(Updated weekly) - Last updated: June 29, 2022
General Overview of Current Trail Situation in Rocky Mountain National Park
Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are mostly open now. Near tree line you may still enounter snow fields and wet or muddy conditions.
Trails above 10,000' are mostly free of snow. Northerly slopes, heavily forested slopes, or other shaded areas may still have large areas of snow. There are also still some very large snow patches above tree line. Some of the higher trails are also very wet with melting snow and some seem more like streams than trails.
Trails between 9,000' and 10,000' are snow free.
Trails below 9,000' are completely snow free.
Specific trail reports
- The Odessa Loop from Bear Lake to Fern Lake is still a little challenging. There is a very large area of snow often called "The Drift" half way to Lake Helene. Some hikers say that they have trouble finding the trail on the other side. There is still a very steep and dangerous snowfield just after Lake Helene as the trail begins to descend towards Odessa Lake. After this, there are many fallen trees before you reach Fern Lake.
- The trail up Flattop Mountain is passable. There are a number of snow drifts that you need to cross near tree line. These are easily crosssed.Then half a mile before the summit there is a large snowfield you need to cross. Early in the morning that snowfield can be icy and later in the day it can be very sloppy and wet.
- Although the Tonahutu Trail is currently closed to hikers, it is open to backpackers who have a camping permit. If you have a permit and are hiking this trail, you will find the trail to be very wet through the Big Horn Flats and as you descend towards tree line. At some points the trail is a rushing stream.
- The Longs Peak trail is snow free until you reach tree line. There are still a few patches of snow that are easily crossed at tree line. After those snowfields, the trail up to Chasm Junction is clear of snow. Between Chasm Junction and Chasm Meadow still has a very large and dangerous snowfield. Hiking across this snowfield to get to Chasm Lake is not recommended unless you have microspikes, poles, and a very good sense of balance. A slip here could be fatal. Also, please note that Longs Peak is still technical as there is still a lot of snow along the Keyhole Route.
- The trail from Milner Pass (Poudre Lake) still has a lot of snow. It might be another week to 10 days before the trail can be hiked without difficulty as the slope above the lake is heavily forested and north-facing.
- The trail up to Mills Lake in Glacier Gorge is almost free of snow. It is still a bit muddy. Continuing up to Black Lake the trail gets much more wet and muddy with increasing snow as you get near the lake.
The following trails are still closed as a result of the fires of 2020:
- Tonahutu Trail from Flattop Mtn. to Grand Lake
- Ute Trail from Beaver Meadows to Timberline Pass
- Mirror Lake Trail
- Comanche Peak Trail
- Green Mountain Trail
- Spruce Lake Trail
- Most of the Sun Valley Trail
As the snow on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park begin melt and open up for hiking, here are a few things to keep in mind.
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.
During the spring season, be especially careful around the streams as they are running fast with snowmelt and are much more powerful and dangerous than they look. Do not attempt to cross them without a bridge and keep children away from them.
From late June through mid-August, we typically have intense afternoon storms. As the day progresses, the high temperatures down on the plains rises and meets the much cooler mountain air which creates large thunderstorms with intense lightning and sometimes hail. You do not want to be caught above tree line, in an open meadow, or near a lake during these storms. The general rule during this period is to hike as early as you can and to be back below tree line before noon. Occasionally storms can occur even earlier so keep an eye on the weather and if it starts to look threatening, turn around. These storms can be life-threatening.
Also, let's do our best to hike in the middle of the trail and not out on its edges. Let's keep them from growing wider with every passing year.