The Pool, Fern Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, September 6, 2009
We hiked the Fern Lake trail to Fern Falls on the last full day of our 2009 visit to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The hike from the trailhead was 5.2 miles round-trip, but we had to park near the shuttle bus stop, 0.8 miles from the trail head. The hike started at 8165 feet above sea level, with the falls nearly 700 feet higher at 8850 feet. Needless to say, were pretty tired by the time we got back to the car.
Fern Falls (Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails.com)
The Fern Lake Trail follows the Big Thompson River all the way to The Pool, and alternates between forest and a few open areas that provide some pretty good views of the Big Thompson Valley. Along the way you’ll pass through a mixed forest of aspens, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, cottonwoods and willows, as well as a variety of wildflowers in the spring and summer.
This trail was mostly constructed and maintained by lodge keepers and local tourism boosters in the early 1900s. As a result of its roll in early park tourism, the Fern Lake Trail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
(See more about the trail to Fern Falls at Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails.com)