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Timber Lake Trail is a 12 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, bird watching, and fishing and is best used from March until September.

Length 12.0 mi Elevation gain 2,349 ft Route type Out & Back

Fishing

Hiking

Bird watching

Running

Lake

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

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. Timber Lake Trail passes through forests and meadows to reach the open area at Timber Lake. Timber Lake is located several 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.

The trailhead parking area is on the east side of the highway.

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

The Timber Lake Trailhead is on the west side of the Continental Divide between Grand Lake and Milner Pass. Follow Highway 34 (Trail Ridge Road) either 10 miles north of the Kawuneeche Visitor Center or 7 miles south of Milner Pass.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (162)
Photos (197)
Recordings (102)
Completed (252)
Dave Wehrs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike. Be aware that it’s not 12 miles nor the 9 miles RT the park map indicates. We hiked to about the middle of the lake and back and came in at 11 miles. Be careful thru avalanche area about 2 miles in.

View Dave's Recording
Amanda Herschleb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingBugs
View Amanda's Recording
Linds Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
HikingSnow

Picked this hike randomly, RT is about 12 miles, rated difficult on the park map. Mild snow here an there on trail, mostly near the lake. This trail was very mildly trafficked, we saw maybe a handful of people while we were there. It is quite the climb but totally worth it as we had the lake to ourselves. A couple miles in I did not clock it unfortunately but there is a landslide area that is marked on both sides of the trail, steep but doable as long as you have good weather. It was about 85 an sunny the day we went, did have some shade on trail, not really buggy. Little shade right on the lake, nice place to cool off and dunk your feet

Erica Tran
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

We randomly picked this trail since we wanted to stay on the east side of the park and it certainly did not disappoint! Do not be fooled by the map’s incorrect information on the distance because it ended up being over 12 miles! Luckily we didn’t have any time constraints and it was a hidden gem. The lake was worth the view along with the wild flowers. The trail was partially covered by snow for the last half mile but it was still easy to navigate. Great hike for an all day adventure with various terrains and scenes.

Claire Visconti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike and there was very little snow at the end. Be careful passing through the landslide area!

View Claire's Recording
Hannah Dorsher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous hike. Steep for a good 3 miles, then we came up on a landslide that was kinda scary to cross. After the the trail sorta followed the stream and was very beautiful. Would definitely recommend!

View Hannah's Recording
Becca DeHority
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 01 2020
HikingSnow

The first 3.5 miles were great. Trail in good condition. We post holed the last 1.5 miles and stopped about 0.75 miles short of the lake because we were sinking in to the hip.

Siena Scigliuto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Dec 23 2019
SnowshoeingSnow

This was a beautiful and challenging snowshoe hike, though we only did a few miles of it. The one issue was that the trail was unmarked aside from where people carved their initials on trees, so we had a hard time finding the trail. We made it by downloading the map on AllTrails and watching our GPS location compared to it. Definitely download this map ahead of time so you can refer to it without service.

View Siena's Recording
Lindsey Kvistad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 26 2019
HikingOff trailSnow

Snowy but totally do-able! Loved it!!! Paved the way for folks coming later in the day. Off route in the beginning but ended up finding our way. Started tracking at your turn around point (3 hours round trip if you go about 1/2 way to the lake.)

View Lindsey's Recording
Elisabeth Diva Murray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 19 2019
HikingRockySnow

Arrived in the previous night from sea level Miami. Change in temperature, time zones, altitude - in less than 24 hours! It was tough, cold at the lake (don’t take off your gloves for snacks), but wonderful scenery around. Caught snow on the way up and sunshine on the way down. One part of the trail had a landslide and was difficult to get around it. The mileage is not correct, the trail is definitely longer. We did this as our first hike ever - for beginners I would not recommend this trail as it is too long and difficult - orherwise: beautiful and well maintained.

Trent Wise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Oct 09 2019
HikingWashed out

This was our very first long hike with our 10 month old son. 10.8 miles. we reached the lake at 5.2 miles and then walked around a bit. The hike was great and very low traffic, I think we only saw 5 people during the entire hike. I would highly recommend to allow enough time for the hike. We reached the lake at 3:30 and the park closed at 6:00...no time for any brakes on the way back and it was harder than I expected. Overall it was a great hike and I would do it again. Just be prepared for it.

View Trent 's Recording
Robert Fletcher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 08 2019
Hiking

Do not do this trail until you acclimate to the air. miles is not correct. fix this rangers

Kevin Guerrino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 06 2019
Hiking

I didn't start the app until at timber lake and starting to come back. Beautiful views the whole way with waterfalls, meadows, and canyons. the lake is amazing but the hike is tough. Saw a moose towards the top on the way back, kind of wonder if he was there on the way up. Lots of birds, woodpeckers and something I've never seen before.

View Kevin's Recording
Mark M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 27 2019
Hiking

different trail

Elliot Talbot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 22 2019
Hiking

Wonderful hike, a very pretty change for those of you who bag the high mountain peaks most weekends. Although be aware the trail is 4.4 miles to the sign with an additional 1.7 from the sign to the lake. It is a deceptively long hike 12 miles round trip. It starts out easy but makes you work, we saw 2 bull elk, a mother and baby moose, a few a deer and what we swore sounded like a mountain lion. Very active trail keep your eyes open.

