Little Matterhorn Hike

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.
12.2 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.
855 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Challenge yourself as you hike up the technical terrain to the summit of Little Matterhorn which rewards conquerors with epic alpine vistas. Though not the tallest peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Little Matterhorn presents some of the most scenic mountain views in the Front Range.

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Route Description for Little Matterhorn Hike

The Little Matterhorn Trail is a challenging, but highly rewarding hike. Track through pine forestlands, past lakes, through the alpine tundra and up to the summit of the craggy peak. Reserved for intrepid spirits, this technical and primitive hike is reserved for experienced hikers. Ensure to check the weather forecast prior to your adventure to mitigate the chances of getting caught in inclement weather. Hiking shoes, microspikes and trekking poles are highly recommended. It is also worth noting that sections of the trail are difficult to follow, we recommend using the trail GPS to help navigate the tricky terrain. Don’t forget a park pass is required to utilize the network of trails.

Begin your journey along the Little Matterhorn Trail from the Bear Lake Trailhead. From here, track north along the Bierstadt Trail up a rocky ridge. Once you summit the ridge, you will encounter an intersection, veer left, and you will be diverted onto the Flattop Mountain Trail. At the next junction, stay right onto the Fern Lake Trail. Hike this path up to Two Rivers Lake and Lake Helene, where you will begin your ascent up Little Matterhorn. Trek northwest up the primitive route, carefully navigating the technical terrain up to the summit.

From the peak, you will be rewarded with uninterrupted vistas of the neighboring snow dusted Front Range summits. Revel in the alpine scenery and rest prior to beginning your descent. When you are ready, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead. Mind your footing as you descend the summit to avoid rolling an ankle!

Getting to the Little Matterhorn Hike Trailhead

The Little Matterhorn Hike departs from the Bear Lake Trailhead off Bear Lake Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Little Matterhorn Hike Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Little Matterhorn Hike Reviews

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