Trail Snapshot: Trio Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
- Hike Distance: 14.8 miles Round Trip
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Duration: Approx 8-10 hr Round Trip
- Trail Type: Out and Back
- Starting Elevation: 8566′
- Elevation Gain: Approx. +2760′
- Seasons: Spring through Fall
- Dogs: Dogs Prohibited in RMNP
- RMNP Hike Trail Map: Click for a Map of Trio Falls RMNP
- Recommended Trail Map: National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map
- Denver Drive Time: 1 hr 30 min
- Driving Directions to Wild Basin Trailhead: Click for Google Map
- Driving Directions to Winter Recreation Parking for Wild Basin Hikes: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Allenspark, Colorado
- Beauty: Waterfall, lake, mountain views, meadows, river, wildlife: Abert’s squirrel, elk, deer, moose, bear; wildflowers.
- Activities: Picnicking, hiking trails, snowshoeing, horseback riding, backcountry camping (with a permit), photography
- Fee: Park Pass Required
Parking & Trailhead Information for Trio Falls
The southeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park boasts one of the loveliest portions in the park known as the Wild Basin. The Wild Basin Trailhead is located just 15 minutes outside of Allenspark, Colorado along Highway 115. There is a ranger station at at the Wild Basin Trailhead with toilets and drinking water available.
In the winter (October-May), Hwy 115 may not be plowed to the trailhead, and hikers will need to park their vehicles at a winter parking lot for Wild Basin hikes. Be aware that hikes from the winter parking lot add on another 3 miles of hiking (one-way). There are other small parking areas, like the Finch Lake Trailhead, that may be accessible and allow hikers to park closer to the Wild Basin Trailhead. It’s important to know that Hwy 115, though titled a “highway”, is a maintained dirt road, which means that it can be used by 2WD vehicles. However, after heavy rains and other severe weather, its quality may degrade until it is repaired. 4WD may be needed when snow is on the ground.
The Hike: Trio Falls Trail in RMNP
Trio Falls is located between Lion Lake #1 and Lion Lake #2 in the Wild Basin. For a detailed trail description of the almost 7-mile hike to Lion Lake #1, which takes hikers past three other waterfalls, be sure to explore the trail profile for Lion Lake #1.
At Lion Lake #1, there is a social trail that runs along the right/east side of the lake. Because this next segment is on unmaintained trails in a remote section of the park, hikers should possess both land navigation skills, map, and equipment. This social trail leads for about 1/2 mile along the lake, beyond into rocky terrain, and eventually to the waterfall.
There are a lower and an upper set of cascades to Trio Falls. Following the trail past the lower cascades requires a scramble and negotiating an passage through thick willows and rock. Hikers should exercise extra caution in this wet and rocky terrain.
Tips & Resources for Hiking to Trio Falls in RMNP
- Recommended Trail Map: We recommend the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map which indicates the location of Trio Falls, and provides topo information.
- TIP: There are food storage lockers available at the Wild Basin, Finch Lake, and Sandbeach Lake Trailheads.
- Itinerary: It should go without saying, but be sure to always leave an itinerary with family and/or friends, and give them a call when you are back at the trailhead or within cell range.
- Another Waterfall: If you are lucky and there is an ample flow of water, another waterfall can be spotted pouring down from the cliffs near Trio Falls.
- Get there early: Parking may be limited as with many hikes in RMNP area and can get full even early in the morning.
- You’re in Bear Country: Black Bears live in the Wild Basin area and are active on the months of April through November. Be aware, and dispose of your food responsibly.
- Trail Map for Wild Basin Area: 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 Steven Bratman for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike to Trio Falls in RMNP.
- After the Hike: Rock Creek Tavern & Pizzeria
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions