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Cub Lake Loop

Intermediate
 4.3 (69) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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

6.0

Miles

9.7

KM

Loop

8,685' 2,647 m

High

8,063' 2,458 m

Low

635' 193 m

Up

633' 193 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

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 69 votes

#1

in Moraine Park

#99

Overall
  4.3 from 69 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
49%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Moraine Park

#34

in Colorado

#99

Overall
17 Views Last Month
6,591 Since Sep 24, 2015
Intermediate

3%
0%
82%
3%
12%
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
Big Thompson River Waterfall
Apr 16, 2018 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
Views of Cub Lake on July 18, 2016
Jul 20, 2016 near Estes Park, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Bad / Closed 13 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Oct 16, 2020
Tamara Potter
Oct 9, 2020
John Rizkalla
3h 02m
Aug 12, 2020
Jim Franecki
Jul 14, 2020
S M
Jul 11, 2020
Mitch Freund
Jun 27, 2020
M. Safdar Mahmood
May 28, 2020
Nick Smith
The entire loop difficulty is moderate to severe depending on age and hiking experience. The ascent and descent to the lake has very rocky terrain. 6mi — 7h 15m
Mar 16, 2020
JT Davie
Between Cub Lake & The Pool, the trail was quite icy & lost footing a few times, recommend cleats. Great hike, saw ~10 elk feeding near the trail. — 2h 30m