The hike to Fern Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Moraine Park area. To reach the trailhead from Bear Lake Road, follow Moraine Park Road for a half-mile to an unmarked junction, just before reaching the Moraine Park Campground. Turn left at the junction and drive roughly 1.9 miles to the Fern Lake Trailhead. Along the way you’ll pass the Fern Lake shuttle stop. You will have the option of taking the free hiker shuttle from the Moraine Park Visitor Center, but you’ll have to walk an additional eight-tenths of mile along the dirt road to reach the trailhead.
The Fern Lake Trail follows the Big Thompson River all the way to The Pool, and alternates between forest and a few open areas that provide some pretty good views of the Big Thompson Valley. Along the way you’ll pass through a mixed forest of aspens, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, cottonwoods and willows, as well as a variety of wildflowers in the spring and summer.
This trail was mostly constructed and maintained by lodge keepers and local tourism boosters in the early 1900s. As a result of its roll in early park tourism, the Fern Lake Trail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
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