North Fork Trail
ElevationAscent: 3,204' 977 m
Descent: -262' -80 m
High: 10,727' 3,270 m
Low: 7,663' 2,336 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)
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“A long approach into the northern reaches of RMNP.”— Brian Smith
Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
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.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Rocky Mountain National Park