Explore Sep 2018 Jason - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Sep 2018 Jason Map

Easy and short hike that doesn’t have a lot of traffic in the morning, but may start to get busier after 12pm. There are many great spots to take very scenic pictures, especially during the fall when the aspens change.
To get there, we parked in the parking lot at the base which costs $35 a day (originally $25 but was charge an extra $10 on the way out), and took the shuttle to the trail, approximately 20 minute ride, which runs every 20 minutes and costs $8 per person for the day. A different shuttle will also take you into town for free.

21 hours ago

peaceful no people...fall

Beautiful lake and trail. The trail is a lot of up and down and lots of different terrain. There is no huge climb just up and down. The end of trail is another parking lot (with bathroom which is good. ) But the return hike doesn’t offer any new views so we were a little disappointed. Beautiful place to camp and appears people like to fish in the lake. We never saw anyone in the trail so if you like quiet trails .. this is great. If I did it again I would go about 5 miles in and then back.

1 day ago

uphill climb, but rewarding

Hard hike but well worth the time. You leave the trail head and are constantly climbing to the destination. Make sure you have plenty of time for this hike it’s not one to do quickly. Someone that gets into a hurry could be easily injured.

Lovely and manageable hike.

3 days ago

PSA: the trail is closed September 17th - 22nd and October 15th - 17th for routine maintenance.

I did not get a chance to hike the trail but I’ve heard nothing but good things!

Short, great views of the falls.

3 days ago

A mostly easy woodland trail through some private conservancy areas as. Well as public lands. It was just what we were looking for—a hike with not too much altitude or difficulty. Located near a neighborhood, the trail is shared with family groups, walkers, and cyclists.
Map of location needs refining to show trailhead at on intersection of Mulligan Street and Rainbow Road. Complex of trails offers many variations. The part we walked offered only a few great views—mostly trail wound through mixed woodland (spruce, Aspen, and pine—some killed by pine beetle).

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.

One of my favorite hikes for sure! Less crowded than Crater Lakes and so beautiful! Only saw a couple people on the trail and a few campers set up around the first lake. Make sure you hike up to the second lake and go off the trail slightly to find the third mini lake. I was jealous of the campers set up around the lake and wish I had packed my tent and stove to stay the night.

Beautiful, easy hike around the lake. Good family hike.

The trail is (very) narrow (in some parts), the distance hiked is 6300 feet one way. With an elevation gain of 1000 feet, it puts the average grade (incline) at 16%. Due to the volume of people (500 an hour, on the trail) You'll be pulling over a lot to give others the right of way, or they'll be doing the same.

This hike consists of a trail, with a creek rushing down the mountainside. 7 Small bridges will help you zigzag your way to the top, and although the distance is short (1.2 miles) to the top, the grade makes the hike a challenge. With large rock steps, loose dirt and pebbles. It should take about an hour or two to the top, and your descent will be twice as fast. Take time to enjoy the scenery, it's not a race. Don't kid yourself, take enough water as the natural water isn't pure, bacteria thrives in it.

Many people take an extended break at the top. The water is crystal clear, but not safe to drink. The waterfall hitting Hanging Lake makes this a National Landmark and a great place to zone out. Loved it, please don't damage it with graffiti or trash.

Pretty landscape,

The trail to the top is worth it, though it’s pretty short and soooo crowd. There is a few steep climbs along the way. I would go as early as possible and certainly not on the weekend. In may 2019, hikers will need a permit $ to hike this trail and moreover, they’ll have to take a shuttle to get to the trailhead.

on Blue Lakes Waterfall

5 days ago

Wow! Fantastic waterfall and the lakes were just gorgeous. Lots of great autumn eye-candy. We saw Pika, a beaver, and several Mountain Goats. There were also some really cool old mines and cabins to explore (DO NOT ENTER). Playing at the base of Quandry was thrilling. Climbers could be seen walking the ridge to the peak from the lakes (upper lake sits at about 12,000 ft. or so).

I don't understand why some people feel the need to chase the Mountain Goats up the hill side just take picture of them. Obviously, they are up there to keep their distance from humans at the moment. Someday, someone is going to get butted...or worse - those are stout creatures!

5 days ago

Pretty hike on a gorgeous Colorado day. Nice and easy.

6 days ago

The trip to the top is worth it! The views to Spouting Rock are neat where water coming through the rocks. The Hanging Lake’s water is clear as I have every scene anything.

Bring water and a snack or two and you will be fine.

6 days ago

Great trail. Easy to get to (even with detour) and we hiked to top of the falls and saw another hiker swim in the river!

Great hike. The uphill can be exhausted if you are not use to hiking in the mountains and haven't done cardio in a while.

Love this hike. Arrive early to avoid the crowds. Change to reservation / shuttle system scheduled for May 2019 - limiting usage to 615 per day. A welcome change.

Check out spouting rock - unique and impressive - just a short additional distance.

9 days ago

Just a fabulous hike. A steady climb to the lake, but you pass a number of great waterfalls and open meadows on the way up. I saw 3 moose (bull and cow with older calf), deer, a family of friendly grouse, turkey, and lots of pickpocketing squirrels and chipmunks. The lake was not crowded and the trail was really not busy at all for the park. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a sub alpine lake without a crowd. Just bring lots of snacks and water and please don't feed the wildlife!

9 days ago

Super easy, beautiful hike!! Fall is a great time to see the aspens changing!!

10 days ago


Hard climb if not used to altitude. Take an oxygen can and you’ll make it. One of the most beautiful places on Earth

Beautiful, moderately steep assent to a most wonderful Alpine lake. Definitely worth the hike for a 55 yo in decent shape

10 days ago

Some steep sections, but by the time it starts to wear on you, you're already at the lake.
Made it up to the lake in about 40 minutes with a handful of quick breaks to catch my breath.
Beautiful views, especially with the fall colors in full swing!
Saw about 8 other groups of people, including some folks camping on the lake.

Nice trail. Be sure to past the Falls to see the creek upstream.

short hike but worth it ama amazing views

14 days ago

this one is nice and flat, obviously for mountain biking but as long as you are aware of your surroundings passing bikers is easy. nice trees for hammocking and really rewarding with the views for how flat it is. You could go for a long time on this trail. I made it just passed the scenic viewing area of bottle peak with the bench along the creek and turned back after hammocking. overall about 4 hours.

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