Explore 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 Map
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off road driving
snow
4 days ago

I was there last weekend and it was easily drivable with a 4x4 Tacoma and bfg ko2’s. The first left looked completely unmaintained while the right turn (the actual trail) was just a bit slick.

12 days ago

12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

hiking
16 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

Drive this last weekend in my stock JK rubicon. Made it 5-6 miles in before the snow became too much for the Jeep. Definitely need to come back once it melts, I only saw people with snowmobiles out there when I went so mid November is too late in the season for my Jeep.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views! I brought my dog to hike and she loved it- we met several other people with dogs too who were all very friendly. I didn’t wish I had snow shoes until the end when I started sinking in waist deep snow and my dog started disappearing completely under the snow- it was moderately challenging but well worth it!

off road driving
2 months ago

really fun trail, not scenic but a nice challenge. I did this in a stock JL sport with upgrade a/t tires without too much issue.

My husband and I attempted this hike today, but the back half was too snow-packed. I’ll review what we did do:

The RMNP guard station was closed, but you are still able to drive through into the next parking lot, after that the road is closed, and it’s about a 1 mile walk on ice/packed snow to the trailhead (you pass the first set of trailheads and continue on to the large ranger station at Wild Basin trailhead, where you’ll see the sign for Bluebird Lake Trail, too. Note that you’ll follow the Ouzel trail past Ouzel Falls and Lake before you reach the actual Bluebird Lake Trail.

The walk from the parking lot to the trailhead is pretty miserable without YakTrax/MicroSpikes—we walked about halfway to the trailhead without, and I would consider YakTrax required! Once we started on the trail, it continued with hard-packed snow and ice at a relatively low incline for about 1.5 miles to the Falls, then after that there was an increasing amount of fresh powder accumulating, making it much more slow-going. Right at the halfway/3-mile Mark, the incline increased significantly, and there was about 1.5-2 feet of powder on top of the ice and snowpack. At this point, we continued on about 5 minutes before deciding to turn back. If you have snowshoes, you MIGHT be able to continue past this point, but it was actively snowing, covering our tracks and obscuring the trail. And it was really difficult to make any progress in the deep snow. If you try, make sure you plan for the trip to take twice as long, as it was very slow. Still beautiful and worth the trip to do the half that we were able, but don’t get stranded out there!

hiking
2 months ago

We really enjoyed this hike. We encountered only one other trail user. We used winter hiking boots with crampons. This was sufficient to make it all of the way to the end of the trail. No need for snowshoes or backcountry skis today. It snowed throughout our hike and was windy, especially when nearing the lake at the end. There's a waterfall flowing into the lake which isn't frozen over yet. A thin layer of ice currently coats most of the lake. A standard car with good all season tires can make it to the foot of the trailhead.

Hiked this in spikes on 10.21.18. Great workout and spectacular views from the top. A hidden gem that isn’t heavily trafficked in off season.

2 months ago

*HUNTING SEASON* picture uploaded as well. Also, The road getting to the trailhead is pretty rough/rocky. We didn’t end up hiking too far in because there were a lot of hunters out. If you do go, it is recommended that you wear high vis orange and keep your dogs on leash. It is rifle season so be aware of your surroundings.
We plan to go back next year before the hunting season starts.

off road driving
2 months ago

About 3.5 miles from the summit parking lot the road turns to ice right as the Rogers Pass sign comes into view. Bring a friend and a winch or chain up if you plan on going past the gate at the bottom of the trussel. I had a fox sniffing my tires as I was writing this :)

hiking
2 months ago

The first trail I ever did in Colorado. Review is for a summer hike. Steady climb with a good amount of privacy for such a busy park. It can seem long. Saw a lot of people coming up to backpack and stay the night before heading back down. Flies were a pest, but the beauty of the nature is more than a remedy to their peskiness.

I hiked to Bluebird on Saturday. The last 2 miles were slow going because of snow. There was quite a bit of ice/snow pack on the trail to Ouzel Falls. Bluebird is already frozen over. If you have Microspikes throw them in your pack.
The road is closed to the back parking lot, it is about 1 mile to the trailhead from the winter gate.
Loved seeing the 3 male moose at the first lake!
I love the Bluebird Trail!!!

off road driving
3 months ago

Stock Wrangler JLU up and down with ease in 4wd High at the end of summer. Fun trail with great rewards; more to explore in Jeep and on foot. Nonmotorized use allowed year round according to gate’s sign in the AllTrails photos, Sean D, but it also says no parking at the gate.

off road driving
3 months ago

Taco, 2.5” lift, 33s

This is not a difficult trail. I would rate it as a more standard “moderate” with few sections requiring much clearance. Most stock trucks and SUVs with moderate clearance should have no problem (Xterra, Taco, 4Runner, etc.), but it’s not built for your Subaru. Practically all features have an alternate path around. Air down or be prepared for a rough, bouncy ride as it’s a rocky trail. Expect some traffic on the trail.

*If you’re exploring the trail network and you are not driving a very capable vehicle, steer clear of Red Elephant. Super tricky trail.

