Cutbank Backcountry Campsite lies above the Roaring River off the Lawn Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Mummy Range. The single-site area is 2.4 miles and 1,080 feet above the Lawn Lake Trailhead in Horseshoe Park. Cutbank is a fine campsite if you’re backpacking through the Mummy Range or climbing 13,560-foot Hagues Peak, the range high point. Lawn Lake beyond the campsite is one of the park’s beauty spots. The campsite sits at 9,620 feet in a lodgepole pine forest on the west side of Roaring River. Get water from the river, but boil or treat it before using. The site has a pit toilet. Allow two to three hours to hike from car to campsite.

Pro Tips

  • Reach the Lawn Lake Trailhead from Beaver Meadows Visitor Center by following U.S. 36 to U.S. 34 at Deer Ridge Junction. Turn right on U.S. 34 and drive 1.7 miles to Horseshoe Park. Turn left on Old Fall River Road and drive a short distance to the trailhead. Hike up Lawn Lake Trail for 2.4 miles. Look for a wooden sign on the left and follow a path, crossing the creek on a bridge, to a junction. Go left to Cutbank. A right turn leads to two-site Golden Banner campsite.
  • A backcountry permit is required for all overnight camping in Rocky Mountain National Park’s backcountry. Obtain permits at the Park Headquarters Backcountry Office next to Beaver Meadows Visitor Center west of Estes Park, at Kawuneeche Visitor Center north of Grand Lake, or at the park website.
  • To obtain a permit you agree to obey National Park regulations for backcountry camping. The Backcountry Use Permit must be with you at all times and a tent tag must be displayed on your pack while hiking and on your tent. You must follow your planned itinerary so campsites aren’t overused or crowded. You also receive a tag to place on the dashboard of your vehicle, allowing overnight parking at trailheads without being towed.
  • Use a Leave No Trace ethic when staying at Cutbank campsite. Pitch tents in designated areas near a silver arrowhead. Secure food and garbage to avoid bear problems. Stash food in a bear-resistant canister, which is required May to October at all campsites below timberline. Keep food, trash, and scented items in the container and store it 200 feet from the campsite. Don’t camp below dead trees; wind storms blow branches off them. The site is clear of snow by late May.
  • Recommended season(s): June to September.

    —Stewart M. Green


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