Trail Conditions

From Rocky Mountain National Park:

SPRING CONDITIONS In general, for the first couple of miles, especially on popular trails, the snow may very packed down and quite slippery. Traction devices and poles may be enough, although as the days warm up, snow gets soft and mushy and hikers can posthole. CAUTION! The park does not mark trails for winter use and following other tracks can mislead visitors. Don’t get lost! Proper route-finding skills are essential. Also, if it is windy or there is new snow, tracks can disappear and visitors could lose their way unless they have good route-finding skills and proper equipment. 


Also, ticks are out! Ticks most abundant in RMNP April – June. Ticks hang out at the tops of tall grasses and shrubs in areas where animals tend to travel. When an animal – or a human – passes by they will attach themselves to feed on the blood of their hosts. Ticks can transmit diseases to human hosts; in this area, Colorado Tick Fever is the most commonly-transmitted disease (much moreso than Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). Ticks like tight places, like waistbands and tops of socks, hairlines, underarms, crotch areas, etc. Do a "tick check" every few hours when outside, checking yourself carefully, head to toe. Ticks can take up to several hours to embed, which gives you time to find them first and remove them. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible, carefully and properly so you don’t leave its head embedded which can cause infection. Use tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull the tick straight out. Then wash and disinfect the area carefully and thoroughly.

5/16/2019 Onahu Trail
Backpackers hiked to Onahu Creek site - had knee deep snow at the campsite. Could not find the rest of the trail that goes toward the Tonahutu Trail.
By a Visitor

5/16/2019 Cub Lake Loop
Hardly any snow at all on the trail up to Cub Lake. A couple little spots on the way down to The Pool but nothing that isn't easily negotiated. A few muddy places. The river is roaring through the area--no ice at all.
By a Volunteer

5/16/19 Fern Falls
Getting to Fern Falls was no problem with regular hiking boots but there was some snow on the trail for 200-300 yards before Fern Falls. There is quite a stream of water running down the middle of the trail about half way between The Pool and the Fern Lake trailhead.
By a Visitor

5/16/2019 Ouzel Falls
Road from winter parking to trailhead free of snow but wet and not yet open to cars. Trail up to Calypso Cascades fairly free of snow. Good hiking boots needed to get to Ouzel Falls. Traction and poles might be helpful but not necessary. Trail up to Calypso Cascades fairly free of snow. Good hiking boots needed to get to Ouzel Falls. Traction and poles might be helpful but not necessary. (Note: according to SNOTEL, there is still 31” of snow in the Ouzel Falls area).
By a Visitor

5/16/2019 Gem Lake
Trail almost completely free of any snow or ice.
By a Visitor

5/15/2019 East Longs Peak Trail
Hard-packed snow spotty from trail head up one-half mile. Then mostly hard-packed from that point upward. Traction devices strongly recommended.
By a Park Ranger

5/14/2019 Sprague Lake Trail
The ice on Sprague Lake is mostly melted. The trail around Sprague Lake is a little icy/slushy on right side but clear most of the rest of the way around.
By a Park Ranger

5/13/2019 East Inlet
Trail is mostly clear of snow for 3.5 miles. Some mud. Beyond 3.5 miles there is a lot of snow.
By a Volunteer

5/13/2019 East Shore Trail
Trail is mostly clear of snow and has been cleared of downed trees. Trail to Lookout has some areas with snow.
By a Volunteer

5/12/2019 Emerald Lake
Trail to Emerald Lake is almost all snow, several feet deep in many areas. Spikes and poles were very helpful.
Nymph lake is snow-covered, with some water/slush showing.
Dream Lake has some open water.
Emerald Lake also looked mushy and wet.
There was no path heading toward Lake Haiyaha from the Dream Lake Trail, just a few footprints leading straight up the hill.
By a Volunteer

5/12/2019 Bear Lake
Bear Lake has some open water and obvious soft/wet/slushy spots. Not safe to walk out on the ice that is there. Visitors travel at their own risk.
By a Volunteer

5/12/2019 Flattop Mountain
The trail up Flattop Mountain early in the morning was firmer snow and spikes were used most of the way up, then snowshoes. On the return, the snow was much softer and he occasionally went in above his knees. He said the route up Flattop is still a winter route.
By a Visitor

Submit Your Own Trip Report
Send us an email, call (970) 586-1206, or stop by a park visitor center.


For Your Safety
These Trail Conditions reports are the viewpoints of the submitters, whether park staff, volunteers, or visitors. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. Use these reports only as guidelines. Be prepared for varying weather and trail conditions.

Falling trees are ever-present hazards when traveling in the forest. Be aware of your surroundings. Dead trees can fall without warning!

Due to the September 2013 Flood, missing foot bridges, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes, falling trees due to soil moisture, rutted trails, damaged water bars and steps, standing water, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs could be encountered. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park is designated wilderness, where self-reliance and adventure are expected. Hikers should be prepared to take responsibility for their own actions; search and rescue may be delayed. Be prepared to stay overnight even if you are a day hiker. Hiking poles may be helpful on uneven trails. Route finding skills may be required. Carry a map and compass and other backcountry travel essentials. Hike at your own risk.