Current Trail Conditions in Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: September 12, 2023

General Overview of Current Trail Situation in Rocky Mountain National Park

We're now in the autumn season here in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a great time to get out hiking. You can still access most locations at the park, but be aware that you may encounter snow at the higher elevations. Watch the weather forecast and consider bringing microspikes with you as the season progresses. There are still a few trails closed due to fire damage from the October 2020 fires. Those trails are listed below.

If you are planning to climb any of the bigger peaks, realize that they are likely to have snow and ice on them making them considerably more dangerous than just a few weeks ago.

One of the many idyllic meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park. - August 9, 2023

Closed Trails

See NPS closure map.

  • Upper Tonahutu Trail between Flattop Mountain and Big Meadows remains closed due to fire impacts.
  • The Mirror Lake Trail and the Commanche Peak Trail also remain closed due to fire impacts.
  • The Sun Valley and River Trail and the Lower Tonahutu Trail (between Big Meadows and the KVC Turkey Spur Trail) remain closed to all users.

Specific trail reports

View a more complete list of trail reports on the NPS website.

At this time of year we don't list trail reports, unless there is something quite unusual, as all trails are now snowfree and should be clear of fallen trees and in generally good shape. We should start to add trail reports in late September or early October as the snow moves more permanently into the high country.

July 6, 2023

  • The Western Ute Trail from the Alpine Visitor Center to Poudre Lake (Milner Pass) is passable, but still has quite a few patches of snow that need to be crossed. There are a couple of large areas of snow up in the tundra and then many smaller sections in the trees below.
One of the many areas of snow on the Western Ute Trail between Forest Canyon Pass and Poudre Lake. - July 6, 2023

July 1, 2023

  • Be aware that the Chasm Lake Trail still has a very steep icy slope that must be crossed to reach Chasm Lake. A fall from this section could have serious consequences. It is highly recommended that it is only crossed by those with proper equipment and experience.
  • Longs Peak is still a technical climb with a great deal of snow and ice. It should only be climbed by those with the proper equipment and experience.
  • The Fern Lake Loop is not advised due to a snowfield along a cliff edge near Lake Helene.
  • There was a recent landslide on the Timberlake Trail. Pass with care.

June 24, 2023

  • Expect snow and ice on trails to Black Lake and Sky Pond.
  • Access to Chasm Lake is still not recommended due to steep and icy snowfield.
  • The Loop from Bear Lake to Fern Lake is not recommened due to a section of the trail after Lake Helene where a steep snow slope covers the trail along a cliff edge.

June 15, 2023

  • The Trail to Sandbeach Lake is clear of snow most of the way. After crossing Hunter's Creek you will encounter areas where the trail has turned into a fast running stream. Then about 1/4 mile before you reach the lake, you will have to cross some wet snow fields. The beach around the lake is free of snow. Be aware that because of the cooler and wetter spring that we've had, ticks are still out in the lower areas of Wild Basin.
    Just before you reach Sandbeach Lake - June 15, 2023

June 13, 2023

  • From the Fern Lake Trailhead to The Pool and nearly all the way up to Fern Lake the trail is snow-free. From Fern Lake up to Odessa Lake and beyond there is still a lot of deep wet snow as well as some fallen trees. I was not able to get to the lake itself due to the soft deep snow. Also, it is still not safe to try and travel between Lake Helene and Odessa Lake as there is a cliff section that is still filled with snow.
The trail between Fern Lake and Odessa Lake on June 13, 2023

The spur trail to Odessa Lake on June 13, 2023

June 6, 2023

  • Trails in Glacier Gorge are melting out. You can now walk most of the way to the Loch without encountering much snow. As you get near the lake you will have to cross stretches of snow on the trail and when you reach the lake itself, the trail will be completely snow covered.
  • If you are considering going to Sky Pond, I recommend waiting another couple of weeks. The trail from the Loch onward is almost entirely snow-covered as is Timberline Falls and Sky Pond itself. There's no lake to see up there yet as it is deep below the snow and ice.

May 24, 2023

  • Trails in the Bear Lake area still have a lot of snow on them. You'll find sections of trail where the snow has melted, but most trails will be mostly snow-covered.

May 18, 2023

  • The Bierstadt Lake Trail which begins on Bear Lake Road is snow free up to the top of the switchbacks. From there to the lake and around the lake there is still deep wet snow.


    Here are a few important things to keep in mind as you head out onto the trails.

    Before you depart, spend a little while on our safety page to ensure that you are ready for this summer season. Also check out our know before you go section, with helpful articles and links to resources for those who are planning to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    At this time of year it is possible to experience snowstorms as well as high winds. Keep an eye on the weather.