Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy before using any information on this site. This trail parallels the main trail, and once you've visited Upper Copeland Falls, will allow you to return back to the main trail without having to backtrack. Ben Fullerton. At a distance of 6.5 miles one-way to this remote backcountry lake you generally encounter only those people who are spending the night; and with a total of only four camping sites very few people in total get to see this amazing place. ADVERTISEMENT. Includes a printable map with elevation profile, photographs of the hike, and how to get there. Just beyond this junction is the Siskin Backcountry Campsite. From Thunder Lake, we retrace day 1 and 2 and descend east to our starting trailhead on the southeastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s pretty rocky in some places but overall it’s in pretty good condition. Thunder lake was where I ultimately decided I wanted to be when I was planning my day hike through Rocky Mountain National Park the night before. Thunder Lake sits at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Wild Basin, one of the more scenic and isolated cirques. Just beyond this site is a spur trail that provides access to a series of campgrounds. The trail can also be done as a multi-day hike, with eight backcountry campsites near the trail. The main cabin is gable-roofed, with a small shed-roofed porch, and is a good example of the National Park Servi… Park at the Wild Basin trail head and start on up. The individual sites are located in a forested area north of the trail about 300 yards east of the lake. May 1 - Sep 15 (100% reservable) Site Type … For the most part this unimproved spur trail continues to follow the North St. Vrain Creek. Stay left, and you will get to see Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls, which are two amazing waterfalls and are the most popular destination in the Wild Basin. Over the course of this short section of trail we saw several glacier lilies, but only a few were in bloom during our late-June hike. If you take the Ouzel Falls path, make sure to keep to the right and take the Thunder Lake trail, not the Ouzel Lake trail once you leave the falls. 1 Trail junction. The easiest way to reach Box Lake is from the Wild Basin Trailhead. The Thunder Lake Patrol Cabin is also located here. Occasionally, as you climb higher, you'll have sporadic views of the surrounding mountains. Well, today was the day to tackle Thunder Lake. The Thunder Lake Trail junction is also located here. The North Fork Trail to Lost Lake starts off in Comanche Peak Wilderness Area, and of the total 9.75-mile, one-way distance to Lost Lake, the first 4.7 miles fall in the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area before crossing into RMNP. Sunrise at Thunder Lake, Mt. Be sure to use the short-cut trail connecting Wild Basin Trail to Thunder Lake Trail. Erik Stensland. Thunder Lake and Wild Basin – The Western Edge of Rocky Mountain National Park On the edge of one of the most remote 13ers in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mt. Thanks for watching! The trail descends first for about 100 feet and 0.3 mile to a creek bed and then follows the creek all the way to Lost Lake. Alice and Pilot Mountain alpen glow. Built in 1930, the 12-foot (3.7 m) by 16-foot (4.9 m) cabin may have been built as a simple shelter, but has more recently been used on an occasional basis as a backcountry patrol cabin in the Wild Basin area. To continue on towards Thunder Lake you should remain on the main trail, which leads towards the left. From the Wild Basin Trailhead, continue past Copeland Falls on the Wild Basin trail. The Thunder Lake Backcountry Campsite lies near Thunder Lake, a beautiful high-elevation lake surrounded by towering mountains including Mount Alice, Pilot Mountain, and Tanima Peak. Next Hike >> Thunder Lake - 6.8 miles. Thunder Lake - bridge at Ouzel Falls is missing - detours are in place. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Scramble up scree and talus past lakes and waterfalls to the Boulder-Grand Pass, a smooth point in an … Alice, Pilot Mountain, and Tanima Peak flanking the waterways of Wild Basin. Home Hike Rocky Magazine RMNP Updates Hiking Guide > Hiker's Log Field Guides > > GPSMyHike Rocky Mountain Day Hikes << Back to Longer Hikes. Thunder Lake sits in an incredibly beautiful setting. The lake is reached by following 6.8-mile Thunder Lake Trail, one of Glacier Basin’s best hikes. The campsite trail will save you approximately .7 miles in distance. Camp in the designated site at Thunder Lake and get right to the climbing the next morning on this 16.4-mile lollipop loop in the park's southern section. Thunder Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park On a spectacular November 1st morning Mount Alice and Pilot Mountain glowed over Thunder Lake with the most amazing purple light at dawn. Nearly every new hike we go on in Rocky feels like we’ve discovered a special place, but Thunder Lake in particular was one of the most beautiful alpine lakes we’ve seen so far in Rocky, and in Colorado. Thunder Lake Campground is found in Thunder Lake Provincial Park, 21 km west of Barrhead on Hwy. Permits are required for backcountry camping everywhere in Rocky Mountain National Park and only allowed at designated areas. There are 3 individual sites, 1 group site and 1 stock site. Box Lake is a marvelous tarn that sits at the base of Tanima Peak. Although this spur trail is the shortest route to Thunder Lake, it's a little bit more primitive and a little bit more rugged than the main trail. The hike to Thunder Lake begins from the fairly remote Wild Basin Trailhead in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, located near the small communities of Meeker Park and Allenspark. Nick Sangetta and Barb Sangetta hike Thunder Lake in the Wild Basin Area of the Rocky Mountain National Park on November 2, 2017. From there you can follow the St. Vrain Creek to Ouzel Lake, Bluebird Lake, Thunder Lake, and Pear Lake. More information about the Thunder Lake campsites. To continue on towards Thunder Lake, via the shortest route, hikers should turn right at this junction. To continue on towards the lake hikers should turn right here. Lower Copeland Falls, your first destination along this route, arrives at roughly one-third of a mile from the trailhead. After driving four-tenths of a mile, make another right turn into the park. You can safely get to those sites and the sites were not damaged in the flood. Camping: The Thunder Lake campsite and others along this route can be reserved through the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Offices. The one story one-room log cabin is not used in the winter, but does have a stove with a stone fireplace. This large campground has over 125 sites, both unserviced and powered. 3 individual campsites, 1 stock campsite, and 1 group campsite. Horse trail to Thunder Lake (which coincides in part with hiking trail to Thunder Lake) is closed. Wildflowers at Bluebird Lake. 3 individual campsites, 1 stock campsite, and 1 group campsite. There are many amenities and activities here, including showers, a beach, playground, boat launch, and trails. The colors on this morning were unbelievable and I couldn't believe that I was privileged to be there and see it in person. offer a total of seven individual campsites. Hike to Thunder Lake. Because this is an extensive hike in rugged country, it may be wise to … … On the way to Ouzel and Bluebird Lakes, you also pass by three waterfalls. This backpacking trip takes us to the shores of Thunder Lake, and then far beyond it into some remote and truly magnificent high country. Lakes of Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado, More information about the Thunder Lake campsites. There is also about 500 more feet of elevation gain (Thunder Lake is at 10,600 feet), but it is not steeper, unless you 18. From left to right it's framed by 12,420-foot Tanima Peak, 12,222-foot Pilot Mountain, and 13,310-foot Mount Alice towards the northwest. The Thunder Lake site is located 6.8 miles from the Wild Basin Trailhead at 10,574'. Take the Thunder Lake trail until you reach Thunder Lake, then the 1 mile or so off trail bushwhack begins. Describes the Thunder Lake trail, a 6.8 mile hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Allow five to seven hours to hike to the campsites. Visit Website. In September we hiked to Thunder Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park for a total of almost 13 miles, on the further end of what we can comfortably hike in a day. From the trailhead, pass wildflower-filled meadows on the way to Thunder Lake. in 1930, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. I was pretty dissapointed for the first half mile but I quickly got over it. Hotels near Thunder Lake day hike or backpack, Rocky Mountain National Park on Tripadvisor: Find 20,245 traveller reviews, 10,456 candid photos, and prices for 108 hotels near Thunder Lake day hike or backpack in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. This small one-room log cabin was built Old historic park ranger cabin at Thunder Lake in the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park. Camping. At almost 1.4 miles hikers will reach the Pine Ridge Backcountry Campsite. Copeland Mountain from the trail. At just over 1.6 miles hikers will reach the Tahosa Backcountry Campsite. If you plan on fishing Box Lake and its drainage, consider making this an overnight trip. Reaching Thunder Lake requires an aggressive day hike of 6.7 miles one-way from the trailhead. Elevation loss: -2110′. Thunder Lake has 5 different campsites around it. Tips & Resources for Hiking to Fan Falls in RMNP. Taking the main route passes Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls, but adds almost another mile to your one-way destination. Thunder Lake is located in the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park. The 17-mile hike is truly a remote adventure. The trail is one of the best kept secrets of Rocky Mountain National Park, and although the trail is between 12.6 and 13.5 miles in length and climbs 2,500 feet to elevations just above 11,000 feet, the result is well worth the hike! Thunder Lake Trail is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Copyright Alice, Thunder Lake has one of the most prized trout stocks in the park with stunning views of Mt. The hike over to Falcon Falls requires first descending to where the landscape is not so steep and rocky, as a lateral hike would require travel