Ouzel Lake Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
9.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,683 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Take Hwy 7 south out of Lyons past Allenspark, to Wild Basin Trailhead.

1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! Recommend going early to beat the crowd. Would definitely do it again

Ouzal Falls was absolutely gorgeous and the ridge that you cross on the way to Ouzal lake was stunning! The trees were short due to the fire in 1978 so the views of the other surrounding peaks were amazing! We were at the parking lot at 6:30 in the morning but I’m sure by 7 AM the lot is full. We saw very few people on the way up but on the way back it was busier so go early.

hiking
2 months ago

A great hike to a wonderful lake on Monday, 8/13. I originally planned to get to bluebird lake but called it at the junction and decided to partake in just Ozuel - it didn't disappoint! Note that there's not a lot of shore space to sit down.

I'd read on here that it tends to get hot in the treeline areas which is kinda true. It's not very shaded about a mile past the falls but it's less than 10,000' feet (read: not above treeline). The lack of shade is due to a fire in the late 1970s (Google Ozuel Lake Fire for interesting information on RMNP allowing the fire to burn naturally) and therefore a lack of mature shade trees.

All in all, a really neat hike with great views of Longs and Meeker. Lots of people to the falls and thins out a bit afterwards.

A few notes:
-From GAIA GPS: 10.00 miles, 5:27 hours (58 minutes stoppage time), 1545' ascent
-I arrived to trailhead at 9:30am and there were about 10 parking spots left
-Saw two big ol' cow moose alongside road between entrance station and trailhead
-As others have said, be sure to take small trail to left of large falls to see 40' falls head on

3 months ago

Great, easy (but long) hike. We got to the parking lot at 6:15, which was a good call. By the time we were on our way down, there was a line of people on their way to Ouzel Falls and the lot was completely full. Not too steep and the views of the falls were gorgeous. Really enjoyed this one.

3 months ago

Simply beautiful!

3 months ago

Beautiful hike with views, lake, waterfalls, and lots of wildlife flowers at this time of the year.

hiking
4 months ago

We enjoyed this trail, and were particularly pleased that it's the perfect option for rainy, dreary weather, as it's all below tree line, and the main attractions are the immediate views of the falls and lake, rather than vast overlooks. For the most part, the ascent is very gradual. 1.8 miles from the lake (at the last turnoff), there's a steep section, but it doesn't last too long. I was surprised to see a privy halfway up the trail - good to know! Stop at Copeland Falls on the way down; it parallels the main trail and doesn't add any extra distance - well worth it! The Ouzel Lake trail is also nice because you get to see the Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls as well.

hiking
4 months ago

I try to visit RMNP every time I'm in Denver and was looking for a dry trail since I didn't pack my waterproof boots this time. As a flatlander, I was worried I wouldn't fare very well, but most of the grade is gentle and there are plenty of places to rest. Start as early as possible because the trail gets hot and exposed to direct sun. Early to mid-June seems to be the perfect time to hit this trail if only for the wildflowers. Didn't see any wildlife of note, but greatly enjoyed the scenery. This trail was less traversed compared to St. Vrain, but there was a pretty steady trickle of hikers stopping at the lake after 11 a.m. on a Friday. Also, parking was filling up by 7:15 a.m. One hiking group recommended making the extra trip to Bluebird Lake, but my hiking companion wasn't enthused about tacking on the extra 2 miles, so maybe next time. Common sense prevails - make sure you have more than enough water, a hat, and plenty of sunscreen. This is a rocky trail and I highly recommend footwear with extra protection on the toes and thick soles to protect from stone bruising. Rating 4/5 because other trails in RMNP are a bit more stunning and offer easier photo opportunities of mountains at the final destination.

