Moraine Park Trail, Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Moraine Park Trail - 3.4 miles
Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||3.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,440' - 8,080'|
|Elevation Change:||-360' net elevation loss|
Moraine Park Trail - 3.4 Miles Round-Trip
The Moraine Park Trail connects Upper Beaver Meadows with Fern Lake Road near the Beaver Meadow Entrance Station of Rocky Mountain National Park.
A high water table under Beaver Meadows creates fine, moist soil conditions that do not effectively support tree growth. These meadow-creating conditions are perpetuated over time by grazing wildlife and natural fires.
Surrounding slopes, where soil conditions improve, support ponderosa woodlands, aspen, fir and lodgepole pine. This rich mosaic provides ideal habitat, safe passage, and abundant food for elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, badger, fox, and coyote.
The Moraine Park Trail is ideal for families, winter recreation, and those with limited time or abilities. Visitors will enjoy excellent views of Longs Peak, large meadows, aspen groves, and a good chance to see elk:
The trail heads south through a flat, broad meadow for .3 miles to the first of several small ridges. The trail dips and rolls gently through sparse forests and open rocky areas to the north edge of Moraine Meadows. The trail drops more rapidly to the Moraine Park Campground (.8 miles).
It's important to note here that this 'main' trail is bisected and paralleled at times by several unnamed trails that form small figure eights through the immediate area, especially in the Moraine Park Campground vicinity.
While having a good map will make staying on the correct trail easier, the absence of trail signs may cause temporary confusion. Continuing south with the Campground on your left should serve as an adequate bearing.
The trail ends unceremoniously at the Livery on the Fern Lake access road. Extend this hike by continuing on to the Cub Lake Trailhead, with access to Cub Lake and the South Lateral Moraine Trail.
- This is a 4-season trail with good snowshoe and cross-country skiing terrain.
- Though mountain lion sightings are rare, they are known to inhabit this part of the park. Take all necessary precautions with children. Jogging alone and at dusk or dawn is discouraged.
Directions to Trailhead
Travel through the Beaver Meadows entrance station and into the Park on Highway 36. Just before the road makes a sharp curve and begins a steep climb, begin looking for a dirt road and sign off to the left for the Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead. Turn left on the groomed dirt road and take it for 2 miles to its terminus at the trailhead and parking lot (bypassing all other turnoffs and parking areas you see). The dirt road is gated-off to automobile travel in the winter, however you can park in designated areas near the gate and walk yourself in.
Rocky Mountain National Park