Old Fall River Road

EASY 42 reviews
#64 of 179 trails in

Old Fall River Road is a 10.5 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September.

DISTANCE
10.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,280 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

off road driving

trail running

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Take the original road built for cars in Rocky Mountain NP. Start in Horseshoe Park and drive a one way dirt road good enough for any car. End up in the tundra at the top of the world.

hiking
1 day ago

Absolute Favorite Fall Drive!

10 days ago

We loved this drive, even with light rain and clouds today. It had totally different views then Trailridge Rd. as you are on the other side of the range and not nearly as crowded. Water falls right off the road, beautiful flowers, and the views everywhere you looked were breathtaking. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get to the visitor center because we stopped at so many of the turn offs to take pictures. It is narrow and so happy it was a one way only road.

scenic driving
1 month ago

A must-do if you’re at RMNP over the summer. Be prepared to spend a few hours cruising with your windows down and seeing some of the most spectacular views in the park. Be prepared, the path is narrow and requires very cautious driving.

1 month ago

Have driven this the last 2 summers. Go early around 7am and you will see more wildlife. Get out and hike along the way up to the top of the hills and you will see lots of marmots and great views. You should see tons of elk closer to alpine ridge. Enjoy

scenic driving
1 month ago

Neat drive and lots of scenic overlooks and places to stop and walk around

hiking
1 month ago

Did this a day or two before the advertised opening so car traffic was light. Also was lucky to have rained the day before which kept the dust to a minimum!

mountain biking
2 months ago

Mountain bike up. Fantastic and challenging ride due to steady climb. June is without cars.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail. It might be an easy drive, but is definitely a moderate hike due to the length and elevation gain (it's all uphill!). Plenty of spring runoff streams to keep the dog hydrated, just pack enough H2O for yourself! Beautiful vistas at multiple points.
10.5miles from the Lake Swain trailhead, which is the first parking lot after your turn off of Fall River Road...you can also park at either Alluvian Fan lots, or in the picnic area just beside the start of the actual road. Will definitely be doing this one again.

off road driving
2 months ago

Went to take the trail and it was still closed. Sad because I was really looking forward to this trail. Guess it’s only open from July to September.

off road driving
9 months ago

Fun easy off-road trail, rewarding. A few tight switchbacks.

off road driving
9 months ago

This is the original high country road, completed in 1920, that was built to connect the eastern and western sides of RMNP. It is 11 miles long, dirt/gravel (but not difficult), one-way with multiple switchbacks and a lot of fun. It eventually makes its way up to the Alpine Visitor Center at 11,796 feet, where it connects to the Trail Ridge Road. Be sure to stop for the walk to Chasm Falls near the beginning of the road. Another must-do is the short hike to Marmot Point just before reaching Alpine Ridge (it's just under a mile round trip and only about 330 feet of elevation gain...but you still may feel it, particularly if you are not yet acclimated to the high elevation). The 360 degree views from this peak are spectacular. I passed grazing elk and lots of marmots on the way to the top. This was one of my favorite spots when I visited the park in late July.

hiking
10 months ago

Road closed for season so we hiked this challenging uphill hike 5 1/2 miles up! Wanted to continue but needed to complete the 5 1/2 downhill. The second unmarked waterfall was pretty also. Snow capped peaks to view as you climb the trail.

scenic driving
10 months ago

a must.

10 months ago

Awesome trail to drive if the weather isn't bad, amazing views.

11 months ago

Fun time for the family with spectacular views. Didn't challenge the Jeep but nice to have a high ground clearance vehicle for some areas. Would do it again just for fun when in the area.

off road driving
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Not really offroading, because it's a mostly smooth dirt road, but the views are incredible! I did this in my tiny Prius C with cheap all season tires. It is one way. When you get to the end there's the visitor center and food and a shop and bathrooms. A nice diversion.

off road driving
Monday, August 07, 2017

3 stars for the view and a peaceful way to get to the summit. My husband's truck was overkill for this trip. The trail is too dainty for my taste, for off road driving. If your looking for "EASY" 4x4 fun go to Pole Hill trail.

scenic driving
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Definitely worth your time, though the views are better once you get to Trail Ridge Road. The 'scariness factor' is overhyped...it's not that bad. Be sure to make the stops at the Alluvial Fan and Chasm Falls along the way. On Chasm Falls, you can make the harder climb up the trail/boulders along the falls if you stop at the first pullout (unmarked but you'll see water). If you're feeling less ambitious, stop at the marked pullout and walk down some stairs to the observation deck...best views are right there.

scenic driving
Monday, July 10, 2017

Awesome drive. The guy who said it was just a dirt road must be Rocky Mountain High.

scenic driving
Sunday, July 09, 2017

We love spending a day picnicking at Endovalley picnic site next to the beautiful Fall River. Then we pack up and start driving up the Old Fall River Road for amazing views you just don't get from Trail Ridge Road. Take your time driving, sometimes there are people hiking, taking a pull-off to hike and see waterfalls, and viewing animals. On our last trip (7/2/17), we saw marmots and elk right in front of our car. If you're ready to stretch your legs at the end of the dirt road, stop at the Alpine Visitors Center to refill your bottle with clean mountain water and hike up to the top to pose with the "12,000 ft" sign. This makes for a great sight-seeing day, we frequently do this with 3 generations of our family.

off road driving
Saturday, July 08, 2017

It's a dirt road. Just taking Trail Ridge is much prettier!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

No one was on this old dirt road trail when we hiked it in July of 2011. Beautiful views. Lots of bear and elk sign.

scenic driving
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Love taking the narrow and curvy one way dirt road to the top. Its a slow drive, but its beautiful. Amazing views all the up to the Tundra, where you can find lots of Elk, and even snow left from the previous winter.

scenic driving
Sunday, July 28, 2013

When open, I'd recommend this undeveloped road as a way to the west side of RMNP to anyone who's already taken Trail Ridge Road. There are great places for photos (though not for parking) and Chasm Falls is not far from the road. We've actually hiked from Endovalley picnic area up to Chasm Falls when the road is closed at least twice and I would recommend the hike — especially for those with children. There are flowers along the road, great views from the road, and

scenic driving
Thursday, July 18, 2013

This nail biter of a ride is Amazing! If you don't like heights and steep edges this one way road is probably not a good choice. Definitely bring the camera for this one, you won't be disappointed and probably will see some snow from a close distance. Enjoy the beautiful scenery!

scenic driving
Monday, March 11, 2013

Very scenic drive suited for most all vehicles. Allow yourself plenty of time to take photos.

scenic driving
Friday, January 25, 2013

This is a fun--if nausea-inducing--scenic drive up to the visitor center atop the mountain. Appreciate the amenities of modern roads as you crawl uphill through endless switchbacks, admiring the views and stopping plenty of times for photos and elk watching along the way. There's even a little hike at the top if you need a chance to stretch your legs.

off road driving
10 days ago

scenic driving
13 days ago

24 days ago

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