East Inlet Trail to Lake Verna [CLOSED]

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(81)
Rocky Mountain National Park

East Inlet Trail to Lake Verna is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 12.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,171 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
7 months ago

About a month ago, a plan had been hatched with my friend and coworker, Dave, to do a backpacking trip to Lake Verna, a first adventure, from the East Inlet Trailhead inside of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). This would be the first backcountry backpacking trip for both of us! Most hikers who make the journey to Lake Verna complete the trek in mid summer or early in the fall. However, our adventure took place during the third weekend in October, which can be much more dicey with the weather. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I had kept a close eye on the weather forecast and had just hoped for the best. Anything less than a few days out is always hit or miss and the forecast kept waffling between perfect and not so perfect (snowstorm). On the morning of our departure (Saturday), the weather forecast predicted temperatures climbing into the 40’s, with the winds increasing throughout the day. Sounded good thus far! Read about the full adventure at Base Camp @ Grand Lake - About a month ago, a plan had been hatched with my friend and coworker, Dave, to do a backpacking trip to Lake Verna, a first adventure, from the East Inlet Trailhead inside of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). This would be the first backcountry backpacking trip for both of us! Most hikers who make the journey to Lake Verna complete the trek in mid summer or early in the fall. However, our adventure took place during the third weekend in October, which can be much more dicey with the weather. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I had kept a close eye on the weather forecast and had just hoped for the best. Anything less than a few days out is always hit or miss and the forecast kept waffling between perfect and not so perfect (snowstorm). On the morning of our departure (Saturday), the weather forecast predicted temperatures climbing into the 40’s, with the winds increasing throughout the day. Sounded good thus far! Read about the adventure at Base Camp @ Grand Lake - https://basecampgrandlake.com/2019/11/04/lake-verna-a-first-adventure/

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail, beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife

hiking
9 months ago

One of my favorites!

backpacking
10 months ago

Hiked in and camped at Solitaire for 2 nights. For our long day we hiked to Verna and Spirit lakes. Both incredible. Water levels had trail to Spirit from Verna underwater. But you can find animal tracks (bushwhacking required) about 30 feet above shoreline OR bring your Sandals and hang close to the river bank (my preference). The farther you go the better it gets. Looking forward to next time.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

My wife and I hiked to Lake Verna on July 24th, 2019 and consider it to be one of the most enjoyable hikes we have ever done. We have hiked out of Wild Basin for many years and have regretfully overlooked this scenic gem. One is rarely away from from the many waterfalls and cascades. There are visual and aural delights galore! Yes it is steep at times but the vistas back toward grand lake offer many opportunities to take a breath. We lunched at the beautiful Lone Pine lake by its gentle outflow then continued the last last mile and a half. There is a fairly steep grade out of Lone Pine then the trail lopes easily the rest of the way. Leave the crowds of Wild Basin behind and hike the western slopes best kept secret. We hike twice weekly in Shenandoah National Park.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked on 7/14, trail is mostly dry all the way up. Amazing views and a lot of wildlife. GPS showed 14.2 miles

backpacking
bugs
muddy
10 months ago

This can be done as a day hike but I did it as an overnight hike with a 30 lb pack on my back. The trail starts fairly flat and with soft dirt as the surface but then it turns steeper, rockier and wetter as you hike in. Not a lot of views on the trail but there are several streams and waterfalls that are nice to look at. Lake Verna, my destination for the night, is nice with several campsites available and lots of solitude (at least the night I was there). Saw one deer, one moose, and one fox.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail. Awesome scenery. Saw lots of moose and deer. No gators or spikes needed. Easily did hike without them.

hiking
muddy
snow
11 months ago

hiking
muddy
snow
11 months ago

This is a lovely trail, however I was hoping to make it to Lake Verna and could only make it a little past Lone Pine Lake because of the snow on the trail. I didn’t bring the right gear to keep going, but it was still a great hike with lots of marmots at Lone Pine Lake! Round trip was a little over 13.5 miles

