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North Fork Big Thompson River Trail

MODERATE 118 reviews
#28 of 138 trails in

North Fork Big Thompson River Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Glen Haven, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,876 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

scramble

hiking
12 hours ago

Nice walk. Not challenging. more on mild side. No dogs allowed past 4.4 miles as you enter RMNP.

hiking
22 days ago

Nice moderate climb. Beautiful river views and some pretty open views to mountains/meadows. Aspens are nice this time of year. Most campsites aren’t directly on the river but 100-300yds away/above. We spotted site 1 and 3-8. Never identified exactly where 2 was and couldn’t find 9. As someone mentioned, site 3 is where site 4 shows up on the all trails map site 4 where site 5 is and so on through 8. Nice mild overnight trip with water access and great fishing!

Lovely hike next to the river. All up hill on the way out!

Enjoyed trail with Watson and Dionne. Nice shade near river.

hiking
1 month ago

Highly recommend. Beautiful hike

backpacking
1 month ago

Lovely hike. Good diversity of scenery and very manageable for my 10yo and 13yo sons. There are eight designated campsites and a mythical ninth avail on a first come basis. None was taken when we hiked in Fri afternoon. Two others were occupied when we hiked out on Sat. (Plenty of other good spots avail if your conscience can bare it.) Would give it 5 stars but: 1. Busier than I prefer. Hiking out we passed ~10 parties 2. No campfires allowed — for rule followers 3. Lots of pack animal poop on the trail

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Hiked in and stayed one night at campsite 6. Bugs were actually quite minimal. Hooked a couple of cutthroat directly below campsite 6. Will definitely camp this route again. #6 is not flat but still comfy enough.

backpacking
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail! Went out Tuesday morning, camped at site 7 then hiked up to rmnp back to camp then home Wednesday

backpacking
2 months ago

Magnificent hike and overnight! Well-marked & maintained trail, lush greenery, lots of gentle shade, plentiful water, diversity of environments with meadows, aspen groves, pine stands, and more. I catalogued 27 different wildflowers in bloom, and those were just the ones that were obviously different from one another (I'm no botanist). Had zero problems with bugs on the hikes in and out, and only moderate bugginess at the campsite. Stayed at site #6, which was lovely (if not entirely flat). The rushing river nearby was a perfect lullaby. Saw several groups passing by, but only one other group camping. This is definitely tick territory - you're tromping on narrow trails flanked by tall grasses - so I'll probably stay away in the spring, but will definitely come back to this gem!

horseback riding
2 months ago

Excellent trail for horses. Plenty of hire trailer parking. Passed quite a few back packers. Technical in that there are bridges, rocks, water crossings. The horses had to think about where to put their feet. Loved the trail!

One night backpacking about 3.5 miles to the Dunraven cabin ruins (which are no longer marked with a sign and are toppling into the river). Amazing wild flowers and mushroomsy on this trail. Black Chinned and Broad-tailed hummingbirds hovering over the rapids. American Dippers splashing from rock to rock. Remnants of old bridges that were destroyed by the 2013 floods can be seen at several points along the trail. There are fewer bridge crossings of the river than there were pre-flood. Therefore, the new trail no longer follows some of the “pre-flood” recorded hikes, so AllTrails will give false “off trail” warnings. FYI: the campsite locations have also changed significantly from pre-flood 2013. Campsite 1 is the only one accurate on the AllTrails map. Campsite 2 does not exist. Campsite 3 has moved to where Campsite 4 is on the AllTrails Map and 4 where 5 was.....and so on until campsite 6. We turned around at campsite 6, so I can’t confirm the locations of 7, 8 and 9 (explorations of campsites are not included in route recording). One more note to carefully read the “no campfire” regulations regarding “Travel Zones” if you plan to overnight in the Comanche Peak Wilderness. The signs are somewhat confusing. In summary, the “travel zone” extends more than a mile on either side of the North Fork trail from the trailhead to RMNP with the exception of be private camp the trail crosses through. So.....only camp stoves are allowed in the campsites.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail in good condition. Patches of shade made it a good hike for our dogs.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful easy trail along the river

hiking
3 months ago

Had the whole place to ourselves! There was a creek/river running along most of the trail where our dog would swim. We camped at mile 4 in a grass meadow. I would say the difficulty would be easy to easy moderate for Colorado. If your looking for some peace and quite that’s only an hour and half from Denver this is a solid spot.

