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Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Conditions Report 9/28/2023.

Longs Peak view from a trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Longs Peak, where the world feels small and dreams reach high.

Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Conditions Report

Dated 9/28/2023.

General Trail Conditions:

As we transition into late September, Rocky Mountain National Park offers hikers a beautiful mix of fall colors and crisp mountain air. The overall trail conditions are favorable, but it's important to be aware of seasonal changes and elevation variations as you plan your hikes. Here's a summary of the current trail conditions:


The weather in Rocky Mountain National Park can be unpredictable, especially at higher elevations. Always check the latest weather forecasts before heading out, as conditions can change rapidly.

Daytime temperatures at lower elevations are pleasant, ranging from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C). However, temperatures drop significantly at higher elevations, so bring layers to stay warm.

Evenings are cool, with temperatures ranging from 30°F to 50°F (-1°C to 10°C), so pack accordingly if you plan on hiking late or camping.

Trail Closures and Alerts:

Be aware of any trail closures or alerts. Check the official Rocky Mountain National Park website ( for up-to-date information on trail closures, fire restrictions, and other important alerts.

Trail Specific Conditions:

Bear Lake Area:

Bear Lake and its surrounding trails offer stunning views of changing aspen groves. Trails like the Bear Lake Loop and Alberta Falls Trail are in great condition and suitable for all skill levels.

Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake trails are also in good shape with some patches of ice and snow at higher elevations. Microspikes may be useful for added traction.

Trail Ridge Road:

The high-elevation Trail Ridge Road may experience closures due to snow, so check the park's website for road conditions.

High winds and rapidly changing weather are common in this area, so come prepared with warm clothing and be cautious while driving.

Longs Peak:

The Keyhole Route on Longs Peak can be treacherous, especially with the potential for icy conditions. Hikers attempting this route should be experienced and well-prepared for alpine conditions.

Wild Basin:

Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades, and Ouzel Falls trails are in good condition with colorful foliage along the way. Conditions are generally dry with some muddy spots in shaded areas.

Moraine Park Area:

The Cub Lake Trail is a great option with changing leaves and relatively dry conditions.

Alpine Trails:

For those venturing into the alpine zone, expect colder temperatures, snow, and ice patches. Be well-equipped with appropriate gear and clothing for these conditions.


If you plan to explore the backcountry, make sure to obtain the necessary permits and be prepared for wilderness travel, which may include snow and colder temperatures.

Safety Reminders:

- Hike with a buddy whenever possible and let someone know your hiking plans.

- Carry the Ten Essentials, including extra clothing, food, water, navigation tools, and a first aid kit.

- Be wildlife aware and maintain a safe distance from animals.

- Stay on designated trails to protect fragile ecosystems.

Bull elk in the fall foliage, during the elk rut.
Bull elk in the fall foliage.

Please remember that trail conditions can change rapidly, and it's essential to be prepared for variable weather in the Rocky Mountains. Always prioritize safety and respect the natural beauty of this incredible national park. Enjoy your hiking adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park!


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