Trail Conditions

We recommend using for the latest updates on trail conditions.  RMNP intermittently updates their site while Alltrails is updated almost daily.

RMNP Trail Conditions Report as of July 20, 2023

It is looking more summery in Rocky except in the highest elevation areas with conditions changing quickly due to warmer temperatures. Some snow persists at higher elevations (above about 11,000 feet), and traction devices for the bottom of your boots and hiking poles are strongly recommended for all snow travel (please see the link to the Longs Peak Conditions Report above). Snow gets icy during cold nights then mushy and soft during warmer days.

Monsoon season is here, with thunderstorms common in Rocky through the next several weeks. Plan ahead and start early on your hike so you are not in exposed areas when lightning may occur.

Some trails are impacted by high water due to melting snow and high water in rivers and streams; remember to minimize trail widening and resource damage by walking through the wet and mud rather than going around them.

On the tundra, protect fragile plants by always walking on trails.

When hiking on any trails in Rocky, be prepared by packing layers of wicking clothing and extra socks. Plan to wear footwear with good traction for hiking. Sandals, flip flops, and slick-soled shoes without good traction (ex. sneakers) can lead to cold toes, wet feet, and slips, trips and falls. Always remember your water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat.

Any Time of Year: CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION WISELY. Always tell someone where you’re going, where you will be parked, what your intended route is, when you plan to be back home; and then let them know when you return.

Approximately 30,000 acres or 10 percent of RMNP has been impacted by the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires. Some park trails remain temporarily closed due to the level of fire impacts and ongoing safety assessments. This website is updated as trails reopen, plus there is a list of safety tips when recreating in burn areas; please see the link above.


Date of Hike Destination Description of Conditions Found Hiked By
7/16/2023 Hitchens Gulch Trail The trail up Hitchens Gulch to Dutch Town is clear of snow. It is somewhat muddy due to snow melt. Park Ranger
7/19/2023 Dream Lake and Loch Vale The snow at the beginning of the trail to Lake Haiyaha from the Dream Lake Trail is fully melted. The main challenge was Timberline Falls, with an approximately 10-foot rock scramble on wet and dry rocks. Snow is almost all gone everywhere, except for several very short sections just downhill of The Loch and just below treeline below Timberline Falls. Volunteer
7/16/2023 Lion Lake #2 Lion Lake #1 still has patchy snow. Lion Lake #2 has more snow. Hiker used spikes and poles to navigate. Visitor
7/14/2023 Boulder-Grand Pass Traversed the Boulder-Grand Pass west to east from above Lake Verna to Thunder Lake and mentioned no snow all the way up to the Continental Divide. When they came down into Wild Basin, there was a good amount of snow all the way down to Thunder Lake. Having gear to descend the snowfields would have been very helpful (ice axe, crampons etc.). It was slick, and they felt uncomfortable navigating their way. The trail was in good condition otherwise. Visitor
7/7/2023 Thunder Lake There are a few small patches of snow on the trail and in the area. Large snowdrifts cover the trail along the north shore of Thunder Lake. Park Ranger
7/7/2023 Continental Divide Trail Loop / North Inlet switchbacks Trails are largely snow and tree free. North Inlet switchbacks still have three snowfield crossings but are mellow, one longer, steeper crossing can be avoided by down climbing adjacent game trail. Park Ranger
7/6/2023 Flattop Mountain Trail There are small patches of snow on the trail starting about two miles up the trail from Bear Lake. Below the summit is a snowfield that is about 100 yards across. Traction devices and hiking poles would be useful. Park Ranger
Colorado River Trail OPEN The Colorado River Trail, which is the trail to Lulu City, has reopened. Sections of the trail may still be wet; minimize trail widening and resource damage by walking through the wet and mud rather than going around them.Several bridges in the area are in poor condition. Horses are not recommended to use the Colorado River Trail as access to the Little Yellowstone trail area.
Timber Lake Trail Be advised a new landslide occurred in June 2023 approximately 1 mile up the trail. Another landslide occurred summer 2014 two miles beyond the Timber Lake trailhead and goes all the way to the top of Jackstraw Mountain. That landslide is still there and continues to worsen each year. Both landslides are active and unstable.

SNOTEL SITES AS OF Thursday, July 20, 2023

There are several SNOTEL sites in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides a website where monitoring results are available.

Note: This time of year there could still be snow in the general area near SNOTEL sites but not at the actual sites.

SNOTEL Website: and every SNOTEL site has a unique Site Number. For example, Bear Lake is

Bear Lake (Site #322)
elev 9500’ 0” snow

Long Draw Reservoir (Site #1123)
elev 9980’ 0” snow

Stillwater Creek (Site #793)
elev 8720’ 0” snow

Copeland Lake (Site #412)
elev 8600’ 0” snow

Never Summer (Site #1031)
elev 10,280’ 1” snow

Wild Basin (Site #1042)
elev 9560’ 0” snow

Lake Irene (Site #565)
elev 10,700’ 0” snow

Phantom Valley (Site #688)
elev 9030’ 0” snow

Willow Park (Site #870)
elev 10,700’ 0" snow


Fall (September  October)
Fall comes early to the high country. September and October bring clear, crisp air, blue skies, and generally dry weather. Any storm is capable of producing sleet, hail, or snow, plus ice can form easily up at higher elevations when temperatures become colder.

Years vary, but fall colors usually begin in August when many alpine tundra plants turn gold and red. The first gold aspen leaves start showing up high on hillsides. In early September, leaves start turning gold in the Grand Lake area. On the east side, Bear Lake starts turning fall colors by mid-September, and in the Estes Park area in late-September into early October. Rain, snow, and wind can affect when trees turn, and can cause leaves to turn brown or fall early.

The elk rut generally is between early-September and mid-October. To prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during the fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk-viewing opportunities, annual meadow closures occur in RMNP, Area Closures to Protect Plants & Animals - Rocky Mountain National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (

Remember, it can always snow in fall, winter, and spring in RMNP.

  • Be prepared for occasional summer snow showers, which may occur at high elevations.

  • Especially in fall and spring, Trail Ridge Road can temporarily close if wintry conditions occur. The average date Trail Ridge closes for the season is October 23, but a season-closing storm can certainly happen before or after. Weather and conditions permitting, Trail Ridge Road opens for the season around Memorial Day Weekend in late May or early June.

  • Traction devices for the bottom of your boots and hiking poles are strongly recommended. Or depending on conditions after snowstorms or at higher elevations, the snow may be deep enough that snowshoes are advised.

  • Route-finding is important. RMNP trails are not marked in winter and following other tracks is not advised, as you don’t know where they lead, and wind and new snow obliterate tracks.

Taken from