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    Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    16.7 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    686 m
    User Ratings
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Immerse yourself in the Colorado wilderness as you track the Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail. This hike demonstrates the quintessential Colorado high-country terrain as you hike though aspen grove, beneath pine trees, past cascades and up to the alpine lakes flaked by snow-dusted peaks. This scenic adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park is one for the books.

    View Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail on Map

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    Route Description for Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail

    Lace up those hiking shoes and get ready for your exciting adventure along the Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail. This epic hike is sure to impress as you venture through the diverse landscapes that the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) offers. This adventure is not for the faint of heart, make sure to wear sturdy footwear and consider trekking poles. If you venture this trail in the autumn or winter, we highly recommend microspikes or snowshoes to navigate the likely icy and snowy terrain. Additionally, you will be ascending high altitudes, so check the weather forecast prior to your excursion to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm. Note that the RMNP requires visitors to purchase a pass.

    Embark on your journey around the Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail from the Cub Lake Trailhead. From here, track south along the Cub Lake Trail, and at the first intersection, turn right. Hike west as the trail follows the curves of Cub Creek up to the lake. Enjoy the scenery from Cub Lake and continue along the path. At the next junction, veer left, and you will be diverted onto the Fern Lake Trail. Trek this route along Fern Creek and up to Fern Falls. From here, the terrain will get increasingly steep as you near Fern Lake. Navigate the switchbacks up to Fern Lake and the patrol cabin.

    Revel in the mountainous landscape from Fern Lake. Located in a mountain cirque, the grandeur of the looming snow-capped peaks will astound you. Admire the views and retrace your steps down the trail when you are ready. Continue down the trail and at the junction at The Pool, keep straight along the Fern Lake Trail. Trek alongside the Big Thompson River to the trail’s end, where you will merge onto Fern Lake Road. Walk along the shoulder of the road back to the Cub Lake Trailhead.

    Getting to the Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail Trailhead

    The Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Hike departs from the Cub Creek Trailhead off Fern Lake Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Designated Dispersed Campsites, view details here.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

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    Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail Elevation Graph

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    Fern and Cub Lakes Loop Trail Reviews

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