Timber Lake Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews
#48 of 178 trails in

Timber Lake Trail is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
9.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,349 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

Timber Lake Trail passes through forests and meadows to reach the open area at Timber Lake. Timber Lake is located 4.8 miles from the Timber Creek Trailhead on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. It shares a large, level basin with two adjacent ponds beneath Mt Ida. A well-cut trail leads through diverse forests and luxuriant meadows where moose and elk sightings are common. Visitors will enjoy excellent fishing and room to explore this idyllic alpine lake setting.

9 days ago

Beautiful lake. Saw Moose , Elk and deer. Caught fish. Start early to plan plenty of time at lake and avoid afternoon rain. Can RMNP please cleanup landslide... would make for a spectacular hike if landslide was mitigated. It is 11 miles.

9 days ago

Great trail. A good cardio workout with elevation gain. Good trail to start out on as I just get into hiking. Whoo Hoo!

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful hike, even on a rainy day. Saw moose along the trail. It is a very steady uphill almost the entire way up but it make a nice return going down. There is a huge landslide around 2 miles in that required some scrambling around but otherwise trail is in excellent shape. We got 10.4 miles round trip.

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing trail! The elevation gain is no joke. Absolutely stunning.

11 days ago

This trail has yet to disappoint, in three times up this season there has always been a plethora of wildlife. As others have said just be mindful crossing the landslide area. I tried the alternate route once and it’s not really any better/easier and takes a bit longer. Also it is right about 5.2miles to the lake from the parking lot and if you go around you’ll end up covering 11-12mi.

12 days ago

My first trial ever and hike like this; i have to say it was beautiful and jumping/crossing the landslide was definitely an experience but it was well worth the long hike! I saw 3 bull Moose, Two female moose and a calf. I saw 2 huge Elk with nice set of antlers and a small deer! I highly recommend this trail!

22 days ago

Definitely beautiful. We measured the trail at 11 miles. We started at 9:34 and finished at 5:04. Had slight delay due to rain. Definitely a workout!

hiking
30 days ago

I definitely think it was a little longer than 9.9 miles. but well worth the hike! Our group started at 9:40 ish and made it back to the car at about 2:20 PM. We saw a mama moose and her baby along with some deer and an elk!

1 month ago

Got a late start on 7/7/18, started around 9:15. Plenty of parking in the huge lot at the trailhead. Only saw 3 groups or so on the way up. Made it to the lake around 1pm. Fished for a half hour/45 minutes before a pretty good afternoon storm looked like it was rolling in. Saw two bull moose, a deer and a Mama moose and calf on the way down. Be sure to give plenty of room when passing these animals. Mama was not happy to see me. Nice hike, but lots of uphill to get to the lake. Landslide area was a little tricky and you may want to avoid if a recent rain came through or is expected. Have fun!

hiking
1 month ago

The landslide area (maybe 3mi out) is certainly worth some caution, but hearing from some other trail-goers that the detour was awful made me glad I'd given my landslide traversal skills a try. The big meadow below the lake is gorgeous and seems to have a resident moose. Still a good amount of snow on the trail in the last mile (mid-June), which might get you off trail a little bit. After talking with a couple of other people who had similar issues, it seems the tendency is to wander a little too much to the left of the trail and to realize this when you stumble into Snowbird campground. Don't get discouraged, though; the lake is worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the favorite campsites of all time (Jackstraw) is located en route to Timber Lake. We camped perched above the meadow and saw moose and elk up close. Two curious bull elk hung out and sneaked up to our tent at 2 a.m. That kept me up for a while! Trail was a bit challenging, but overall worth the hike.

2 months ago

Incredible hike. Did an overnight at rockslide.
Saw elk, moose, and 1 black bear at the base. Still plenty of snow at the summit. Caught 2 green backs at the lake. Landslide is manageable.
Enjoy.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic trail! Just hiked it in May and there was still a lot of snow near the top. Snowshoes would be quite helpful early May. Beautiful views the whole way though!

hiking
9 months ago

Definitely longer than 9 miles there and back and although my wife and I are beginner/intermediate hikers, this was a difficult one for us. So worth it at the lake! Left at 8:30am, arrived at lake by 2 pm and made it to car a little after 5pm. Full day for us! Got some great photos and it motivated us to do Ida trail next time, looking up at it from the lake on this trail.

hiking
11 months ago

got to see elk,mouse and a bunch of other critters. tough hike, but worth it..also there is no swimming in the lake. unfortunately caught some people in it.. please respect our parks.. thanks.

hiking
11 months ago

First and for most! YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SWIM IN THE LAKES @ A NATIONAL PARK!! Saw a few people this weekend who lacked basic knowledge of this.. disgusting..
Beautiful Trail! Definitely would rate this a Hard not a moderate trail, make sure you have Proper hiking shoes as the trail consist mostly of rock your whole way up and has lots of switch backs towards the top. The last 1.7 to the lake is the Hardest part but the most rewarding. Just when you think your not going to find it, you do! It's worth it to get to the top!

