Trail Snapshot: Fern Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Hike Distance: 5.4 miles Round Trip (from Fern Lake TH)
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Duration: Approx 3hr Round Trip
- Trail Type: Out and Back
- Starting Elevation: 8155′
- Elevation Gain: +645′
- Seasons: Spring through Fall
- Dogs: Dogs Prohibited in RMNP
- Hike Trail Map: Click for a Map of Fern Falls RMNP
- Denver Drive Time: 1 hr 40 min
- Driving Directions to Fern Lake Trailhead: Click for Google Map
- Driving Directions to Fern Lake Bus Stop Parking: Click for Google Map
- Driving Directions to Park & Ride Trailhead: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Estes Park, Colorado
- Beauty: Sub-alpine lakes, mountain views, river, wildflowers, aspen trees, ponderosa pine, waterfalls, wildlife: Abert’s squirrel, elk, deer, moose, duck, bear
- Activities: Picnicking, hiking trails, snowshoeing, fishing
- Fee: Park Pass Required
Parking & Trailhead Information for Fern Falls in RMNP
The Hike: Fern Falls in RMNP
Just a bit further at 1.7 miles, a bridge crosses the Big Thompson River near the spot of its confluence with both Spruce and Fern Creeks. This area is know as The Pool. After crossing the bridge at The Pool, Fern Falls is another 1 mile up the trail.
Unnamed Falls along Fern Lake Trail
Shortly after The Pool, an unnamed set of cascades can be heard and seen to the right of the trail. The remaining mile journey follows a set of switchbacks that make a steady climb through the forest to Fern Falls.
Tips & Resources for Hiking to Fern Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
- TIP: It is advisable to arrive early as parking is limited.
- Trekking Poles & Traction Devices are Recommended in Spring and Winter: During this time of year, there can be patches and even longer segments of snow and ice on the trail. Because of this, we recommend Trekking Poles and/or Traction Devices for this trail.
- Bring A Snack or Picnic Lunch: The rocks and shore near the Big Thompson River can be a great place for picnics.
- Trail Map for Bear Lake Corridor: Trail Map Link
- Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get list and dayhiking packing checklist.
- Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to John B. Kalla for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike to Fern Falls in RMNP.
- After the Hike: Baba’s Burgers & Gyros
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions