Hike the Ypsilon Lake Trail

9 miles 2000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Breanne McNitt

Escape from the crowds and get some beautiful views of the mountains with this hike in the middle of Rocky Mountain National Park.

To get to the trailhead, enter Rocky Mountain National Park on the 36.  Keep right at the fork with the 34 and then you'll take your next left and the parking for the trailhead is the first parking area on your right.  There is an outhouse at the trailhead too, so if you need to take a pit stop before beginning your hike this is a great place to do so.

Once on the trail you will begin the slow, uphill climb to the lake.  The trail just continually gains elevation first taking you above the river, across the river, and then up into the dense forest.  If you do this hike in the spring, be ready for snow.  I did this hike in Mid-April and the trail past the bridge was covered in a solid layer of packed snow with a few sinking spots that had us up to our thighs in the snow-- but that just added to the adventure.

Unfortunately we weren't prepared for so much snow, so eventually the snow pack got too deep and we had to turn around before reaching the lake.  But not before we made it out of the woods and into a boulder field that overlooks the basin and gives you great views of Ypsilon Mountain.  This is a great spot about 4 miles up the trail and the boulders make perfect seats so you can enjoy a bit of a rest and some snacks.  If the snow is clear, continue onto the lake as the trail take you down a bit in elevation from this boulder field.  However if you run into too much snow, then turning back at this point and heading down the trail still makes for a wonderful day out on the trail. 

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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September 22nd

Beautiful views, very fun!

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