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North Fork Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (18)

A long approach into the northern reaches of RMNP.


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Map Key

9.5

Miles

15.3

KM

87%

Runnable

10,727' 3,270 m

High

7,663' 2,336 m

Low

3,204' 977 m

Up

262' 80 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Dogs are not allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail crosses into the park around mile 4.

Description

This trail crosses through the Comanche Peak Wilderness and into Rocky Mountain National Park. Access the North Fork Trail from the Dunraven Trailhead graveled parking lot, there you'll find room room for 23 vehicles and a vault toilet.

From the parking area the trail drops into a canyon and follows the North Fork of the Big Thompson for several miles. Bridges have been placed at some of the stream crossings. The trail briefly passes through the private Cheley Camp, please do not trespass. Before the trail departs from the river it passes through large open meadows with historic cabins (which were nearly destroyed in 2013 flood) commonly known as Deserted Village and then ascends to the border of Rocky Mountain National Park. After the flood the trail was relocated to north of the river and no longer passes by the remains of the cabin.

Upon entering the park, the trail continues paralleling the North Fork of the Big Thompson as it gains elevation. Around five miles into the trail, the North Boundary Trail will branch off to the south (left). Enjoy the views of the North Fork of the Big Thompson and its associated wetlands as you travel another mile and a quarter to a junction with the Stormy Peaks Trail, which splits off to the north (right).

A final stretch of two and a quarter miles of trail will lead you to the beautiful Lost Lake. The lake's name will come as no surprise given the journey that you have undertaken to reach this point.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith with improvements by Jim Medlock and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 18 votes

#519

Overall
  4.3 from 18 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#100

in Colorado

#519

Overall
29 Views Last Month
8,269 Since Jan 14, 2015
Intermediate

0%
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80%
13%
7%
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Photos

Trail near Sugarloaf camp
Aug 20, 2021 near Estes Park, CO
Trail near Sugarloaf camp.
Aug 20, 2021 near Estes Park, CO
Lost Meadow 09/27/2018
Sep 28, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
Lost Lake on 9/27/18
Sep 28, 2018 near Estes Park, CO
The biggest intersection on the North Fork Trail.
Aug 20, 2021 near Estes Park, CO
Lost Meadow -- August 20, 2019. Enjoyed the cooler breeze as we entered this meadow!
Aug 24, 2019 near Estes Park, CO

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Check-Ins

Apr 26, 2022
Kevin Moore
Jun 20, 2021
Owen Gahan
Only went up 7.1 miles. Seem to have been just shy of trail for Stormy Peaks Trail 15mi
Aug 15, 2020
Jeff Gregg
very runnable, beautiful trail. 18.6mi — 4h 13m
Jul 19, 2019
Jake Gutwein
11mi — 2h 15m
Jun 8, 2018
Michael Peterson