Ashlee Ginn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 21 2019
Hiking

Great trail and beautiful. Made it to the landslide and turned around. Amazing weather and saw so much wildlife! Elk, deer, marmot, chipmunks, squirrels and more!

View Ashlee's Recording
AotisM Masteller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 20 2019
Hiking

One of my favorite trails in RMNP! Not very crowded and fairly easy, yet the end lake is beautiful. Also saw quite a few elk and a moose on the trail.

Caitlin Teague
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 15 2019
HikingBlowdown

We ended up doing this trail on a whim. The original trail we intended to do was too crowded so ended up here. It really is a beautiful trail. We passed by several people who turned back at the landslide. We decided to go over (and under!) it, and it wasn’t too bad. Just take your time and look for the rocks and secure limbs to help you. Unfortunately, the trail marker in the parking lot is inaccurate. It marked the trail as 4.4 miles to the lake which is not correct. 4.4 miles got us to the split by the creek. It was an additional 1.7 miles to the lake per the sign. We did not budget enough time for that long of a hike. Just be aware it is longer than marked on the map.

Jade Skinner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Aug 20 2019
HikingBlowdown
Kendra Peters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 19 2019
HikingBlowdownWashed out

Hiked on 8/18. What a gorgeous day it was! Started at 10am, and the trailhead barely had any people the entire time. Gotta say, this is one of my favorite hikes in RMNP. First hike I’ve done on the Grand Lake side. Very woodsy and forest-like. There’s a lot of nice meadows you pass along the way, with beautiful views of wildflowers. There is the landslide that happened and lots of trees blown down, which is such a shame. The signs say that it’s an “active landslide area” so watch out for falling trees. We didn’t have any trouble. There is a small landslide section at around mile 2 that you have to navigate through, but after that, it’s smooth sailing. A very easy, but long hike. We went at a very slow pace and it took us 6 hours total. Hardly any people on the trail, so we had the lake to ourselves for a while. Absolutely beautiful views at the top. Great place to propose, like my fiancé did. ;)

kevin bunurai
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 18 2019
HikingBlowdownWashed out
View kevin's Recording
Justin Blankenship
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 18 2019
HikingBlowdownScrambleWashed out

This was a decent trail! It's a gradual climb to the lake, not too bad. The landslide area isn't too bad, just look around the bottom to get past the first downed tree. We saw a moose and her calf pretty close to the trail, was great to see! Most of the trail had nice tree cover. As we got closer to the lake the mosquitos became a bit heavier, but not swarmed. The lake was beautiful and had it to ourselves. There was only 7 cars in the parking lot when we arrived, so not too congested at all. The return is basically downhill the whole way and goes by fast. Nice quiet and fun trail!

Marcus Panek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

I did this hike today, and I was pleasantly surprised with the relatively easy grade it had for the whole hike. Like many others, I saw a couple of moose (a mother and child), which was cool. Also, dont worry about crossing the landslide area. It is a VERY short section and if you take your time it is easy to manuver under/over the downed trees. I imagine it would have been difficult when there was snow present or if there is a heavy rainfall. I was lucky enough to enjoy the lake by myself, and relatively bug free due to a nice breeze and lowish temperatures (would have been nice to get a reflection photo though).

Sally U.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
HikingBugsScramble

I lost my black prescription sunglasses somewhere between the landslide & privy while getting my rain gear on during our hike on 8/16. Zenni brand. I have backups but I figured I’d mention it here in case someone finds them while we’re still in town. This trail was challenging but pretty awesome. It was our first hike in RMNP this year and it did not disappoint. My gps on this app seems to add mileage, about .5 miles so any mileage I mention will be approximate. It starts out pretty flat. There’s a bridge a short ways in. We thought the trail went off to the right, but it goes straight ahead up some rocks. It’s a pretty steady uphill with flatter areas to rest on. I liked the trail - not a ton of loose rocks or roots, so it was nice to hike on. The landslide area is a little hairy to navigate, but not bad. It starts with a pile of logs to climb up, then there’s a long log you have to cross over. It was easiest for us to go down the hill a bit where the log was smaller & step over. Others tried to go up & around & said that didn’t work. Then next log or two are best to go under. There’s a bit of a drop where the water runs through, but it’s not that bad to get through. My app showed the end of that area at 2.8 miles, so expect to hit it by 2.5. The rest of the trail was pretty steady up, but not bad. It’s pretty well covered most of the way, so that helps protect from the rain. There was thunder, lightning & some rain/snow/hail, but it was short-lived. We saw a moose mom & baby in the open meadow area by the privy, about 5 miles in on my app. We hung back a bit to give them distance since they were pretty close to the trail. We hit the lake at 6 miles on my app. The weather wasn’t fantastic, but the lake was pretty cool. The ground was soft and soggy so hiking around the lake will probably not be possible. We weren’t there very long. The hike back was pretty easy, aside from the landslide. It was a bit challenging to remember which way to go, but not bad. Again, it’s probably easiest to go under the logs then over the last one. The parking lot had plenty of spots open, so parking wasn’t an issue. I did get some altitude sickness, so if you’re susceptible, be mindful of it. This hike was challenging, but I recommend it for hikers who want a bit of a challenge.

View Sally's Recording
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