4 months ago

reviewed the Ouzel Falls Trail separately. From the falls there was a brief walk through the still shaded forest before you got to an exposed relatively flat open area. This area had been burned in 1978 and the remains from that event can still be observed. This has opened up the space for new growth and a wide variety of wildflowers. There last half mile was downhill with some short easy to navigate or walk though areas of water on the trail from snow melt. We arrived at approximately 2 p.m. and we were lucky enough to be the only people there. We had a wonderful lunch spot overlooking the lake with reflection of the snow covered mountains in the distance. We did not attempt to walk around the lake. Given the variety of wildflowers and the wonderful mountain views in the distance it was worth the trip from the falls.

hiking
4 months ago

Originally, we were just planning to do the waterfall but my family and I decided to add the lake on and it did not disappoint! Some beautiful views of the surrounding peaks on your way and the lake is beautiful and calm, especially when you get it alone. We got to the trailhead around 630 and had a very private hike, except for maybe five other people who we only saw here or there; definitely recommend getting the headstart, but dress in layers because it was quite windy on the way up.

4 months ago

Did this hike on 9 June. Beautiful. Snow near the lake was very easy to navigate.

4 months ago

So much to see on this hike, plenty of waterfalls, rushing river, and elevation gain You can go just as far as you like and still feel like you enjoyed great views. The trek from the falls to Ouzel Lake has lots of exposure so freshen up your sunscreen and enjoy the views

hiking
4 months ago

If you're planning on hiking to Ouzel falls/lake, park at Wild Basin Trailhead. Keep following the gravel bumpy road to the end to find the actual trailhead that is past the park ranger entrance. If you want parking at the TH itself, make sure to go early since parking is limited and can get full fast. I got there about 9:00 and there were several spots left. At the trailhead there are nice park rangers that you can ask questions, make sure to ask them for a map! They provide free maps of the particular area which are helpful for distances/paths to take. Beginning at the TH it starts off flat and then inclines very slightly and is primarily in a shaded path, so this portion is good for when the days are hot. Along the beginning section (before Ouzel falls) you follow the river/multiple waterfalls, which are beautiful. It will start to incline a bit before Ouzel falls, but the hike to the falls is primarily shaded and WORTH the hike! When you are going to the lake make sure to make a pit stop at the falls! (On the left hand side of the falls there is an area to hike up off trails to see the falls more up close and can get amazing pictures. Now this is where i wish i would have ended my hike to go back to trailhead. I thought the hike to Ouzel LAKE was not worth it. After the falls there is a little bit of a hike to where the trail splits off to go to the lake. At the bend it is pretty much an uphill battle and you will be at the top of the mountain in DIRECT SUN. After hiking along the top of the mountain for a bit uphill, you will eventually go down hill a bit into many areas of patchy snow and many areas of mud. This hike seemed long for the view you got at the end. If you're looking for a hike with a lake and mountain view, I would suggest emerald lake instead. ***Ouzel Falls is WORTH it!

hiking
4 months ago

My daughter and I hiked this on 6/2. It was a beautiful, well maintained trail. There were a few snowfields for about the last 1/2 mile, but it was manageable without micro spikes. It was well worth the hike. The lake is gorgeous! The views of Long’s Peak along the hike were stunning. The falls and wildflowers were gorgeous as well. Not many hikers from Ouzel Falls to the lake, but coming back down we encountered quite a few hikers from the falls to the trailhead.

fishing
4 months ago

Really enjoyable hike. I got to the trailhead at 6:30am on Saturday 6/2 and there were several parking spots left. I only saw about 6 other people on the hike up which was surprising. No snow until the final fork in the trail heading down to Ouzel lake and after that there were quite a few snow piles but they were manageable. The area around the lake was very wet and muddy but the whole shoreline was accessible and the lake was completely ice free. The trail was much more crowded on my way back but it wasn't too bad.

The fishing was good with several trout caught. They weren't moving much but if you found them they were very aggressive. Despite all the signs for greenback cutthroat trout every fish I caught was a brook trout.

