This is a 4.8 mile route up to picturesque Timber Lake. The trail climbs through a number of short switchbacks leading to a meadow where subalpine flowers bloom. After a second set of switchbacks, Timber Lake comes into view. Allow 5-6 hours for this steep hike or 2-3 hours if you can run it.
Leaving from the Timber Lake trailhead, start up the Timber Lake Trail and enjoy the splendid stands of aspen. In fall, this trail glows red, orange and yellow from the aspen foliage.
Eventually, the trail enters a beautiful meadowland where moose and elk are frequent encounters. Soon after, Timber Lake Trail will cross the sometimes roaring Beaver Creek via an elevated bridge.
At around the one mile mark, the trail's grade increases significantly and forward travel will slow. You'll gain a lot of elevation on Jackstraw Mountain's western face. The forest will transition from aspen stands to dense coniferous forest.
Just before the four mile mark, Long Meadows Trail
(A.K.A. Timber Creek Trail) will branch off to the south (right).
Shortly after the junction with Long Meadows Trail
, the trail steepens again through another set of rocky switchbacks. Once the trail turns back to the southeast, Timber Lake will not be far off. Enjoy a break or picnic next to the lake and take in the views before turning around and retracing your steps.
RMNP is a massive park that is mostly characterized by a montane ecosystem. Here are some of the Flora and Fauna that you may encounter along this trail:
Flora: Ponderosa pine, douglas fir, wildflowers, shrubs
Fauna: Elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, coyotes, black bears, cougars, butterflies.
For more detailed information regarding the park's diverse ecosystems, click HERE.