Trail Snapshot: Marguerite Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Hike Distance: 7.8+ miles Round Trip (from Fern Lake TH)
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Duration: Approx 5hr Round Trip
- Trail Type: Out and Back
- Starting Elevation: 8155′
- Elevation Gain: Approx +1285′
- Seasons: Summer through Early Fall
- Dogs: Dogs Prohibited in RMNP
- Hike Trail Map: Click for a Map of Marguerite Falls RMNP
- Recommended Trail Map with Location of Marguerite Falls: National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map
- 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
- Activities: Picnicking, hiking trails, snowshoeing, fishing, photography
- Fee: Park Pass Required
Parking & Trailhead Information for Marguerite Falls in RMNP
The Hike: Marguerite Falls in RMNP
After hiking the 3.9 miles up to Fern Lake from the Fern Lake Trailhead–see the full Fern Lake Trail Profile--a social trail can be found just before the bridge that crosses over where Fern Creek pours out of Fern Lake.
The social trail down to Marguerite Falls is just to the left before crossing the footbridge.
The social trail is steep at first, then weaves through a tangle of trees along Fern creek. Hikers should exercise caution, especially when the meltwater is high and the creek is swift. The trail may quickly become difficult to discern and hikers may need to navigate their way alongside the creek until the the cascades come into site.
Marguerite Falls has two sets of cascades, the first, upper leaps, are located about 1/10th of a mile downstream from the lake. The second are approximately 1/10th of a mile further downstream.
The best route back is to trace the creek back up to the mouth of Fern Lake where it meets up with the main Fern Lake Trail.
Tips & Resources for Hiking to Marguerite Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
- TIP: Parking fills up fast. To avoid having to take the shuttle, we advise arriving at the Fern Lake Trailhead before 7:30 AM
- 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 near the Big Thompson River and the shores of Fern Lake can be a great place for picnics. Plus, you’re going to need some fuel for this hike.
- 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
- After the Hike: Baba’s Burgers & Gyros
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions