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A loop from the open meadows of Moraine Park up to Cub Lake and back along the Big Thompson River.


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Map Key

6.1

Miles

9.9

KM

Loop

8,688' 2,648 m

High

8,068' 2,459 m

Low

629' 192 m

Up

626' 191 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

Overview

This hike incorporates a great mixture of open meadows, scenic rivers and lakes, and mountain views. The first half of the loop does have one short and steep climb to Cub Lake, but otherwise the trail is gradual and well-maintained.

Description

Beginning at the Cub Lake Trailhead, start the hike by following the Cub Lake Trail to the south and across the Big Thompson River. You'll continue south along the western side of Moraine Park before turning westward at a junction with South Lateral Moraine Trail.

The trail's grade will remain very manageable as it contours to the west, just north of Sheep Mountain. Once the trail turns southward (left), the grade steepens drastically. This is the short but steep approach to Cub Lake.

Cub Lake makes for a great rest stop or picnic destination. Enjoy the richness of your surroundings before continuing on Cub Lake Trail. The trail descends from the lake for just under a mile to a junction with Fern Lake Trail at the Pool.

From the Pool at the junction take a right onto Fern Lake Trail and descend alongside the Big Thompson River. The canyon through which this trail runs is stunning - the northern wall rises abruptly over 1,000 feet above the valley floor.

Once you reach the Fern Lake Trailhead, continue on the Fern Lake Road for approximately one mile. This road will loop you back around to the Cub Lake Trailhead to finish the hike.

Flora & Fauna

Depending on the season, herds of elk and mule deer can be seen grazing in the meadows at Moraine Park.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 71 votes

#1

in Moraine Park

#129

Overall
  4.3 from 71 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
48%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Moraine Park

#41

in Colorado

#129

Overall
20 Views Last Month
8,099 Since Sep 24, 2015
Intermediate

3%
0%
81%
5%
11%
0%

Photos

September 5, 2013 - Elk Rutt
Jan 28, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Great view of the Big Thompson River.
Jul 20, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Views of Cub Lake on July 18, 2016
Jul 20, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Cub Lake
Aug 18, 2015 near Estes Park, CO
Cub Lake has an awesome Mountain View!
Apr 16, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Big Thompson River Waterfall
Apr 16, 2018 near Estes Park, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
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Check-Ins

Sep 22, 2022
Patty Slattery
Aug 13, 2022
Katie Jajtner
Aug 13, 2022
Sandy Oaks
For mom's bday. Nice to see aspens and foliage starting to grow again after the fire. Saw a young moose eating lilly pads. Plan for no shade.
Jul 1, 2022
Su Jin Kim
Jun 30, 2022
Alexa Long
4mi
Jun 18, 2022
Caitlin Heckman
May 6, 2022
Rebecca Falgoust
Jan 29, 2022
Marvin Felty