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Lawn Lake Trail is a 11.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and horses and is best used from May until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,509 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

muddy

snow

no shade

no dogs

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. After switchbacking up the south-facing wall bordering Horseshoe Park, at about one mile the trail crosses a low divide and enters the drainage of Roaring River, where views of the top of Horseshoe Falls are possible and damage is evident from both the 1982 dam failure flood and the 2013 rainfall generated flood. After passing the Ypsilon Lake trail about a quarter mile farther, this trail largely follows the 1903 wagon road used to make the old dam at Lawn Lake. The trail mainly travels through forest at an even grade with only occasional views of the peaks nearby until reaching a junction with the Black Canyon trail, where the route turns left (northwest) for the final climb to the lake. Vegetation still shows how much higher the old reservoir was; the modern lake is actually somewhat lower than the original natural lake owing to erosion associated with the 1982 dam failure.

hiking
3 days ago

Very well maintained trail. Fairly steady climb all the way up - never really lets up! Beautiful forest, good shade. No snow on the trail as of last week, but some up at lawn lake. Made it up in 4 hours with a 30 lb pack for some multi-day camping with my son.

12 days ago

Definitely a bit on the longer side, but it's pretty gradual. Very little snow on the trail, just one or two patches near the lake that are easily navigable. Overall, great hike

backpacking
great!
26 days ago

Two-night backpacking trip, stayed at Cutbank site and hiked up to Lawn Lake on our full day. WOW Lawn Lake was way more stunning that I expected, don't know how we've been hiking in RMNP for 4 years without seeing this lake. The lake is situated so beautifully. In early June there was a fair amount of snow as you got closer to the lake, but not enough to warrant our spikes - poles were helpful. Elevation gain was pretty gradual which made this an easier hike for us.

hiking
blowdown
snow
1 month ago

According to the signs and my GPS, it’s a little longer than listed here. But worth it. It’s pretty gradual but still a good workout. Went Saturday 5/29 when the park was open. Saw maybe 5 or 6 groups on the trail after arriving at the trailhead around 9:00. A few blow downs about a mile in but easy to navigate. quite a bit of snow for the last mile! Easy to lose the trail but it’s easy to know enough to generally figure out where to go. At least bring gaiters!

7 months ago

hiked 11-2-19. snowshoes are definitely needed. trail was relatively easy to follow and views are great!

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked 10/22, forecast 43/32F, sunny but very windy. Trail conditions excellent, could have made it without any tools, but micrspikes/poles came in very handy. Complete snow coverage at higher altitude, mainly from wind, up to knee-deep. No ice. Giving 3 star simply because no views :(. Trail marked very well up to lake - after that got trickier.

hiking
8 months ago

Relentlessly UP☝️ for a flatlander! Views on the way to Lawn Lake was spectacular and able to point out Rainbow Curve across the valley. The '82 blow out did cause visible disruption all the way to the top at Lawn Lake. Definitely Sauntered and Conquered this trail!

hiking
9 months ago

Stunning lake view. Worth every step of the hike up.

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Way to rocky for horses. Definitely need to be an advanced rider.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail. Gradual, relentless hike up.

hiking
9 months ago

First part pretty steep but I found it easier from there.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike without anything technical. Made it up in about 2.5 hours - we had the lake almost to ourselves and only saw a half dozen people on our way up. Fly fished out of the lake and caught a few cutthroats, even if it was a little windy.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a relaxing, challenging hike with beautiful waterfalls and the most beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. Most of trail is in the forest and is shaded. It took us 4 hrs to go up and 2.5 hrs to get back. Well worth the effort and time.

hiking
10 months ago

The trail definitely had some nice views but you spend almost the entire 12 miles in the woods with the same scenery. The lake was really nice. I would HIGHLY recommend going the extra 2 miles past the lake and up to crystal lake. Lord almighty it was gorgeous, wild flowers everywhere, I saw a moose on the trail, marmots are everywhere on top of the end of the trail, and crystal lake was absolutely gorgeous. It made the round trip 16 miles but the extra 4 miles is totally worth it.

hiking
10 months ago

I forgot to write a review of this. I camped out along the trail from 7/7 to 7/9. It is a great trail. A challenge for someone who is trying to get in shape and carrying a pack. There was too much snow still to take on the saddle, but I will be returning soon with my newly found fitness. The lake is incredible. I loved it.

