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    Ouzel Lake

    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.
    15.7 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.
    491 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Overall Rating
    This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
    Physical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Technical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Read Reviews
    Directions to Trailhead
    Panorama of Ouzel Lake snowshoe trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    The snowshoe to Ouzel Lake really adds meaning to the sentiment: “It’s all about the journey, not the destination”. Ouzel Lake, located in Wild Basin, offers amazing panoramic views of RMNP and Longs Peak, however, the many waterfalls along the way are what truly make this snowshoe spectacular!

    View Ouzel Lake on Map

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    Route Description for Ouzel Lake

    Anyone on a snowshoe trip should have Avalanche training, we recommend AIARE 2 for all backcountry travellers, and AIARE 1 is the minimum. It is important to note that when travelling through avalanche terrain it is extremely valuable to always have a companion.

    Wild Basin is a lesser known, southern section of RMNP that borders Indian Peaks Wilderness just off the Peak to Peak Hwy. While we list this trip as a snowshoe trip, depending on current conditions, it could be done without snowshoes.

    From the Wild Basin Trailhead, follow the Wild Basin Trail towards Ouzel Lake. The snowshoe will start out amongst dense pine forest along a frozen North Saint Vrain Creek and Copeland Falls. Slowly gaining elevation, the trail will arrive at a bridge and trail junction at Calypso Falls.

    Continue on the trail to Ouzel Falls and enjoy the amazing waterfalls on offer in the summer. In winter, this large frozen waterfall will still be worth a visit though as it is frozen in place!

    From Ouzel Falls, the trail will quickly gain elevation and an alpine ridgeline. Along the ridge, the panoramic views of RMNP and the Wild Basin are incredible. Notable peaks straight ahead of you are Copeland Mountain (4,016 m), Isolation Peak (3,998 m) Mt. Alice (4,057 m) and Ouzel Peak (3,876 m). To the north, you can see Longs Peak (4,346 m) and Mount Meeker (4,240 m). Ouzel Lake lies at the end of the ridgeline.

    To get back to the Wild Basin trailhead, return the way you came by retracing your steps.

    Insider Hints for Ouzel Lake

    • If you’re hankering for a great meal, why not visit Rock Creek Tavern & Pizzeria in the small mountain town of Allenspark!
    • Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park takes you into remote terrain. Make sure you are prepared for an emergency with warm clothes, extra food, matches and potentially a satellite transceiver, like a Garmin InReach. Cell phones may not work on all trails.
    • Always check the avalanche forecast for the Front Ranges before heading out.

    Getting to the Ouzel Lake Trailhead

    From Estes Park, take Highway 7 south for 40.2 km and turn right on to County Rd 84. From Lyons, turn left (south) onto 5th Ave., which turns into Highway 7. Follow it for about 32.2 km where you will then turn left (west) on County Rd 84 following the signs for the Wild Basin Area. On County Rd 84, the road will split. Stay right and follow signs for Rocky Mountain National Park (County Road 115). You will pass the fee station. It is not always manned but you still need to pay the park fees. From here, the road becomes a narrow, windy, rough dirt road for about 8.0 km to the end the Wild Basin Trailhead.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      Late November to Early April

    • Backcountry Campsites

      Yes - get permits at RMNP Visitors Center

    • Toilets

      Yes, primitive pit toilet

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Ouzel Lake Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Ouzel Lake Reviews

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