Explore RMNP West Side/Grand Lake - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

RMNP West Side/Grand Lake Map
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awesome! tough in the winter in March. lots of ice and snow. can't wait to do in summer again.

hiking
3 days ago

We started by 7 am on 9/16/18 and had the trail to ourselves. We finished by noon and that included a lot of downtime at the lake which was spectacular. Loved this lake. The trail itself was underwhelming. Dense forest mostly. Not difficult for us. However, the beauty was the lake. We loved it, and having it all to ourselves was bliss. We also saw a lot of moose. It was a wonderful hike.

We tried the perimeter trail from the trailhead st the dam of Shadow Mountain Lake. The views of the lake and surrounding peaks are incredible! The devastation of the pine forest by pine beetles is regrettable and mars the beauty of this area. The lake was also being used by fishermen and boaters (loud outboard motors and the smell of their exhaust also detracted from an otherwise beautiful location.

The perimeter trail is mostly flat with a few downed trees and some end-of-summer growth beginning to encroach. We did not attempt the steeper climb up to the viewpoint.

backpacking
4 days ago

Used this trail to access Timber Creek Backcountry site about 3 miles in. Trail is very well marked and easy to follow. Uphill the entire way out, but not particularly strenuous. Great views of aspen trees changing color, but a little too wooded to get great views of the mountains in most spots. The only difficult part was the landslide area. It's very short (maybe 100 yards total), but the loose sandy soil, downed trees, and steep slope make it something you should be slow and methodical for.

The campsite was nice with great access to the creek, but it is an EXTREMELY active moose area. In addition to the deer we had coming through our campsite all evening, we had several bull moose come through the area throughout the night. They didn't bother us, but they did come within about ten feet of our tent and easily could have caused damage if they wanted to. Take necessary precautions to make sure you're safe during moose rutting season, but an extremely enjoyable trail and campsite.

Very challenging but rewarding with views. My wife and I saw 2 cows and one calf moose.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice trail. Beautiful meadow. Be sure to bring binoculars to scan the meadow and high mountains.

Trail was well kept until the last mile to the lake. Trail was not well marked and had to traverse rock field the entire time. But the view was worth it.

on Shadow Mountain Trail

18 days ago

Great hike! Definitely worth the view!

Great trail to see Moose and Elk! No crowds on the trail so you practically have the lake to yourself.

Well marked trail. The first half is all uphill and downhill on the way back. There is a sketchy landslide area where the trail has been wiped away down the steep slope, as well as a lot of fallen trees. Besides that, easy sailing. Saw two bull moose, and a bull elk at the lake. Gorgeous place.

This walk is great. Some good views back to Grand Lake and beautiful forest. We saw a moose and calf near Lake Verna but they can be hard to spot, settled in the shrub vegetation. Take plenty of water- the two of us drank 5 litres. They are camping sights on route. This track does go on further to Spirit Lake. Highly recommend.

Great Hike. lots of mule deer and small animals, heard Elk not to far off. We made it to the waterfalls but didn't go down to them since we were carrying our 4mo old son. glad we hiked it.

hiking
23 days ago

Make sure to bring bug spray.

Lone Pine Lake was worth the trek. The hike took us 5.5 hours plus 30 min relaxing on the mini island in the lake. Definitely gets your heart pumping on the way there.

25 days ago

This is one of the prettiest hikes we’ve done in this area. You hike through mountain meadows and pine forests to the falls. It’s a steady uphill climb which might make this more moderate than easy for some. We saw a marmot. The ranger said moose are often seen in the meadow.

This was a gorgeous hike that followed the river for a couple of miles before ascending through the forest to the city remains. Our fitbits clocked 7.5 miles for the round trip. Spotted two moose, one elk and a deer. Don’t let the distance deter you from this hike. The first couple of miles are quite pretty if you want a shorter hike.

backpacking
26 days ago

If you’re staying overnight at one of the campsites, GO TO FIFTH LAKE! It’s very worth it. The echos are super cool up there. Trail kinda disappears near fifth lake but its kinda obvious where it would be.

hiking
26 days ago

Was a pretty easy hike. I did Mt. Ida Trail this morning, so wanted an easier one to follow it up. The trail is through the Subalpine forest the whole way. Lots of trees, chipmunks, squirrels, etc. Watch for moose and mule deer for the first mile. I saw several mule deer, and came face to face with a momma moose and her calf on the trail. 20 yards out and I thought I was a goner! She couldnt have cared less. The falls are just a long set of tiny waterfalls that go on for a few hundred hards. Very pretty and cool. Worth the short, easy hike.
LOTS of small trout in the stream that gobbled up my flies. Catch and release, and was a lot of fun.
Would do it again.

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike. First section flat and wide. Could bring older folks or lazy teenagers. Saw three moose on way. Lots of meadows for viewing. Falls are terrific lunch spot.

This is a beautiful hike. 4 hrs up and 2.5 hrs back, but we were still feeling the altitude (huff and puff) even though we are fit. Take plenty of water. Nice streams, waterfalls and lakes on route. We saw deer, moose and several birds, plus cheeky chipmunks and squirrels. This is a great hike after doing some peaks. It can be busy but we saw very few people, especially when we got further in. Campsites along the way and being used. Rangers are there to meet and greet as you set off.

Easy, beautiful, full of wildlife, and waterfalls

hiking
1 month ago

great hike. would definitely rate this as closer to difficult if you're not in shape. done in about 5.5 hours, my GPS tracked it at right around 12 miles. like most trails in rmnp, tack on an extra 1.5-2 miles from what you expect.

the lake is gorgeous and the trail is pretty well maintained (done 8/18/18). we saw about 20 elk in the meadow as soon as we entered the woods, as well as a bunch of bulls later in the day. the landslide was difficult to cross (we actually did it in the rain, i don't recommend that) but on a normal day, you should be fine if you take your time.

overall, gorgeous trail well worth the time. start early so you can enjoy. the juice is worth the squeeze.

hiking
1 month ago

Spent 3 days in the backcountry while camping at Timber Creek and Snowbird. Saw tons of wildlife (moose, mule deer, elk). Also made our way up Mt Ida which was very difficult for my 70 year old dad. One of our favorite hikes to get away from the crowds and enjoy RMNP. I'd highly recommend!

Nice view of the lakes below

on Big Meadows Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Trailhead wasn't too busy. Good parking spots available. Lots of bugs. Bring your bug repellent of choice. Trail started out a little steeper than anticipated. Was a bit toasty on this particular day, but there were nicely shaded areas. Start early!

1 month ago

Great for families. Did it with an age range from 5-60. Just bring lots of water. It does get a little long so we stopped a few times.

hiking
1 month ago

Ok, I feel like I need to "normalize" all the reviews here for this particular trail. It was a great trail and spectacular views, but even if you are in good shape this may be a workout and a half for you. Granted, we are from NY and not used to exercising at 10,000ft... you will notice the slight reduction in oxygen going up this hill. It took us a good 5 hours out and back with several stops to look at the views and a 30 min stop at the top for lunch. We met several other hikers that were having a tough time and one group quit just 30 min from the top. If you are not used to Colorado hiking, bring 2x the water you think you will need and snacks to get you through. Don't get me wrong, it was a great hike but the reviews here make it sound a lot easier than it is :)

on Big Meadows Trail

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Trail well maintained and easy to follow.

Well. First off it was an accident that my wife and I went to lone pine lake, but we are glad we did. Even tho we did end up going through snow and it was chilly closer to the lake, we had fun. We saw a moose. And some amazing sights.

I only saw one trail ranger going down the gravel section in a golf cart. great views and really cold water!

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