Current conditions are snowy. From the top of the short descent to the lake itself, it’s almost entirely snow covered (4-8in). For this reason, bring a capable vehicle. You’ll need to climb a relatively steep pitch in snow on the way out. The lake itself is frozen right now, in case you’re looking for a view.

hiking
3 months ago

I love this trail. My favorite in the Rocky Mountain National Park thus far. Going at a slower pace (really taking in the views and having a bummed knee) it took my friend and I 8-9 hours total. We went during peak fall foliage at that altitude, which is around early to mid September, HIGHLY SUGGESTED. It made the trail even more beautiful. A good part of the trail is surrounded by smaller beautiful trees that change color for fall, while surrounded by mountain peaks. The trail passes by the Ouzel Falls and overlooks Ouzel Lake. The end is a scramble up some steep sloped rocks, where you should follow the little rock piles people made to mark the trail (I added to these as well). It's a beautiful lake and if you look in the opposite direction it's a beautiful view of the valley you just climbed up. If you get up there quickly and feel like you want to keep going, there are two more lakes you can scramble up to past Bluebird Lake. I don't think there is any paths leading up there though

Question - can you still hike to the lake with the gates officially closed?

off road driving
3 months ago

closed for the season as of Oct 18, 2018. disappointed. I took my stock Raptor up, zero issues... not even close to breaking a sweat. With a stock half ton truck, you will likely bottom out in a few spots, especially the first rut. Subarus won't make it without damage, end of story. looked promising but the gate was closed about 3/4 mile up. tight turn around.

hiking
3 months ago

My journey began with a quick saunter through Lodgepole Pine trees, which were intertwined with Aspen’s still holding onto their brilliant orange and golden hues before I crossed Beaver Creek about 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead. Another 3/4 mile up the trail there are two large boulders, a great spot for a quick respite on the way up or backdown from the lake. From the boulders it is about another mile to the landslide. Once I had reached the landslide, I had two options: a) climb through the landslide and risk it shifting (very unlikely) b) climb a steep vertical pitch over the topside of landslide and descend an even steeper pitch on the opposite side. Read more at my blog: www.basecampgrandlake.com

Great trail. I didn’t see anyone for the middle 2.5 hours. Beautiful views, great wildlife.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is one of my favorites. The beginning of the trail is lined with many dead trees. But, the ground cover and aspens are gorgeous in the fall! There is about a mile of steep incline. Otherwise the trail is fairly moderate. The last lake is about a mile from the first lake, but it is definitely worth the time and steps!

off road driving
3 months ago

Easy drive with many old mining structures. Views from the drive are so so. The good part is it is close to other trails.

great trail! took a bone stock 99 Jeep Cherokee with 31" all terrain tires on this trail and made it with no problems. was able to do most difficult sections, but had to swerve around some areas because I didn't have lockers. great trail making for lots of fun

3 months ago

Great trail. A lot of switch backs that make the climb fast yet steady. Elevation wise it got tough for me around the last mile. Very sluggish but worth it. Even had some snow which made it even prettier.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful way to see the Grand Lake entrance part of RMNP. We did this hike sept 28 and arrived around 7:15 to an empty trailhead and it took us 5 hours RT. The trail starts with switchbacks that get good incline but nothing unmanageable. The first section of the forest we saw multiple deer, dress warm as it’s entirely in the shade. 2 miles in you hit a landslide, an older couple was turning back, but climb it gradually and hold onto the debris and it’s not tricky. If anything, it’s absolutely fascinating to see! The trail continues on a ledge of the forest where you get great views of the valley below. The last mile and a half is pretty steep and rocky, but worth it for the lake at the end! Multiple meadows, so be on the lookout for moose and elk everywhere! VERY chilly at the top, but great rocks in the sun to stop and enjoy lunch. The downhill can be rough on the knees.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike and great weather. There was about 2" of fresh powder near the lake but no snowpack. I saw a giant moose near the trailhead and saw tracks everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled. Almost every time I come to the Wild Basin area I see a moose or two. I started my hike at 7:15 and got to bluebird lake at 9:45 (2.5hrs). Round trip took me less than 4.5 hrs. I've hiked this trail many times and keep coming back. Great trail!

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked the whole road, though most people opted to off-road in vehicles. Pretty and scenic; the waterfall at the lake was beautiful. It started snowing while I was there and the fall colors looked beautiful with it.

The mining stuff was cool to look at, but the trail was really short.

hiking
3 months ago

A nice easy trail. The first part is pretty tightly packed with trees, so it's very much single file, but it opens up after about a mile.

There aren't many spectacular views along the trail because of the trees, but the end gives some nice views of mountains to the north. You'll come across some cool rock outcroppings that would be nice for a rest or picnic.

The map (and some reviews) say there are creeks along this route, but in early October when I was here I found it completely dry. Lots of Aspens here, so mid September is probably the time to hike here. Cool old wooden structures at the very end.

The drive in (which has some stunning views) was difficult, but not terrible until the very last stretch after taking a right turn off the main road to the trailhead. I highly recommend having a car with good clearance or 4WD for this part. If you don't have that you are probably better off parking somewhere along the main road and adding an extra half mile or so to your hike.

off road driving
3 months ago

This was a good off-road trail. We did it with our 2004 Land Rover Discovery II stock and Copper Adventurer HT tires (yes HT). Granted that when possible we used the moderate "bypasses". For those more "difficult" sections we did take advantage of everything that our truck has to offer, 4 low range, diff lock and traction control. Bottom line, it is doable with the right rig, even stock and some experience (we did the 100 miles of the White Rim in Moab using the same Disco in exactly the same stock configuration).

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