Lake, framed by Notchtop and Little Matterhorn. Arrived at the trailhead (at the end of a dirt road, no high clearance necessary) at 0820, and there was plenty of parking still. Trail starts out easy, but then past "the pool," the incline increases and difficulty goes up to moderate/strenuous. Arrived at Fern Lake by 1010. Gorgeous, serene setting at the top on this cool morning. Was back down to the trailhead by 1145. Trail was well trodden and well maintained, except that it was covered in horse crap.
It's an enjoyable trail, not too steep with lots of shade in the morning. Most of the incline is spent climbing up half dirt, half rock switchbacks type paths which are very easy to find and follow. The end view is a good sized mountain lake surround by thick green forest. Trees surround the lake so no longer range views of the ridges. Very calm place to eat lunch before heading on to other trails. Took us somewhere near four hours up and down with my two younger sisters, who are from Midwest elevation and not blessed with long legs or endurance, taking plenty of stops.
Started at daylight, didn't see anyone until I was at fern lake
It's a great trail, the parking is a nightmare. Do yourself a favor and take the shuttle.