Bummer, this trail is closed. We'll update this page if and when it reopens.

Length6.0 miElevation gain744 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsSnowshoeingWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyClosedFeeNo dogs
Description
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Getting There

FIRE CLOSURE: As of February 2021, this area or park is experiencing closures due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/fire-information-and-regulations.htm Rocky Mountain National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are per vehicle/motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is per person. You can also purchase a park-specific annual pass.

Limited Parking at the Cub Lake TH. Recommend parking before 9 AM.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Estes Park: Travel west on Hwy 36 past the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station Bear Lake Roadd. Take this road south (left) to the turn--off for the Cub Lake and Fern Lake Trailheads and Moraine Park. The trailhead is about two miles on this road.

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Reviews (876)
Photos (1,803)
Activities (654)
Completed (2,305)
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Benjamin Gehring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 31, 2020
HikingGreat!

Traveled in October, the fall colors were beautiful. We hiked out to Fern Falls and back in time to watch all the Elk in Beaver Meadows at sunset.

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Carmen Yon
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HikingGreat!

Moderate trail through interesting terrain. Lots of wildlife along the way.

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James Lawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2020
Hiking

Great hike with scenic views. The loop was perfect for us

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Kayla Lessard
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Hiking
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Brenda Lee
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Mountain biking

Lots of people, glad we came early.

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Scott Midler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2020
Hiking

Clockwise, from the Cub Lake trailhead is unimpressive until after the lake. Lots of burn and not much going on. The Fern Lake trail, however, is very nice and follows the Big Thompson for quite a bit. Some nice fishing in there also as it doesn't get as much pressure as other places in the park. There are much better hikes in RMNP, in my humble opinion.

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Cory Parks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
Hiking

A great hike and little elevation gain. it was a perfect day for this hike and the fall colors were great with awesome views. The loop is 2 different trails that meet at the end but the loop is 6 miles from the cub lake trail head to the fern lake shuttle stop. Last 0.7 mile of hike is just roadway so watch out for traffic if it is busy. I would recommend the loop for a nice moderate to easy hike.

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Brock Hill
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HikingGreat!

Good moderate hike with plenty of variety.

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Alexandria Johnson
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Hiking
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Terri Burleson
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Hiking

great loop! Parked near Fern lake trailhead then walked to Cub lake trailhead and walked it clockwise. Beautiful!

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Kate Fischer
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Hiking
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Nikita Lenzo
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HikingGreat!

Easy, low-traffic trail. The lake looked stunning and serene with the lily pads drifting and changing fall colors. We came to Estes to watch the elk bugling, and ended up spotting a lazy black bear on our hike. What a bonus! Very exciting! Also spied many magpies.

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Tasha Ullom
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HikingGreat!

Love the variety of the terrain. Easy, but long. Good starter hike!

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David Crain
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Hiking
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Justin Hayden
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Walking
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Justin Blankenship
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Hiking
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Benjamin Schreiber
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Hiking

A very nice, easy hike, for the afternoon. You get a great variety of terrane, with some really beautiful cliffs. I wish we had time to also make it to Fern lake, but it was getting dark. Elk at the beginning, and a nice like. You have to hike about a mile on the road, unless you time the shuttle, but still worth it.

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chad ullom
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Hiking
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LeeAnn Marshall
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Hiking
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Rene Oya
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Hiking

The Cub Lake loop is a steady climb to Cub. From the Pool it is an easy walk back to the car

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Ryan Conlon
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Hiking
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David lloyd
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Hiking
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Peter Donlon
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Hiking
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Richard Nash
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HikingBlowdownGreat!

We encountered heard of herd of Elk just off the trail head. Being fall you could hear the males bugling and cows calling back. There was a fire in the valley that started from and illegal campfire in 2012 and burned for some time before is was fully extinguished. Consequently, there is lots of burned trees on the ground and still standing. Aspen trees and shrubs are just starting to turn. We ate lunch on rocks just off the lake. Lots of chipmunks that have been fed as they are looking for a handout :-( which is unfortunate. We do not feed wildlife. The view of Cub lake is best from the west end as the trail rises. You get a great view of the circular water Lillie's. I thought doing the loop is worth it. After you hike out of Cub Lake you drop into the valley over the ridge that has the trail to Fern / Bear Lake. The Fern Lake trail is more crowded than Cub Lake but way less crowded than Bear Lake area. Alot of folks are wearing masks when you pass so that's good.

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Hannah Rick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Great hike! Starting out getting to see the elk in the meadow is so cool. Once you get past the lake it’s a nice decent along the river.

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Justin Van Nostrand
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Hiking
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Karen Drake
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Hiking

Great trail if you do the loop. On the front end we passed by the meadows and got to see a herd of elk. When the trail starts rising in elevation you pass through deep forest and then an aspen grove before arriving at the lake. After passing the lake you will begin your decent passing through a burned out section of the forest. The views here are awesome as you make your way down the ridge line to the valley below. Once you are at the bottom you will hike beside a beautiful mountain stream through the forest for about 2 miles. One thing to keep in mind is that you will end up at the fern lake trailhead. It is a mile walk on a dirt road back to the cub lake trailhead.

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Tim Norris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
HikingGreat!IcyMuddySnow

I believe this area was heavily involved in the East Troublesome Fire of 2020 after my visit. Assuming the lake is fine it is full of lillies. I mention it as I always hike to fly fish. On this day it was very windy making accurate casting into and around lillies untenable. I did however very much enjoy this hike and the lunch snack shared with my wife and her sister. The start of the hike was exciting with a viewing of a bull elk and a large harem just a few hundred yards into trail. We did out and back so the end was spectacular since that bull and others were contending for harem members. I could have watched for hours! Let's hope the fire damage regrows quickly!

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