hiking
11 months ago

This trail is a well-marked and well-maintained steady incline all the way up to the lake. It snakes mostly up through the forest so there is good sun and rain cover. A few outlook spots along the way to check out the river, and a lot of picturesque views the last 1/2 mile to the lake. We didn’t start until 12:15 and we’re able to find a parking spot in the lot, and we just beat the late afternoon thunderstorms back to the car. A great and doable hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail that has a little bit everything. The trail follows the Roaring River and there are numerous dramatic waterfalls to enjoy. A few open spaces and beautiful wildflowers and a really nice view from the lake. Long hike but no difficult sections, just a steady climb / descent that makes for a very pleasant hike. I didn't see any wildlife but did meet a very nice man riding his horse on the trail. Highly recommend this hike. I got to the trailhead at 8:30 and had to parallel park on road. Only saw about a dozen people during the entire hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail, very well marked. Many waterfalls to look at along the way. Trail was dry the entire way. Snow in spots above the lake. You are in the trees for most of the hike, which was nice. Trail was pretty much up the entire time but nothing to steep. Carried my 3 year old without any issue. GPS stated it was 13.2 miles round trip. 5 hours of total hiking. Parking lot was full by 8:30 but there was spots available on the street as well as slightly further away in other parking areas.

hiking
11 months ago

7/13/19 - Nicely marked trail all the way to the lake. Pretty shaded for the majority of the hike. The trek is a long and steady incline all the way up to the destination. The trail has very few outlooks/vistas but is lined with beautiful forest and foliage (spring flowers are beginning to open). The lake is stunning. Loved it!

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
11 months ago

Hiked up to Lawns Lake for an overnight camping trip. The parking lot is a little bigger than most in the park, but unfortunately, it still fills up and you might have to park in the street. Overnight Wilderness permit needed for overnight parking. I got a parking spot and headed out at 2:45pm, in order to avoid most of the day hikers. Arrived at the Lake at 6:30. So a 3 hour and 45 minute hike in. I would put the speed of the hike as slower than usual, due to many spots to stop and take in the sights. This trail starts out very steep, with tons of Switchbacks. It is well marked, and easy to follow all the way to the lake. Luckily, there were no late afternoon thunderstorms, which was just weird, because everyone knows this time of year its a daily thing. It is a steady uphill the whole way. A few places it levels out and is a nice stroll, but the majority is up. You are under a canopy of forest for the entire hike, and the forest is absolutely gorgeous. This area flooded heavily a while back, and the forest is still littered with many dead trees and logjams from that flood. This was the most fragrant trail I have ever been on due to the many wildflowers blooming along the way. There are many outstanding overlooks of the roaring river, which flows beside you throughout the hike. It truly is a roaring river, and has gouged a deep ravine in the mountain, cutting its way to the meadows below. Didn't pass too many people on the trail, and there was no one at the lake but me and Jesus. There are many places along the way with aspen thickets, or sheer rock walls along the way. The hike is pretty rough, i would put this up there in the high moderate category. The lake is stunning. It is surrounded by mountains, with Hagues Peak of the Mummy Range staring right in your face on the far side of the lake. This is without question the most gorgeous, and remote Alpine Lake I have ever been to. It was absolutely brimming with Greenback Trout. On the far side of the lake, where the inlet comes in, putting water into the lake from snow melt, the trout must have been spawning. They were so thick you could have walked on them. There is a small Ranger Outpost there, sometimes attended, sometimes not. The camping spots do not have great views of the lake or mountains at all, they are surrounded by tall trees, but a short walk will put you at the shore of the lake, so its all good in the hood! The clouds rolled in after dark (darkness at 9:20) and so my hopes of watching the heavens for stars was quickly dashed. But the remoteness of the lake made the sounds of the modern world disappear, and it was great to hear nothing but nature around you. There were several storms throughout the night, so the temperatures dropped significantly, but I stayed warm, and the cool weather in the morning made my morning coffee lakeside even better! I sat on a big boulder and watched a moose pair (cow and bull) graze on the far side of the lake just a few hundred yards out. The one BIG thing, is that the mosquitoes were bad, very bad. When I sprayed with bug spray, it just seemed to piss them off. So having a good bug spray is absolutely 100% needed on this trail. Overall, one of my favorite hikes I have ever had anywhere. Will be doing this one again.

hiking
11 months ago

Made a return trip after 9 days to view changes in snow and wildflowers. Trail devoid of snow and wildflowers need a week or two more. Sunny afternoon, but good shade spots available or tree coverage along the whole trail. About 1/8 mile or so from the lake I ran face to face (10 feet) from a moose on a blind curve on the trail. Got a pic after getting my distance. Quiet hike. Spent 4.5 hours hiking roundtrip.

hiking
11 months ago

Such a good trail!! Slight incline the whole way made for a long but pretty easy hike with a beautiful finish. Trail was well marked and not very rocky. Not much snow, only walked over a couple patches. Trail is actually 12.6 miles though, it says it on every sign and map.

hiking
Mon Jul 01 2019

Didn't see another hiker on the trail to the lake or at the lake. Awesome. Arrived at Lawn Lake at 8 AM. No snow issues. Ice was still on the edge of the lake but disappearing quickly, as in maybe today. Wildflowers were beautiful but sparse, but blooms will probably be abundant in a week or two. Plan to return then and head up to Crystal Lakes.

hiking
rocky
snow
Mon Jun 24 2019

Great hike-snow the last mile deep in some areas. well worth the effort

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