3 months ago

hit the trailer at 7am. it was a beautiful morning. we love this trail I have a 7yrd boy, 6 yrd boy, and a 3yrd girl. we have been on it 3 times so far this spring. I was by myself yesterday morning. the brook trout are hitting a parachute adoms fly really well. I caught about 15 in a few hrs time. and wasn't able to land several more.

hiking
4 months ago

Well maintained beautiful hike along the river for half of the trail. Then walk through some exposed areas before going into forested area. Wildflowers are starting to bloom. I would rate this as easy.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice maintained trail. Saw some volunteer gear as well while hiking and saw them up in a camp site. Thank you for all you do! Beautiful hike. Not to hard at all. Hiked up to the boundary to RMNP and turned around as we had dogs with us but still a 9 mile hike.

Excellent trail! Path goes along the stream most of the way. Flowers were blooming, birds chirping. Path was clearly marked and all the views were gorgeous! Only a small patch of snow almost near the end, so safe to say it’s a great early June trail!

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

nice trail i went with my small dog and he did just fine there was snow on some parts as i went early on during the year. be careful with some dog owner walking their dog without a leash. i was attacked not once but twice by the same dog. luckily the dog did not bite me but gave me a good scared. there are not much views but a nice river.

The trail was great, well-defined, only saw a few people and that was mostly on the way down. There was some snow pack starting around mile 4 and the snow pack was too deep (for me ) to traverse on the last half mile without snow shoes. Watch out for the icy bridges in the AM!

hiking
5 months ago

Fantastic hiking along a stream for a while. Went out there for a day hike and had lunch by the river. It’s not too strenuous; a good mix of uphill and cross country. However, make sure you drive in on Dunraven Glade Rd; it’s the only place that has a public parking lot available!

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this on Sunday Feb 17, 2019. Started around 8:30am, only one other car in the TH lot. Went to the far end of the campsites (about 3.5 miles in) before turning around. Trail was snow packed and icy in spots, but did fine without spikes. This trail is well defined and easy to follow. The lower trail by the river near the campsites had some pretty deep snow, really needed snowshoes, but didn't have them. Managed OK though by walking in others' tracks. You won't get any mountain top views on this hike, but pretty views along the river. Only saw one pair of other hikers all morning. Very quiet aside from the winter wind. Didn't spot any wildlife. I want to return in the spring when the water is flowing and things are greener.

hiking
9 months ago

Wow. This is a cool trail. I cannot wait until late spring / summer when the river is flowing. Anyway - pretty easy walk. I made it almost to campgrounds before tuning back. Well marked. Terrain had patches of snow and exposed ground all the way. I did not need spikes since trail is well packed. Amazing views and just a good pace of walking. Lots of places to take in some cool scenery. Hardest part was last 1/4 mile returning to parking lot.

9 months ago

Nice leisurely stroll through a winter wonderland. On the North side there was patchy snow. Down in the valley and on the Southside there was packed snow and ice. YakTrax diamonds and hiking poles was enough.

11 months ago

Nice, easy and peaceful trail along the Tompson River. We didn't make it as far in as I would have liked due to time, but I definitely plan on returning

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Nice, easy and peaceful trail along the Tompson River. We didn't make it as far in as I would have liked due to time, but I definitely plan on returning

hiking
Saturday, September 08, 2018

not recommended. if you don't like first quarter mile you won't like trail because it's about the same. No views or panoramas at all. Quite gloomy and closed in the whole way. Main reason to do this trail would be to link to Lost Lake at end of this trail but that's another 4.4 miles or to join Boundary Trail back to Cows Creek but best of luck doing that one! Just done Lawn Lake which is better in every respect. Try that one first

backpacking
Saturday, September 08, 2018

found a perfect spot to hang a hammock

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