4 months ago

This trail was absolutely awesome from start to finish. The falls are gorgeous, trail well maintained. Make sure you get up to the lake and take some time. There’s a few muddy spots and some snow towards the top. All around just a wonderful hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked the trail Monday morning at 7am. Only two other people on the trail at the time. Beautiful hike. Clear paths. Once you reached .5 to .75 miles from the lake, snow fields were encountered but nothing that couldn’t be easily walked over, with assistance of poles. Beautiful lake. Mirror reflection of mountains.

hiking
5 months ago

Started the trail around 1030, reached Ouzel Falls around 1145. Not crowded at all due to the cloudy weather. Had to stop for a few minutes because moose were reported on the trail ahead, but we did not notice them, the ranger said they were getting frequent sightings in the area. Tried to continue on the Ouzel Lake, had to stop about 0.5 miles from the lake, due to a lot of snow remaining on the trail. I've taken this trail about once a year for the past few years, always a great time and a great hike.

hiking
5 months ago

At trail at 7:00 AM. Clear trail until first bridge then spikes definitely recommended. Hard pack on way up, slush and snow coming down. After crossing the bridge at Ouzel falls, snowshoes highly recommended. 4" new snow and it is heavy and wet. Easy to follow trail all the way to the lake. Always a good hike no matter the weather.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked on Saturday 4/28. Road to wild basin trail head was not open yet so we had to park a little further down. Restrooms at trail head. Trail was mostly snow free until about 9000 ft but significant accumulations at higher elevations, especially past Ouzel falls and closer to 10000 ft near the lake, so expect to post hole. Micro spikes/crampons/snowshoes/hiking poles not necessary but recommended. Decent amount of water in the falls. Nice view of Longs and other 12ers/13ers in the area.

hiking
9 months ago

Plan to park in a lower lot and add an extra two miles (one in, and one back) to your hike to the trail head due to winter road closure. A fair amount of people on the trail though Ouzel falls (fairly icy and dormant so far as I observed). Traction devices would help to Ouzel Falls. Beyond that, I wished I had brought my snow shoes by the Ouzel Lake / Thunder Lake split. The trail to Thunder Lake bettertraveled, but I broke trail up to Ouzel Lake. Good for the lungs. Happy New Year! Bonus: Zero cell reception.

hiking
9 months ago

beautiful hike. great waterfalls, river crossings, and the lake, all iced over. went up to ouzel lake on december 20th. packed snow and dirt-covered ice much of the way, a few spots of slick ice you could work around. towards the top, the snow got a bit deep, but it wasn't wet. altogether, you could get by without microspikes if you really wanted to, but they make the trip so much more enjoyable.

hiking
11 months ago

Mostly dry trail conditions with only a few patches of ice in the early morning made this gradual incline hike quite easy. The furthest trailhead is still open for parking. The lake is starting to ice over. Add on a side trip to Bluebird Lake if you have some extra time.

hiking
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Just a few stretches of snow on the trail, of which the longest was probably 10 yards. Windy up top but otherwise great fall hike.

Monday, October 16, 2017

furthest lot was still open yesterday. pretty empty past ouzel falls. snow add ice on the trail were minimal. great views of longs, meeker and other peaks after ouzel falls. great pine forest and smaller water falls up to that point. lake itself is partly frozen at this point

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The best part of this hike are the falls in the first 2-3 miles. There are better high-altitude, alpine lakes to hike in RMNP. But the falls are spectacular and worth while by themselves. Save the last 3 miles of the hike for other alpine lakes.

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

This hike has lots of attractions. Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, Ouzel Falls, Ouzel Lake, wooded areas, and open vistas. Ouzel Lake is located in a marshy area and very wooded, so don't expect a lot of sitting areas. Since the flood, you'll have to do a little bushwacking to get up close and personal with Ouzel Falls.

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This was an amazingly beautiful hike! It is an easy hike, with some rocky spots. We encountered an elk, and a moose on our hike. The trail was well maintained and easily marked. There were only a dozen or so people hiking this trail for a Tuesday in late August. I would recommend this scenic trail with the river parallel to the trail, and breathtaking waterfalls.
Raquel

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Beautiful hike. Don't miss the little pond near the campsite filled with green lily pads!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I loved this hike! I got to the trailhead on a Monday morning around 8am and it wasn't too crowded. Steady climb for the most part all the way to the lake. The trail is very rocky, be sure to wear good footwear (saw lots of people hiking in sandals?!). Beautiful, diverse scenery. Be very careful not to get caught on the ridgeline between the falls and the lake during a storm - I saw dozens of trees that had been struck by lightning!

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