“A loop from the open meadows of Moraine Park up to Cub Lake and back along the Big Thompson River.
— Kristen Arendt
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
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.
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
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.