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North Fork Trail

Intermediate
 4.2 (14)

A long approach into the northern reaches of RMNP.


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Map Key

9.5

Miles

15.3

KM

Point to Point

10,727' 3,270 m

High

7,663' 2,336 m

Low

3,204' 977 m

Up

262' 80 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Dogs are not allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail crosses into the park around mile 4.

Description

This trail crosses through the Comanche Peak Wilderness and into Rocky Mountain National Park. Access the North Fork Trail from the Dunraven Trailhead graveled parking lot, there you'll find room room for 23 vehicles and a vault toilet.

From the parking area the trail drops into a canyon and follows the North Fork of the Big Thompson for several miles. Bridges have been placed at some of the stream crossings. The trail briefly passes through the private Cheley Camp, please do not trespass. Before the trail departs from the river it passes through large open meadows with historic cabins (which were nearly destroyed in 2013 flood) commonly known as Deserted Village and then ascends to the border of Rocky Mountain National Park. After the flood the trail was relocated to north of the river and no longer passes by the remains of the cabin.

Upon entering the park, the trail continues paralleling the North Fork of the Big Thompson as it gains elevation. Around five miles into the trail, the North Boundary Trail will branch off to the south (left). Enjoy the views of the North Fork of the Big Thompson and its associated wetlands as you travel another mile and a quarter to a junction with the Stormy Peaks Trail, which splits off to the north (right).

A final stretch of two and a quarter miles of trail will lead you to the beautiful Lost Lake. The lake's name will come as no surprise given the journey that you have undertaken to reach this point.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith with improvements by Jim Medlock and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 14 votes

#5368

Overall
  4.2 from 14 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#392

in Colorado

#5,368

Overall
369 Views Last Month
6,150 Since Jan 14, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
92%
0%
8%
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Photos

Lost Meadow 09/27/2018
Sep 28, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Lost Lake on 9/27/18
Sep 28, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Lost Meadow -- August 20, 2019. Enjoyed the cooler breeze as we entered this meadow!
Aug 24, 2019 near Estes Park, CO
Halfway means 1400 ft. of elevation gain completed and 1400 ft. of elevation gain to Lost Lake
Sep 28, 2018 near Estes Park, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 31 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

May 21, 2020
Adventure CGN
The trail is in great shape. Didn't see any snow until just before RMNP boundary and it was just little patches.
Aug 20, 2019
Melanie S
Nice hike from Boundary Creek up to Lost Lake. Hot. We appreciated the cooler breeze once we hit Lost Meadow at 10,400 ft. 5.4mi — 2h 30m
Jul 12, 2019
Twoax Porter
9.5mi — 9h 15m
Feb 2, 2019
Sam F
Snowy, icy, and muddy. 4 miles with plenty of people on trail. 4mi
Nov 26, 2018
Sam F
Another fun hike on the North Fork Trail. Only saw 2 other people. 6mi
Sep 27, 2018
Sam F
Definitely a long trail, but not heavily trafficked. I only saw one hiker during the 6 hours and one person fishing at Lost Lake. 19mi
Aug 14, 2018
Grant Medlin
Jul 14, 2018
Spencer Merage
With will, Brando, Jon, Ryan, Nico, Anna, long hike. Super beautiful. CMped at stormy peak. 8.6mi