Things To Do

A 5-mile out-and-back hike on the Fern Lake Trail leads to Fern Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park. To get to the trailhead from the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station in Estes Park, drive .25 miles, turn left onto Bear Lake Road, go 1.25 miles and turn right toward Moraine Park Campground. Drive .5 miles, turn left on Fern Lake Road and then continue 1.5 miles to a winter parking lot or 2 miles to the summer lot at Fern Lake Trailhead. When hiking the trail you will cross the Big Thompson River on a footbridge at 2 miles. Bear right at the pool and cross another footbridge over Fern Creek. Continue to Fern Falls, left of the trail.

 Pro Tips

  • Rocky Mountain National Park and Fern Lake Trail are open year-round. To enjoy the falls in winter, add a mile and a half to your hike for winter parking and expect an icy, snow-packed trail. Traction devices will help to avoid slips. The frozen falls are beautiful and there are fewer people in the park in the off-season so you can enjoy the solitude.
  • Keep an eye out for other waterfalls along the trail, including Windy Gulch Cascades and Spruce Creek Falls. Beyond Fern Falls, you’ll find Marguerite Falls and Grace Falls in Odessa Gorge.
  • Stop by the Beaver Creek Visitor Center, open year-round, for restrooms, souvenirs, WiFi, and a free informative movie on the park’s history.
  • Recommended season(s): Year-round.

    —Susan Joy Paul

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