hiking
11 months ago

Fantastic hike. I saw two moose about 30 minutes into the trail. Hikers coming down from the top said they saw a big Bullmoose but I never spotted him. There is ample parking at the trailhead along with several picnic tables.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

The views are great at the lake and in some spots during the hike. It is 10.2 miles round trip according to a GPS watch. It's not very steep at all except if you take the landslide detour. We did on the way up but went through the landslide on the way back down. It's definitely easier to go through it. Have to climb over one large tree and one steep slope. However there are tons of tree debris hanging onto loose soil right above you so be careful and I wouldn't go through there if it's raining or wet. About a mile from the lake in the open field we saw two moose - mother and child - near the trees on the right when heading down. This was around 3 PM. Going to post a pic of the landslide.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

I'd rate this as just above moderate, as it has a steady amount of climbing as well as distance, but well worth the effort!

hiking
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

This is a awesome trail with a beautiful reward. The landslide area was a matter of getting over a few logs and was not that bad. Took about 6h 15min, and watch recorded 10.5 miles. That was with walking around the lake.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Parts of the trail were fairly strenuous. The landslide was difficult to pass for someone afraid of heights.

trail running
Friday, July 28, 2017

It's a very tough moderate trail but an awesome run! Most of it is a shallow enough incline that it's still runnable, only had to walk up in a few spots. There is a few logs and trees that need navigating, and the landslide you should go around.

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

This trail was quite difficult ... more so than other moderately rated trails we've done. My gps watch said this trail was 11 miles (could be wrong, just saying)... also with part of the trail missing due to a landslide you have to climb over/under fallen trees, plus scramble on hands and feet over gravel/mud (on a steep slope) to get to the trail on the other side. With all of that, plus the 2000 ft elevation increase I would definitely rate this as hard. But, there was hardly anyone else on the trail and we saw elk. Also, the view at the top is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen! So if you're willing to put the work in, it's worth it. It was just definitely harder than I planned!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

I think that this Trail should be rated as difficult given the avalanche damage. The damage was difficult to navigate. The long hike up is worth it when you reach the beautiful lake. I made the mistake of leaving too late in the day so I had to endure a thunder rain and hail storm.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Great hike. Climb at beginning, then levels off. Landslide about 2 miles in, have to detour up a steep slope, cross a wet area and steep slope back down. Takes about 10 minutes, strenuous climbing but path easy to follow. Trail is wet in spots, with snow cover especially in last portion up to Timber Lake. A bit tricky to find trail on way up and back but doable. Approx 11.5 miles RT. Timber Lake is beautiful.

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Saw the bear within half mile of starting the trail. He was a big guy but wanted nothing to do with us once we gave him the right away. Scenery in here beautiful and lots of sign of elk.
The landslide area was definitely not stable. We heard lots of popping and snapping noises. We peeked around area they just fixed up and saw whole trees moving! Then we went back to trail that went above landslide area. Very steep but got up it. As we were standing above landslide area heard more popping and snapping. Saw 100 ft trees swaying and then whole group of them went down the mountain. The entire hill was very unstable! We decided to turn around as we didn't want to be in the middle of this. Sounds of those big trees snapping for the 20 mins we were in area will stay with me.

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

We observed several elk along the trail, sometimes they were a little close for comfort. The trail itself was great, but remember to take lots of water as this trail has about the first 1.5 miles up steep grades.

The best part was approx .25 MI after the landslide we did observe a black bear (again... a little close for comfort). It was coming down a hill right toward the trail. It stopped once it saw us, and after watching us for a minute it took off back up the hill. I'd say it was about 30-50 yards in front of us with little trees separating our view.

It's an awesome trail. I highly recommend. Just make sure you take the appropriate gear as I'd say it's more difficult than the app suggests.

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Amazing hike with steady but very manageable incline through beautiful forest with river flowing alongside and nearby until you get to high elevation open meadows followed by the beautiful lake at the top is so worth it. There was a detour because of a landslide last year but now the trail has been repaired and goes through all the downed trees and was a little bit tricky but not too bad. Still quite a bit of snow at the top making the last bit to the lake slower. Lots of runoff on the trail. Highly recommend!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

As of 5/30, I'll have to give this hike two stars. The views at the end look amazing from other's pictures, but unfortunately when hiked today we were unable to reach the lake due to snow. About 1.5 miles from the lake, the snow becomes deep and covers the trail. Perhaps possible to find your way, but we had another commitment and simply didn't have the time.

NOTE: the first ~1mile of the hike is all uphill, but it does flatten out eventually. The landslide causes some real difficulties, so make sure to pay attention to the signage that marks the bypass trail. My group didn't see the sign and really struggled to find our way, although we took the bypass trail on the way back and it is still quite difficult to get around the landslide. I would rate this hike as hard due to both the landslide and snow in our case.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Awesome hike! Even in summer there was some snow still up at the top at the lake. Pretty quiet trail for the most part. Barely anybody up at the lake at the top so it was like we had the place to ourselves. The water was freezing. The detour in the middle of the trail on the way up has since been fixed and is much easier than it was this first time soon after the landslide that took out part of the main trail.

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