Hit the trail on this less traveled hike on the West Side of Rocky Mountain National Park. There's great fishing, serenity and access to Mt. Ida.

I love Timber Lake! I never see that many people on the trail and I can't figure out why. The hike starts at the Timber Lake trailhead and climbs gradually through Pine and Aspen trees on the way up. We saw a few elk on the way up that didn't seem to be bothered by our presence. We also started hiking in the evening and ended up doing most of the hike in the dark, making as much noise as we possibly could to scare off whatever was hiding in the shadows.

If you're spending the night, camp at the first Jackstraw campsite, which is now my favorite campsite in RMNP. It's not the closest to the lake but it offers great views of the meadow just before the lake and has very close access to water. The lake is a short 3/4 mile hike from Jackstraw.

Once you reach the lake you have a few options. Lunch, fishing, and lounging in the sun are all great activities for this area. We climbed to the top of the mountain on the left side, had lunch and took in the views Mt. Ida is also near and has spectacular views! This is a must do on the West Side of RMNP!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Water filter
  • Sleeping bag
  • Food
Show More
RT Distance 9.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 2050 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Beautiful lake!

We did this hike recently and had an amazing time! It felt longer than the mileage listed but it was also our first day and being at a higher elevation definitely makes a difference. We actually saw a black bear on the slope down from the trail about 2 miles into the hike. Pretty cool but we made lots of noise and he acted like we weren't there! Loved the stream that you pass along the way and the open meadows had wildflowers blooming - so beautiful! Timber lake was so lovely and there were Moose on the other end of the lake! Definitely worth it!

Backpacked At Timber Lake

A buddy of mine and I got an NPS backcountry permit in July to camp at the snowbird campsite a couple hundred meters from Timber Lake. The hike up was beautiful - lush forest with many streams cutting through the path. A large landslide has taken out part of the trail so we had to hike up and over the steeper mountain side to avoid it. At the top, a huge alpine storm came through and dropped an inch of hail on us! The next morning we hiked up towards Mt. Ida and saw plenty of bear scat and some moose. During the day, Timber Lake was sunny and beautiful.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Colorado River Trailhead Loop

6 Saves

Car Camp at Timber Creek Campground

182 Saves

Hike Mt. Ida

739 Saves