Explore Rocky - 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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Beautiful area

Do not hike this trail. Only hike this trail if you want a rude man to drive past and threaten to call the sheriff on you when there are no trail closed signs posted. Come back in ten years or so.

Hiked the road on 10/27/18 as it was closed to vehicles. Needless to say it was a calve killer but worth it!

This trail is a must do. We camped at the unnamed lake below parika lake and then near the junction to Bowen lake. Would rate as strenuous, and there is a lot of exposure on the ridge lines past parika lake. We had wind gusts of probably 60 mph or so. We took our rain flies off our packs, because they were acting like parachutes and sometimes the wind was so strong you had to stop before you could move again. Definitely worth it though. Vertical drop offs on the ridge are more gradual than straight down, so not bad IMHO, and I’m not a heights fan! The views at the peak of 12300 feet or so are absolutely breathtaking.

We drove to the small parking lot by the falls. Very short hike but it is steep. That being said I saw an 80 year old man in his orthotics making the trek. The falls are beautiful! Old Fall river Road is about 9 miles and is a one way road. It has sharp switchbacks and very deep ruts. I mean DEEP. If you are skilled enough to navigate on top of the ruts a car could make it but if not you will bottom it out and be stuck. The SUV in front of me actually attempted to drive in the ruts instead of on top and bottomed out immediately. Luckily he drove in instead of falling in so was able to spin his tires and back out and attempt again. If you don't want to risk it park at the picnic area and hike up.

9/23 A very enjoyable scenic trip. We parked about 100 yards before the trail head. Recommend taking lower route up and upper route down. It gets very steep at the end so be prepared to take some breaks. Very very windy so dress in lots of layers. Fantastic views at the top. Took us about three hours and we used 2 L of water per person.

This trail looks terrible. I understand now there was a fire and it’s very apparent. Do not waste your time walking through the dirt and ash this year.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

This was the first hike I've ever done in the National Parks. While it looks shorter then it is, I made it to the top. My lungs were on fire, but the views made it totally worth it. I have the hiking bug now and need to go hiking much more often.

Parked at the picnic area and hiked up. The road had a lot of vehicle traffic but the hike was good. Saw some deer. Right before the first switchback there is a pull off for vehicles. If you go back in there you can see the falls and follow the creek up to them. Kid had a good time.

My wife and I did this as a counter- clockwise overnight backpacking loop on August 14th. Amazing trail. The hike up to Parika was pretty strenuous but we did it in about 5 hours. 3 groups camped at the smaller unnamed lake just below Parika so we had Parika lake to ourselves. We didn't see any moose that day but had one running and grunting right outside of our tent at about 9pm so we didn't get much sleep! The stretch over Parika pass and Bowen Pass was amazing! The exposure isn't too bad and we could have sat on the other side of Bowen Pass all day. Saw two bull moose on the way down and made it to the car in about 7 hours. Loved this loop and definitely recommend going counter-clockwise!!

on Big Meadows Trail

hiking
3 months 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!

Took about three hours to complete, two out and one hour on the return trip. Took upper path on the accent, and descended via the lower trail. Great views almost the entire hike. Advise getting to the trail head pre 7am as parking is very limited on the Old Fall River Rd near the trail head.

I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

Just hiked it yesterday. Given the crazy amounts of people on the trail, we somehow had the lake to ourselves for the whole time we stayed up there. Maybe it was due to the late hour of our hike (we got to the lake around 5 pm) or maybe because it’s an extra mile-long spur off from the main trail. The lake was pretty and peaceful, not too spectacular, but definitely worth checking out.

on Big Meadows Trail

3 months ago

Beautiful hike. Trail well maintained and easy to follow.

hiking
4 months ago

What wasn't damaged by the beetle kill mitigation project is now sadly burned due to the "Golf Course Fire" in late June early July 2018. It will hopefully be a great area to hike in less then 10 years.

Beware if hiking with a dog!

Ah, this was so disappointing. My husband and I, along with our dog, Breeze, were really excited to do this trail. When we got to the parking lot the directions took us and realized we were still in RMNP, we got nervous. The ranger near the parking lot told us dogs aren’t allowed and recommended we got to the visitor center for alternate route. We only had to go about 1mile from the parking lot to get into the National Forest. The ranger at the visitor center wasn’t sure and said we’ll just have to try to navigate thru the roads. Unfortunately we spent 2hrs in the car trying to find a way to the trailhead that isn’t thru Rocky Mountain. We had to give up after the 2hr mark. It was such a bummer because it was such a waste of time. Maybe add to the description that it’s a dog friendly trail but only if you’re able to access the TH thru the NF only.

backpacking
4 months ago

Great backpacking trail. Amazing views on the divide, and some of the best wildflowers I’ve ever seen (columbines, Indian paintbrush in vivid reds and pinks, elephants head, shooting stars, daisies, sunflowers, etc). We actually camped by a small lake before reaching Parika Lake, which I think was more in the trees and less in the wind. Saw a moose leaving Bowen Lake, and lost of moose prints wherever we went. We were a little misled on the mileage for each day (based on other sites’ descriptions), for example the last day is closer to 7 miles than the 4 we thought it would be, although it is almost all downhill. Going up to Bowen Lake does have some decent uphill, so be ready for that. Also the signage could have been better leaving Bowen Lake to return to the trailhead, as after meeting back up with the trail there were two forks without signs that we needed to consult maps to figure out which way to go. Overall a great hike that I highly recommend!

Awesome views, much less busy than the visitor center but have to drive Fall River road to get there - beautiful drive and worth it, just takes a while to get there

great view. kids can walk this one
we have see 13 marmots. is windy on the top. keep an eye on the weather.

Great loop with lots of vertical. One night at bowen lake was plenty for the entire loop.

A lot of moose. both lakes were very crowded, for a reason. it is beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

We parked at Green Mtn trailhead and started at about 7 AM. We walked counter-clockwise so we'd get to Big Meadows first while it was still early and were rewarded with 5 moose in the southern section of the meadow. Great hike!

This route is not dog friendly. It starts inside the national Park, there are signs everywhere Prohibiting you to take your dog past the gate. I’m sure it’s a nice hike, but I spent two hours getting here and now can’t take my dog and I don’t trust the app.

Spent the evening on the trail and I had a wonderful time, made it in time to see the sunset and turn right back around. Lots of wildlife - kind of intimidating walking by fauna that stand taller than you do, so remember to carry a headlamp if you intend on adventuring past dusk. Pretty moderate overall, couldn’t recommend it more, just keep an eye on the weather

Beautiful trail!

4 months ago

It has everything!…forest trails, treeless rocky paths, a comfortable lower route to the summit and INCREDIBLE VIEWS AT THE TOP! It’ll take you longer than the app says. At least it did for me!

hiking
5 months ago

We drove to the trailhead and it was closed due to a 20 acre forest fire. It was devastating to see. Hope to try again in the future.

Great trail. Moderate. Enjoyed the view and lots of marmot up top.

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