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
washed out
11 months ago

Fantastic trail, completed on 6/28. Challenging with plenty of nice vistas. Walking along the river is nice but it was raging when I hiked the trail. Muddy and at times water was flowing down the trail. The payoff at Lake Verna is well worth the work and for those looking to increase their heart rate, this is the trail for you. Highly recommended to those looking for a long, challenging but beautiful hike.

hiking
Sat Oct 13 2018

I did this trail and tracked it on my Fitbit, I knew my Fitbit would track the distance a little less than what the distance really is from my experience but it was a little more than six miles one way to Lake Verna from the East trailhead. It was totally worth it but I’m not sure what everyone is smoking to think it’s 12.9 round trip. I was tracking at least 15 Miles total. The sign at the trailhead can not be accurate unless it’s tracking the river that comes from the lake, before you actually get to the huge lake. We didn’t see any wild life and we were the only ones on the trail for a few hours. We started around 8:30am and arrived at 1:30pm. We headed back at 2:00pm and got to the parking lot around 5:30pm. It was beautiful but don’t underestimate the distance and the amount of hills that are required to climb to get to the lake.

hiking
Sat Sep 01 2018

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.

backpacking
Sun Aug 26 2018

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
Thu Aug 23 2018

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.

hiking
Mon Aug 06 2018

As others have mentioned, this is a beautiful trail. We started at 10am and thought that to be a late start, parking lot was about half full, and we were between several groups. On our return at 1pm (we only went 3 mi in/out), there was a gaggle of humans parading onto the trail. Lots of fly fishers trying their luck on the adjacent river, which really was kind of pathetic - as the trout were no bigger than 6" and should've been left undisturbed. Pro-tip: start *early*, i.e. 8am anytime between June and Labor Day.

backpacking
Thu Jul 26 2018

Absolutely amazing trail. We backpacked in to Slickrock campground. This was approximately 6.5 miles in. It took us 30 minutes to hike to Lake Verna the next morning. We swam in the river along the trail, in Lone Pine lake, and in Lake Verna. Do yourself a favor and jump right on in to the glacier water. It is well worth your time :). We even saw a moose!

hiking
Mon Jul 09 2018

Hit East Inlet at 8:30 on a Sunday morning (7/8). There were only a few cars in the lot and there appears to be plenty of parking. In the first 30-40 minutes I spotted two moose in the meadow area. A few families walking through that area, but at about 2.5 miles in, there were only a few others. A lot of rocky incline enroute to Lone Pine, nothing too bad, well marked. I ate lunch at Lone Pine, for the first 10-15 minutes I was the only person there. Two other groups trickled in. I continued on to Verna, which was steep and rocky but again nothing too difficult - the wildflowers were amazing up there. So much color. On the way back down I passed a moose that was very close to the trail, he didn't seem too happy I was there but I passed without incident. After reading another comment, since I was hiking alone I did wear a bear bell and brought spray just in case. A lot of birds, small animals and moose. Long trail, but doable for a day hike. I would love to have had time to get to Spirit and camp out.

Sun Jun 24 2018

Beautiful moderate hike. Certainly a long one. Bring lots of water and snacks. Traverse through marshy meadows, forest, by rivers, past pristine lakes. Absolutely lovely!!

backpacking
Mon Jun 18 2018

Trip dates:: 6/15-17. You want to enjoy lakes in close proximity to each other? Do this hike. We enjoyed a two night three days backpacking trip here. Stayed at the Solitaire campground. From here all the lakes from Verna lake n on is accessible all the way to Fifth Lake which is the very last lake on the map. Its marshy and about a foot deep in but if u don’t mInd then by all means head up towards the Fifth Lake- it’s gorgeous!! Lots of downed trees and the trail is not maintained after Verna Lake and you will see a sign that will indicate that. Lots of water and gushing falls. Bonus: a few actual man made steps makes the uphill hike a beautiful photo op. Lots of vista points as well. Very busy trail head but thins out and it’s just you and the wild as you go higher. A bear crossed our path on the way out. Never happened to us in our 12+ years of backpacking. Reminder that this is CO and there’s very much “wild” left in the wilderness.

Showing results 1 - 22 of 81