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

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hiking
2 hours ago

Quick and easy hike for the experienced. It is a lot of uphill with loose pebbles so watch your step. Chipmunks by the lake will steal your food if you’re not looking or you might pick up a hitchhiker in your pack if it’s open. Overall it’s a great heart-rate starter for some of the harder hikes in the area.

Great trail. Rocky at first then it eventually evens out more. Great views of the mountains. I only went about two miles, or so and turned around because we started late. No water sources that I came across. No snow. No bugs. Saw a few chipmunks. Great sunset views. Nice hike.

There are parking lots on both sides of the Falls area. This is not really a hike but more fun scrambling and bouldering expedition. We did manage to hike about a mile back into the canyon but beware of falling rock. It looked very dangerous. Lots of fun for kids 8+ years old as far as climbing.

hiking
1 day ago

Definitely a fun hike. Great payoff for an intense (if you’re from the Midwest) hike. Would do it again in a heartbeat!

1 day ago

Beautiful hike, we got there at 7 am and made it to the top in 1.5 hours. I would say moderate to strenuous for sure, lots of rock steps. View at the top was totally worth it!

hiking
2 days ago

Nice hike stopped by on the way back from the key hole simple scramble to the lake awesome view of the diamond on longs. lake was alright there’s better lakes in RMNP to see Black lake and lake of glass are nicer this was a little more challenging to get to or it would only be a 3 star

Beautiful hike! Enjoyed the amazing falls, peaceful lake and wildlife!

Nice trail, mostly easy with a few short moderate sections. If you do the 6 mile loop be aware that the last mile is walking down the road. Saw a bull elk early on and lots of moose prints on the trail as well. The lake is pretty but there are a lot of burned/dead trees in the area, "the pool" was a nice place to stop for a snack. We arrived at the Cub TH around 6:15 am and were the first people there, although within 10 minutes others were showing up and it was full by the time we left. We went to Cub Lake first, then followed the trail down to The Pool and then on to the TH parking lot. About 6 miles total including the last mile on the road. The only reasons I gave it a 4 is bc of the dead trees and the mile of road walking, other than that a nice trail.

hiking
2 days ago

Super challenging hike. Essentially 4 miles of stairs on the way up. Gets really windy when you hit the 1.7 remaining mark. Make sure to bring wind jacket, hat and gloves. First part is in the trees then you venture into the valley where it is super windy, once you get to the sign where it points to chasm lake or longs peak follow the trail to the left alongside of the mountain. First you will see peacock lake and continue until you see the chasm lake sign. Have to climb up a lot of rocks to get to chasm lake. Beautiful hike but definitely a challenge on the legs.

Great hike but take it to Odessa lake and finish the loop to Bear Lake

no way this is a easy kid friendly trail

Great view

hiking
3 days ago

Went on Saturday morning, Sept 22, 2018. Arrived at lot around 8AM. There were about 3 cars there already. When leaving, the lot was full with people driving around looking for a place to park. I counted 16 cars total in the full lot. So there is NOT much parking at all.

I did not complete the hike since I only planned on a 2 hour hike total. Wife was waiting in car. I made it almost to the creek at the 1.3 mile point before heading back. I was alone and didn't want to risk falling. The trail was really challenging because of the loose rock on the steep slopes. I tread very carefully to keep from falling. I still managed to fall on the way back and had another near fall. Nothing broken, no harm done. My plastic water bottle in my hiking belt took the brunt of the fall. Without the water bottle, I would have hit my hip on the trail. That's another good reason to carry water!

I did not see any other hikers on this trail. There were lots of people going to Bridal Veil Falls. If I had it to do over again I would go to Bridal Veil Falls instead of this one.

Be sure to use a hiking pole and watch for loose rocks.

FYI I am a 70 year old male using my wife's account.

Nice hike. I recommend starting from bear lake and doing the loop around to Bierstadt trail head. This will reduce the cloning significantly. The lake is pretty and hike is easy if you do this route. The views are great in the fall.

The is our favorite hike! It’s challenging, beautiful and chalked full of wildlife. We saw about 20 Elk, 6 deer and our bonus for getting to fern lake was 2 moose right at the mouth of the lake. Parking was limited so we added about 2 miles to our trek. All said and done we hiked 10 miles and enjoyed every minute!

Nice trail, lake was covered by lily pads. A lot of dead fallen trees surround lake. Saw a mom moose and her baby at a small lake about half way.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice hike with great views. Fun rock scramble at the end right before chasm lake.

Great incline after the river, we saw a moose! BEAUTIFUL

hiking
5 days ago

The trail was well marked most of the way, there’s a bathroom about halfway to gem lake. Great scenery and wildlife on the hike up. Gem lake is more like a small lake/pond, the mountains reflected in the water and we thought it was pretty up there. Lots of brave chipmunks coming right up to you once at gem lake too! We thought it was a good hike with nice views on the way up. I would recommend hiking shoes/boots for this trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful scenery, be ready for kinda steep hiking. I’m from Houston, Texas and had to take some breathers going up hill but that was only for part of the hike. The rest was a price of cake and enjoyable. Just take your time. :)

The actual hiking trail is short but spending a few hours at the Alluvial fan is worth it!

This is a great place to scramble around rocks all afternoon! Kids and teens will love this too. In early Summer the river will be roaring making it tough to cross to the other side without walking to the road. In the fall the water is generally low which allows you to hike wayyy far up the canyon.

I recommend wearing sturdy shoes for walking along the rocks but it is nice to bring water shoes if you plan on wading in the river. We always climb up on top of the huge boulders on the left side of the river and have lunch overlooking the valley. Beautiful views and a fun afternoon.

Lovely and manageable hike.

hiking
8 days ago

Amazing! Beautiful hike with a great variety of scenery. Fairly tough incline throughout, but manageable if you pace yourself, and is worth it for the amazing views at the top.

Not sure why the high rating on this trail. Nothing spectacular. Gem lake is really more like disappointing dirty swamp

8 days ago

Not a difficult trail but a beautiful end point!

Great trail with many great views of cascading waterfalls down a small mountain stream with a spectacular finish at Ouzell Falls. Copeland Falls was also better than expected. Ouzel Falls offers as good of a view as there is in RMNP in my opinion. We took the extra time to hike to the top of Ouzel Falls and it was well worth it. Great views of the aspens changing colors and sounds of running water as the trail follows a mountain stream throughout the hike. Also came across a full grown moose on the return trek. The trail took us just under 3 hrs including a 30+ minute detour to the top of Ouzel Falls. Highly recommended and easy enough for the entire family to enjoy.

Short, great views of the falls.

A bit crowded on a September weekend, but most trails in the park are at this time. We had to do about .8 miles of road-walking from the shuttle stop, where we were lucky to get a parking space (there were tons of people circling the lots and walking the road). Much of the trail goes through the burn area, which detracts from the scenery, and it's also the most horse-poop-covered trail I've seen in the park. Gross. The lake is lovely and we saw a couple of moose (and the crowds thin after each viewpoint - the pond and the falls - so there weren't tons of people who made it all the way to the lake. We didn't have time to do Odessa, which is reportedly great, but just Fern Lake as a destination was only so-so compared to other hikes in RMNP.

Not a gem in our opinion. More like a small pond and wonder who named it?

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful views.

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