through steep and difficult terrain. We … @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); RockyMountainHikingTrails.com. In about 2 miles you will come to a trail junction for the backcountry campsites. One of the hallmarks of true high-country fishing … The Thunder Lake Patrol Cabin is a small structure in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. In all, the five campgrounds in this area Some of these include Box Lake, Eagle Lake, Frigid Lake and Eagles Beak, Mertensia Falls, Indigo Pond, Falcon Lake, Lake of Many Winds, The Cleaver, Pilot Mountain, Boulder-Grand Pass. Each lake has its own special qualities, which usually include dramatic mountain scenery and massive boulder-laced shoreline. Great Wild Basin Trail With Gorgeous Lake This Wild Basin trail is only more difficult than the Ouzel Lake trail due to this being a longer trail (13.6 mile round trip versus a 9.8 mile round trip). This spot also marks the highest point on the hike. This lake is surrounded by stunning massive granite … There's a side trail that visits both the lower and upper falls. The Wild Basin Trailhead is located roughly 2.2 miles from the park turn-off on a narrow, two-wheel drive gravel road. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park, drive 12.6 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the Wild Basin Road junction and turn right. All rights reserved. Thunder Lake (10,574’) is probably one of my least favorite lakes in RMNP. RMNP - Thunder Lake I had always looked at a map of the Wild Basin area of RMNP and thought, "wow, wouldn't it be cool to hike to all those lakes. Thunder Lake. Lake of Glass and Sky Pond – Glacial Elegance. Drive back to Estes Park, Boulder, or Denver. There is backcountry camping allowed with a permit. At roughly 1.9 miles you'll pass the Aspen Knoll Backcountry Campsite, and at roughly 2.5 miles you'll reach the North St. Vrain Backcountry Campsite. The campsite trail rejoins Thunder Lake trail. At roughly 5.6 miles you'll reach the spur trail that provides access to the Thunder Lake Group Campsite. The southernmost entrance to RMNP is just outside of Allenspark, Colorado. Beyond the two waterfalls the trail crosses over Sandbeach Creek. You can expect stunning days in the high country thanks to waterfalls, high-alpine lakes and sweeping views of the Continental Divide. The hike to Thunder Lake begins from the fairly remote Wild Basin Trailhead in the southeastern corner of Lily Lake… There are many backcountry and cross country destinations from Thunder Lake. The overall trail to Thunder Lake is steady with elevation gain. Description Thunder Lake sits at the top of Wild Basin, one of the most stunning and lesser-visited cirques in Rocky Mountain National Park. Overnight backpack to Thunder Lake in the Wild Basin region of RMNP. It has a ranger patrol cabin that adds some mystique to the spot, but on a whole the area while still beautiful isn’t what I have come to expect from this amazing park. As usual, when heading to Thunder Lake, Lion Lake, or surrounding areas I would recommend taking the campsite shortcut trail to cut.7 mile off of your hike. Falcon Falls is formed by a creek that spills out of Falcon Lake, a small alpine lake located about 600′ above Thunder Lake. Thunder Lake has 5 different campsites around it. Difficulty Description: Moderate – On moderate trips, you will hike 3-6 miles with a 25-35 pound backpack on maintained trails. I decided I would hike into Thunder Lake in the Wild Basin section of Rocky Mountain National Park. At roughly 3.9 miles hikers will arrive at the Lion Lake No. Wild Basin Trailhead. Permits are required for backcountry camping everywhere in Rocky Mountain National Park and only allowed at designated areas. It seems that RMNP is getting busier and busier each time I go. Upon arriving at the winter TH I realized I'd left the camera battery in the charger at home. Rejoin the Thunder Lake trail and hike for about 2 miles on the maintained trail through dense forest until you reach your destination. box lake, eagle lake, eagles beak, frigid lake, hiking rocky mountain national park, moomaw glacier, thunder lake, wild basin, Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us, because unfathomable. Backpack to Thunder Lake (RMNP) 4/17/2017 1 Comment Trip Date: April 15-16, 2017. But the hikes are so long, I'll never to that". By now you will have noticed that the trail travels through a very beautiful and pristine subalpine forest. They are well-treed and suited to RVs and tents. Length 11.2 miElevation gain 2234 ftRoute type Out & back Distance: 7 miles and 6 hours. For the most part the trail travels under the canopy of the forest for almost the entire route. Upper Copeland Falls is located another one-tenth of a mile further upstream on the North St. Vrain Creek. More information about the Thunder Lake campsites. After walking downhill for a short distance hikers will finally reach Thunder Lake, roughly 5.8 miles from the trailhead. I checked with the RMNP backcountry office about the Thunder Lake Trail and the backcountry campsites. It also features a old historic Park Ranger Cabin. Horses are also able to use this trail. In a forested area North of the Lake hikers should turn right at this.... 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