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Fern Lake Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October.

Length 9.0 mi Elevation gain 1,453 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife No dogs
Description
Waypoints (3)
Contact

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day. Fern Lake Trail is a relatively uncrowded hike to a scenic mountain lake accessed from the Moraine Park area on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail follows the Big Thompson River offering great views of Fern Falls, Notchtop Mountain and the Little Matterhorn from Fern Lake's north side. Easier to hike from Bear Lake.

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

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Reviews (807)
Photos (1211)
Recordings (548)
Completed (2278)
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juan rocha
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Hiking
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Mike Lawer
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HikingGreat!

This trail could possibly be my favorite hike of all time. It’s simply perfect. Nothing too crazy, and a good push to get to the top. Once you reach the top and see the lake, the mountains and catch a fish on a dry fly, release it and look up at the mountains you’ll never be the same. Today was magical.

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Morgan Smith
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John Schultz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

my recording was paused at Helene to Fern so milage messed up. My wife's phone says total was 12 miles. I showed short social trail to a magnificent overlook just before Lake Helene trail. Also hiked to Helene and Odessa. Beautiful views of alpine lakes with mountains rising up just behind the lakes.

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Tedmond O'Reilly
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Hiking

Great falls. Big climb up from pool.

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Chuck Hardin
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Mike Pasieka
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Pat Burger
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Hiking

Started about 7 am, not too many folks on the trail, lots more later. Gorgeous canyon, Great views at lake.

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I Ben Simmons
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Alan Olsavsky
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Joseph Hudson
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Hiking

Beautiful trail! Very well maintained yet challenging.

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Kayleigh Suresh
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HikingRocky

While rated as moderate, it was quite strenuous and if I had known in advance just how rocky the trail is after the bridge crossing, I would have chosen a different trail to hike. We were getting tripped up by the rocks with some frequency and the trail required almost constant focus where it was difficult to be aware of your surroundings and appreciate the beauty on the trail. Otherwise, we loved being able to hear the roar of Big Thompson river, the waterfall was a perfect stopping point, and the view of the lake was worth it.

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Rose noland
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Lindsay Knight
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Hiking

Great hike! Beautiful scenery the whole time. I would say this is more on the easy side. It does have quite a bit of elevation gain. Saw lots of wildlife - 2 downy woodpeckers, a bunch of wild turkeys, dusky grouse, a sharp-shinned Hawk, your usual squirrels and a mink! Took us about 1.5 hour to get to the lake where we took a quick nap. Giving this one less star because you unfortunately will have to share this trail with some less appreciative hikers. It’s really busy. Not many mask wearers. But the hike itself deserves all 5!

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Aubrey Hill
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HikingFee

Very pretty! It’s a mellow hike for the first half and steeper for the second half. The lake itself is very very pretty. The air quality wasn’t awesome so take your time getting up.

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Juan Garibay
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Allison Harris
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Beautiful hike!! Steady incline all the way up, trail is well maintained. The falls were beautiful as well. Very rocky, a bit slippery coming down, trekking poles helped a lot! Saw a bald eagle skim the lake!

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bradley williams
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Hiking

Great hike nice waterfall. The lake is definitely worth it. make sure you walk a little around it to the left. Cross the bridge for a great view. Warning last couple miles are 100 percent up hill till the very end

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Jason Lynn
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Hiking

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Tareyn Farrell
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Hiking

Easy stroll to the Pond, after that it is a noticeable elevation climb to the falls and the lake. But the trail is well maintained and easy to navigate, though you should be cautious for loose rocks especially on the way down. It was pretty busy, but still well worth the work to arrive at the lake!

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mitchlb75 User
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Bonifacio Sandoval
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Peter Scott
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Hiking

Beautiful shaded trail to start along the river and then a climb to the Pool and the falls.

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mario Macias
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Mark Pagano
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HikingGreat!

Decent elevation gain but paths are well kept. Very busy. Worth the hike and feeling of accomplishment.

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Elizabeth Thielen
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HikingGreat!

Be prepared for 2 miles of steep incline. Lake at the top is well worth it!

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Radu R
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Crystal Sutton
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Hiking

Beautiful! Careful on gravel going back down. You can slip easily.

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bobby savoy
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